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Ruth is the classic example of a Gentile being “grafted in” to Israel. Although, is Caleb the son of Jephunneh another example? This week’s portions state the following:

“These are the names of the men: Of the tribe of Judah, Caleb the son of Jephunneh.” Numbers 34:19

There are several other verses where Caleb appeared to be associated with the tribe of Judah. In fact, the first mention of Caleb son of Jephunneh is in Numbers 13:6 where he is named as one of the “heads of the people of Israel”, specifically the head of the tribe of Judah. Often times the two verses below are linked to show that Caleb is not a Jew because he bears the title “Kenizzite.” (Num. 32:12, Jos. 14:6;14:14)

“On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, ‘To your offspring I give this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates, the land of the Kenites, the Kenizzites, the Kadmonites,’” Genesis 15:18-19

“none except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the LORD.’” Numbers 32:12

To further inhibit the clarity of Caleb’s ancestry it appears there was another option. Look at the relationship described here:

“And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, captured it. And he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife.” Joshua 15:17

Based on this verse, if Caleb’s brother was the son of Kenaz, would that not imply Caleb was the son of Kenaz? This would fit with the title of “the Kenizzite.” Although this does not fit with the prior established relationship to the tribe of Judah because Kenaz was a descendant of Esau.

“These are the chiefs of the sons of Esau. The sons of Eliphaz the firstborn of Esau: the chiefs Teman, Omar, Zepho, Kenaz,” Genesis 36:15

Personally, I do not have the answer as to whether Caleb was a Jew or Gentile. What we do know is that he was the head of the tribe of Judah, that he fully followed G-d, he had a different spirit, and he received an inheritance in the land. The most important aspect of Caleb, and what was emphasized throughout Scripture was his actions, not his ethnicity.

“For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.” Romans 10:12

Paul toiled in sharing with many that being a Jew is not the way to eternal life. It is only through the blood of Messiah Yeshua.

Speaking of blood, the following verse is an interesting description of blood and atonement.

“You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it.” Numbers 35:33

The context of this verse was the various rules regarding a murderer, manslayer, and avenger of blood.  Clearly Numbers 35:33 contains the additional command not to pollute the land through bloodshed. Although the second part of the verse implies that atonement cannot occur without blood. Nor can there be the forgiveness of sins without blood. (Heb. 9:22) Added onto the truth of blood as a requirement for atonement, Numbers 35:33 specified the source of atoning blood as “of the one who shed it.” Essentially blood pollutes AND atones? It is a bit easier to understand by adding more detail based on context. In other words, innocent blood pollutes the land because of the murderer’s sin, but it is the blood of the murderer (or administering of justice) that atones for the land. The Hebrew word for “shed” is shaphak and the first usage is in Genesis 9.

“Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image.” Genesis 9:6

This verse further explains the execution of justice G-d requires in regard to a murderer. Does it not make sense why the shedding of innocent blood “pollutes the land?” The word for pollute in Hebrew is chaneph which literally means “to be profaned.”1 Since man was made in G-d’s own image an act of murder also profanes G-d in addition to the land. Both sins bear the death penalty. Both sins require blood for atonement. If the blood of an animal or a convicted murderer can provide atonement than how much more can the blood of an innocent righteous man provide atonement in an eternal sense?

“Said R. Ammi, Wherefore is the account of Miriam’s death placed next to the [laws of the] red heifer? To inform you that even as the red heifer afforded atonement [by the ritual use of its ashes], so does the death of the righteous afford atonement [for the living they have left behind].

R. Eleazar said, Wherefore is [the account of] Aaron’s death closely followed by [the account of the disposal of] the priestly vestments? [To inform you] that just as the priest’s vestments were [means] to effect atonement, so is the death of the righteous [conducive to procuring] atonement.”  (Talmud – Mo’ed Katan 28a)

“For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the sprinkling of defiled persons with the ashes of a heifer, sanctify for the purification of the flesh,  how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God. Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.” Hebrews 9:13-15

“So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.” Hebrews 13:12

Stringing together the various passages describing atonement and including quotes from Talumdic Sages reveal the nature of G-d’s justice, conditions of atonement, and the role His Son plays. The more we study these passages the more we will understand the incredible sacrifice of Messiah Yeshua. And hopefully these passages will fan the passionate flames in our hearts to sanctify His Name in this world and proclaim the Gospel!

1http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H2610&t=ESV

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This week’s portion continues the account of Phinehas and his zeal. It is important to emphasize that not only did Phinehas slay the 2 perpetrators defiling the “chamber” but he also halted the plague in the process. (Num. 25:8) This plague was even more deadly than the plague after Korah’s rebellion. Also, look at the prodigious difference in the census results regarding the tribe of Simeon.

“those listed of the tribe of Simeon were 59,300.” Numbers 1:23

“These are the clans of the Simeonites, 22,200.” Numbers 26:14

Zimri the son of Salu (the man slain by Phinehas) belonged to the tribe of Simeon. The decreased number of people was, by far, the most drastic out of the other tribes. In fact, several tribes including Judah had increased in number. The Bible does not say that only the tribe of Simeon sinned, but the statistics are potential evidence that more Simeonites died because of sin. The Bible also specifically mentioned Zimri’s father and lineage as if to connect the sinful act of Zimri and the sinful community to which he belonged. The census results should serve as a warning to those who believe they are impenetrable to the destructive influences of a community. It is far easier to succumb to fleshly desires when most associations take pleasure in sinful indulgences. We should heed the wise words spoken by the Moses in Numbers 16 and “…depart, please, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs…” (Num. 16:26)

In conclusion, there are a couple textual anomalies found in this portion. One in Numbers 25:11 and the other in Numbers 27:5. For the sake of time let’s look at the first one.

“Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy.” Numbers 25:11

In Hebrew Phinehas’s name contains a small yod. It is difficult to perceive the difference until the small yod is compared to a normal yod. Once the comparison is made it is easy to see the yod in Phinehas’s name is notably smaller. The yod is already the smallest letter in the entire Hebrew alphabet! Why is the yod even smaller in Phinehas’s name? Perhaps the text is subtlety demonstrating a character trait of Phinehas. “In Paleo-Hebrew it(yod) is symbolic of a strong right arm, work, a deed, or to make.”1 Based on this description of the letter yod it would seem that the text is implying Phinehas’s strong right arm or his deed was smaller. As compared to what? Look at the description of this portions’ zealous action in Psalm 106.

“Then they yoked themselves to the Baal of Peor, and ate sacrifices offered to the dead; they provoked the Lord to anger with their deeds, and a plague broke out among them.  Then Phinehas stood up and intervened, and the plague was stayed.  And that was counted to him as righteousness from generation to generation forever.” Psalm 106:28-31

Due to the grand compliments paid to Phinehas for his zealous action it is easy to overlook G-d’s participation. As the verse in Psalm 106 says Phinehas’s righteousness was not earned it was counted to him. G-d empowered Phinehas then blessed him with a covenant of peace and a covenant of eternal priesthood. Phinehas knew this and demonstrated humility. His zeal was not followed by bragging, or a feast in his honor. G-d was the only one to even mention that what Phinehas did was a good thing. As compared to G-d and His majesty, Phinehas’s zeal was even smaller than the smallest letter. The small yod seems to imply a minimization of Phinehas’s deed and his strength in favor of glorifying G-d and His faithfulness. In every situation it is our responsibility to redirect praise and honor from us to the original Source. HaShem Eloheim. It is only in Him that live, move and have our being. (Acts. 17:28)

1http://www.graftedforlife.org/blogs/index.php/2010/06/16/the-yod-and-kaf?blog=10

At first glance one may consider the Sages harsh when they write of Balaam. After all, he refused the diabolical offer from Balak at least a couple times, he only spoke the words G-d told him, and G-d actually spoke to him! A closer look at the story reveals more reason to believe Balaam strayed from the ways of G-d. The Bible all but entreats the reader to reexamine the story of Balaam after this clear statement found later in Numbers:

“Behold, these, on Balaam’s advice, caused the people of Israel to act treacherously against the LORD in the incident of Peor, and so the plague came among the congregation of the LORD.” Numbers 31:16

One interesting parallel at the beginning of this week’s portion provides a glimpse of the actions to follow.

“And God came to Balaam and said, ‘Who are these men with you?’” Numbers 22:9

It is obvious G-d was not asking Balaam this question to learn the answer. Where is the first time G-d asks a rhetorical question? Right after Adam and Eve sinned.

“But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” Genesis 3:9

Can you hear the voice of a gracious father who is disappointed at the choice of his son? It seems as if G-d was using a similar approach. The reason the parallel is interesting is because G-d’s rhetorical question came after Adam and Eve sinned. But how did Balaam sin to provoke the question? By fellowshipping and keeping company with diviners for the evening instead of immediately driving them away. As it is written:

“You shall not eat any flesh with the blood in it. You shall not interpret omens or tell fortunes.” Leviticus 19:26

“There shall not be found among you anyone who burns his son or his daughter as an offering, anyone who practices divination or tells fortunes or interprets omens, or a sorcerer” Deuteronomy 18:10

Allowing the wicked elders to stay with him may have influenced his own actions or perhaps Balaam was already involved in divination, which resulted in lax standards. Either way look at how Balaam is described later in Joshua:

“Balaam also, the son of Beor, the one who practiced divination, was killed with the sword by the people of Israel among the rest of their slain.” Joshua 13:22

The most important truth from the story of Balaam is that G-d can use what was meant for evil and treachery to save his people. In this case, Balak demanded that Balaam curse Israel in hopes it would weaken them enough to destroy Israel. Instead Balaam pronounced blessings from G-d and even prophecies.

Balaam’s Prophecy:

“…The LORD their God is with them, and the shout of a king is among them.” Numbers 23:21

Parallel:

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9

Balaam’s Prophecy:

“Like palm groves that stretch afar, like gardens beside a river, like aloes that the LORD has planted, like cedar trees beside the waters. Water shall flow from his buckets, and his seed shall be in many waters; his king shall be higher than Agag, and his kingdom shall be exalted.” Numbers 24:6-7

Parallel:

“And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light. On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea. It shall continue in summer as in winter. And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.” Zechariah 14:7-9

Balaam’s Prophecy:

“I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel; it shall crush the forehead of Moab and break down all the sons of Sheth.” Numbers 24:17

Parallel:

“But of the Son he says, ‘Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.’” Hebrews 1:8

This portion contains bountiful illusions to Messiah Yeshua none of which should be overlooked. Study very carefully. Just as the prophet Micah spoke:

“O my people, remember what Balak king of Moab devised, and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him, and what happened from Shittim to Gilgal, that you may know the saving acts of the LORD.” Micah 6:5

This week’s portion is filled with practical examples of various trials and situations regarding leadership. One important trait Moses demonstrated was complete trust in G-d and recognition of G-d as the source of his position. In Moses’ response to Korah he obviated a defensive explanation for his position by simply declaring G-d as the judge. If G-d bestows a position He will also sustain it. (ex. Joshua, King David, Ester, Yeshua, etc.) The wicked intentions of Korah were manifested through his deliberate assignment of his own audacity to Moses.  “You have gone too far!” (Num. 16:3) Korah ridiculously claimed. Moses rightly returned the same phrase as if to say, “You are the one who challenges the L-rd, oh wicked Korah, not I.” In addition, it appears that the actions of Korah and his assembly perhaps revealed hidden doubt in the success of their own plan.

“And Moses said to Korah, ‘Be present, you and all your company, before the Lord, you and they, and Aaron, tomorrow. And let every one of you take his censer and put incense on it, and every one of you bring before the Lord his censer, 250 censers; you also, and Aaron, each his censer.’  So every man took his censer and put fire in them and laid incense on them and stood at the entrance of the tent of meeting with Moses and Aaron.” Numbers 16:16-18

Essentially, Korah challenged the authority of Moses, Aaron, and ultimately G-d then obeyed Moses’ command!  Every word of it! Korah may have been courageous enough to speak against Moses and Aaron but he and his assembly were not courageous enough to rebel against Moses’ command. One reason could be that deep down these brazen men doubted their own authority and merely hoped that the outcome would be in their favor. Although it could also have been haughtiness that influenced Korah’s decision instead of doubt, but either way it is humorous that Korah fully adhered to the command of Moses. Nevertheless Korah and his assembly’s behavior was atrocious and they blatantly opposed G-d. A crime worthy of “something new.” (Num. 16:30)

In conclusion, this portion also contained an illusion to Messiah Yeshua in the form of a public confirmation of Aaron’s position.

“On the next day Moses went into the tent of the testimony, and behold, the staff of Aaron for the house of Levi had sprouted and put forth buds and produced blossoms, and it bore ripe almonds” Numbers 17:8

Yet another miraculous manifestation! G-d has repeatedly produced signs and wonders before the Children of Israel. The particular case of the blossoming staff was a beautiful method of demonstrating Aaron’s divinely elected position. A method that shares similarities with a specific prophecy of Messiah Yeshua.

“There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.” Isaiah 11:1

Both instances symbolically describe the progression from a lifeless hewn tree to astonishingly bearing fruit. G-d used a dead branch to produce ripe almonds. G-d also used a virgin, unfertilized woman to bring forth the Savior of the world “from the Holy Spirit.” (Mt. 1:18, Is. 11:2) G-d also established Messiah Yeshua’s position by revealing early on many characteristics and occurrences involving His Anointed One. Then Messiah Yeshua came and fulfilled many with a promise to fulfill the remainder upon His return. These passages strengthen faith and disclose a series of signs and events surrounding Messiah Yeshua’s return. Stay alert. Remain steadfast. Draw closer to G-d.

This week’s portion is just one of the many places in Scripture where the phrase “with milk and honey” resides.

“And they told him, ‘We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit.’”  Numbers 13:27

In fact, it is used about 20 times throughout the Bible. Why is this unusual phrase repeated so often to describe the Promise Land and what is significant about the phrase? Both answers are the same. The significance of the phrase is revealed in examining the two delicacies. Both milk and honey come from animals. Therefore man cannot simply grow milk or honey as they could other food. The existence of milk-producing animals and honey-producing bees in a land is entirely a miracle of G-d! Initially, the climate would have to be conducive and the land would have to be fertile in order to sustain plant and animal life. Both of which depend solely on G-d. By using the phrase “flows with milk and honey” G-d encapsulates all the blessings contained in the Promise Land. G-d demonstrated the preparations that were made and His promised sustenance. Since G-d established the Promise Land it is no longer a mystery as to why the details would be repeated so frequently. G-d continually reinforced the correlation between the Promise Land and His miraculous involvement.

In conclusion, a seemingly unimportant word actually demonstrates a beautiful truth.

“Then the Amalekites and the Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and defeated them and pursued them, even to Hormah.” Numbers 14:45

Numbers 14 verse 45 is the first usage of the word “Hormah.” The word in Hebrew is Chormah and means devotion. This verse does not divulge any information other than the deduction, based on context, that Hormah is the name of a place. In particular, a place where the Children of Israel attempted to enter even though “neither the ark of the covenant of the L-RD nor Moses departed out of the camp.” (Num. 14:44) The summery of this occurrence was that the Children of Israel pursued devotion without G-d (ark of the covenant) and without Moses (the law). The next appearance of Chormah is in chapter 21 of Numbers.

“And Israel vowed a vow to the L-RD and said, ‘If you will indeed give this people into my hand, then I will devote their cities to destruction.’ And the L-RD heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah.” Numbers 21:2-3

In this occurrence Israel made a vow unto the L-RD first before proceeding. The result was that G-d delivered the Canaanites to Israel and the place was named after their devotion. This is such an interesting parallel to approaching G-d and eternal salvation. Without the law (and obedience to it) one cannot physically approach G-d. (Lev. 22:9) Without Messiah Yeshua a person cannot spiritually approach G-d nor dwell forever with Him. (Jn. 14:6) Rabbi Gimpel once said that Scripture recounts the mistakes made by the people to help us avoid the same mistakes. Indeed, learning from history aids in avoiding repetition of past errors. This is an excellent approach to use during Torah study. There is much to be learned from the detailed journey through the wilderness which is at least one reason why the wilderness experience constitutes an entire book of the Torah. Take not for granted G-d’s gracious preservation of His Word. Remember:

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22

The Hebrew language contains many fascinating aspects but one in particular is the ability for one Hebrew word to contain capacious description. Here, in this week’s parasha, there is a unique word and it describes an exclusive occurrence.

“but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome (zara) to you, because you have rejected the L-RD who is among you and have wept before him, saying, ‘Why did we come out of Egypt?’” Numbers 11:20

As if the disturbing imagery was not enough the word for loathsome is zara and is only used here out of the whole Tanach. The main reason this falls under the category of interesting is because the unique word zara appears with a unique punishment. All who are alive have the breath of life in their nostrils but the irksome group ignored the blessings and selfishly pursued their own desires. As punishment it was as if the true desires of their heart were manifested publicly.

“Therefore G-d gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves,” Romans 1:24

Remember our prior way of life? Remember our vain pursuits before G-d graciously saved us through His Son?

“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.” Ephesians 2:3

The Bible possesses a repertoire of horrific descriptions but nasally excreted quail is an original. With this in mind the punishment for complaining becomes intensely serious. Hopefully reading this passage and understanding the punishment will reveal the severity of complaining against G-d and distrusting His promises.

In conclusion, this week’s portion contains a subtle allusion to the beginning of the Days of Messiah.

“The L-RD spoke to Moses, saying, ‘Make two silver trumpets. Of hammered work you shall make them, and you shall use them for summoning the congregation and for breaking camp. And when both are blown, all the congregation shall gather themselves to you at the entrance of the tent of meeting.’” Numbers 10:1-3

Note that the purpose for the trumpets was to summon the people and gather them together in a specific place. Now look at Yeshua’s declaration in the Gospel of Matthew.

“And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other” Matthew 24:31

G-d’s consistency is undeniable. Just as He gathered His people through a trumpet blast in the wilderness so too will He gather His elect. Prepare. Stay alert. For the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!

Yet another census greets the reader in the opening passage of this week’s parasha.  The counting began with Gershon, then Merari, and concluded with Kohath. This interesting order emerges from other lists in this parasha enshrouded in a mysterious deliberateness. Based on the fact that names are significant and may also contain prophetic elements, a closer investigation of the aforementioned names reveals a remarkable parallel.

Gershon = Exile

Merari  = Bitter

Kohath = Assembly

Already this resembles a pattern similar to that of Exodus. The Children of Israel are “exiled” or at least sojourning in the land of Egypt, the oppression was bitter, then G-d delivered them and assembled the people at Mount Sinai. Nevertheless the order of names parallels another occurrence yet to come.

“when I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them from their enemies’ lands,  and through them have vindicated my holiness in the sight of many nations.  Then they shall know that I am the L-rd their G-d, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore.  And I will not hide my face anymore from them, when I pour out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, declares the L-rd G-d.” Ezekiel 39:27-29

G-d revealed His amazing promise through Ezekiel of a time when He will gather the exiled people and assemble them in the Land of Israel. It is during this time that our blessed Savior Messiah Yeshua will return to Mount Zion. (Is. 59:20) May that time come soon and in our days. Although until that time continue to prepare through diligent study and seeking to draw closer to G-d. This week’s portion is a perfect example of action being the major focus of the Torah. Of course there are prophecies, parallels, and illusions to Yeshua throughout the entire Torah. Just remember that the plain meaning of the text details our responsibility as servants of the Most High which is adherence to His commandments. By faith we walk. By faith we study. By faith we live. Come quickly L-rd Yeshua!

We have just completed studying the gracious instruction contained in Leviticus and now we resume the peregrination toward the Promise Land. Naturally the journey in bamidbar (wilderness) begins with a census with the tribe of Levi being excluded from the initial count described in chapter 1.

“Only the tribe of Levi you shall not list, and you shall not take a census of them among the people of Israel.” Numbers 1:49

Here in chapter 3 Levi is counted but done so apart from “the people of Israel.”

“List the sons of Levi, by fathers’ houses and by clans; every male from a month old and upward you shall list.” Numbers 3:15

This is yet another example of the distinction between Levi and the rest of the tribes. Not only did G-d declare they were different (Num. 3:12) but He demonstrated the difference through His commandments. As a brief aside, are G-d’s commandments not what demonstrate our difference from the world?

“So you shall remember and do all my commandments, and be holy to your G-d.” Numbers 15:40

To be holy is to heed G-d’s instruction which naturally extracts us from the wickedness of the world. In regard to the tribal enumeration the people of Israel were counted only if the following qualifications applied.

So all those listed of the people of Israel, by their fathers’ houses, from twenty years old and upward, every man able to go to war in Israel –“ Numbers 1:45

Compare the stipulations to that of Levi.

“List the sons of Levi, by fathers’ houses and by clans; every male from a month old and upward you shall list.” Numbers 3:15

Twenty years old is the age when the highest monetary value applies as described in Leviticus 27. The additional qualification for one who was twenty years old and upward was the ability to go to war, which clearly exhibited a physical requirement. However, a month old, which was Levi’s minimum age, is the very first age at which a person has a monetary value. The distinction demonstrates that from as early as possible the Levites were designated for the work of HaShem and were recognized as bearing that responsibility. In other words their vocation and service to G-d was based more on birth than ability.

The encampment instructions are vivid and full of parallels. One item that differentiated the first tribe from the rest was a subtle piece of additional information.

“Those to camp on the east side toward the sunrise shall be of the standard of the camp of Judah by their companies, the chief of the people of Judah being Nahshon the son of Amminadab,” Numbers 2:3

“Toward the sunrise” seems redundant following “the east side.” The Hebrew word for “sunrise” in this case is mitzrach and the Hebrew word for “east side” is kedem so redundancy is no longer an issue. Although the phrase “toward the sunrise” and it’s relation to the tribe of Judah demands further investigation. Our blessed Messiah Yeshua is of the tribe of Judah. (Matt. 2:1-6) Therefore Numbers 2:3 should relate in some way to Messiah.  The following are a couple of passages that use the Hebrew word mitzrach.

“For I am the L-RD your G-d, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life. Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east (mitzrach), and from the west I will gather you.” Isaiah 43:3-5

“So they shall fear the name of the L-RD from the west, and his glory from the rising (mitzrach) of the sun; for he will come like a rushing stream, which the wind of the L-RD drives. ‘And a Redeemer will come to Zion, to those in Jacob who turn from transgression,’ declares the L-RD.” Isaiah 59:19-20

Both passages are clearly Messianic and reveal additional truth about the east where the sun rises and the affiliation with Messiah Yeshua. Why is this important? The correlation between the encampment of Judah and Messiah Yeshua help answer questions and increase understanding. From where will Messiah come? From what tribe will He descend? What signs will surround His coming? For which characteristics should we look? Just as Philip saw Yeshua and recognized that He was “him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote” (Jn.1:45) we too should be prepared in order to recognize the Son of Man as He returns to Zion.

“For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.” Matthew 24:27

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