RaYBaSH’s Torah Thought’s
Parashah # 4: Vayeira: “And He Appeared”
B’reshit (Genesis) 18:1-22:24
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr
Ch18: GOD and a couple of angles visit Abraham in the guise of 3 strangers. And despite Abraham still healing up from his circumcision at age 99, he doesn’t hesitate to be a good host and serve his guests as was his custom. Here GOD promises Abraham that a year from now that he’ll have a son, the promised one through his wife Sarah.
Here God reveals to Abraham His intentions to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham tries to bargain with GOD not to destroy the city if there be 10 righteous people in it, but to no avail. No such 10 were found.
Ch19: However, GOD dispatches his two angels to get Lot and his family out before He destroys it. While there the men of the city mob Lot’s house in an attempt to cease and rape his heavenly guests. While trying to negotiate with the mob the angels strike the men with blindness.
Lot and his family flee the city to a cave, and his wife on the way looks back, despite the command not to, and is turned into a pillar of salt.
For fear of not finding husbands and procreating, Lots two daughters get him drunk and they end up becoming pregnant by him, to produce two of Israel’s greatest enemies: The Ammonites and the Moabites.
Ch 20: Abraham moves to Gerar where the Philistine King Abimelech takes Sarah into his harem, honestly thinking it was Abraham’s sister. But God reveals the truth to Abimelech in a dream and warns him to give her back or die! Abimelech confronts Abraham about this and Abraham explains that he lied for fear of being killed for Sarah on account of her beauty.
Ch.21: Yitzhak (Isaac) is born. Hagar and Ishmael are expelled, yet GOD saves them and promises to make Ishmael into a great man and a great nation.
Ch 22: Abraham attempts to sacrifice Yitzhak (Isaac) upon GOD’s command.
Abraham gets word that a daughter has been born unto his nephew Bethuel, which is Rivkah (Rebecca), Yitzhak’s (Isaac’s) future wife!
Gen. 18:1 “And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;” (KJV)
We find Abraham in the opening passage sitting at the door of his tent in the heat of the day only 3 days after his circumcision, which is the most painful day after the circumcision. He see Avraham Avinu (Abraham our Father) is carrying on, business as usual. He is as Scripture and Tradition indicates, looking for strangers and sojourners to entertain. As we brought out in last weeks Parashah, Abraham was a man of HOSPITALITY and EVANGELISM:
“Gen. 13:18 Then Abram removed his tent, and came and dwelt in the plain of Mamre, which is in Hebron, and built there an altar unto the LORD. (KJV)
I would like to mention briefly a trait that will be touched upon greater in the Parashot to come, and that is one of HOSPITALITY.
Abraham is well known in the Jewish and Muslim world for his hospitality. And you though Southern Hospitality was great. Well, you haven’t experienced hospitality until you have experienced it Middle Eastern style. They literally go out of their way sparing no expense to honor you as a guest. They slaughtered their fatted calf even if it meant that they later on would have to do without. You are pampered, treated like royalty. Your feet would be washed, the best food, drink, and dinner ware would be put out for you, and at the end of the evening you would have an undying faithful friend who would give his life for you if need be. But, on the flip side you certainly don’t want a Middle Easterner to be your enemy as you will see in Gen. 14.
Jewish Legend and Traditions states that Abraham had the habit of opening all four corners of his tent to be able to see strangers coming from any direction so he could prepare entertain them. He would sit under the trees of Mamre waiting for passersby’s to entertain. We see a Scriptural example of this when he entertained the 3 strangers 3 days after his circumcision, which is the most painful day of the whole ordeal (Gen. 18). While he would entertain strangers he would in the process tell them of the One true G-d and thus he was also a MISSIONARY of sorts.
Said Reish Lakish: Read not "and he called (vayikra)" but "and he made others call (vayakrei)." This is to teach us that Abraham caused God's name to be spoken in the mouths of all passerby. How so? After they ate and drank [in his home], they made to bless him. Said he to them: "Have you eaten of mine? Your food has been provided by the G-d of the world! Thank, praise and bless He who spoke the world into being!"-- Talmud, Sotah 10a
When Abraham's guests wished to bless him for his generosity, he would say to them: Has the food you have eaten been provided by myself? You should thank, praise and bless He who spoke the world into being! If they refused Abraham would demand payment for the food they had eaten. How much do I owe you? they would ask. A jug of wine is one furlin, Abraham would say; a pound of meat, one furlin; a loaf of bread, one furlin. When the guest would protest these exorbitant prices, Abraham would counter: Who supplies you with wine in the middle of the desert? Who supplies you with meat in the desert? Who supplies you with bread in the desert? When the guest would realize the predicament he was in he would relent and proclaim: Blessed be the G-d of the world, from whose providence we have eaten. -- Midrash Rabbah; Tosofot Shantz on Sotah 10”
It was the third day from Abraham's circumcision, and God came to inquire after Abraham's health.
God drew the sun out of its sheath, so that the righteous one should not be troubled with wayfarers. Abraham sent Eliezer out [to seek travelers], but he found none. Said Abraham, "I do not believe you," and himself went out, and saw God standing at the door. -- Talmud, Bava Metzia 86b
Gen. 18:2 “And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
3 And said, My LORD, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:” (KJV)
The Scriptures, no matter what version you choose to use is quite clear on the identification of who the strangers were despite what Jewish tradition may say they are.
One of the 3 seems to be the leader of the group. And Abraham addresses Him as YHWH (LORD), God’s personal name. In the King James whenever the word lord is capitalized this indicates that it is the sacred name. Many Jewish versions of Scripture will either have HaShem, meaning the Name, or Adonai, the Hebrew substitute for the Name YHWH.
Most of Natsari Judaism holds to the belief that this is, as in the Gan Eden, as with Shimson’s (Samson’s) parents, that this is Yeshua the Messiah in “Pre-incarnate” form, for lack of a better term. Whenever the text says, “Angel of the LORD” or “the Word of the LORD,” this is code, so to speak, to indicate that this is Yeshua the Messiah that was to come. After all we believe that Yeshua was the agent who spoke the world into existence according to Gen. 1 and John 1. And Yeshua, the Word can be called YHWH as Abraham called Him because Yeshua the Messiah said, He and the Father (YHWH) are One (John. 17).
Let me elaborate of our beliefs concerning YHWH before any further confusion can ensue:
“Concerning what most of Christianity refers to as the “Trinity”, (I refer to it as a Tri-unity) I believe that Elohim (God) reveals Himself in many ways, characteristics and Sefirot, including, but not limited to, Abba (the Father), the Word / the Ben (Son), and the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit). And I believe that these emanations from Elohim are coeternal, coequal, and coexisting in one (echad) Divine essence.
The Seforitic Tree consists of many charts and formulas, and lists many of HaShem’s attributes, so I will not get into that. That is not the purpose of this work. However, I will say that there is a concept referred to as the “Three Pillars”, which consist of Binah: Understanding, Keter: Crown, and Chochmah: Wisdom. The Sages refer to them as: Binah as the Father/Abba, Chochmah as the Mother/Imma, and Keter as their Son/Ben. And these in turn would coincide with the concept of the Tri-unity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is interesting to note that the word for Holy Spirit in the Hebrew is Feminine, which would lend credence to the “Three Pillars” of the Seforitic Tree of Binah being Mother/Imma. In another place of Kabalistic literature, there are references to the Lesser YHWH, which describes Yahshua Messiah uncannily.
I DO NOT adhere to nor believe in tritheism or modalism, these beliefs are INACURATE and HERETICAL!
“It is entirely tolerable to the Hebraic mind to accept a paradox. To the non-Hebraic mind, the paradox is seen as blatant contradiction, and is summarily dismissed as nonsense.” – Bikurei Tziyon, issue 71, pg.29” – Get back to the First Century
This is what the Talmud says concerning the identity of these angels. However I disagree that Raphael was there. I believe Raphael the healing angels, exists, although he is not mentioned in Canonical Scriptures, but he is mentioned in Apocryphal literature.
“Who were the three men? The angels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Michael ("Who is like God?") came to bring the tidings to Sarah of Isaac's birth; Raphael ("Healing of God"), to heal Abraham; and Gabriel ("Might of God"), to overturn Sodom. But is it not written, "And there came the two angels to
Gen. 18:4-8 “Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said. And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it. And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.” (KJV)
Abraham was not only a man of Faith but a man of DEDICATION. He was dedicated to his mission and calling, to care for desert travelers. He didn’t use his pain and affliction as an excuse not to entertain guests. Can you imagine if Abraham told the strangers, “Sorry fella’s, I just had minor surgery and I am in no condition to entertain you, maybe I can help you next time you pass this way.” He would have missed out on entertaining angels, and ADONAI Himself! He would have missed out on the prophecy and the blessing of the son of Promise that was to be born unto him through Sarah!
As Rav Sha’ul said:
Hebrews 13:1-2 Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (KJV)
Perhaps he was thinking of this very passage when he penned those words through the inspiration of the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). For he know Avraham Avinu was a man of HOSPITALITY and LOVE.
Every Patriarch and Prophet seemed to model themselves after, and embody the Father of our Faith, the first Hebrew, and the first Jew. Abraham was a foreshadow and type of Moshe (Moses), and Messiah that was to come.
As we see Abraham spared no luxury or expense in entertaining these strangers, this heavenly entourage.
Abraham is well known in the Jewish and Muslim world for his hospitality. And you though Southern Hospitality was great. Well, you haven’t experienced hospitality until you have experienced it Middle Eastern style. They literally go out of their way sparing no expense to honor you as a guest. They slaughtered their fatted calf even if it meant that they later on would have to do without. You are pampered, treated like royalty. Your feet would be washed, the best food, drink, and dinner ware would be put out for you, and at the end of the evening you would have an undying faithful friend who would give his life for you if need be. But, on the flip side you certainly don’t want a Middle Easterner to be your enemy …” – RaYBaSH’s Torah Thoughts #3 Lech Lecha
I would also like to add when one entertains strangers in the
Most of my readers know very well the message of the LORD to Abraham was that he would have a son. So I will skip this passage in order to further bring out the attributes of Abraham our forefather.
However, before we totally leave this subject alone I would like to elaborate on what we call today as, “little white lies” In most circles of Christianity it is not acceptable regardless the situation. However Judaism see it a bit differently:
Gen. 18:12-13 “Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?” (KJV)
Here we catch the Almighty in a “lie by omission”; some may call it a, “little white lie.” Sarah calls Abraham old.
This is what Rashi, one of the greatest and most beloved Torah commentators has to say about these verses:
13. Is it really true. Is it really true that I will give birth?- although I am old. Scripture altered [her statement] for the sake of peace, for she had said, “and my master is old.” - from B.M. 87a
In other words ADONAI did not want to disclose to Abraham everything Sarah said, because she said Abraham was old. God did not want to hurt Abraham’s feelings, pride or dignity, nor cause an argument between husband and wife on account of being “truthful” about Sarah’s comment.
In Judaism, to embarrass someone, or to hurt someone’s feelings is equivalent to murder. For by embarrassment or anger, blood rushes to the surface of the skin (blushing) and it is counted as if you had shed that blood in a murderous way. Speaking badly about someone to hurt them, even if it may be true is called, “La Shone Hara” (the evil tongue) and it was punishable by God inflicting Tza’arets (Leprosy) upon the perpetrator. This is what happened to Miriam Moshe’s (Moses’) sister when she spoke badly about his marriage to the Ethiopian woman (Num. 12). Today the Rabbi’s and Sages say that the Leprosy is now on our souls and not our flesh.
In last weeks Torah Portion it was brought out that Abraham was a man of:
· BRAVERY and
· LOVEAnd this week we see he was a man of DEDICATION. But also he was a man of COMPASSION.
Gen. 18:17-21 “And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the L-RD, to do justice and judgment; that the L-RD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. And the L-RD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.” (KJV)
When Abraham learns of the impending doom of these cities, Abraham we see is not only concerned for his nephew Lot and his kindred, but I believe also even the wicked of this city.
The reputation of
It is well established that
“According to Legends of the Bible (the Book of Jasher, and the Talmud)
It is said that one of Lot’s daughters (Plotit) born to him shortly after his rescue by his Uncle Avram and his men, gave pity to a poor fellow by giving him food and was therefore burned alive on a pyre for breaking the law.
Another account tells of a rich mans daughter giving food and water to a stranger and was therefore drenched in honey and was stung to death by various insects and her heart rending cries was ignored by the people but not God. This was the last straw for which God resolved to destroy Sodom.” – RaYBaSH’s Torah Thought’s #3:
In verses 22-33 so humbly and eloquently bargains with God to spare the city if for no one else’s sake, for Lot and his family and possibly a few righteous strangers or converts that may be there. But alas, no one but
For at best Abraham thought that Lot and his clan would only account for 8 people, just like Noah and his family.
II Pet. 2:5-10 “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, selfwilled, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.” (KJV)
Here verse 7 of II Peter 5 states that Lot was “just” the same Hebrew word meaning, RIGHTOUS. So it appears that perhaps only
According to Legends of the Bible by Louis Ginzberg:
“The destruction of the cities of the plains took place at dawn of the 16 day of Nisan…”
There were sun and moon worshippers in these cities and so one wouldn’t think the sun or the moon god did this, ADONAI chose this date because the sun and moon were both visible at dawn on this day to let the inhabitance of these cities know that It was the God who was in control of both sun and moon who did this, the One true God, the God of Abraham!
It is of no coincidence that these events happened during the week of Passover, the Feast of Unleavened bread. Here is another Scriptural hint that this was so.
Gen.19:3 And he pressed upon them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat. (KJV)
So we see that Abraham had a compassion that even Noach (Noah) did not have:
“The Zohar compares the actions of two righteous men, Noah and Abraham, when confronted with the knowledge that God intends to destroy their fellow human beings for their wickedness. Noah set about building an ark that would shelter the handful of righteous individuals remaining in a corrupt world. In addition, the Midrash describes how he tried to convince his generation to mend their ways and thus be saved from the Divine decree. But the Zohar faults Noah for not also praying for their sake, as Abraham did for the wicked inhabitants of
Gen. 19:30-38 And
Jasher 19:57 “And Lot and his two daughters remained in the cave, and they made their father drink wine, and they lay with him, for they said there was no man upon earth that could raise up seed from them, for they thought that the whole earth was destroyed.”
This is to show us that even when we act with good intentions without knowing all the facts, we can create a situation of lasting problems. For we see that the Ammonites and the Moabites become a continual thorn in the flesh for Abraham’s seed Israel.
Sure Abraham wasn’t perfect by any means. He was human and had faults just as we do. Even though he was a man of FAITH, Abraham could be paranoid, fearful, and overprotective at times which made him look like a conniving liar.
Abraham went through the Kingdom of Gerar ruled by king Abimeleck, whose name means, “the Kingly Father.” Abraham knew how perverse men of his day could be and that they, especially kings would kill for a woman that they desired. So Abraham told a half-truth to protect him and Sarah. But nonetheless Sarah was taken into Abimelek’s harem and as a result ADONAI was going to kill Abimelek and make his women childless. Abimelek confronts Abraham with this deception and here we find that Abraham was RESPONISIBLE and ACCOUNTABLE. He was big enough to admit to his mistake and do what he could to make it right. Sometimes, ironically, it takes our faults to bring out our positive attributes.
Let us end this Torah Portion with a pivotal passage in Judaism and Christianity. Unfortunately Muslims hold that is was Ishmael that was sacrificed and not Yitzhak (Isaac).
A devout Jew reads this passage every morning during Shacharit (Morning) prayers. It’s called the Akeidah (The Binding): It begins as such:
“Our Gbd and Gbd of our forefathers, remember us with a favorable memory before You, and recall us with a recollection of salvation and mercy from the primeval loftiest heavens. Remember on our behalf – O Hashem, our God- the love of the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Israel, Your servants; the covenant, the kindness, and the oath that You swore to our father Abraham at Mount Moriah, and the Akeidah, when he bound his son Isaac atop the altar, as it is written in Your Torah.”
22:1 “Tested” comes from the Hebrew word for a banner that you lift up for all to see. Thus, the Sages of Blessed memory, Peace be upon them, said, “GOD “elevated” Abraham, trial upon trial, greatness after greatness.”
Rabbi Jonathan said, “A potter does not examine defective vessels, because he cannot give them a single blow without breaking them. What then does he examine? Only sound vessels, for he will not break them even with many blows. Similarly the Holy One, Blessed be He, tests not the wicked but the righteous.”
James 1:1-4, 12-13 “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing…Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:” (KJV)
GOD tests, not tempts.
John “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV)
“bring him up there as an offering…” Literally: “Lift him up” Jn.8:28 says:
“When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he…” Didn’t Yeshua say in Jn.12:32 that if He be lifted up, He’d draw all men unto him?
“…one of the Mountains” God is VERY specific. He was referring to
, because Mount Moriah IS Mt. Moriah ,
the same place the Red Heifer was reduced to ashes, and the same place Yeshua
was crucified! Mt. Calvary
V.3a Matt. 21:6-9 speaks of The Triumphal Entry “This is the same donkey Moses rode into
(Ex.4:20) and the same one Messiah will arrive on (Zech. 9:9).” - Mishnah Egypt
“Two young men” Traditionally said to be Eliazar Abraham’s servant, and Ishmael, his son by Hagar. They were in essence the two witnesses, and represented the two thieves on the cross next to Yeshua.
V.4 Despite what GOD told Abraham in verse 2, he believed Isaac would return with him. Notice the “WE” statements.
3 days: Traditionally it is said that Satan tempted and tried to trick Abraham and Isaac to try to either stop or invalidate the sacrifice. Same thing happed to Yeshua in the wilderness after his Mikvah (Baptism).
“Afar off”: Abraham saw the future sacrifice of Messiah.
V.6 Jn19:17 “And He (Yeshua) bearing his cross went forth into the place called: the Skull, which in Hebrew is called
Golgotha…” This is the same as . Mt. Moriah
“Went together” Amos 3:3 “How can two walk together unless they be in agreement?”
V.7-8 Mt.26:39 “O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt.”
When Yitzhak (Isaac) knew he’d be the sacrifice he said, “As the LORD lives and as thy soul lives, there is nothing in my heart to cause me to deviate either to the right or left from the word that GOD has spoken to thee. Neither limb nor muscle hath moved or stirred on account of this. But I am joyful and cheerful of heart in this matter, and I say, “Blessed is the LORD who has this day chosen me to be a burnt offering before Him.”
“GOD will seek out (take out “for”) HIMSELF, THE LAMB for the offering.” Here GOD says not only that He will provide but He Himself will be the sacrifice, and indeed He was in Yeshua Ha Moshiach (The Messiah)!
“And the two of them went together.” They are still in agreement.
V.9 “The place…” God again is VERY specific to where He wants this done. GOD must have been a realtor, “Location, Location, Location,” was so important in all He did.
“Built and altar there…” “Abraham did build, while Isaac handed him stones and mortar until they finished erecting the altar.” -Legends of the Bible
“He bound Yitzhak (Isaac)…”
Abraham 137 yrs.
Yitzhak (Isaac) 37yrs.
Yeshua 30’s also
Yitzhak (Isaac) MUST have been a willing sacrifice. A 37 yr old can easily overtake and escape from a 137 year old if he wanted to.
We too must be a willing sacrifice for GOD. “Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto GOD which is your reasonable act of worship.” Rom.12:1
Legends of the Bible says that Isaac said this: “Father, make haste, bare thine arm, and bind my hands and feet securely, for I am a young man, but 37 years of age, and thou and old man. When I behold the slaughtering knife in thy hand, I may perhaps begin to tremble at the sight and push against thee, for the desire unto life is bold. Also I may do myself injury and make myself unfit to be sacrificed. I adjure you therefore my father, make haste, execute the will of the Creator, and delay not. Turn up thy garments, gird thy loins, and after thou hast slaughtered me, burn me to fine ashes.”
As in verse 3, Yitzhak (Isaac) was to be a “Burnt Offering” an “Olah” the highest order of Levitical sacrifices.
1. The throat was slit.
2. Blood was caught and sprinkled on the Altar.
3. The Body was divided into pieces as prescribed by Oral Torah.
4. The pieces were placed on the Altar.
5. The pieces were wholly consumed by fire and reduced to ashes.
None of this, “Plunging the knife into the heart” stuff you see in Christian paintings of the Akeidah.
Abraham was not only going to slit his son’s throat from ear to ear, but was going to disembowel and dismember his own son, THEN he was going to burn him to ashes! And as it says in Hebrews 11:17-19, Abraham literally believed GOD would resurrect Yitzhak (Isaac) from that! The Shulamite woman in II Kings 4 believed that through Elisha Ha Navi (Elisha the Prophet) her boy (who like Isaac and like Yeshua was of a miraculous birth) could be resurrected!
Before the Akeidah, Abraham was said to have asked GOD: “Am I fit to perform the sacrifice, am I a priest? Ought rather the High Priest Shem (Noah’s son) to do it?” GOD replied: “When thou wilt arrive at THE place, I will consecrate thee and make thee a priest.”
Ps.110:4, Heb.5:6; ; 7:17, 21 say that Yeshua is the High Priest forever after the order of Melchezidek.
We as Natsari Jews know that the Melchezidek priesthood DID NOT replace the Levitical priesthood, but is rather a higher and older order of priesthood.
So, could Abraham have been a Melchezideckian priest? After all Yeshua IS!
V.10 “Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slaughter his son.”
NOT raised it to plunge it into his chest, BUT simply reached to grab the knife. And or STRECHED out his hand to make a baracha (Blessing) as would be traditional before a sacrifice. And or STRECHED out his hand in preparation to slit his sons throat.
V.11-12 “Abraham, Abraham…” Rashi says his name was repeated twice to express love and urgency.
Could be: Abraham? (As in, where are you? I need your attention.) Abraham! (As in, to get his attention.)
V.13 Rams often feed in thickets and while feeding it was easy for them to get their horns tangled up in the branches.
The Ram had to have had his horns caught in the thicket. Why? Because if the ram would have been cut or gouged by the ticket, it would have rendered the ram blemished and invalid as a sacrifice. This is a foreshadowing of Yeshua, he was that substitute sacrifice in our place and He wore a crown of thorns on is head!
The Ram’s horns: Legend has it that after the sacrifice GOD took the two horns of the ram to heaven and made shofars out of them. One was bigger than the other. The smaller one was blown at the giving of the Torah on
Which was on Rosh Hashanah, as was the Akeidah. The Bigger One will be blown when the
Messiah returns! This too will occur
around Rosh Hashanah (I Cor.15:52; I Thess. 4:16). Mt. Sinai
And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen.
V.14 “YHWH Yireh”
Shem called the place “
Abraham called it “Yireh”
Which was the same place the red Heifer was burnt, the same place Yeshua was crucified. You put the two names together you get; “Yerushalayim”!
I Kings 9:3 “And ADONAI said to him (Sholomo Melek/King Solomon) I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before Me: I have hallowed this house which thou has built, to put My name there FOREVER (not until Messiah comes);
AND MINE EYES
AND MINE HEART SHALL BE THERE
So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.
V.19 “Abraham” NOT “Abraham and Yitzhak (Isaac)”
There are two traditions concerning this verse:
1. Yitzhak (Isaac) ascended to heaven for 3 years.
2. He went to go study Torah with Shem.
I believe the second tradition. For another tradition says that when he went to take Yitzhak (Isaac) from Sarah, he told here he was taking him to study *Torah with Shem, but did not tell her about his intentions to sacrifice Yitzhak so as not to worry Sarah, and or cause her to refuse to let Yitzhak go.
*(We know the Torah as we know it ( the 5 books of Moses) was not written yet, but Torah was then orally transmitted from God to Adam to Seth on down to Shem and Abraham.)
1. So, He believed GOD would resurrect Isaac from ashes.
2. He was a Godly man and kept his word to Sarah and sent him to study Torah with Shem after the Akeidah.
Shem died at 600 years of age, and was only 390 when Abraham was born. So Shem would have been 527 when Abraham sent Isaac to study Torah with him.
Remember that a devote Jew recites this passage every morning, and we began this reading with the start of the traditional prayer? Now that the passage has been recited the recitation ends with this prayer.
Master of the Universe! May it be Your will, ADONAI, or God, and the God of our forefathers, that You remember for our sake the covenant of our forefathers. Just as Abraham our forefather suppressed his mercy for his only son and wished to slaughter him in order to do Your will, so may Your mercy suppress Your anger from upon us and may Your mercy overwhelm Your attributes. May You overstep with us the line of Your law and deal with us – O ADONAI, our God- with the attribute of kindness and the attribute of mercy. In Your great goodness may You turn aside Your burning wrath from your people, Your city, Your land, and Your heritage. Fulfill for us, ADONAI, our God, the word You pledged through Moses, Your servant, as it is said: ‘I shall remember My covenant with Jacob, also My covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham shall I remember; and the land shall I remember.’
And I say, “Thank You for doing so in Yeshua Moshieynu (Yeshua our Messiah), Ba Shem (in the Name of )Yeshua Moshieynu, Ameyn!
Everyday in prayer, once a year in our Torah Portion and every Yom Teruah (Rosh HaShannah) we read of the Akeidah. Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice Isaac upon God’s command and we know Isaac was spared becoming a burnt offering because of the Ram that was caught by it’s horns in the bushes and Abraham ended up offering the Ram instead of his son. All of this because Isaac is the Promised One and the Covenant made by God with Abraham was destined to be carried on through Isaac and his descendants. However, we know of is first born through Hagar named Ishmael. If one reads the Torah carefully you will see Ishmael too was loved by God, regardless of what is descendants may have become today and all the promises given to Isaac, save the Covenant, was given to Ishmael:
We see that:
· Ishmael’s Akeidah happened before Isaacs.
· Instead of Avraham it was Hagar, though Abraham too was grieved.
· Instead of a burnt offering it was death by thirst.
· Instead of a Ram as salvation it was the water well.
· Tradition says Isaac went to study with Shem after the Akeidah, we see Ishmael becomes and Archer
· Isaac marries shortly after the Akeidah, as does Ishmael.
· Isaac was in his 30’s and Ishmael was in his teens.
According to the Book of Jasher, Abraham went into the wilderness to visit Ishmael several times and Ishmael still loved and followed after the ways of Abraham and his God and took his counsel. We see in the Torah that Isaac and Ishmael reconcile at the death of their Father.
Gen 25:8-10 Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar the Hittite, which is before Mamre; The field which Abraham purchased of the sons of Heth: there was Abraham buried, and Sarah his wife.
Ishmael is thought and is claimed to be the Muslim people. Ishmael is our cousin, Oh to God that we may bring him back to the God and faith of Avraham Avinu (Abraham our Father)! So be it LORD! So be it! Ameyn!
In this Parashah we see Abraham is a man of DEDICATION and RESPONSIBILITY and ACCOUNTIBILITY in addition to the attributes we learned about Abraham from last week.
This concludes our Torah Portion for this week, I hope and pray it was a blessing to you and you were able to take something profitable away from it.
Shabbat Shalom and Shavuah Tov!
– Yehudah ben Shomeyr
RaYBaSH’s Haftarah Hashings
Parashah # 4: Vayeira: “And He Appeared”
II Kings 4:1-37
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr
This Haftarah Portion links the Parasha through the Akedah (the Binding) of Isaac, for Abraham believed that God would raise Isaac up from the ash heap of a burnt offering that Isaac was supposed to become (Heb.11). And so too this woman who miraculously gave birth to a one and only son. Elisha was like God to this woman, informing her; like God informed Abraham and Sarah they were to have a son.
And just as Abraham lost or thought he was to loose Isaac for a time, yet he knew his son would be resurrected to him, so the Shunammite woman believed this as well.
WOW! What steadfast souls of miraculous faith Abraham and this Shunammite woman had. Indeed they are more righteous than I, for I dare say I don’t think I would have a resurrection type faith if I were in their sandals.
Faith to move mountains is one thing (Matt. 17:20, 21:21), Faith to raise the dead seems quite another!
“Oh, ADONAI! May we achieve this type of Faith. For I fear we will need it in days ahead. B’shem Yeshua Ha Moshiach, Ameyn (In the Name of Yeshua the Messiah, Amen)!”
Shabbat Shalom and Shavuah Tov!
-Yehudah ben Shomeyr
RaYBaSH’s Brit Chadashah Connections
Parashah # 4: Vayeira: “And He Appeared”
Hebrews 13:1-2, John 11:38-45
By: Yehudah ben Shomeyr
We read in our Torah Portion about the angels visiting Abraham announcing the birth of Isaac.
In the Haftarah Portion Elisha Ha Navi (The Prophet) is a type of angel (for angel in Hebrew simply means, messenger) for he too delivers the message of a miraculous birth.
As Natsarim (Nazarenes) we can’t help but think of the angels who announced the birth of Messiah Yeshua (Luke 2).
All three; Isaac, the Shunammite woman’s son, and Lazarus, died and or was as good as dead, and all three resurrected!
Remember what Moshiach (Messiah) said to Martha regarding his close friend Lazarus who also died?
For something to be truly yours, truly ordained by God and entrusted in your care, we have to find satisfaction in the possibility that it may not actually coming to pass. That ministry idea that burns inside you and it seems it will never come to fruition. Just remember who is the Resurrection and the Life. And don’t be surprised that that thing you though was as good as dead, doesn’t rise after all and even out lives you!
Shabbat Shalom and Shavuah Tov!
-- Yehudah ben Shomeyr