Wednesday, October 28, 2009

New Testament Reading for Lech Lecha

The New Testament reading for Lech Lecha should be Romans 4:1-25.  Sorry for the confusion.

Torah Portion Lech Lecha

Parasha Lech Lecha
·         Genesis 12:1-17:27
·         Isaiah 54:1-55:5
·         Matthew 24:36-46

The Torah Portion at a Glance
YHWH calls Abram, commanding him to "go from your land, from your birthplace and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you." There, YHWH says, he will be made into a great nation. Abram and his wife Sarai, accompanied by his nephew Lot, journey to the Land of Canaan, where Abram builds an altar and continues to spread the message of One Elohim.

A famine forces the first Hebrew/Ivrim to depart for Egypt, where beautiful Sarai is taken to Pharaoh's palace; Abram escapes death because they present themselves as brother and sister. A plague prevents the Egyptian king from touching her and convinces him to return her to Abram and compensate the brother-revealed-as-husband with gold, silver and cattle.

Back in the Land of Canaan, Lot separates from Abram and settles in the evil city of Sodom, where he falls captive when the mighty armies conquer the five cities of the Sodom Valley. Abram sets out with a small band to rescue his nephew, defeats the four kings, and is blessed by Malki-Zedek the king of Salem (Jerusalem).
YHWH seals the, Covenant between the parts with Abram, in which the exile and persecution of the people of Israel is foretold and the Holy Land is bequeathed to them as their eternal heritage

Still childless ten years after their arrival in the Land, Sarai tells Abram to marry her maidservant.  Hagar conceives, becomes insolent toward her mistress, and then flees when Sarai treats her harshly; an angel convinces her to return and tells her that her son will father a populous nation.   Ishmael is born in Abram's 86th year.

Years later, YHWH changes Abram's name to Avraham ("father of multitudes") and Sarai's to Sarah ("princess"), and promises that a son will be born to them; from this child, whom they should call Yitzcha’ak / Isaac ("will laugh"), will stem the great nation with which Elohim will establish His special bond. Abraham is commanded to circumcise himself and his descendents as a "sign of the covenant between Me and you."

(adapted from

The Messiah in the Torah Portion
The idea of a pre-incarnate Messiah posits that Y’shua appeared in flesh and bones before the virgin birth in Bethlehem.  (Think of the fourth man in the fiery furnace of the book of Daniel who “looked like the son of YHWH.”  This teaching verifies that Messiah is the eternal Savior who was, and is and is to come.

In this week’s Torah portion, the Moshiach mysteriously appears to Abraham, not once but several times.  First the Bible speaks of an unknown King of Salem named Melkizadek that visits with Abraham.  This king is also a priest.  “And Melchizedek the king of Salem brought forth bread and wine. And he was the priest of the most high Elohim.  And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of El Elyon, possessor of Heaven and earth.  And blessed be the most high Elohim, who has delivered your enemies into your hand. And he gave him tithes of all,” Genesis 14:18-20.

Who would deserve Abraham’s tithe more than holy and righteous Elohim, Himself?  Indeed, Melchizedek could very well be Y’shua before the incarnation. (Some suggest Melchizedek was Shem or the angel Michael or some other figure.)  The English name Melchizedek is a transliteration of two Hebrew words, melek and tzedek.”  The Hebrew term “melek” means “king” and the word “tzedek” is translated “righteous.”  Who is the king of righteousness but Y’shua HaMoshiach?

Melchizedek is mentioned in the book of Psalms, Hebrews and even the Dead Sea Scrolls.  Melchizedek is a priest forever according to Hebrews 7:3 as is Messiah.  Also see Hebrews 7:17 and 5:6.  It is also interesting that Melchizedek was without descent.  The Bible gives no records of his ancestors or descendants.   "Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of YHWH he remains a priest forever," Hebrews 7:3.  Of Y’shua it says that He was of ancient times.  “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times," Micah 5:2.

In 1947, scrolls from the Jewish Essenes were discovered which affirmed that they believed Melchizedek would return as the Messiah.  Melchizedek was/is a righteous priest in whose lineage Y’shua ministered as seen in Psalm 110:1-4.

Another clear reference to Y’shua is made in Genesis 15:1, “after this, the word of YHWH appeared to Abram in a vision: ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”’  A casual reading of this verse would miss the literal Hebrew word picture.  “The word of YHWH” doesn’t normally appear to; words are usually heard.  Yet, to Abraham the devar YHWH appeared!  “The word became flesh and dwelt among us,” John 1:14.  The Hebrew and Aramaic rendering of this passage in Genesis makes such an appearance of Y’shua believable. 

During the times of Y’shua the Old Testament was translated into the Hebrew dialect Aramaic so most of the Jewish population could read the text.  These translations are called “targums.”  In the Aramaic Targum, the term for “word” is “memra.”  The term “memra” is found throughout the Old Testament as a character in the Bible.  Before the book of John was written, the Jewish people were familiar with the Almighty being the “memra” or “word.”  The “memra” appeared to Abraham in a vision.  After the “memra” appeared to Abraham, the Scriptures declare that “Abraham believed the WORD of YHWH.”  The Aramaic Targum reads, “And Abraham trusted in the Memra of YHWH, and He counted it to him for righteousness.”  Y’shua is the “memra” – the Word made flesh.  Y’shua is the priest, the King of Righteousness.

Finally, consider these words from Y’shua in John 8:54-59, “Y’shua answered, If I honor myself, my honor is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your Elohim: Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.  Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.  Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?  Y’shua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.   Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.”

Applying the Portion to Life Today
“If you belong to Christ/Messiah you are Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise,” Galatians 3:29.  This verse from the book of Galatians shows us that all who are born again are of the very seed of Abraham.  The word “seed” in this verse is “sperma.”  Believers are physically descended from the sperm of Abraham and part of the commonwealth of Israel.  This is the seed of the righteous that has inherited the covenants of blessing made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 

YHWH has promised to give us the Land of Israel.  YHWH has promised to make us innumerable.  YHWH has promised to bless those that bless us and curse those that curse us.  YHWH has promised and YHWH keeps His promises.

As descendants of Abraham; as bondservants of Messiah we have a duty to make a difference in our world.  Everywhere Abraham went; his life shared the message that the Almighty blesses those that seek Him in faith.  Abraham’s life was an example of how a person lives through faith in YHWH.  He wasn’t perfect, but he prevailed through the tests and trials he faced.  It was in Ur of Chaldeas, or Babylon, that Abraham was living when he heard the still small voice of YHWH calling him out.  Our father left the comfort zone of his father’s home without any true knowledge of where he was going or what would come of his journey.  He survived famine, made peace with those at odds with him, and even obeyed when he was told to cut the skin of his own body. 

Y’shua said in John 8:39 that “if you are the children of Abraham then you should do the things Abraham did.”  This call was to the religious crowds who kept the minutia of Torah and yet lacked true faith in YHWH.  It is our trust; our belief; our faith in YHWH that moves mountains and sets us apart from others who simply go through the religious motions.  “By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.  By faith he made his home in the Promised Land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.  For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is YHWH,” Hebrews 11:8-10.

The pattern in the patriarch’s life is very similar to how YHWH works today.  First, Abraham heard the call of YHWH while in the land of sin and the bondage of Babylon.  Then Abraham made a confession of faith and began his journey towards the Promised Land.  When he arrived in Canaan he built an altar to YHWH and YHWH blessed him saying, “to your offspring I will give this land.”  As his sojourn continued the blessing grew.  First he was promised the Land and a blessing.  Then he was promised multiplicity and the “length and breadth” of the ground that he walked.  As Abraham walked faithfully with YHWH he would continually build altars and would continually receive additional blessings.  When Abraham’s faith was exhibited through continual obedience he continued to experience the presence of YHWH.  The faith of Abraham was powerful to sustain him through the trials of his life.  Do you have such trust?  Would you leave your home, job, and comforts to travel to a place you have never seen?  Abraham did and in the end was blessed for his faithful obedience.

Portion Points to Ponder

  1. From what land was Abram called from?  Where is this located today?  Why is this significant?
  2. Is the blessing and curses given to Abram still applicable today?
  3. How old was Abram when he left the land of his fathers?  Why do people give or retire when they reach 60 or 70?  Should a person’s ministry end when they reach a certain age?
  4. What does it mean that the “word of YHWH appeared to Abram?”  Who or what was this referencing?
  5. The famine caused Abram to journey to Egypt.  How is this similar to Joseph’s family that would later go to Egypt and endure a famine?
  6. Did Abram sin when he told Sarai to tell the Egyptians that she was his sister?  Did Sarai sin by obeying Abram?
  7. When Abram left Egypt did he leave empty handed or did he take with him the best of Egypt?  How was this similar to Exodus 12:36?
  8. Why did Lot and Abram part ways?  Is such a break sometimes necessary for people today?
  9. Lot chose a land that was well watered like Sodom and Egypt.  What is significant about how these areas watered their land?  Did these lands have to depend upon the early and the later rains?
  10. Abram is promised descendents as numerous as the stars and the sand.  His seed will be so great that it can not be counted.  Is this just the Jewish people?  Why or why not?
  11. What can be learned from the battles of war between the kings in Genesis 14?
  12. Melkizadek appears to Abram with bread and wine.  Who is/was Melkizadek?
  13. What does the bread and wine symbolize?  How has this tradition been repeated by mainstream Judaism?
  14. Before the Law was given from Mt Sinai we read of Abraham tithing to Melkizadek.  Should believers follow this example and give a 10% tithe to the local priest or teacher?
  15. In Genesis 15 YHWH makes it clear that Isaac is the heir of Abram.  What about Elizier’s son?  What about Ishmael?
  16. Genesis 15:3 says that Abram believed the word of YHWH and it was accounted to him as righteousness.”  Was it solely belief that blessed Abram or did works play a part?  What does “righteous” mean?
  17. The cutting of the sacrifices in Genesis 15 is a puzzling event.  Reread this section and then discuss the sacrifice, horror of Abram, prophecy of exile, return from Egypt, judgment of plagues, and death of Abram.
  18. A “smoking furnace and burning lap” passed between the sacrifices in Genesis 15.  Is this is the same cloud by day and fire by night that led the Israelites in the wilderness?
  19. Abram had sexual relations with a woman that was not his wife in Genesis 16.  Was this sin?  Did it end in a blessing or a curse?
  20. “The angel of YHWH’ met Hagar to encourage her.  Who is this messenger?  Is there a difference between “AN angel of YHWH” and “THE angel of YHWH?”
  21. In Genesis 16 the angel of YHWH prophecies about the descendants of Ishmael.  Who are these people?
  22. Ishmael’s seed is prophesied to be a “wild man whose hand is against everyman.”  How is this true today?
  23. YHWH commanded Abram to “walk before me and be perfect” in Genesis 17.  Is such a walk possible?  How does this walk of holiness connect to Genesis 15:3?
  24. Abram’s name is changed to “Abraham.”  Sari’s name is changed to “Sarah.”  What do these changes mean?  Why would YHWH make such changes?
  25. The command of circumcision or “brit milah” is given in this week’s Torah portion.  Is brit milah necessary for salvation today?  Was brit milah ever required for salvation?
  26. What does brit milah symbolize?  Do you think the procedure of circumcision is the same today as it was thousands of years ago?
  27. What does it mean that the uncircumcised person “will be cut off” from among the people?
  28. Genesis 17 shows an amazing confession about Ishmael.  Did Abram want Ishmael to be the son of promise?

The Open Bible is a teaching series written by Daniel Rendelman of Emet Ministries.  Find more teachings, audio messages, videos, and music at

Daniel Rendelman is the found and leader of Emet Ministries and the author of the book “Finding the Truth.”  He, his wife, and five children live in Newberry, South Carolina.  He can be reached at

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Torah Portion Noach

Parasha Noach
·         Genesis 6:9-11:32
·         Isaiah 54:1-55:5,
·         Matthew 24:36-46

The Torah Portion at a Glance
The world is totally consumed with violence and corruption.  So, YHWH instructs Noach, the only righteous man, to build a large wooden ark, called a “teivah” in Hebrew.  The ark is to be coated within and without with pitch. A great deluge, says YHWH, will wipe out all life from the face of the earth; but the ark will float upon the water, sheltering Noah and his family, and each animal species.

Rain falls for 40 days and nights, and the waters churn for 150 days more before calming and beginning to recede. The ark settles on Mount Ararat, and from its window Noah dispatches a raven, and then a series of doves, "to see if the waters were abated from the face of the earth."  When the ground dries completely -- exactly one solar year (365 days) after the onset of the Flood -- YHWH commands Noah to exit the teivah and repopulate the earth.

Noah builds an altar and offers sacrifices to YHWH.  The Almighty swears never again to destroy all of mankind through water because of their deeds, and sets the rainbow as a testimony of His new covenant with man. YHWH also commands Noah regarding the sacredness of life: murder is deemed a capital offense, and while man is permitted to eat the meat of animals, he is forbidden to eat flesh or blood taken from a living animal.

Noah plants a vineyard and becomes drunk on its produce. Two of Noah's sons, Shem and Japeth are blessed for covering up their father's nakedness, while his third son, Ham, is cursed for taking advantage of his debasement.
The descendents of Noah remain a single people, with a single language and culture, for ten generations. Then a group of Noah’s descendents defied their Creator by building a great tower to symbolize their own invincibility; YHWH confuses their language so that "one does not comprehend the tongue of the other," causing them to abandon their project and disperse across the face of the earth, splitting into seventy nations and languages.

This Torah portion concludes with a chronology of the ten generations from Noah to Abram (later Abraham), and the latter's journey from his birthplace of Ur Casdim to Charan, on the way to the Land of Canaan.
(adapted from

The Messiah in the Torah Portion
Noah is a shadow of Messiah.  We read in this week’s portion that Noah was “righteous in his generation.”  This doesn’t mean that he was perfect but that his heart was towards the Almighty.  It is said in Genesis 7:5 that “Noah did all that YHWH commanded him.”  Noah understood the importance of obedience.  He was given specific measurements to follow and he obeyed in all ways.  This is similar to Y’shua the Messiah who came in the Father’s image.  Y’shua said, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does,” John 5:19.  What separates Noah and Y’shua is that though Noah’s actions were admirable, he still wasn’t perfect.  The drunkenness of Noah and the events that ensued show a distinct difference between the patriarchs of our faith and Messiah.  Noah, Abraham, Moses, David and others were people of faith and we can learn from their lives.  But, our true example should not be these sinful humans.  Only the Messiah Y’shua is to be our role model and source of inspiration.  We should always look for Y’shua in the lives of the Patriarchs.  The lives of people like Noah simply point to the greatness of Y’shua. 

Finally, Noah saved the world through his boat made of wood.  The ark would be covered inside and out with pitch.  The Hebrew word for “pitch” is “kaphar.”  This Hebrew term is usually translated “atonement” and “ransom” in the rest of the Old Testament. This coating is a picture of the atoning power of Messiah’s blood, which atones for our sins.  The one door on the side of the ark is a picture of the pierced side of Y’shua from which water and blood flowed.  YHWH used wood to save the world with Noah.  The Messiah used wood to save the world through Y’shua.  May we never forget what our Master Y’shua did when he paid the death penalty for sin as he died upon the wooden execution beam.  “”YHWH showed His great love for us like this: while we were still sinners, Messiah died for us,” Romans 5:8.

Applying the Portion to Life Today
When the people of the earth decided to build a tower to the heavens, they were joined together in perfect unity.  They wanted to make a name for themselves.  This is similar to how companies purchase the rights to name a high rise building in major cities (like the Sears Tower in Chicago.)  The Almighty makes an alarming confession regarding the people and their plan.  In Genesis 11:6-7, “YHWH said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them.  Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other."  Here, the Creator recognizes the power of unity. 

They had unity in vision.  The people were not building several cities or several towers.  No, they all agreed to work together for the one purpose.  We read of no one who wanted to have all the glory or build their own tower in their own name.

They had unity in language.  The people all spoke in the same tongue and in a way that each other understood.  This allowed people from various lands to aide in the building.  We read of no one who spoke against this project in an effort to stop the progress.

They had unity in effort.  The people acted upon their desires and began building a structure that could reach into the heavens.  We read of no lazy people who stopped the work.

Much can be learned from such an example as the builders provided.  First, if we desire to reach the heavens then we must choose to have unity.  We must choose to look past the faults, issues, and errors of others for the greater good.  We must accept the Mater’s vision for His people which He expressed in Matthew 28.  This vision hasn’t changed!  Y’shua came to seek and save the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  If we are to be about our Father’s business then we must have a heart for the lost and a vision for restoration.  "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in My Bane, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” Matthew 28:18-20.

Our language must be the same as well if we will walk with unity with other believers.  Our tongue must speak the dialect of the Spirit.  Our words must be the Father’s words, spoken in love at all times.  1 Peter 4:11, “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of YHWH.”  Too many times, our words harm other believers as we speak out of prejudice or pain.  “The heart of the righteous weighs its answers but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil,” Proverbs 15:28.  For unity to prevail we must have a common language of hope and love.  Remember that we “overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony,” Revelation 12:11.

Finally, our efforts must be unified towards one common goal.  Our goal should not be to build a ministry, gain knowledge, or to even get people saved.  Our goal must be to walk in the authority that Y’shua has given believers and allow the Holy Spirit to draw people towards our witness.  Then, as people are attracted to our life and ask questions about our Torah observance we can direct total attention to Y’shua.  When we are asked about keeping the feast days, clean foods, or various commands we should always point people to the Messiah and make salvation the main issue.  Torah observance doesn’t do anyone any good unless they have a personal relationship with Y’shua and have accepted Him as their Master.  Our common goal must be to lift up Y’shua that He would draw all men unto Himself.  The tower builders had one goal and mind and worked towards accomplishing this.  Our goal should be to present Y’shua to the world through our lives, attitudes, and actions. 

When we do all of this, nothing shall be impossible for us and we can ascend into the very heavens.  Finally, think about a simple molecule of water.  A small droplet of H2O doesn’t have much weight.  One minutely mall trickle of rain can’t do much damage.   But, a flood comes as a rain molecules come together in large mass.  This is the power of unity.  Together we have power to change the world.  Have you helped build unity in your assembly?  Have you ever hurt the unity within a family or a group of believers?  A believer must choose to walk in unity with others.  This choice for unity superseded minimal differences in opinion, doctrine, and personality.   Behold how good and how pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity.  Indeed, “YHWH says, ‘“I will make justice the measuring line and righteousness the plumb line; hail will sweep away your refuge, the lie, and water will overflow your hiding place,’” Isaiah 28:17.

Portion Points to Ponder

  1. From whose lineage is Noach from?
  2. Noah was “righteous in his generation.”  This could mean that each generation has a level of sanctification.  If Noah lived today, would he be considered righteous?  If you lived during Noah’s time, would you be considered righteous in his generation?
  3. Did Noah take two of every animal into the ark? 
  4. Read Genesis7:2.  Why is it taught that all animals came two by two when the Scriptures insist different?
  5. What purpose would there be in taking more clean animals than unclean animals on to the ark?
  6. Why would Noach be told to create a window into the ark?
  7. What type of animals did Noach sacrifice to YHWH?
  8. How long did the rain waters pour down from heaven?  Why is this number symbolic?
  9. In the story of Noah and the ark, what type of people were destroyed and who was left behind? 
  10. What language did the entire world speak before the tower of Babel?
  11. Noach and his family were saved from destruction.  Did Noah’s righteousness redeem his family?
  12. Where did the ark rest after the flood?  Where is this mountain today?
  13. In Genesis 1:28 Adam and Eve are told to “be fruitful and multiply.”  This same phrase is spoken to Noach after the flood.  How is Noach like Adam?  Does this precept apply today?  How?
  14. What does it mean that Noah’s nakedness was uncovered?
  15. Where did the descendents of Shem camp after the flood? 
  16. What language did the entire world speak before the Tower of Babel?  (Hint, this is the language of creation that YHWH spoke to Adam and Adam taught his children.)
  17. What group of people left the east to make a name for themselves?
  18. Where the descendents of Shem part of the rebellion that built the tower of Babel?
  19. What language did the descendents of Shem speak after the fall of the tower?
  20. Who was Nimrod?  What does it mean to be a “mighty hunter before YHWH?”
  21. Is there a connection between the tower of Babel and Babylon? 
  22. What did you learn from this Torah portion that you didn’t know before? 
  23. How can you apply this Torah portion to your life this week?
  24. What does the rainbow symbolize in the Torah portion?  What does the rainbow symbolize today? 
  25. The Biblical covenant of Noah is symbolized by the rainbow to never again destroy the world by water.  What does this covenant mean today?
  26. What does this Torah portion state about Abram?
  27. Read Isaiah 54:1-55:5.  How does this section of scripture relate to the Torah portion this week?
  28. Read Matthew 24:36-46 and discuss why this would be paired with our current reading.
  29. There are seven specific commands given in the creation and flood account that relate to man.  These are called the Noachide laws and some sects of Judaism teach that a Gentile can become righteous if he obeys these precepts.  Is this true?  Review and discuss these laws in relation to holy living, salvation, and the resurrection of Messiah.  The laws are as follows:

Murder is forbidden.
Theft is forbidden.
Incestuous and adulterous relations are forbidden.
Eating the flesh or blood of a living animal is forbidden.
Idolatry is forbidden.
Cursing the name of HaShem is forbidden (Blasphemy).
Mankind is commanded to establish courts of justice.

The Open Bible is a teaching series written by Daniel Rendelman of Emet Ministries.  Find more teachings, audio messages, videos, and music at

Daniel Rendelman is the found and leader of Emet Ministries and the author of the book “Finding the Truth.”  He, his wife, and five children live in Newberry, South Carolina.  He can be reached at

New Post on the Torah Portion "Noach" coming soon!

New post on the weekly Torah portion coming soon! 

Friday, October 16, 2009

Parasha B’reisheet

Parasha B’reisheet
· Genesis 1:1-6:8,
· Isiah. 42:5-43:10,
· Revelation 22:6-21

The Torah Portion at a Glance
The first Torah portion begins with the six days of creation and the giving of the Sabbath day for rest. YHWH forms a woman from Adam and places the first couple in the Garden of Eden. The serpent tempts them to eat from the forbidden tree, which results sin entering the world. Man is banished from the presence of YHWH and receives curses for disobeidance. Eve gives birth to Cain and Abel who eventually have the first sibling rivalry. Cain murders Abel as wickedness increase in the earth. Another son is born to Adam, named Seth. From his lineage comes a righteous man named Noach.

The Messiah in the Torah Portion
The Messiah / Moshiach appears vividly in the very first words of the entire Bible. John 1:1-18 shows that the Word was with YHWH in the beginning and was a part of creation. The first sentence in the Torah portion reads in Hebrew, “Beresheet bara elohim aleph tav ha shamayim va-et ha Eretz” – in the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth. The two lettered “aleph-tav” is a Hebrew pointed that directs subject of a sentence. This is also a direct reference to the Messiah – the Aleph and the Tav – the first and the last (Revelation 1:8.) The aleph-tav appears throughout the Hebrew scrolls at mysterious intervals. For example, the aleph-tav is found in Zechariah 12:10, “I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me ALEPH-TAV whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn." These letters are no doubt prophecies of the Word made flesh.
The obvious implication to Messiah in Genesis 3:15 shows that He will eventually defeat the serpent and his ways. The first prophecy of Y’shua could actually be the creation of Adam, as Y’shua is the second Adam. Even Abel is a picture of the Messiah, who would give the best sacrifice of all and eventually be murdered. Finally, it is Noach alone that is considered righteous in his generation. The ark builder’s right standing points directly to Y’shua, the only righteous person to ever live.

Applying the Portion to Life Today
There are so many deep and wonderful events in this week’s Torah portion that It is difficult picking just one subject to discuss. The creation, giving of the Sabbath, and the fall of mankind hold within them treasures of understanding and ideas for application. The accountof Cain and Abel as well has much for us today.
Cain presented an offering of some produce from the land to YHWH. Abel as well gave an offering, yet Abel’s sacrifice was from the best of His flock. Cain’s offering was rejected. Abel’s offering was received. Cain became furious at the situation and took out his anger upon his brother. The Scriptures recount the story of the first murder in Genesis 4:1-8. These brothers provide for us two antitypes of attitudes and actions that we face today. We make a choice each day and with each breath to either be like Cain or to be like Abel. No one forced either to give an offering or to give their best. The sacrifice was from their heart and therefore showed the essence of their heart. Cain’s heart was full of wickedness and jealousy. Abel’s heart was towards YHWH.
The book of James says that “where there is envy and strife, there is confusion and every evil work.” We may not physciall murder our brothers or neighbor when we are upset with them. However, the words that we use against other people and the actions we take are truly precursors to murder. They may even be types of murder. Slandar or gossip murders another person’s reputation. Jealousy or hatred murders another person’s potential for relationship. 1 John 3:15 clarifies this, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” Every interaction with another human being is in essence a choice to respond like Cain or like Abel. Every time we come to YHWH in worship is a choice to respond like Cain or like Abel. Will we bring our best and present our lives to YHWH totally and fully? Or will we half-heartedly obey the commandments and hope grace covers all of our sins? The account of Cain and Abel reminds us of the daily decision to uvacharta bachayim / choose life
We must also deal with the issue of hate. As believers we should despise or hate no one. There are to be no grudges in our hearts. Hatred usually comes after hurt or disappointment. When hatred begins to take hold we must rememember the words of Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.”

Portion Points to Ponder

  1.  What basic concepts of our faith are established in this week’s Torah portion? Discuss: the start of our day, moon’s place in determing the feast days, the Sabbath, the Hebrew language of creation,
  2. Since all of creation was considered “good” and “blessed” by YHWH then why do people “bless” their food?
  3. What was really created on day one? Was this the sun or some star or something greater?
  4. What was the first thing man experienced after being created? Why was the Sabbath important for Adam?
  5. Adam was created from dust. The serpent is cursed to eat dust all the days of his life. How does the serpent eat dust/man today?
  6. The woman was created from man to be a suitable helper and mate. His rib was taken to produce the mankind. The Scriptures state that the two should become one flesh. What does this mean? How does the reunification of a man and woman symbolize the body of Messiah?
  7. Read Genesis 3:4. Was the serpent correct?
  8. Why did Adam and Eve hide from YHWH?
  9. Adam was told to guard and keep the garden. What was Adam to guard the garden from? Did he succeed?
  10. There are two types of sin – omission and commission. Adam didn’t obey YHWH to guard the garden and therefore sinned. Eve didn’t listen to the voice of YHWH and committed a violation against YHWH. Mankind has continued in this same pattern with men not obeying and women transgressing. Explain the difference between these types of sin and the effect upon mankind.  
  11. Genesis 3:21 states that YHWH gave animal skins to Adam and Eve. Where did this animal skin come from? Was this the first sacrifice of animals?  
  12.  Who was Abel’s father? How do you know this for sure?
  13. Cain was the firstborn son. Shouldn’t Cain have been his brother’s keeper?  
  14. Gensis 5:3 states that Seth was made in Adam’s likeness. What about Cain and Abel? Whose image where they created in? Why is this distinction made about Seth?  
  15.  Enoch walked with YHWH and was no more. What happened to Enoch?  
  16. When Noah was born he was given a special name. What does 5:29 teach about Noah’s name? How is this so?
  17.  In the sixth chapter of Genesis we see wickedness increasing upon the earth. The Bible also speaks of giants who walked the earth during these times. Who were these giants? What happened to them? Why is this discussion important?
  18. “Noah found grace in the eyes of YHWH” according to Genesis Genesis 6:8. What does this word “grace” mean in context? Is “grace” a New Testament idea? Why is there such a misunderstanding of the concept of grace within many religious circles?
  19. The Torah portion ends with the naming and birth of Noah’s three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japeth. What occurs to these sons in the future? From whose lineage does the Messiah come?

The Open Bible is a teaching series written by Daniel Rendelman of Emet Ministries. Find more teachings, audio messages, videos, and music at
Daniel Rendelman is the found and leader of Emet Ministries and the author of the book “Finding the Truth.” He, his wife, and five children live in Newberry, South Carolina. He can be reached at

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Welcome to the Open Bible

Welcome to "The Open Bible" blog!

This blog will feature comments on the weekly Torah portions. What is a "torah portion?" Why is such a conversation worth reading?

Every Saturday, Shabbat, millions of people around the world participate in a one year reading cycle of the Bible. While most modern people read a verse or two every week, there is a long-standing tradition to weekly read aloud and study various chapters of the Bible. People everywhere will begin examining the same portion of Scripture. This tradition comes to us from Judaism and was kept by the Savior and the early believers. Call it the original water-cooler conversation. This isn't a vain tradition of man that makes void the word BUT an inspired tradition that was handed down from Moses and supported by Paul. Who are we to argue with them?

"What special privilege, then, has a Jew? The privilege is great from every point of view. First of all, because the Jews were entrusted with the word of YHWH," Romans 3:1,2. Clearly the Jewish tradition of reading the Bible through the year is a good one to follow. Is there more proof that we should be reading the Word aloud and discussing it? (YHWH is the ancient Hebrew name of the Almighty which He gave to mankind. The Scriptures declare that this is His name "forever, unto all generations" in Exodus 3:15. Unfortunately, this name has been hidden in English Bibles behind the capitalized words "LORD" and "GOD.")

In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses spoke the commandments aloud as an example. He told the new nation of redeemed slaves to read the Word aloud. Later Ezra the Scribe instituted reading the Scriptures aloud on Mondays, Thursdays, and
Saturday afternoons (Nehemiah 8:1, Megillah 4:1).

The Newer Testament continues this theme when it teaches that "Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word." Without the Bible being read aloud and discussed it is difficult for faith to truly set in. "Give attendance to the reading of Torah, to exhortation, to teaching," says First Timothy 4:13 in the Restoration Scriptures. Here we are commanded to gather with others to HEAR the Torah read. This doesn't just mean to get your family together and preach to them. Instead, if you have a group nearby, then you are to give attendance to the Torah reading. "Torah" is the Hebrew word for teaching and instruction. Torah is often mistranslated "law" in most English Bibles. The Torah is YHWH's instructions for mankind found in Genesis to Revelation. To the Jews, the Torah is specifically the first five books of the Bible.

The Torah has been divided into 54 readings that correspond to the calendar year. These portions contain various nuggets of truth that deal with every issue in life. The sections are usually named after the first important Hebrew word or phrase used in that section. For example, the section on the evil king Balak and the evil prophet Bilaam is titled "Balak." And the first portion in the Torah is called "Beresheet" after the first Hebrew word found in the Bible, which means "beginning."

While most new believers start their Bible reading with the Gospels, it is the first five books that set a foundation for the rest of the word. You can't pick up a Stephen King novel and turn to the middle to begin reading. And you certainly shouldn't do that with the Bible. Start your reading cycle this week with the Torah. If you can, join with others to read and discuss the word to learn even more.

Our Messiah set an example for all believers when he attended the synagogue for Torah reading on many occasions. (Surprisingly he never went to church to hear a sermon!) "And He came to Natzareth, where He had been brought up: and, according to his practice, He went into the synagogue on Shabbat, and stood up to read," Luka 4:16, Restoration Scriptures. The Savior never stopped the Torah reading in the synagogue to do start a new practice. If he wanted to preach a sermon or rebuke the Jewish tradition of Torah reading he could have done that. But he didn't. He participated in the Torah reading and thus put His seal of approval on this tradition.

The reading for the Torah and prophets generally correspond to the same subject. For example, this week the Torah portion begins with a few chapters from Genesis, then 3 chapters from Isaiah and a section out of the Newer Testament.

Make this
Saturday one to remember. Use the insights in this blog to help your study. Begin reading and studying the weekly Torah portion. Gather your family together, discuss it at your worship center, or study by yourself. This is a great habit to start and one that will make your spiritual life better. "Study to show yourself approved, a workman that needs not to be ashamed who rightly divides the word of truth," 2 Timothy 2:5.

Daniel Rendelman

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Also, read Daniel Rendelman's new book "Finding the Truth" to discover the truth about modern practices, popular theologies, and the Creator's plan for man. Click HERE to learn more.