WHEREVER THE BODY IS, THERE THE EAGLES WITH GATHER
An excerpt from the Revised Edition of CG Workbook Two
The revised edition will not be available until later this year, but it will lend greater understanding the to apocalyptic nature of many of the Gospels and Brit HaChadasha writings.
It is likely that the first judgments of Revelation do not deal with those who do not even profess to know the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but those who walk alongside the righteous who do.
Consider the text of Matthew 24 in relation to the events of the Torah:
Now Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, each man at the doorway of his tent; and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly, and Moses was displeased. 11 So Moses said to the LORD, "Why have You been so hard on Your servant? And why have I not found favor in Your sight, that You have laid the burden of all this people on me? 12 Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers'? 13 Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me, saying, 'Give us meat that we may eat!' 14 I alone am not able to carry all this people, because it is too burdensome for me.
In Matthew 24, Yeshua seems to be talking about two separate events. The first has already been fulfilled in the believers' flight after the destruction of the Temple in the First Century. Is there another, last day prophecy embedded into his practical advice to the next generation of his disciples?
The Torah details repeated expulsions from the Land and returns. For believers today, we are interested in return, for we know we are in exile. In Numbers 11, Moses records a time when the people had been called to return to their inheritance, yet they balked in disobedience. Moses complains, "Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers'?" (12)
Compare that text to the following from Matthew 24:3, 19-20
As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, 'Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?...'
But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath. For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.
warns the disciples that it will not be a good thing to be on the cloud journey in the wilderness and yet be nursing children in the Word. The writings of the Brit HaChadashah repeatedly urge believers to come to maturity in their faith. In the same portion that the rebels forfeit their entry into the Land, the Sabbath-breaker is stoned outside the camp for picking up sticks. Picking up sticks suggests two things:
1) he did not believe that his Shabbat behavior had any relevance to his journey
2) he did not prepare for Shabbat on the Sixth Day, a day that separates a beast from a man
Those who have to be step-by-stepped through obedience to Shabbat will have trouble on the journey, for John writes: "And I heard a voice from heaven, saying, "Write, 'Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on!'" "Yes," says the Spirit, "so that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow with them." (Rev. 14:13).
Our Shabbat deeds and choices follow us to rest or to judgment. We are judged according to what is written in The Book when we write the books of our lives. The Father gave us THE Book. He has allowed us to write our own books. Will our set of books match THE Book? Weren't there two tablets? It was Pharaoh who said, "Get back to your labors" when Moses and Aaron told him that they needed to celebrate a feast to YHVH.
The Holy One says "rest." You'll obey one or the other. Are you Egypt or Israel? What have you written in YOUR book?
In Isaiah 56, a chapter that describes how the stranger may choose the Shabbats and the covenant, he also invites the "beasts" to rest. What does that mean? Even if you were not born learning how to separate man from beast on the preparation day of the Sixth Day, you can choose it. The "beast" can find rest (even that is a commandment to Israel) by drawing near and conforming his behavior to the heart of Yeshua and the words of THE Book. In this decision, he is no longer a beast buying and selling on Shabbat or carrying burdens, but a man made in the image of Elohim.
In that day of tribulation, those who cling to the work days of the Egyptians will drop their carcasses in the wilderness, for they have ridden the beasts of their own desire, not the Father's, who sends eagles to carry them to their rest and rested the ark under the cloud to give them rest. It is the ark of the testimony, the testimony of Yeshua which IS the commandments of God, who seeks a resting place for Israel. Yeshua uses play-on words in his description of those great days of tribulation:
For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. (27-28)
Since the Greek words for "corpse" and "vultures" can also be translated as "Body" and "eagles" (and are in other translations), Yeshua hints that the last wilderness walk will be like the first wilderness walk in
You yourselves have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles' wings, and brought you to Myself. 5 Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; 6 and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel."
7 So Moses came and called the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which the LORD had commanded him. 8 All the people answered together and said, "All that the LORD has spoken we will do!" And Moses brought back the words of the people to the LORD. 9 The LORD said to Moses, "Behold, I will come to you in a thick cloud, so that the people may hear when I speak with you and may also believe in you forever." (Exodus 19:4)
In fact, in the medieval Hebrew (Shem Tov) version, Matthew 24:28 uses the Hebrew word ha-goyah for body and nesherim for eagles (Howard, 1995, p. 122-123). It was nesherim wings that carried Israel from Egypt to their rest, which they rejected. What is ha-goyah (goyim, plural)? It is a feminine form of a word used for "nation," or someone from the nations, a goy. Revelation 18:2 prophesies:
And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, 'Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird.'
Why are the hateful birds, like vultures, important? Verse 3 continues:
For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.
In this context, the nations are the goyim in the worst sense, not simply those not born Jewish. In the worst sense, it is godless people. There is no shame in being born a goy, which is the Father's choice. Paul writes of this. How one clings to the covenant is one's own choice. Like our Father Abraham, who was called before he was circumcised, we can choose to obey His statutes and ordinances. A non-Jew is not judged by his pedigree, but by his choices in relation to Shabbat according to Isaiah 56.
The choice of the Hebrew Matthew text, however, is instructive, for it clearly reads "Goyah," feminine singular, not "goyim," masculine plural. What are we to make of this anomaly?
First, the "Body" is singular. It is viewed as a whole.
It is feminine, such as the illustration of the Israelite people as daughter or bride. Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon discusses the uses of the word goy
, noting that it is a body of people. It also is used poetically to denote herds or troops of animals, especially locusts. Gesenius notes that the plural (goyim) is often used when referring to other nations besides Israel, which is usually described as an am, or a people, such as Am Yisrael, the People of Israel.
Quite possibly Yeshua's use of goyah is to single out Israel as the woman accused, the one who will have to drink the bitter waters in order to test her fidelity. In Jewish tradition, what happens to the woman happens at exactly the same time to her adulterous partner, therefore they are fallen, fallen, for they are one. Satan is thrown down from Heaven as the adulterous woman falls with him.
There is another woman in Revelation, though. In contrast to the fallen woman, this woman Israel rides with the wings of an eagle, one representation of the four living creatures symbolizing the Ruach Adonai:
12: 13 And when the dragon saw that he was thrown down to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male child. 14 But the two wings of the great eagle were given to the woman, so that she could fly into the wilderness to her place, where she was nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth. 17 So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.
This woman passed the trial of the sotah, the woman accused of adultery, for she has borne righteous children, and unlike the wicked who were swept away in Noah's flood, as Yeshua notes Matthew 24:39, the very earth opens up to drink up the floodwaters of the wicked. The woman Israel is not characterized by NURSING children, but by mature children who keep the testimony of Yeshua and the commandments of God. If not, then woe to them, Yeshua says, for wilderness preparation is for a great Shabbat of rest in the Land.
Yeshua taught the Torah portion as a contranym, suggesting two prophetic ends for Israel. For some, they will go the way of the adulterous woman, fleeing on Shabbat because she has not prepared for Shabbat or heeded the commands of cloud behavior. The other woman will enter His rest in the clouds, and so shall they ever be with Him, for their preparation, obedience, and maturity in their growth walk has merited the rest He has prepared for them.
Enter in, thou good and faithful servant, to His rest. Walk in the the clouds.
Why pray that the flight be not in winter? Yeshua says the answer is found in the Book of Daniel...
The Church Fathers agree that an ancient manuscript of the Gospel of Matthew existed, and they sourced it in their writings.
BEKY BOOKS - There's a BEKY Book for that!
Books Encouraging the Kingdom of Yeshua
Our plan is to have a series of short, informative booklets on topics of interest to Torah newcomers or interested friends and family.
The first BEKY Book, What is the Torah?, explains what the Torah is in easy, encouraging language. It's great homeschool reading (with study questions) as well! The booklet makes a great gift for the curious and the newcomer, and it is enrolled in the amazon Matchbook program, so the purchase of the print copy entitles you to a Kindle download at $1.99. You can also gift a Kindle copy. Because of the small size of the booklet, it's perfect for the Facebook generation of readers! Regardless of its small size, the booklet is packed with information. Some of the chapters include:
What is the Torah?
But Aren't Jesus' Commandments New Ones, not the Old Ones?
The Torah is the Menorah in You!
Isn't the Torah only for Jews?
Tying it all Together: Spirit, Soul, and Body
The booklet objectives are to:
Define the Torah.
Define the nature of the Torah.
Identify to whom the Torah is given and in whom it is sealed.
Establish that the new commandment is not old, but "from the beginning," Genesis 1:1.
Explain that the Torah is for the process of perfecting the "whole" House of Israel: all those who hold fast to the commandments of the covenant and Sabbaths.
Identify Jesus as the embodiment of the Living Word
Recognize the need to yield the human body as a lamp for the great light of the spiritual Torah.
Define and identify equivalent expressions: Torah, commandment, statute, precept, ordinance, Word, testimony, light, lamp.
Identify thematic connections between the older and new testaments.
I think this is the handiest give-away booklet you'll ever buy, for when I wrote it, I wrote it with my own friends and family in mind. How would I want them to be first introduced to the Book that is everything to me? Click on the image below to learn more.
THE SECOND BEKY BOOK IS HERE! Introduction to the Jewish Sources is now on amazon kindle and in paperback. Did you ever wonder about the Jewish traditions mentioned in the Gospels and the letters of the apostles? Why did Jesus and the disciples sing a Psalm after their Passover meal? Why did Paul tell the Corinthians and the Thessalonians to "hold firmly" to the traditions he taught them? Jewish interpretations and practical applications of the Scriptures have a rich history, and understanding the dilemmas faced by the Jewish sages over the centuries gives students of the Scriptures an appreciation for how Jewish tradition developed.Colossal Controversies and Messianic Shabbat Service will follow within a week or so.
From our family to yours, Chag Sameach!