Tag Archives: exodus

The Ten Words of God

After a long journey, the chosen people – the Children of Israel as well as a mixed multitude who had left Egypt(Exo 12:38) behind them, were finally at the foot of Sinai to listen to God speak. Through the Thunder, Lightning, thick cloud, Trumpet noises, smoke, fire and earthquakes God would descend onto Mount Sinai to make Himself heard to His people for the first time(Exo 19:16-20). Traditionally we have come to know what proceeded from the Mouth of God as “The Ten Commandments”. The foundation of the Mosaic Covenant as well as the New Covenant. But the Ten Commandments are known in the Original Hebrew Manuscripts by a different term. The Word for Commandment in Hebrew is Mitsvah (H4687 – מצוה – BDB Definition: commandment) while a different Hebrew word is used in conjunction with “Ten” when the Scriptures speak of the “Ten Commandments”.

Exo 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments(H1697-Dabar).
Deu 4:13 And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments(H1697-Dabar); and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.
Deu 10:4 And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments(H1697-Dabar), which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.

H1697 – דּבר – dâbâr – BDB Definition:
1) speech, word, speaking, thing
1a) speech
1b) saying, utterance
1c) word, words
1d) business, occupation, acts, matter, case, something, manner

The above verses literally say “Ten Words/Matters/Sayings” and not “Ten Commandments. This fact can be clearly seen by comparing the above to the introduction of the Ten Words in Exo 20:

Exo 20:1 And God spake all these words(H1697-Dabar), saying,

The reason this is significant is because there was no impulsion for anyone to do what He uttered. God was not forcing the people to Obey Him. A “Commandment” had the connotation of force, but God simply declared these Ten Matters as what really was important in His eyes. His people were given a choice to walk in the upright path, and He was showing the way. Before He came down to Sinai, God had already told Moses that He would show what He requires from His people.

Exo 19:5-9 Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words(H1697-Dabar) which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel. Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and laid before their faces all these words which the LORD commanded him. And all the people answered together, and said, All that the LORD hath spoken we will do. And Moses returned the words of the people unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto thee in a thick cloud, that the people may hear when I speak(H1696-Dabar) with thee, and believe thee for ever. And Moses told the words of the people unto the LORD.

But does this mean the “Ten Words” are any less important? Not at all. These are the words God chose to declare first and foremost to His people. They encapsulated His Heart and what He expects from a Godly people. He would have continued and spoken the entirety of His instructions(Torah) known to us traditionally as the Law, stopping and delivering the rest to Moses only because the people were afraid.

Exo 20:19-22 And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die.And Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not. And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was. And the LORD said unto Moses, Thus thou shalt say unto the children of Israel, Ye have seen that I have talked with you from heaven.

Now the importance of the Ten Commandments – rather the “Ten Words” of God, has been discussed before in “Is Love, all that matters? – Was the Ten old Commandments overuled by Two new Commandments?” and about the connection of the Ten Words to the rest of the instructions in “Law of God & Law of Moses – 2 Laws or 1?

These Ten Words are the “Word of God” which proceeded straight out of the Mouth of God in the ears of all the people at the foot of Sinai. It is the Word that keeps us alive according to:

Mat 4:4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

And we see Yeshua (Jesus’ true name) equating “the Word of God” to the “Ten Words” and the Instructions(Torah) given through Moses.

Mar 7:9-13 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition. For Moses said, Honour thy father and thy mother; and, Whoso curseth father or mother, let him die the death: But ye say, If a man shall say to his father or mother, It is Corban, that is to say, a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me; he shall be free.  And ye suffer him no more to do ought for his father or his mother; Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

In the above passage Christ compares the Word of God and the Traditions of the elders. He is very clearly saying that The Commandments of God are equated to the Word of God. And that Exo 20:12, Exo 21:17 & Lev 20:9 is emphatically the Word of God.

And again Yeshua equates the Law (Torah) to the Word of God.

Joh 10:34,35 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

He reiterates that the Word of God can neither be broken as well, calling the Law, “Scripture” in this instance.

So in Conclusion, we see that the Ten Commandments as it is traditionally known should ideally be called the “Ten Words/Sayings/Matters” of God and the same along with the rest of the Law/Instructions(Torah) was without a doubt known and proclaimed as the “Word of God” by Messiah Yeshua. Let us remember that these “Ten Words” were what God picked to share with His people first, showcasing the importance of abiding by them if we are in Covenant with our Creator.

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Today is the beginning of the biblical new year

Happy New Year!!!! Biblically speaking of course.
Even though January 1st is celebrated as the beginning of the year over the world, as Christians, we need to consider that the Biblical New Year is far more important to us, than a day that was picked by the Romans.

1st of January and the beginning of the standard western/christian calendar

Janus -  Museo del Duomo, Ferrara, Italy

Janus – Museo del Duomo, Ferrara, Italy.

The month of January is named after an ancient Roman god named Janus/Ianus, who was the Roman god of doorways & archways, depicted having two faces, as the Romans believed he looked at the future as well as the past. As far back as 153BC, Roman consuls came to power on January 1st. In 45BC, when Julius Caesar introduced the Julian Calendar, January 1st became the official new year of the Roman Empire which has continued to be so, for more than 2000 years.

This ancient Julian Calendar which went through a few refinements in the year 1582 by Roman Catholic Pope Gregory XIII, is now known as the Gregorian Calendar. January 1st, remains from more than 2000 years ago, as the beginning of the Roman Year, a creation of the Roman Empire.

1st of Abib and the beginning of the Biblical calendar made by our Heavenly Father
The month of Abib/Aviv does not coincide with a month in the standard western calendar in any way. This means that the 1st day of the Biblical Year could fall on any day in the season of March/April. The biblical calendar is not one which is set in paper, but which is set in the heavens. When our Creator made the Sun, Moon & Stars, He proclaimed “let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years”.

What is Abib?
In the book of Exodus, as Moses brought about the 7th Plague which was “Hail”, we read the following

Exo 9:31,32 And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear(Abib), and the flax was bolled. But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up
The Hebrew word “Abib” is translated here as “was in the ear”. The Strong’s Hebrew Concordance explains it as – H24 – אביב – aw-beeb’ – a young ear of grain; hence the name of the month Abib or Nisan

abib

Abib barley discovered in the land of Israel in the end of March 2014

Abib is the Hebrew word used for the state of a crop which is, in between the stage of green colour ripening and completely ripe golden streaks. It is the stage when the grain is a light yellowish green colour. In the above passage we see that the barley crops were destroyed by hail while the wheat and rie were not damaged. The reason being, grains which are early in its development are flexible, becoming brittle as it ripens. The barley was destroyed and the wheat was not, as the barley had reached the stage in its development called Abib, becoming brittle enough to be damaged by the hail, while the wheat and rie were still early in their development, where they were flexible enough not to be damaged.

Exo 12:2  This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.
Exo 13:4  This day came ye out in the month Abib.
Exo 34:18  The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep. Seven days thou shalt eat unleavened bread, as I commanded thee, in the time of the month Abib: for in the month Abib thou camest out from Egypt.

We know that after the 7th Plague mentioned in Exo 9:30,31, two more plagues came over Egypt (namely locusts & Darkness for 3 days) before the 10th plague (Death of the Firstborn). The Passover happened on the 14th day of the First Biblical Month (Exo 12:2,6,11) freeing the children of Israel from slavery. As per Exo 9:30,31 the Barley was in the state of Abib, at the time of the 7th plague. Exo 12:2, 13:4, 34:18 further proves that the month in which the Children of Israel were set free from slavery was the first month, as per God’s directions. Not only is “Abib” the first month, it derives its name from the state of Barley known as “Abib” in the Scriptures.


But how does one go about uncovering the beginning of the biblical Year on his/her own?

Sliver

The Sliver of the New Moon was sighted in Israel around 7.30pm on March 31st

The Biblical month is calculated by the revolutions of the Moon. One cycle of the moon, where it goes from dark to fully lit and dark again is known as a month. In fact, the words “Month” and “Moon” are interchangeable in the Hebrew language. Please read this study for more information. At the time when the first sliver is visible in the evening sky, the new month has begun.

With the above information from the Bible in hand, we can easily figure out the first month of the Biblical year. When the Barley is in the state of “Abib” and when you sight the sliver of the moon, a new Biblical Month has dawned. This was the case on the eve of Mar 31st, making the 1st of April 2014, the beginning of the Biblical Year this time around. Happy New Year!!!! and may you celebrate our Creator’s Appointed times as per His Commandment and as imitators of Christ!

The Biblical Feast dates/Appointed times of YHVH for the year 2014
(Please note that the below dates are only for the year 2014. These will not be the same next year)

1. Passover – begins on the eve/sundown of April 13 and ends on the eve/sundown of April 14 (The Passover Meal in remembrance of YHVH’s Salvation/Death of Christ is shared on the eve of April 14)
2. 1st Day of Unleavened Bread – begins on the eve/sundown of April 14 and ends on the eve/sundown of April 15 (This day is a High/Special Sabbath – no monetary work may be done on this day)
3. First Fruits – begins on the eve/sundown of April 19 and ends on the eve/sundown of April 20th
4. 7th Day of Unleavened Bread – begins on the eve/sundown of April 20 and ends on the eve/sundown of April 21 (This day is a High/Special Sabbath – no monetary work may be done on this day)
5. Shavuot/Pentecost – begins on the eve/sundown of June 7 and ends on the eve/sundown of June 8 (This day is a High/Special Sabbath – no monetary work may be done on this day)

The final 3 Biblical Feasts, which are Trumpets, Atonement & Tabernacles will be known only when we sight the 7th New Moon.