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V V ayera: ayera: And And He He Appeared Appeared B’reisheet 18:1-22:24, Haftarah: 2Kings 4:1-37

VVayera:ayera: AndAnd HeHe AppearedAppeared

B’reisheet 18:1-22:24, Haftarah: 2Kings 4:1-37

At the outset of this Torah Parsha I struggled to access the deeper significance which later I “saw”, pun intended, as revealed by the Ruach haKodesh. Quite by The Spirit’s prompting, I recognized the similarly titled parsha found not too far in the distant future of our beloved Spiritual Father Abraham, another beloved Patriarch of our heritage, none other than Moshe, the forerunner- type and shadow of our Messiah Yeshua.

In the book of Shemot, Exodus, chapter 6 where we will eventually arrive in due process of time and likely reflect back and draw upon the same parallels we observe today, as we initially discover that both of these parshiot are identified as

Vayeira. The noticeable difference in English as this week’s parasha is called “And He Appeared”, whereas the parasha in Exodus 6 is called “And I Appeared”.

But we discover oftentimes that YHWH uses a specific Name to direct a person or people to “SEE” specific attributes of His character and also to reveal what He is doing in their lives at a given space and time.

We open this week’s parsha by reading in B’resheit 18:1, “Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, while he was sitting at the tent door in the heat of the day. (Gen 18:1 NAS)

Before we delve any further I want to ‘close the door’ on a teaching within this parsha that is promulgated in Judaism, and it concerns the identity of the three men that come to pay Abraham a visit at the beginning of the divine encounter.

When I began studying this parsha, one of the references I consult during preparation of the message are the rabbinic commentary made available through both the Tanach and Tikkun. I want to clarify by saying that just because I do not agree with their contribution does not mean that I reject their counsel carte non- blanc, but the one thing we must keep in proper perspective is that many of our orthodox brothers and sisters have yet to embrace the truth of Messiah having come already in the flesh.

And when he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth” (Gen 18:2 NAS).

Concerning this encounter specifically, Rashi expresses that the three men were actually 3 angels only disguised as men. Rashi goes so far as to comment on the fact that because angels do not eat that they ‘made-believe’ that they were eating.

The problem with this theory is that we read that Abraham, “ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth, 3 and said, "My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please do not pass your servant by”. (Gen 18:2-3 NAS)

Angels will not receive worship. We read in Revelation,

9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' "And he added, "These are the true words of God."

10 At this I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, "Do not do it! I am a fellow servant with you and with your brothers who hold to the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Rev 19:9-10 NIV)

In order to gain understanding of this week’s parsha we can pull a lot of meaning by looking at the rabbinic commentary found in Exodus 6.

Starting in Shemot 6, verse 2 we read, “God spoke further to Moses and said to him, "I am the LORD; 3 and I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name, YHWH, I did not make Myself known to them. (Exo 6:2-3 NAS)

There we find in The Tanach, in Shemot 6:3 that, “The Names used here represent differing ways in which God revealed Himself to the Patriarchs and to Moses. Moses had had the revelation of Hashem [YHWH], God’s highest manifestation, yet he questioned His ways, while the Patriarchs had maintained their strong faith even though God had revealed Himself to them only with His other Name El Shaddai, [Alef-Lamed Shin-Dalet-Yod]. The latter Name derives from the word da-hee [Strongs# 1767]”… [(Dalet-Yod) carrying the meaning of sufficient, to saturate as with ink]… “and denotes God as the One Who sets limits on Creation…and also…the success one enjoys and the suffering one must endure. By comparing the revelation of Moses with that of the Patriarchs, God was chastising him for his insufficient faith.

What we learn of God’s Name “YHWH” from the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (484a) is that “The Tetragrammaton YHWH, the LORD, Yahweh, [is] the personal name of God and His most frequent designation in Scripture”.

Much argument is made on the etymological origin of the Tetragrammaton in this resource but successfully sheds some light on its meaning by pointing our attention to those individuals that have God’s Name within their own. For instance, Joshua, who was given Moshe’s mantle of leadership just prior to crossing the Jordan and leading Israel into the Promised Land, or “Yehoshua”, means “YHWH is Salvation”, and Messiah Yeshua’s Name similarly as well means “YHWH Saves”.

God’s name YHWH is referenced in Strong’s Concordance under Strongs number 3068, and it points us to Strongs# 1961, or “Hayah” (Heh-Yod-Heh) and is a primitive root meaning “to exist, to become, occur, come to pass, be. Strongs goes on to say that “In miracle accounts, hayah often appears at the climax of the story to confirm the occurrence of the event itself”.

This usage of YHWH with Moshe and El Shaddai with Abraham establishes a pattern that we will continue to see throughout Scripture as well. Which we will see momentarily; the fascinating point that reveals Messiah comes to us from Shemot’s parsha as YHWH explains to Moshe that He came to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as El Shaddai but never revealed Himself to them as He has to Moshe as YHWH.

Interestingly, if we just take the Hebrew for El Shaddai,


לא ידש

El- Strongs# 410- Comprised of an Alef-Lamed, oftentimes used as a “title” for God reveals something vital to our understanding.

Alef is symbolic of the Ox. The Ox typically was an animal used in agriculture. He would be yoked with a younger, less experienced ox and then the Alef Ox would actually demonstrate how to plow the land. The Alef Ox means Strong, or strength.

Lamed is symbolic of the Shepherd’s staff and represents “The authority of The Shepherd”.

Taken together and read pictographically it reveals

“The Strong Authority of The Shepherd”.

Shadday, from Strong’s# 7706 means “The Almighty. The title Shadday really indicates the fullness and Riches of God’s Grace, and would

remind the Hebrew reader that from God comes every good and Perfect Gift—that He is never weary of pouring forth His mercies on His people and that He is more ready to give than they are to receive. Bountiful expresses the sense most exactly …the title Shadday points to the inexhaustible stores of His bounty”.

The obvious point I am directing your attention to is that El Shadday, as He appears to Abraham, Yitsak and Ya’acob is our King, Yeshua Messiah. Let’s observe….

“Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen. ‘I am the Alpha (Alef) and the Omega (Tav),’ says the LORD God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, The Almighty.” El Shadday (Rev.1:7-8)

We read the prophetic statement in Yeshayahu, Isaiah, speaking of Messiah Yeshua,

6 For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God,

Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.(Isa 9:6 NAS)

Again, we see El Shadday appearing before our Patriarch Ya’akob

10 And God said to him, "Your name is Jacob; You shall no longer be called Jacob, But Israel shall be your name." Thus He called him Israel. 11 God also said to him, "I am God Almighty; Be fruitful and multiply; A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, And kings shall come forth from you. (Gen 35:10-11 NAS)

3 Then Jacob said to Joseph, "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, (Gen 48:3 NAS)

Then in the book of John, Chapter 4 we read of Yeshua, speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well. Not coincidentally this particular well is located in the region of Samaria, in a city by the name of Sychar. Taken from Strong’s#4695 it means

stain, blemish, drunken, figurative of disgrace, probably another name for the town of Shechem, near the well of Jacob. Remember Shechem?? Let us witness their conversation,

5 So He [Yeshua, Jesus] came to a city of Samaria, called Sychar [Shechem], near the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph; 6 and Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, was sitting thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. 7 There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give Me a drink." 8 For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. 9 The Samaritan woman therefore said to Him, "How is it that You, being a Jew, ask me for a drink since I am a Samaritan woman?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered and said to her,

"If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you

living water.(Joh 4:5-10 NAS) What then is this “Gift of God”? As laid out previously in the definition, this gift comes from El Shadday, Almighty God, which means SUFFICIENT!

9 And He has said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness." Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2Co 12:9 NAS)

Rav Shaul, Apostle Paul, learned what that gift was in his struggle to separate himself from weakness; and isn’t this what we find in our grand Patriarch Abraham. Here he sits, the 3 rd day, the most painful day, his weakest day, after having been circumcised in his flesh. And Abraham gets it. He understands that the mark upon his flesh is only a sign of the greater work at work in his heart, the Grace of Messiah, His Redeemer.

NAS Romans 3:24 being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; (Rom 3:24 NAS)

NAS Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 6:23 NAS)

NAS Ephesians 4:7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift. (Eph 4:7 NAS)

NAS 1 Peter 4:10 As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. (1Pe 4:10 NAS)

So, back to Sychar, at Jacob’s Well with Yeshua and the Samaritan woman. Here we see our Kinsman Redeemer, Yeshua Messiah, walking with feet of flesh at Jacob’s Well in what once upon a time was called Shechem, or also known as The Valley of Decision. It had turned to a vulgar, backward, lascivious place; many a poor choice had been made upon this parcel of land, but it’s still familiar territory. This is God’s proving ground for man, because several years ago He had already been there, long ago revealing Himself to Abraham as El Shadday and it was there at the Oaks of Mamre, in Shechem where El Shadday— who is Yeshua, gave Abram and Sarai their new NAMES, Abraham and Sarah!

And then again we fast forward a few generations and He appears before Ya’akob as El Shadday, also to give him his new NAME, Isra’el, or God Prevails!

Back to our Torah Portion in B’Resheit 18, verse 2

2 And when he lifted up his eyes and looked, behold, three men were standing opposite him; and when he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the earth, 3 and said,

"My lord, if now I have found favor in your sight, please do not pass your servant by. (Gen 18:2-3 NAS)

The word there in verse 3 for favor is “Chen” Strongs#2580. A Chet—and a Nun, pictographically meaning “Life within the walls”. This word is derived from Chen is Strong’s#2603, or “Chanan”. And it means to bend or to stoop in kindness to an inferior, to show undeserved favor. It also means beauty in the sense of how it is reflected within the walls of the camp. Imagine, within the camp is a place of refuge, a place of protection, a place of provision, and a place of teaching, where everyone inside tends to the interests of their family and neighbors. This word Chanan is derived from Strong’s#2583, or “Chana”. Strong’s defines Chana specifically to pitch a tent, generally to encamp. The Theological Wordbook of the O.T. points out, “Most important, the camp, as described in the Pentateuch,

assumes its significance simply because it is adjacent to the tabernacle, the dwelling place of God’s presence”.

The picture we get here is Abraham sitting at the door of the tent. We see Abraham is dwelling with YHWH, and he’s located at the door of the tent, which idiomatically is the tabernacle because the tent is symbolically recognized as the place where Torah is taught. Abraham hearkens my memory to Moshe who met with God at the door of the tabernacle…

8 And it came about, whenever Moses went out to the tent, that all the people would arise and stand, each at the entrance

(<06607> חַתֶּפ (pethach) (835d) Meaning: opening, doorway, entrance)

of his tent, and gaze after Moses until he entered the tent. 9 And it came about, whenever Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent; and the LORD would speak with Moses. When all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would arise and worship, each at the entrance of his tent”. (Exo 33:8-10 NAS)

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

15 John bore witness of Him, and cried out, saying, "This was He of whom I said, 'He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'" 16 For of His fulness we have all received, and grace upon grace.

17 For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ.(John 1:14-17 NAS)

8 But Noah found favor (GRACE) in the eyes of the LORD. (Gen 6:8 NAS)

If grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ, then I submit to you, is it possible that Noah could not have known Messiah?? If God’s Word is True, and it is… 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; No One comes to the Father, but through Me. (Joh 14:6 NAS)

In the Greek do you know what the phrase “No One” means there? It means No One

When I read this passage years ago, with a western logic, I thought Yeshua was referring specifically from the book of Matthew through present day. But after returning to Torah it becomes absolutely clear that Yeshua did not make this declaration only to His disciples and those to follow, but to ALL mankind!!!

Not me, not you, Not Paul, Not John, Not Peter, Not Isaiah, Not Hosea, Not David, Not Moses, Not Aharon, Not Joseph, Not Isaac, Not Jacob, Not Noah, Not Abraham, Not Enoch, Not even Adam and Eve! Catch the gravity of this Scripture. Yeshua spoke it.

…So then Abraham, who spent 39 years in the tents of Noah and Shem learning Torah must also have learned of Messiah Yeshua, our Kinsman Redeemer!

6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

7 having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.

8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. 9 For in Him all the fulness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority; (Col 2:6-10 NAS) Here we learn that Abraham is in the presence of God, who is in bodily form is traveling with two of His Angels, and we know they’re angels because after they part company with Abraham and head towards Sodom and Gomorrah we read in Genesis 19:1 “Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening as Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom (Gen 19:1 NAS)

Let’s move on, briefly touching on a couple of points simply for consideration. We read Abraham rushed to Sarah and asked her to prepare some cakes. Then we read that 7 Abraham also ran to the herd, and took a tender and choice calf, and gave it to the servant; and he hurried to prepare it (Gen 18:7 NAS).The word for calf here, from Strong’s# 1121. The word here is “Ben” and it means “Son”; for instance “Ben Yosef” Son of Joseph, or “Ben David”, Son of David. Some teachers speculate that the offering of the cakes and the prepared calf were actually a “Shelamim” or Peace offering as described in Vayikra, the book of Leviticus chapter 3. It is good food for thought, but I would need more background because it only says the lad

“prepared” it. We don’t hear of an altar, there’s no talk of blood, and no talk of a soothing aroma unto YHWH. Let us continue with the Parsha. Gen. 18:9-14 13 And the LORD said to Abraham, "Why did Sarah laugh, saying, 'Shall I indeed bear a child, when I am so old?' 14 "Is anything too difficult for

the LORD? At the appointed time ( דעומ ) I will return to you, at this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son." (Gen 18:13-14 NAS) Appointed Time= moed. This is a significant word, Appointed Time, or in Hebrew, Moed. For those who have been walking this Torah lifestyle for any length of time then you are in some measure familiar with this word’s significance. But what Messiah is telling Abraham, is that on the Appointed Feast Day His son will be born. This is also a reference to The Seed Principle in that Abraham had 2 sons, Ishmael and later Isaac. We read later and many times that Isaac is the one through whom God would carry His Covenant and Promise.

“And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called”(Gen 21:12 KJV).

Moed is comprised of the prefix letter “Mem” which in such instances means “The means by which the word it is fixed on the front of is accomplished” The Vav means to join or to connect. The last two letters Ayin- Dalet, comprise a two-letter root word “Ad” and it means Witness, again, repeat, pointing to eternity. Pictographically the Ayin is a picture of an eye. The Dalet is a picture of the door. Combined we learn together they mean to “see the door”; As coming to a tent, as a tent of meeting and entering in. A place, time or event that is repeated again and again. So the Moed, or Appointed Feast Day of YHWH as outlined in Leviticus 23 means “The Feasts or Appointed Times of God are the means by which the witness is accomplished”. It can also mean “The means by which eternity is accomplished”.

Isn’t it interesting that Our God, who is Eternal being from Eternity, and His Son Yeshua Messiah by laying down His life for us provides Eternal Life, that by celebrating the Appointed Feast Days of God actually points to Messiah who gives us Eternal Life. But Isaac being born on one of God’s Feast Days we see the eternal significance as well, because it would be through Isaac’s bloodline that King David would be born who would also later be the same bloodline Messiah came through. Again, The Feast Days

point us to our Beloved Messiah Yeshua.We read further in B’resheit 18:19 that God is going to bless Abraham, why?

"For I have chosen him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice; in order that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him" (Gen 18:19 NAS). Let’s examine the three highlighted words above:

The way” is the Hebrew word derech (Strong’s H1870) and is used in the following places: Blessed are the undefiled in the way [derek], who walk in the law [Torah] of YHVH. (Ps 119:1)

I will run the way [derek] of the commandments … (Ps 119:32) Teach me, O YHVH, the way [derek] of thy statutes … (Ps 119:33)

Justice” is the Hebrew word tsedaqah (Strong’s H6666) meaning “righteousness.” Here is an example of its usage:

… for all thy commandments are righteousness … (Ps 119:172)

Judgments” is the Hebrew word mishpatim (Strong’s H4941) meaning “ordinances” referring to YHVH’s moral and ethical laws as embodied in the last six of the ten commandments, which teach righteousness in one’s business and personal relationships. …[YHVH’s] righteous judgments [mishpat]. (Ps 119:7) I have chosen the way [derech] of truth: thy judgments [mishpat] have I laid before me. (Ps 119:30) Thy word is true from the beginning; and every one of thy righteous judgments [mishpat] endures forever. (Ps 119:160)

And if Yeshua is THE WAY and Yeshua is The LIVING WORD, or TORAH then we understand that as Abraham’s children, not just Isaac, but through him,

29 if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. (Gal 3:29 NAS)

The Outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah: Genesis 18:20-33

21 "I will go down now, and see if they have done entirely according to its outcry, which has come to Me; and if not, I will know."

22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, while Abraham was still standing before the LORD. (Gen 18:21-22 NAS)

We also learn why TWO went down to Sodom and Gommorah,

Deuteronomy 19:15

any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of

two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

One witness shall not rise up against a man for

Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

At this point we witness the dialogue between El Shadday and Abraham. It is here that we see Abraham seeking YHWH’s favor to save the remaining righteous in Sodom. Sheepfold Gleanings commentary gives some good background on the significance of the numbers and why Abraham chose them. Here we read,

Abraham chose his numbers very carefully, knowing the full meaning of what he was asking for. Abraham pleaded for YHVH to preserve the city for the sake of fifty, a number representing jubilee and deliverance.

He prayed a second time for forty-five which represented two numbers. Forty is associated with trial and deliverance, and five, in scripture, represents grace leading to and ending in revival and renewal.

The third number Abraham prayed for was thirty, which denotes a higher degree of perfection. Yeshua started His ministry at the age of thirty, as did Joseph and David. (Luke 3:23, Genesis 41:46; 2 Samuel 4:4)

Abraham reached out again, asking for twenty righteous people. Twenty represents expectancy.

Finally Abraham submitted his last plea before YHVH asking for ten, the perfecting of Divine order. Again YHVH promised Abraham that He would not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, even if He found only ten righteous living

there. (Genesis 18:24-33)In the account of the two angels visitation to Sodom and Gomorrah and to Lot’s house we read of the Sodomites twisted behavior, and in due process Lot himself reveals, perhaps unbeknownst to himself, some skewed logic of his own. In a futile attempt to reason with the men he conducted daily business with and lived next door to, this is what Lot says in reaction to their attempts to break down his front door to his home so they can “know” Lot’s visitors. “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly. “Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof.” (Gen 19:7-8 NAS)

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.

The angels warned Lot that night… 13 for we are about to destroy this place, because their outcry has become so great before the LORD that the LORD has sent us to destroy it.” 14 And Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were to marry his daughters, and said, “Up, get out of this place, for the LORD will destroy the city.” But he appeared to his sons-in-law to be jesting. (Gen 19:13-14 NAS) The word for “jesting” used here is Strong’s# 6711 “tsaw-khak” and it means to laugh outright (in merriment or scorn). In the Theological Wordbook of the O.T. we read in reference to this verse that “When Lot warned his sons- in-law of the impending destruction of Sodom, he seemed to them not so much as “one that mocked”, as one simply jesting.”

18 Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon 19 is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking.” (Pro 26:18-19 NLT)

As we walk in Torah may we strive to live lives of integrity— remember when we studied the word perfect as it pertained to Noah? He was a man of integrity. Abraham was a man of integrity. Sarah was a woman of integrity. Isaac grew up in the tent of his father Abraham and his mother Sarah and became a man of integrity. The angels admonish Lot to take himself, his wife and his children to the mountains, and in a moment

of fear and desperation Lot pleads with them in verse 19 that he cannot make that journey. Scripture does not explain why, perhaps he had difficulty walking? Suffice it to say Lot was afraid if he tried to make that journey that he would injure himself or worse.

So he begs them to make an allowance for him and his family to lodge out of harm’s way in the town of Zoar…do you know what Zoar means?

“Hurry, escape there, for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” Therefore the name of the town was called Zoar (Gen 19:22 NAS)

It means insignificance. I cannot help but want to believe this suggests Lot had lived a life motivated by something other than God. Further along we read that as they reached the outskirts of Sodom and Gomorrah, they were told not to look back. However Lot’s wife chose to look back and Scripture says she looked back; and she became a pillar of salt. (Gen 19:26 NAS)

The word there for looked back is naw-bat, a Nun, a Bet and a Tet and it means to scan, to look intently at, to look with expectation or desire, implying to regard with pleasure, favor, or care. This should give you a picture of Lot’s wife. Here is a woman who’s lived in Sodom with her husband and she knows that it is being destroyed because it is totally corrupted; and yet, even in direct disobedience to the commandment turns around and looks back at Sodom and Gomorrah in such a way that she longs for it. She regards it as special.

As a consequence she became a pillar of salt. But why Salt? There are many good meanings wrapped up in the symbolism of Salt, most popularized by Yeshua’s own words when He said You are the Salt of the World. But Salt, much like Hebrew possesses both positive and negative ‘charges’. Pronounced in Hebrew, “Meh-lakh” we learn some valuable things here. Comprised of a Mem—a Lamed—and a Chet, means salt but it also possesses symbolic meaning as well. For instance, it means to disappear, an old rotten rag, and it also means a land of barrenness. In The Theological Wordbook of the O.T. again we read, “On the other hand, salt was scattered over the site of a city devoted to God for Destruction (Jude 9:45) which thus became the symbol of barrenness and desolation. See also Deut. 29:23, Job 39:6 and Zeph. 2:9. Pictographically is tells another story also. Lot’s wife was turned to a pillar of salt. A pillar is built oftentimes as a memorial of something God did that is of special significance. In this

instance Lot’s wife “Looked back longingly” at Sodom even after having been spared from it’s destruction.

Mem as a prefix means “The means by which the word is accomplished”

The Lamed is a picture of the shepherds staff which is a symbol of his authority, and is a direct reference to Messiah as He is The Great Shepherd of the sheep using His Staff to direct us along His Way (derech).

And the Chet means a wall, a fence, to divide or split or to cut off.

The two-letter root word Mem—Lamed means “to continue

So not only does this pillar of salt symbolize the barrenness that God brought to Sodom and Gomorrah for their corrupt ways, but it also teaches that the direct consequence of CONTINUING to look back longingly upon corruption even after you’ve been delivered from death is to CUT yourself off from The Authority of The Shepherd. Which is why Rav Shaul says “Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord. “And do not touch what is unclean; And I will welcome you. “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty” (2Co 6:17-18 NAS).

And isn’t that what YHWH is doing all throughout Torah? He is teaching us how to listen to His voice, and He’s making a distinction, so that we would live a life as a royal, set apart people for YHWH, as those who have come out of darkness and are now shining His marvelous Light! At the end of Chapter 19 we have Lot and his two daughters arriving in Zoar. We discover that the daughters of Lot are of the belief that this destruction actually was an apocalypse, and that they and their father are the only remaining souls upon the earth. As they understood it, they were attempting to preserve mankind. Their choice to impregnate themselves through their drunken father resulted in two new races of people. One was the beginning of the Moabites and the other was the beginning of the Ammonites. We learn later on that Ruth who became the grandmother of King David actually was a Moabitess.

Chapter 20:

Suffice it to say, we have a similar situation like what happened with Sarah and Pharoah, except this time it is with a different king, King Abimelech. The end result is God intervenes, delivers Sarah back to Abraham, and Abraham prays for the king, God opens the wombs of all the women under his kingdom to remove the curse he brought upon himself by taking Abraham’s wife, and he loads Abraham up with livestock and multiple goods. One ‘take-away’ from this is when you have the favor of YHWH upon your life, even in your mistakes He can make a way to bless you. Now I don’t want to dawdle here, but at the same time I don’t want to trivialize this. So I ask that you consider that. Perhaps you’ve got some admirable regrets. Things you wish you could change. I’m not suggesting we use this to justify wrongs done, but what I am suggesting is that in light of our remorse for things we regret, there is yet hope that God can take our messes and still make something beautiful from them. Food for thought.

Chapter 21:

In this chapter we have Isaac being born. Read and midrash.

Ishmael mocks Isaac.

Sarah orders Abraham to send Hagar and Ishmael away.

Abraham is distressed because he loves Ishmael

God tells Abraham not to worry

Hagar is afraid for her and her son’s survival

God reassures her that her son will grow up and father a nation

Ishmael grows in the wilderness, becomes an archer.

Hagar provides Ishmael a wife from Egypt (meaning of Egypt) what does this possibly foreshadow?

Abimelech and Abraham make covenant.

Chapter 22: The Binding of Isaac/ The Akeidah

Here we have a test. God tests Abraham. The word in Hebrew is Nah- Sah. A Nun, a Samech, and a Heh. Here we learn the pictographic meaning is ‘a test to prove one is deserved of being lifted up. And He said, "Take now your son, your only son, whom you love, Isaac, and go to the land of Moriah; and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I will tell you" (Gen 22:2 NAS).

Here is where we see again confirmation that Isaac is the son that YHWH will use to carry forth the line of The ‘Seed’, or the Word of God, who is Messiah. Not Ishmael, but ‘Your Only Son’—Isaac. The Binding of Isaac is one of the most symbolic and crucial events taking place in Torah as it is a major symbolic event giving reference to substitution. Yeshua is our substitute.This test is recognized as Abraham’s most difficult because he could not understand what Isaac, his sole heir and beloved son had done wrong to deserve to die. But it also shows with what supreme devotion Abraham had unto God, and not only him, but Isaac as well. We also learn per the sages is that at this time Abraham was 137 years old, and Isaac was 37 years old. Isaac was a grown man. In fact the sages say that as we will cover in a moment, the phrase they “walked together” implies that Isaac knew that he would be the sacrifice but was willing to go in obedience and devotion to God. Read Genesis 22:2-9

We read it was the 3 rd day that Abraham saw the location where the offering would take place. Think Resurrection. Moriah is also recognized as the same Mountain YHWH came down upon and gave Torah to Moshe and to Israel. The sages say it is the same location where Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel offered their offerings. These verses state that Abraham told his men that journeyed that they would go over there; worship, and return to them. This either knowingly or unknowingly was a prophetic statement. Some commentators suggest that Abraham knew what he was saying and that it took a man of great faith to believe that God would somehow intervene. This is the first time we see the use of the word Worship. Here it is Shah-khah (Shin-Chet-Heh) Strong’s #7812 and it means to bow down to, to pay homage and to give respect to. Keep in mind Isaac is a grown man and he allows His Father to bind him to the altar that he built. It says 9 Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there, and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar on top of the wood. (Gen 22:9 NAS)

Notice that Abraham placed his son on top of the wood, which the word here for wood is Etz, which is the same word for tree… Isaac, type and shadow of Messiah—knowing he was going to die, accepted that fact and willfully submitted himself to his Father, and allowed himself to be bound to the tree, just as Yeshua our Savior did.

And Abraham stretched out his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the LORD called to him from heaven, and said, "Abraham, Abraham!" And he said, "Here I am." And he said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me." (Gen 22:10-12 NAS)

The word used here for “Fear” is Ya-re and it means to fear, to revere to respect. It is imperative we understand this because it is through reverence that we learn Wisdom. Without Wisdom, there can be no humility, which allows self to be deflated so God can pour His spirit into you. Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place The LORD Will Provide, as it is said to this day, "In the mount of the LORD it will be provided" (Gen 22:13- 14 NAS).

The word for ram here is ah’-yil and it means strength, but it also is the same root word for “El” one of the titles for God. Pictographically it means the Strength of the Shepherd. And the ram was caught in the thicket, referencing us to the crown of thorns Yeshua wore on the day He gave His life for ours. The word for thicket here is seb-awk’ and what we find here is nothing short of miraculous. The root meaning is to interweave. Which may hearken your memory to the crown of thorns that were interwoven and pressed into the top of Christ’s head on the day of His crucifixion. Mt. Moriah is not only where the ram was provided by YHVH to take the place of Yitsak, but it is the same place Yeshua was crucified. Genesis 22:14 literally means He will see that it gets done. What a beautiful picture of Messiah in the provision of the ram to save the life of God’s people! What an incredible testimony of God’s repeated faithfulness. Ahmein.