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

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