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Arizona, United States
I'm a work-at-home mom who enjoys the beautiful sunsets here in the high desert.

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Ravelry CAL Afghan 8

Ravelry CAL Afghan Blocks:
Dream Catcher
Cross My Heart
Cygnus
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Flower Burst

Friday, June 6, 2008

Nasso (Elevate!)

(This week's Torah portion is Nasso. I originally wrote and posted this to my previous blog on 06/06/2007.)

TORAH: Bemidbar (Numbers) 4:21-7:89
HAFTARAH: Shophetim (Judges) 13:2-25
KETUVIM NETZARIM: Yohanan (John) 12:20-36; Acts 21:17-26

One of the more interesting instructions contained in this Torah portion is the procedure for the 'sotah'. A 'sotah' is a woman suspected of adultery.

The penalty for adultery is death:

Lev 20:10 'And a man who commits adultery with the wife of another man, who commits adultery with the wife of his neighbour: the adulterer and the adulteress shall certainly be put to death.

The death penalty cannot be carried out without the testimony of at least two witnesses:

Deu 17:6 "At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall he that is to die be put to death. He is not put to death by the mouth of one witness.

Because adultery is secretive, there are rarely witnesses to it, but if a husband had reason to believe that his wife had committed adultery, he was able to bring her before the priest for testing.

Num 5:11 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
Num 5:12 "Speak to the children of Yisra'el, and say to them, 'When any man's wife turns aside and has committed a trespass against him,
Num 5:13 and a man has intercourse with her, and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband, and it is concealed that she has defiled herself, and there was no witness against her, nor was she caught,
Num 5:14 and a spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife who has defiled herself, or a spirit of jealousy comes upon him and he becomes jealous of his wife although she has not defiled herself,
Num 5:15 then the man shall bring his wife to the priest. And he shall bring the offering for her, one-tenth of an ephah of barley flour. He is not to pour oil on it or put frankincense on it, because it is a grain offering of jealousy, an offering for remembering, for bringing crookedness to remembrance.

This could not have been an easy time for such a wife, especially if she was guilty. If she had any adultery to remember, I'm sure she would be remembering it as she was bringing this barley offering to the priest.

Num 5:16 'And the priest shall bring her near, and shall make her stand before יהוה.
Num 5:17 'And the priest shall take set-apart water in an earthen vessel, and take some of the dust that is on the floor of the Dwelling Place and put it into the water.
Num 5:18 'And the priest shall make the woman stand before יהוה, and shall uncover the woman's head, and put the offering for remembering in her hands, which is the grain offering of jealousy, while the priest holds in his hand the bitter water that brings a curse.

We are told twice here that the woman is to stand before YHWH. He is going to be her judge. Her head is uncovered in preparation for judgment. This shows us that the norm for Israelite women is to have their heads covered. This is one of the passages that convinced me as well as other women to wear headcoverings.

Num 5:19 'And the priest shall make her swear, and say to the woman, "If no man has lain with you, and if you have not turned aside to uncleanness under your husband's authority, be free from this bitter water that brings a curse.
Num 5:20 "But if you have turned aside under your husband's authority, and if you have defiled yourself and some man other than your husband has lain with you" –
Num 5:21 then the priest shall make the woman swear with the oath of the curse, and he shall say to the woman – "יהוה make you a curse and an oath among your people, when יהוה makes your thigh waste away and your belly swell,
Num 5:22 and this water that causes the curse shall go into your inward parts, and make your belly swell and your thigh waste away." And the woman shall say, "Amen, amen."

The woman has to agree with being cursed if she is guilty. If she is innocent, she will be free from the curse.

Num 5:23 'And the priest shall write these curses in a book, and shall wipe them off into the bitter water,
Num 5:24 and shall make the woman drink the bitter water that brings the curse, and the water that brings the curse shall enter her to become bitter.
Num 5:25 'And the priest shall take the grain offering of jealousy from the woman's hand, and shall wave the offering before יהוה, and bring it to the altar.
Num 5:26 'And the priest shall take a hand filled with the offering, as its remembrance offering, and burn it on the altar, and afterward make the woman drink the water.

Once the woman drinks the bitter water, her judgment begins, and time will reveal her guilt or innocence--

Num 5:27 'And when he has made her drink the water, then it shall be, if she has defiled herself and has committed a trespass against her husband, that the water that brings the curse shall enter her and become bitter, and her belly shall swell, and her thigh shall waste away, and the woman shall become a curse among her people.
Num 5:28 'But if the woman has not defiled herself, and is clean, then she shall be clear and shall conceive children.

Also in this Torah portion are the instructions for those taking a Nazirite vow.

Num 6:1 And יהוה spoke to Mosheh, saying,
Num 6:2 "Speak to the children of Yisra'el, and say to them, 'When a man or woman does separate, by making a vow of a Nazirite, to be separate to יהוה,
Num 6:3 he separates himself from wine and strong drink – he drinks neither vinegar of wine nor vinegar of strong drink, neither does he drink any grape juice, nor eat grapes or raisins.
Num 6:4 'All the days of his separation he does not eat whatever is made of the grapevine, from seed to skin.
Num 6:5 'All the days of the vow of his separation a razor does not come upon his head. Until the days are completed for which he does separate himself to יהוה, he is set-apart. He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long.
Num 6:6 'All the days of his separation to יהוה he does not go near a dead body.
Num 6:7 'He does not make himself unclean for his father, or for his mother, for his brother or his sister, when they die, because his separation to Elohim is on his head.
Num 6:8 'All the days of his separation he is set-apart to יהוה.

Num 6:21 "This is the Torah of the Nazirite who vows to יהוה the offering for his separation, and besides that, whatever else his hand is able to provide. According to the vow which he takes, so he shall do according to the Torah of his separation."

A Nazirite does not cut his hair for the duration of his vow, and he abstains from any grape product and cannot go near a dead body or enter a house where a dead body is because he has specially set himself apart to YHWH. He also offers to YHWH "whatever else his hand is able to provide".

Samson was set apart as a Nazirite from conception--

Jdg 13:3 And a Messenger of יהוה appeared to the woman and said to her, "See now, you are barren and have not borne, but you shall conceive, and you shall bear a son.
Jdg 13:4 "And now, please guard, and do not drink wine or strong drink, and do not eat any unclean food.
Jdg 13:5 "For look, you are conceiving and bearing a son. And let no razor come upon his head, for the youth is a Nazirite to Elohim from the womb on. And he shall begin to save Yisra'el out of the hand of the Philistines."

EliYah (Elijah) was probably a Nazirite--

2Ki 1:7 And he said to them, "What was the man like who came up to meet you and spoke to you these words?"
2Ki 1:8 And they answered him, "He was a hairy man, and wore a leather girdle around his waist." And he said, "It is Eliyah the Tishbite."

Sha'ul (Paul) took a Nazirite vow--

Act 18:18 And Sha'ul, having stayed several days more, having taken leave of the brothers, was sailing for Syria, and Priscilla and Aqulas were with him, having shaved his hair at Kenhrea, for he had taken a vow.

When Sha'ul completed and separated from his Nazirite vow, he also paid the expenses for four other men to separate from their Nazirite vow along with him at the temple in order to prove that the rumors that he taught against Torah were false and that in fact he did keep Torah and taught others to do so:

Act 21:18 And on the following day Sha'ul went in with us to Ya'aqob, and all the elders came.
Act 21:19 And having greeted them, he was relating one by one what Elohim had done among the gentiles through his service.
Act 21:20 And when they heard it, they praised the Master. And they said to him, "You see, brother, how many thousands of Yehudim there are who have believed, and all are ardent for the Torah.
Act 21:21 "And they have been informed about you that you teach all the Yehudim who are among the gentiles to forsake Mosheh, saying not to circumcise the children nor to walk according to the practices.
Act 21:22 "What then is it? They shall certainly hear that you have come.
Act 21:23 "So do this, what we say to you: We have four men who have taken a vow.
Act 21:24 "Take them and be cleansed with them, and pay their expenses so that they shave their heads. And all shall know that what they have been informed about you is not so, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Torah.

Act 21:26 Then Sha'ul took the men on the next day, and having been cleansed with them, went into the Set-apart Place to announce the completion of the days of separation – until the offering should be presented for each one of them.

There is also evidence that Yeshua Messiah took a Nazirite vow before His death. At the last supper, He abstained from wine, and as He was dying, He refused to drink wine even though He was thirsty--

Luk 22:17 And taking the cup, giving thanks, He said, "Take this and divide it among yourselves,
Luk 22:18 for I say to you, I shall certainly not drink of the fruit of the vine until the reign of Elohim comes."

Mat 27:33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull,
Mat 27:34 they gave Him wine mixed with bile to drink. And after tasting, He would not drink it.

Yeshua Messiah certainly gave all that His hand was "able to provide" when He died for our sins.

Joh 12:24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.
Joh 12:25 "He who loves his life shall lose it, and he who hates his life in this world shall preserve it for everlasting life.
Joh 12:26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me. And where I am, there My servant also shall be. If anyone serves Me, the Father shall value him.

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