Sunday, July 24, 2011

Torah Study - Numbers (B'midbar) - Masei (Stages) - Question #1

Would you like to study Torah with me? This is an idea I thought of while getting dressed this morning. I am getting ready to start my work shift. I'm going to post the study question from one of my favorite sites for this weeks' Torah portion, written by Ya’acov Natan Lawrence. I'm going to post it on Facebook at the beginning of my work shift. While I'm working, I will be meditating on the word. I will come back at the end of my shift to read your answers posted in the comment section.

Please stay on topic and be respectful in your comments. The entire study guide can be found at Hoshana Rabbah, as well as the kids' study guides.

This weeks' study is Parashat Masei. You will need to begin by reading Numbers 33:1-36:13.

Question #1:

From Numbers 33:1, These are the journeys. Israel was constantly on the move (42 times in all) during its trek through the wilderness. Each of these encampments has a Hebrew name associated with it. It is worthwhile to study the meanings of these names to gain insights as to the trials and obstacles Israel faced on her way to the Promised Land. Notice how Israel faced those trials, whether she trusted in YHVH or complained, and whether she trusted in YHVH’s provision or not. The trials and difficulties Israel faced in her journey through the wilderness is indicative of what believers will face in their physical lives as they journey toward their promised spiritual inheritance. Even though Israel followed YHVH’s glory cloud, the way was not easy. Likewise, as we are faithful followers of Yeshua, we will suffer trials and even persecution.

Though following YHVH is not an easy walk, he promises to lead us, protect us and to meet our needs. He also promises a glorious future (our spiritual Promised Land) for those who overcome the world, the flesh and the devil through faith in him by his strength and grace!

As you have ventured from traditional Christianity into the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith and begun to adopt a more biblical lifestyle, how has this affected your life?

A stationary existence is the fate of those following the dictates of religious institutions that define the kingdoms of men. On the other hand, for those who are following the glory cloud of YHVH there must be a never-ending and passionate pursuit of YHVH, constant growth, and constant onward and upward movement.

Is your faith grounded in men, institutions, creeds, rituals and in man-made doctrines or in the Creator of the universe?

Once we have reached our spiritual Promised Land, our wanderings will cease. Fix your eyes on that immovable spiritual goal and never take them off of it!


I didn't find all 42 camps in this section, but I did find 22 of them and I have them listed here with their Strong's concordance number:

1. Sukkoth (5523): the site where Jacob put up booths (tabernacles) for his cattle and built a house for himself; apparently east of the Jordan near the ford of the torrent Jabbok and later allotted to the tribe of Gad
2. Etham (864): "with them: their plowshare".
3. Marah (4785): "bitter". The spring with bitter water which was 3 days travel from the crossing place of the Red Sea in the peninsula of Sinai.
4. Elim (362): "palms". "Where there were 12 wells and 70 palm trees."
5. Red Sea (5488) and (3220): reed, rush, water plant
6. Wilderness of Sin (4057) and (5512):
1) wilderness
a) pasture
b) uninhabited land, wilderness
c) large tracts of wilderness (around cities)
d) wilderness (fig.)

2) mouth
a) mouth (as organ of speech)
Sin = "thorn" or "clay"

7. Dophkah (1850): "knocking."
8. Alush (442): "I will knead (bread)."
9. Rephidim (7508): "rests" or "stays" or "resting places." [No water. Fought with Amelek.]
10. Wilderness of Sinai (5514): Sinai = "thorny." The mountain where Moses received the Law from Jehovah; located at the southern end of the Sinai peninsula between the horns of the Red Sea; exact site unknown.
11. Paran (6290): "place of caverns."
12. Kadesh (6946): "holy." (Place of Miriam's death).
13. Hor (2023): "mountain." (Place of Aaron's death).
14. Zalmonah (6758): "shady."
15. Punon (6325): "darkness."
16. Oboth (88): "waterskins"
17. Ije-abarim (5863) = "ruins of Abarim"
18. Dibon (1769): "wasting or pining."
19. Almon-diblathaim (5963) = "concealing the two cakes" or hidden.
20. Mountains of Abarim (5682) = "regions beyond"
21. Plains of Moab (6160): Desert plain, steppe, desert, wilderness
22. Beth-jesimoth (1020): "house of the desolation"

Where are you on the journey? Are you camped out at the waters of Miribah, drinking from the pool of bitterness? Are you at Punon in a place of spiritual darkness? Are you camped out at Dibon, wasting away and pining for something you are not able to have? It is wise to study where the children of Israel were in these places so you can gain wisdom in learning how to get up from there. We are getting ready to go into Deuteronomy, my favorite book of the Torah. One of my favorite scriptures from here is, "The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, You have dwelt long enough on this mountain." Deut. 1:6 AMP

More on this Torah portion tomorrow.


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