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Mishpatim, “Judgments”, covering Exodus 21:1-24:18 contains what is often referred to as the “civil law” that was to govern the Israelites as well as anyone that would enter into covenant with Yahweh. This portion is often referred to as the “Sefer Habrit” or “the book of the covenant” because it contains over 11.5% of all the commandments (53 of the 613). This portion is probably one of the most significant ones yet in the Torah cycle because it relays to us the laws that would govern and deal between man and his fellow man – where the majority of the problems seem to arise. Exodus 21:1 – This verse has 24 letters in the Hebrew; 24 = ‘achiydah (#280) אחידהpuzzle, riddle; 24 is also the number that’s associated with the priesthood because there are 24 courses of priests and singers at the Temple. Is there a riddle, a puzzle hidden within this portion that teaches us how to minister unto Yahweh in the Temple? *This portion seems to be made up solely of laws that deal with our relationships with our fellow man not Yahweh, but remember in Matthew 22:37-40, Yahshua reminds us that the greatest commandment is to love Yahweh with all our heart, but the second is to love our neighbor. The exact phrase used is “And the second is like unto it…” Like: Strong’s #3664 homoios ὅμοιος like, similar, resembling; from #260 hama ὅμα at the same time, at once, together → In other words, I can’t love Yahweh if I don’t love my fellow man, these two must be taking place at once, at the same time, together! Judgments: Strong’s #4941 mishpat משפטjudgment, justice, ordinance; from #8199 shaphat שפטto judge, govern, vindicate, punish, to set up or erect – it also seems that these “judgments” are being given in order for something else to be set up or erected (built)! What is being built? *53 commandments – 53 is the numerical value of the prophetical name given to Jerusalem, Aholibah: Strong’s #172 ‘Oholiybah אהליבהMy Tabernacle in Her 53 = #68 ‘eben אבןstone; from #1129 banah בנהto build, build a house, establish, cause to continue – by obeying these mishpatim it actually causes the tabernacle to be built within her/the Bride, she becomes His dwelling place! The 53rd verse also happens to contain the term “banah”, Genesis 2:22 – “And the rib, which Yahweh Elohim had taken from man, made/banah he a woman, and brought her unto the man.” 1
Woman: Strong’s #802 ‘ishshah אשהwoman, wife, female; cognate of #801 ‘ishshah אשהburnt offering, offering made by fire *Notice that 53 is connected with stones/’eben, the idea of building, and now a burnt offering. What was the one item built with stones in the Taberancle? The altar, where the burnt offerings were offered up! It’s no accident that mishpatim is a close cognate of #4942 mishpathim משפתיםfire places, ash heaps; connected to #8240 shaphathim שפתים refers to a special meat fork used to handle sacrifices The altar represents your ability to communicate with Yahweh. So our inability to keep these mishpatim, our inability to love our neighbors and work together then affects the building of the house, it affects the ability of Yahweh to be able to tabernacle in our midst – hence the puzzle/riddle! These mishpatim are connected with the ability to handle the sacrifice, to be the ishshah, so when we fail to keep Torah in our relationships with each other the house suffers! Exodus 20:25 – “And if thou wilt make me an altar of stone, thou shalt not build it of hewn stone: for if thou lift up thy tool upon it, thou hast polluted it.” Hewn Stone: Strong’s #1496 gaziyth גזיתa cutting, a hewing; from #1491 gazah גזהto cut, cut off, sever, to divide → one that divides the house is a stone not fit to build the altar! Gazah has a gematria of 15 = adulterous bride, 15 steps that led up to the Nicanor Gate where the bitter waters of jealousy were administered to a woman accused of adultery. 15 = #1739 daveh דוהfaint, unwell, referring to a woman’s menstrual state, one who is niddah/unclean 53 is also the value of #2484 chelyah חליהjewels, jewelry, an ornament; used to specifically reference Israel adorning herself with jewelry in order to corrupt herself through harlotry. = חלto make profane, common & = יה Yahweh *Counting on how well we follow these judgments in our relationships with each other then determines whether we are one that builds the Tabernacle, becoming these lively stones that He will dwell in, or whether we are one that plays the harlot and actually profane Yahweh! Further connecting this, the root of Mishpatim – Shaphat שפטhas a gematria of 389, the same as the phrase “bein ha’erevim” or “between the evenings” – the time of the evening sacrifice! This is the time as well when Yahshua would have been offered up becoming the sacrifice. Our focus is pointed towards the point that if we are one bringing division and failing in this mishpatim, then we don’t know how to handle Him. *Exodus 29:37 – “Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, 2
and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy.” → the altar makes the sacrifice holy, hence the reason we have the potential to profane Him, by being an unfit stone.
Another interesting clue that adds to our understanding of this portion is that it falls upon a special Sabbath known as Shabbat Shekelim or the Sabbath of the Shekels. In addition to the Torah portion, the Sabbath before the 1st of Adar, Exodus 30:11-16 is also read describing the census and the obligation to give a half shekel terumah/contribution to pay for the sacrifices offered in the Temple. Shekel: Strong’s #8255 sheqel שקלshekel; from #8254 shaqal שקלto weigh, weight out, pay out, the primary idea is that of suspending a balance, to suspend as on a cross or execution stake. *The shekel was to “make an atonement”/kaphar and it points towards the Messiah that would be suspended upon the stake in order to kaphar/to make an atonement! The focus is on the ½, bring a ½ shekel – it points towards the idea of the 2 halves being made one again! This is the purpose of these mishpatim/judgments that teach us how to deal between man and his fellow man because we can’t be made one with the Messiah and meet Him at the altar if we’re bringing division in the body! It’s also interesting to note that the number 1 method of division we see in the Scripture as well as today deals with our mouth! Mishpat משפטὅ מש = drawn out = פmouth, words & = טto be perverted; what’s drawn out of our mouths is what has the potential to pervert the house! Our words act as seed, hence the reason the physical picture we’re given is that of writing these mishpatim on the doorposts and the gates (Deut. 11:20). The doorposts represent the loins of the house where the seed issues forth from. It becomes the physical representation that the seed that is issuing forth from our houses (our mouths) is to be the Torah of Yahweh! Why is this read before Adar? Adar: Strong’s #143 ‘Adar אדרglorious; cognate of #142 ‘adar אדרto be great, majestic, wide, to swell out, a swelling of the belly (Pregnant?!) *This is also the month during which the mishkan/Tabernacle was inaugurated (23rd-29th of Adar) Could it be then that we’re about to enter into the time frame (Adar) where we’ll be given an opportunity to become pregnant with the Torah, having it written upon us! And by so doing become those living stones that would
build the house or inaugurate the Tabernacle. Yet if we fail to have our lips purged and continue to foment rebellion, division, and murmuring in the house its an indicator that we’re an unfit stone to build the altar!
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