THIS WEEK’S TORAH PORTION:
From ancient times there has been a weekly portion (Parashah) from the first five books of Moses (The Torah) and an ending (Haftarah) from the Prophets read on the Sabbath in synagogues around the world. This portion is given a Hebrew name drawn from the opening words of the Torah passage. An illustration of this practice appears to have been recorded in Luke 4:16 where Yeshua (Jesus) arrived in the synagogue in Nazareth and was asked to read the portion (Isaiah 61) from the Prophets.
We have found that in perusing these weekly readings, not only are we provided opportunity to identify in the context of God’s Word with millions of Jewish people around the world, but very often the Holy Spirit will illumine specific passages pertinent that week in our intercession for the Land and people of Israel. All texts are those of English translations of the Scriptures.
TORAH: Genesis 6:9—11:32
HAFTARAH : Isaiah 54:1—55:5
The readings for this week are called Noach (Noah)—whose name is related to rest, calm, comfort, and consolation.
Rainbow over the Mount of Olives upon which the Lord’s feet will stand
upon His return (Zechariah 14:4)
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matt. 24:37).
*Genesis 6:9. “Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations; Noah walked with God.”
“Perfect” is an adjectival form of the word translated “integrity” in Psalm 25:21: “Let integrity and uprightness guard me for I wait for you” (NKJV).
*Genesis 6:11-13. “Now the earth had gone to ruin before God, the earth was filled with wrongdoing. God saw the earth, and here: it had gone to ruin, for all flesh had ruined its way upon the earth. God said to Noah: An end of all flesh has come before me, for the earth is filled with wrongdoing through them: here, I am about to bring ruin upon them, along with the earth” (Everett Fox translation; emphases ours).
Flesh, given its lead, brings ruin and destruction. In the New Covenant Yeshua prophesied that in latter days, it will again be “as it was in the days of Noah”. Zechariah 2:11-13 instructs us that in those days, as Messiah draws near to “again take possession of Judah and to choose Jerusalem”, and the LORD is “aroused from His holy habitation”, it will be imperative for Believers that they (as did Noah) say “HUSH” (Hebrew: Hass! Vs 13) to the flesh. Either we crucify it in the power of the Holy Spirit, or it will, as in the days of Noah, be our ruin.
*Genesis 6:14. “Make yourself an ark of gopher wood; make rooms [or nests] in the ark, and cover it inside and outside with pitch.”
The English word “ark” is used here for the Hebrew teva which means “a box or case” (the word is used for ‘mailbox’ in Israel today). It is the same as that was used to shelter the baby Moses in Exodus 2:3 (the “Ark of the Covenant” uses a different Hebrew word).
There is much redemption pictured here. The very word translated “cover” and “pitch” (kopher) is identical with the word for atonement. The apostle Peter pictures the ark as a type of our salvation in Yeshua, our consciences being baptized through His death and resurrection (I Peter 3:18-22).
*Genesis 7:4. “For after seven more days, I will cause it to rain on the earth…”
It is God who “causes it to rain on the earth.” As mentioned last week, we have now entered into the time of the “Former Rains” in Israel (these come in the fall and winter, the “Latter Rains” come in spring).
PLEASE PRAY that God will have mercy upon Israel and, as He did in Noah’s day, open the windows of heaven—not for judgment but in mercy. As we have often mentioned, Isaiah 41:17-20 speaks of a time when Israel will cry out for water and be heard by her God—Who will do creative works to release water in unexpected places to the end “that they may see and know, and consider and understand together, that the hand of the LORD has done this, and the Holy One of Israel has created it.”
*Genesis 7:15. “They (the animals) came to Noah into the ark…of all flesh in which is the spirit of life.”
*Genesis 9:4a. “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs (NKJV).”
God is the One who has now “given” humankind meat to eat, as well as plants. We are to honour each man’s conscience before God with regard to personal decisions to eat or not eat meat. However, it is difficult to reconcile with this Scripture the teachings of some who hold that God’s ideal for humankind today is the meatless sustenance afforded them in Eden and before the Flood.
*Genesis 9:4b. “But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”
The literal word for “life” in Hebrew is chaim. Yet here, the word nephesh—“soul” is used—“But you shall not eat flesh with its soul, that is, its blood.”
This will be reiterated in Leviticus 17:13-14, “Whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust; for it is the soul of all flesh. Its blood sustains its soul. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the soul of all flesh is its blood.”
In Genesis 2:7, “The LORD God formed man of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [i.e. chaim], and man became a living soul [i.e. nephesh].”
When Cain murdered Abel, the “voice of [his] brothers blood cried out” to God from the ground.
The soul that sins must die, and all have sinned…so death reigns in the very blood-line of all children of Adam. Except One. The Blood of the virgin-born Saviour, the “Second Adam”, Yeshua, was pure and without sin (Hebrews 4:15). Thus, it could “sprinkle many nations” (Isaiah 52:15) with a “sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel (Hebrews 12:24).” God made “His soul an offering for sin” (53:10)—and with the shedding of His blood, “He poured out His soul (nephesh) unto death” and “bore the sin of many” (53:12).
*Genesis 10:25. “To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided…”
The word may mean “split apart”, “broken away into sections.” Some have suggested that this may actually allude to a period in which at least some of the continental shiftings discernible on modern-day maps took place. Which might explain why for instance the four rivers branching out from the large one coming out of Eden (Genesis 2:10-14) no longer appear to be in that same relation to each other.
This week’s reading from the prophet Isaiah is filled with God’s heart and merciful plan for His people. Ask God to use these verses to help in your prayers. Pray that they will be quickened with divine revelation in the souls of those who hear them read in synagogues this weekend! Pray that Israel will know that she is loved, that she will be convicted of her sin and need for a Redeemer, that she will understand that the LORD Himself is her only Redeemer, and that her righteousness comes from Him!
*Isaiah 54:5. “For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.” The God of all the earth has sovereignly chosen to identify Himself with the name He gave to his servant Jacob—Israel. Nations or religions which will not humble themselves to acknowledge this “identification” will find themselves standing against the very God of all nations and the universe itself.
*Isaiah 54:7-8. “ ‘For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; but with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,’ says the LORD, your Redeemer.”
*Isaiah 54:13-15. “All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not because of Me, whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.”
*Isaiah 54:17. “ ‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is from Me,’ says the LORD.”
*Isaiah 55:1-3. “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance. Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you—the sure mercies of David.”
–Friends in Jerusalem
The readings for next week (October 21-27 ) will be called Lech Lecha.
TORAH: Genesis 12:1—17:27 HAFTARAH: Isaiah 40:27—41:16