Monthly Archives: July 2013

TITHING THE TENTH

 

TITHING THE TENTH

 

By Gene Benjamin II

 

 

All Scriptures used in this study are from the Hebraic Roots Bible (HRB, with some sacred Name changes by Gene), unless otherwise noted. Deuteronomy 14:22, Tithing you shall tithe all the increase of your seed that the field yields year by year.” Deuteronomy 14:22, with definitions inserted into the text, “Tithing [asar: accumulating, Strong’s #6237] you shall tithe [take a tenth, #6237] [namely, Strong’s #853] all [the whole, Strong’s #3605] the increase [tebû’âh: gain, income, profit, produce, Strong’s #8393] of your seed [fruit, plant, Strong’s #2233] that the field [spread out, flat, Strong’s #7704] yields [brings out, Strong’s #3318] year [Strong’s #8141] by year [#8141].”

 

 

The phrase “without fail” in The Scriptures version must be interpreted to mean accumulate continuously, year by year, or perpetually, from generation to generation. The main root meaning of the word tithe (Strong’s #6237) in Deut. 14:22 means to accumulate. Accumulate what? a tenth of the believing producer’s gain, increase, profit. The word is used twice in verse 22, meaning tithe a tithe, or accumulate a tithe, or accumulate a tenth. Dr. Strong says that #6237 is identical to #6238, which means chiefly, or specifically, to grow (causatively make) rich. In other words, it’s the accumulation of tax-free capital gain that makes one financially rich in this world. It’s the financial principle that Israel, Britain, and America were built on. The long lost concept of FREE ENTERPRISE was a beautiful thing.

 

 

And here’s the kicker. The criminals at the Internal Revenue Service, and such like agencies in other nations, have deceived the people into believing that the lowly wage-earner receives a profit, or gain, that is then taxable. But a wage earner is not a producer, he is but a reimbursed slave, servant, or laborer. The company he works for is the taxable producer. A wage earner merely exchanges his time and energy for remuneration, usually in the form of worthless paper money. So in an even exchange of time and energy for money, there is zero profit, zero gain, zero increase. In fact, it costs the wage earner to transport himself to the job and costs to eat lunch and buy uniforms, etc. Wage earning is a losing proposition even before the worker punches the time clock. Then the civil government lies to you that your remuneration is taxable. It’s the ultimate deception and insult to the intelligence.

 

 

Back to the Scriptures at hand, why do we accumulate our tithe? Deuteronomy 14:23, “And you shall eat before YAHWEH your Mighty One in the place which He shall choose to cause His name to dwell there, the tithe [ma‘asar: Strong’s #4643, tenth part, payment of a tenth part] of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock; that you may learn to fear YAHWEH your Mighty One all your days.”

 

 

Yahweh wants us to accumulate a tenth part of our wealth in a tithing storage account/facility, that can then be used during the Feasts of Yahweh to celebrate those Feasts with Him and our fellow believers. Doing this helps us stay humble in recognizing Who is our Great Provider, acknowledging His sovereign providence in our lives. Also, we learn to fear, or reverence, Him Who needs no material goods from us. What Yahweh needs from us is worship, glorification, respect, honor, fellowship, relationship. His needs are spiritual, not material. Now, I must ask you, dear reader, does this teaching sound anything like what you hear in most churches of the world today? Accumulate your tithe, then consume 90% of your own tithe at a barbeque party with Yahweh? This is nothing like the prosperity teaching you hear preached today. We are to accumulate our tithe, so we will have the means to travel to wherever Yahweh chooses to dwell and where He wants to celebrate a Feast with us. We should have plenty of accumulated tithe for ourselves and more than enough to share with our fellow believers at the Feast! In this process, we learn that Yahweh does not need any material provision from us, but we are always in desperate need of Him and His provision.

 

 

Deuteronomy 14:24-27, “And if the way is too long for you, so that you cannot carry it [your accumulated tithe], because the place is too far from you which YAHWEH your Mighty One shall choose to set His name there, when YAHWEH your Mighty One shall bless you; 25Then you shall give [nathan: Strong’s #5414, to exchange] it [accumulated tithe]for silver, and bind up the silver in your hand. And you shall go to the place which YAHWEH your Mighty One shall choose. 26And you shall pay the silver [your converted tithe]for whatever your soul rightly desires [avah: Strong’s #183, lust, covet, wish for], for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for fermented drink, or for whatever your soul desires [sha‘al: Strong’s #7592, inquire, request, demand]. And you shall eat there before YAHWEH your Mighty One, and you shall rejoice, you and your household. 27And you shall not forsake the Levite who is within your gates, for he has no portion nor inheritance with you.”

 

 

Now here is something to get a hold of. Your biblical tithe is NOT money, but if you need to, because it’s too much to transport, you may convert your tithe into silver, which is real money. In today’s economy, most people have moved away from the agricultural lifestyle in rural communities, in which your income is received in food products. Today, most people are paid in paper or electronic money, so the conversion process has already been done for you. So, when you go to Jerusalem, or your local synagogue, or assembly, to celebrate one of Yahweh’s Feasts with your brethren, you then buy what you desire for the Feast, whatever it may be, as long as it is not immoral, unlawful (per Torah), or poisonous to consume, i.e. it should be Kosher. Notice that you don’t buy what the Priest or Levite wants, you buy what you want to consume. Verse 27 shows us that you are to also care for the Priests and Levites, that is what the tithe of your tithe is for, 1% of your net profit, or increase is for the Levites. You are only to consume 90% of your tithe on yourself, 10% of your tithe, or 1% of your increase, is to be consumed by the priesthood.

 

 

For example: You sow 10,000 bushels of seed and then harvest 100,000 bushels of grain. Your gross profit is then 90,000 bushels. But you also have harvesting expenses of say 20,000 bushels (labor, animal care and feeding, etc.), so your net profit, or INCREASE (#8393), is 70,000 bushels of grain this season. Your tithe on 70,000 bushels of grain is 7,000 bushels of grain, which you accumulate for the next Feasts, or convert to silver to take to the Feasts. The tithe of your tithe, then, is 700 bushels of grain for the Levites and priests, which is 1% of 70,000 bushels, which was your net profit, or increase, or capital gain (#8393). Let’s say you converted your 70,000 bushels of grain into 70,000 shekels of silver, so then you GIVE 700 shekels of silver to the Levites and priests, or 1% or your net profit, or increase (#8393).

 

 

Tithing then is the accumulating of your net profit, your increase, your gain. Notice that nowhere in these passages does Yahweh mention a civil government taxing your production or accumulated wealth! That’s why the greatest nations on earth started out without taxing the private individual’s efforts or accumulated wealth. This is how America became the greatest nation in human history, lots of production, tiny taxation. The founding fathers of America understood these principles of tithing from Torah Law. In other words, Yahweh taught Israelites to SAVE, so they would have the financial means to attend and observe Yahweh’s Feasts, when and where He placed His Name. The Mo‘edim, or Yahweh’s appointed times, are a time to rejoice before Him, and that takes a lot of good food and drink!!

 

 

Deuteronomy 14:28 “At the end of three years, even the same year, you shall bring forth all [kol: Strong’s #3605, the whole, the totality] the tithe [ma‘asar: #4643, tenth part] of your increase[#8393, gain, profit], and shall lay it up [nûach: Strong’s #5117, to rest, to settle] within your gates [sha‛ar: Strong’s #8179, the marketplace, or public meeting place inside the city]. 29And the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the alien, and the fatherless, and the widow who are within your gates shall come and shall eat and be satisfied; so that YAHWEH your Mighty One may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.”

 

 

From these two verses we see the THIRD YEAR tithe, which is not transported to where Yahweh has placed His Name, but is kept inside the local village so the local poor and needy may have something to eat. The lesson here is that during the other two years, DO NOT CONSUME ALL YOUR TITHE, keep some back for the third year Feasts also!! In other words, accumulate tithes continuously, without fail, year by year, perpetually, so their will always be enough for you at the Feasts, for the Levites and Priests, and for the local needy people in your community!!

 

 

After studying the above eight short verses, let’s now look at Malachi 3 again and see if it makes more sense to our modern minds. Malachi 3:1-18, “Behold, I am sending My messenger, and He will clear the way before Me. And the Master whom you are seeking shall suddenly come to His sanctuary, even the Messenger of the Covenant, in whom You delight. Behold, He comes, says YAHWEH of Hosts. 2But who can endure the day of His coming? And who will be standing when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire and like fuller’s soap. 3And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; and He shall purify the sons of Levi and purge them like gold and like silver, that they may be presenters of a food offering in righteousness to YAHWEH. 4Then the food offering of Judah and Jerusalem shall be pleasing to YAHWEH, as in the days of old, and as in former years. 5And I will draw near to you for judgment; and I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, and against the adulterers, and against those swearing to a lie; and against those who extort from the hired laborer’s pay[remember the harvest season labor costs?]; and turning away the widow, and the fatherless, and the foreigner, and not fearing Me, says YAHWEH of Hosts. 6For I am YAHWEH, I do not change. Because of this, you sons of Jacob are not destroyed. 7From the days of your fathers, you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return [turn back, turn again] to Me, and I will return [turn back] to you, says YAHWEH of Hosts. But you say, In what shall we return?8Will a man rob the Divine Ones? Yet you have robbed Me. But you say, In what have we robbed You? In the tithe [ma‘asar: tenth part]and the offering[terumah: Strong’s #8641, contributions, oblations, sacrificial offerings]! 9You are cursed with a curse, for the nation, all of it, you are robbing Me. 10Bring all the tithe[ma‘asar: tenth part] into the storehouse[bayith: Strong’s #1004, family house and otsar: Strong’s #214, cellar, treasure, armory. In other words, the storehouse is where you accumulate your tithe, specifically the family bank account, the family cellar, the family garage, or barn, NOT THE LOCAL CONGREGATION’S FACILITY/BANK ACCOUNT!!], so that there may be food in My house [bayith: Yahweh’s house, for the Feasts!! Hopefully, your local congregation’s facility will work for this also, where you can transport your tithe to for celebraton!]. And test [#974: prove, investigate] Me now with this, says YAHWEH of Hosts, whether I will not open the windows of the heavens for you and pour out a blessing until there is no sufficiency of room to store it. 11And I will rebuke the devourer [the eater] for you, and he shall not destroy the fruit of your ground against you; nor shall your vine miscarry against you in the field, says YAHWEH of Hosts. 12And all nations shall call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land, says YAHWEH of Hosts. 13Your words have been strong against Me, says YAHWEH. Yet you say, What have we spoken against you? 14You have said, It is vanity [desolating, evil, ruin] to serve the Divine Ones. And, What profit [betsa: Strong’s #1215, plunder, usually unjust gain] is it that we have kept His charge [watch, post, custody; figuratively: observance], and that we have walked as mourners [in sackcloth] before YAHWEH of Hosts?15And now we are calling the arrogant blessed. Not only are the doers of wickedness built up, they also test [#974, prove, investigate, tempt] the Mighty Ones, and escape. 16Then those fearing YAHWEH spoke together, each man to his neighbor. And YAHWEH gave attention and heard. And a Book of Remembrance was written before Him for those who feared YAHWEH, and for those esteeming His name. 17And they shall be Mine, says YAHWEH of Hosts, for the day that I will make up My treasure. And I will pity them as a man has pity on his son who serves him. 18Then you shall return [turn back, turn again] and see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between him who serves the Mighty Ones and him who does not serve Him.”

 

 

Malachi 3 is a call to repentance. Let’s turn back to Yahweh and begin to follow Him and His ways once again, especially in tithing and offering! TREATING PEOPLE PROPERLY FINANCIALLY IS HOW WE LEARN TO FEAR YAHWEH (Mal. 3:5 above)! The word return, shub, or shuv, Strong’s #7725,is closely tied to tithing in Hebrew thought. How do we know this? Because one of the first times the word tithe is used in Scripture is in Genesis 28:22. Jacob was an early patriarchal tither. Why do you think Yahweh used the name Jacob in Malachi 3:6 above? Tithing is for the whole nation of Israel, Ephraim and Judah. While Jacob slept he saw a vision from Yahweh and Yahweh made covenant with him. Then, Genesis 28:16-22, “And Jacob awakened from his sleep, and said, Surely YAHWEH is in this place, and I did not know. 17And he was afraid, and said, How fearful is this place! This is nothing except the house of Elohim, and this is the door to Heaven.

 

18And Jacob started up early in the morning and took the stone which he had placed at his head, and he placed it as a pillar; and he poured oil on the top of it. 19And he called the name of that place, Beit-El (The House of El). And yet the name of the city was at first Luz. 20And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If Elohim is with me and keeps me in this way which I am going, and gives to me bread to eat and clothing to wear,

 

21and I return [#7725, turn back, turn again] in peace to the house of my father, then YAHWEH shall be my Mighty One, 22and this sandstone which I have placed as a memorial pillar shall become the house of Elohim; and all which You shall give to me, I will tithe the tenth [accumulate the tithe, just like it’s used in Deut. 14:22!!] to You.

 

 

Yahweh covenanted with Jacob and Jacob made a vow in response to Yahweh’s covenant. Yahweh holds Israelites to this vow to this day. Accumulating the tithe became part of the covenant in Genesis 28, and was reconfirmed in Deut. 14 by Moses. Repentance, tithing, blessing, and peace are all tightly interrelated concepts in the Hebrew lifestyle. Yahweh’s covenant kingdom is an all in one proposition. Get in on His goodness today. Accumulate your tithe and come celebrate the Fall Feasts with us this year!!

 

 

Tithing the tithe tests the condition of our heart and then can be used to test the condition of Yahweh’s heart. Will we repent of our arrogance and pride, humble ourselves before Yahweh our Maker, and take care of His people financially and celebrate His appointed times properly? This is a proper understanding of FEAR Yahweh. Life on earth is a test, one we must pass in order to enjoy the peace and blessing of Yahweh’s Kingdom.

 

 

Shalom,

 

 

Gene Benjamin II

 

July 12, 2013 CE

 

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PSALM 81:3 AND WHICH MOON?

PSALM 81:3 AND WHICH MOON?

 

Psalm 81:3 (HRB), “Blow the ram’s horn in the new moon, on the covered moon, on our feast day.”

 

Psalm 81:3 (NKJV), “Blow the trumpet at the time of the New Moon, At the full moon, on our solemn feast day.”

 

Psalm 81:3, (NASB), “Blow the trumpet at the new moon, At the full moon, on our feast day.”

 

Psalm 81:3, (KJV), “Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.”

 

Psalm 81:3, (KJV with Strong’s numbers), “Blow upH8628 (taqa: to clatter, blow, blast, or sound) the trumpetH7782 (shophar: horn, curved horn, cornet, ram’s horn) in the new moon,H2320 (chodesh: new moon, month, first day of the month) in the time appointed,H3677 (NOT mo’ed. kese: full moon, fullness, festival) on our solemn feastH2282 (chag: festival, feast, festival-gathering, pilgrim-feast) day.H3117 (yom: day, usually a 24 hour day, sunset to sunset, but can be a period of time determined by the context)”

 

You wouldn’t think that 6 little Hebrew words could cause so much confusion and misunderstanding, but even the experts do not agree on the reading and meaning of this one verse of Scripture.

 

BEGIN QUOTES FROM THE EXPERTS

 

Don Esposito (a possible translator of the HRB, Hebraic Roots Bible quoted above) in his book, The Biblical Calendar states: “This scripture, which was originally written in Hebrew, has always been known to refer to the Feast of Trumpets or in Hebrew Yom Teruah. So if the first day of the 7th month is a new moon and it is “covered” or “concealed” as the scripture states, then it can only be referring to the conjunction and not sighting a crescent. The word for covered moon is “keseh” and in Hebrew means to be fully covered, or concealed, which again can only refer to the conjunction of the moon.

 

Also on the Feast of Yom Teruah look at the following scripture:

Lev 23:24 Speak to the sons of Israel, saying, In the seventh month, on the first of the month, a Holy Day Sabbath shall be to you, a memorial acclamation of the resounding of trumpets, a holy gathering.

Clearly, the feast of Trumpets is only ONE day; the first day of the 7th

month. However, if you are going by a crescent sighting, then you would not see the crescent till sometime after sunset and not knowing if it would be sighted or not would force the act of keeping this day as a Sabbath whether or not the crescent would actually be seen. This fact alone clearly shows that the calendar has to be calculated

according to conjunction as Holy Day Sabbaths must begin at sunset and the crescent is not seen until later in the evening and how would you know whether this was the first day of the seventh month until later in the evening when the crescent would or would not appear. If the Holy Day is calculated from sunset to sunset, then also the means to calculate the day must also be known before sunset to know whether or not it is the Holyday. It is totally ridiculous to think that Yahweh would command a Holyday to be observed and you would not be able to know whether it was that day until later in the evening after the moon came up or didn’t come up. . . One more point for major consideration on this subject. When I was studying the whole issue of the New Moon by conjunction or visual observance, I went to one scripture that clearly tells us when the New Moon is. Psa 81:3 Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, at the covered moon, on our solemn feast day We have went to several linguistic scholars in Israel asking them for the true definition of  “Kehseh” being rendered covered moon, and  we have been told the definition means to cover fully.  When you put a lid on a garbage can you would use the word “kehseh” to describe putting the lid on the can to fully cover it or putting a cap and covering your head you would use kehseh. We have also been told by experts from Israel that this psalm has always been referred to by the Rabbis as referring to the Feast of Trumpets, or in Hebrew Yom Teruah, the only Holy Day which happens on the New Moon, which clearly shows from this psalm that it would be calculated by the

conjunction, when the moon is fully covered by darkness and not by the sighting of a crescent moon.

 

This verse dogmatically proved to me [Don Esposito] that the new month starts by conjunction and not visual sighting. Just think about that symmetrically for a moment. If the moon is nothing more than a clock in the sky then a quarter moon would have to be a quarter and a full moon would have to be half month, and what is the opposite of a full moon? Conjunction! If you had a full apple pie on your table, what would be the opposite of that full pie? The answer is no pie. The only problem being when you calculate the new moon up to 23 hours early

calculating by the day of conjunction and not waiting till sunset after

conjunction, when the earth rotates and the month comes to you, you will never have your Holy Day hag or Feast of Sukkot on the full moon.”

 

Pastor Charles Dowell states this: “One New Moon out of the year is set apart as a Sabbath which is the first day of the seventh month.

The Feast Day of Trumpets is the only commanded Sabbath Day which is celebrated on the New Moon. This would be the day when no man would know the day or the hour when the Messiah would be returning. The Day of Trumpets is only one day, as well. It is celebrated from

evening to evening. We will see Israel celebrating this Feast until the third day. Why? Just to be sure they got the day right.

 

To the chief Musician upon Gittith,

[A Psalm] of Asaph.

Sing aloud unto God our strength:

make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob.

Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel,

the pleasant harp with the psaltery.

Blow up the trumpet in the new moon,

in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

For this [was] a statute for Israel,

[and] a law of the God of Jacob.

Psalms 81:1-4 (Tehillim)

 

The first visible sign of the moon (crescent) does not begin the

feast. It was a sign that the feast had ended. The day started

with  the  New  Moon,  which  is  a  completely  covered  dark

moon, and it lasted anywhere from one to three days.  The

visible crescent proved the New Moon had already happened.

So the day started with the New Moon, which is a completely

covered dark moon and it lasted anywhere from one to three

days, the visible crescent proved the New Moon had already

happened.

 

My question is: if you’re going to be blowing the trumpet in the New Moon and at the time appointed, which would be the time you blow the trumpet? At the Full Moon like Strong’s suggests, or is this the Covered Moon? Fact is there are only three Feast Days and four appointed days which consist of seven Feasts. It is important to note  that  there  are  no  commanded  feast days on a New Moon.  What is being suggested here is that we blow a trumpet in the New Moon and the full moon (feast day).

 

The question becomes:produce the Commandment that states we are to blow a trumpet on the full moon in Torah!

 

The only day we are commanded to blow a trumpet is the Day of Trumpets, which falls on the New Moon.  Looks like we’ve had some adding-to-Scripture happening, which is sin. I cannot find in the Bible where it says to blow the trumpet on the full moon!”

Nehemia Gordon, a Hebrew language expert and Karaite Jew states this, “Having been confused by the use of the term New Moon in modern astronomy [conjunction versus sighting the first sliver] some people have sought Scriptural support for this incorrect meaning [concealed moon] of the term. Ps 81,3 [Heb. 81,4] is usually cited which says:

“Blow on a horn for the Hodesh (New Moon)
On the Keseh (Full Moon) for the Day of our Hag (Feast).”

According to the “Concealed Moon Theory”, the term “Keseh” is derived from the root K.S.Y. meaning “to cover” and thus means “covered moon” or “concealed moon”. According to this interpretation, when the verse says to blow on a horn on the day of Keseh it actually means “[blow on a horn] on the day of Concealed Moon”. However, the language does not support this argument for the second half of the verse also refers to the day of Keseh as “the day of our Feast (Hag)”. In the Scriptures, Feast (Hag) is a technical term which always refers to the three annual pilgrimage-feasts (Matzot, Shavuot, Sukkot; see Ex 23; Ex 34).3 New Moon Day (Hodesh) is never classified as a “Pilgrimage-Feast” so Keseh/ Hag can not possibly be synonymous with New Moon Day (Hodesh). It has further been suggested that Keseh refers to the Scriptural holiday of Yom Teruah (Day of Shouting), which always falls out on New Moon Day. However, the Scriptures describe Yom Teruah as a Moed (appointed time) and never as a Hag (Pilgrimage-Feast) so Keseh/ Hag can not refer to Yom Teruah either.

What Does Keseh Really Mean?

It is likely that Keseh is related to the Aramaic word “Kista” and the Assyrian word “Kuseu” which mean “full moon” (see Brown-Driver-Briggs p.490b) [Hebrew, Aramaic, and Assyrian are all Semitic languages and often share common roots]. This fits in perfectly with the description of Keseh as the day of the Hag since two of the three Pilgrimage-Feasts (Hag HaMatzot and Hag HaSukkot) are on the 15th of the month, which is about the time of the Full Moon!

Another point to consider is that there is no actual “day” of concealed moon. In fact the moon stays concealed anywhere from 1.5 to 3.5 days in the Middle East. It has been proposed that the “day” of concealed moon is actually the day of conjunction (when the moon passes between the Earth and Sun). However, it was 1,000 years after Moses that the Babylonian astronomers discovered how to calculate the moment of conjunction. Therefore, the ancient Israelites would have had no way of knowing when the moment of conjunction takes place and would not have known on which day to observe “Concealed Moon Day”.

It has been suggested that the ancient Israelites could have looked at the “Old Moon” and determined the Day of Conjunction by when the Old Moon was no longer visible in the morning sky. However, such a method would not work in the Middle East where the so-called “concealed moon” can remain concealed for as many as 3.5 days! It is in fact common for the moon to stay concealed for 2.5 days and in such instances how would the ancient Israelites have known which day was the Day of Conjunction?

In contrast, the ancient Israelites would have been well aware of the Crescent New Moon. In ancient societies people worked from dawn to dusk and they would have noticed the Old Moon getting smaller and smaller in the morning sky. When the morning moon had disappeared the ancient Israelites would have anxiously awaited its reappearance 1.5-3.5 days later in the evening sky. Having disappeared for several days and then appearing anew in the early evening sky they would have called it the “New Moon” or “Hodesh” (from Hadash meaning “New”).”

 

END QUOTES FROM THE EXPERTS

 

So above I just showed you three great modern men’s understanding, opinion and interpretation of Psalm 81:3. Pastor Dowell did bring up another interesting point. The writer of Psalm 81:3 could have used the word lebanah, Strong’s number 3842, which means white (as in white moon, indicating a full moon), found only three times in the OT and translated as the moon. BUT THAT IS NOT THE WORD USED!! So, between Pastor Dowell and Don Esposito, it seems Psalm 81:3 is talking about blowing a trumpet at the New Moon and not at the Full Moon. And the only Sabbath holy day at the New Moon is Yom Teruah on the 1st day of the seventh month, the only day we’re commanded to blow the trumpet on the New Moon day.

 

Nehemia Gordon makes a good point in that the word used in Psalm 81:3 for feast is chag, one of the pilgrimage feasts, not a mo’ed, which is what the Feast of Trumpets is. But you can’t get away from the fact that the word chodesh is used, which means new moon, so at least the first half of verse 3 is talking about the New Moon Day, but is it a possibility that the second half of the verse is talking about one of the pilgrimage feasts, Unleavened Bread or Tabernacles, which occur on the 15th of the month, which is the Full White Moon, as Nehemia suggests?  The Hebrew word kese comes from the root word kasah, Strong’s # 3680, which means to plump, to fill up hollows, by implication to cover, to cover, conceal, to hide. So, just from looking at the root to kese, Nehemia Gordon has a tall mountain to climb to convince us that this word kese could possibly be indicating a full moon is suggested in Psalm 81:3. Is Nehemia trying to change the very meaning of the root word? It might just be easier to believe that the Arameans and the Assyrians perverted a word they borrowed from ancient Hebrew. You decide.

 

Here are some challenges for Bible students. Find a verse that commands us to blow a trumpet on the full moon. Find a verse that shows Yom Teruah is a chag. Find the biblical command to sight the crescent of the new moon to begin our lunar month. Answer the question: Does the barley have to be Abib just around Jerusalem, or in most of the nation of Israel in order to declare the New Year?

 

Blessings,

 

Gene Benjamin II

July 6, 2013 CE

DAVID AND JONATHAN UNDERSTOOD THE NEW MOON

 

DAVID AND JONATHAN UNDERSTOOD THE NEW MOON

 

This dramatic covenant love story between David and Jonathan begins on the LAST DAY OF A LUNAR MONTH.

 

1 Samuel 20 (HRB)

“And David fled from Naioth in Ramah, and came and said before Jonathan, What have I done? What is my iniquity, and what is my sin before your father, that he is seeking my life? 2 And he said to him, Far be it! You shall not die. Behold, my father shall not do anything great or small, and not reveal it to my ear. And why should my father hide this thing from me? It is not so. 3 And David again swore and said, Your father has certainly known that I have found grace in your eyes; and he said, Do not let Jonathan know this, that he not be grieved. And yet, as YAHWEH lives, and your soul lives, there is only a step between me and death. 4 And Jonathan said to David, What your soul may say, I also will do for you. 5 And David said to Jonathan [on the last day of the month], Behold, the new moon [chodesh, conjunction, day 1 of the new month] is tomorrow [day 1 of new month, beginning at sunset]. And sitting I should certainly sit with the king to eat. And you shall send me away, and I shall be hidden in the field until the third evening [sunset beginning day 3 of the month]. [The sighting of the New Moon Crescent by the third night would tell them the new month had already begun.] 6 If looking your father looks for me, then you shall say, David asked earnestly of me to run to his city Beth-Lehem; for the yearly sacrifice is there for all the family. 7 If he shall say so, Good! Peace shall be for your servant. But if it burns him greatly, know that evil has been determined by him. 8 And you shall do kindness to your servant, for you have brought your servant with you into a covenant of YAHWEH. And if there is iniquity in me, you kill me. For why is this, that you bring me to your father? 9 And Jonathan said, Far be it from you! For if I knew with certainty that evil was determined by my father to come on you, would I not tell it to you? 10 Then David said to Jonathan, Who shall tell me? Or what if your father answers harshly? 11 And Jonathan said to David, Come, and we shall go out to the field; and both of them went out to the field. 12 And Jonathan said to David, YAHWEH the Elohim of Israel be witness when I search my father about this time tomorrow [conjunction, day 1 of new month], or the third day [day 3 of new month. Notice how Jonathan just assumes the dark days after the last crescent of the old month to the sighting of the crescent of the new month. As Pastor Dowell stated, the conjunction can be calculated from the full moon of the previous month!], and behold, there is good toward David and I do not send to you and do not reveal it in your ear, 13 so may YAHWEH do to Jonathan and do much more than this. If it should seem good to my father to do evil to you, then I will reveal it in your ear and send you away. And you shall go in peace; and may YAHWEH be with you, as He was with my father. 14 And not only while I live, even you shall do with me the kindness of YAHWEH, that I not die, 15 but you shall not cut off your kindness from my house forever, not even when YAHWEH cuts off the enemies of David, each one from off the face of the earth. 16 And Jonathan covenanted with the house of David, that YAHWEH should seek it from the hand of David’s enemies. 17 And Jonathan again made David swear, because he loved him; for he loved him as he loved his own soul. 18 And Jonathan said to him, Tomorrow [sunset of conjunction day] is the new moon [day 1 of new month], and you shall be expected, for your seat will be empty. 19 And on the third day [day 3 of the new month] you shall quickly come down, and shall come there to the place where you were hidden in the day of the deed. And you shall remain near the stone Ezel. 20 And I will shoot three arrows to the side, shooting at a mark for myself. 21 And, behold, I shall send a boy, saying, Find the arrows! If I expressly say to the boy, Behold, the arrows are on this side of you, take them; then you come, for peace shall be to you, and there is nothing, as YAHWEH lives. 22 But if I say to the young man, Behold, the arrows are away from you and onwards; go, for YAHWEH has sent you away. 23 As to the thing which we have spoken, you and I; behold, YAHWEH is between you and me forever. 24 And David was hidden in the field. And it was the new moon [chodesh, conjunction, day 1 of the new month]. And the king sat down by the food to eat. 25 And the king sat on his seat, as from time to time, on the seat by the wall. And Jonathan rose up, and Abner sat at Saul’s side. And David’s place was empty. 26 But Saul did not say anything on that day [conjunction, day 1 of new month], for he said, It is an accident; he is not clean; he is surely not clean. 27 And it happened on the day after the new moon [day 2 of the new month, which began at sunset], David’s place was empty. And Saul said to his son Jonathan, Why has the son of Jesse not come to the meal, either yesterday [conjunction, day 1 of new month] or today [day 2 of new month]? 28 And Jonathan answered Saul, David earnestly asked of me to go to Bethlehem. 29 And he said, Please send me away, for we have a family sacrifice in the city, and my brother commanded me. And now, if I have found favor in your eyes, please let me be released, and to see my brothers. So he has not come to the table of the king. 30 And the anger of Saul glowed against Jonathan. And he said to him, Son of a perverse rebelliousness! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your shame, and to the shame of the nakedness of your mother (in Saul’s eyes, the perverse rebelliousness!!)? 31 For as long as the son of Jesse lives on earth you shall not be established, you and your kingdom. And now send and bring him to me, for he is a son of death. 32 And Jonathan answered his father Saul, and said to him, Why should he die? What has he done? 33 And Saul threw the spear at him, to strike him. And Jonathan knew that it had been determined by his father to kill David. 34 And Jonathan rose up from the table in the heat of anger. And he did not eat food on the second day of the new moon [which began at sunset], for he was grieved for David. For his father had put him to shame. 35 And it happened in the morning [the morning of day 3 of the month, which had begun at sunset the night before, David and Jonathan’s agreed upon meeting day. By sunset that began day 3, the new crescent moon would have been sighted, telling the Israelites that the NEW MONTH HAD BEGUN AT CONJUNCTION, on day 1!! The sighting of the crescent moon was a sign that ended the New Moon Festival; it did not start the new month!] that Jonathan went out in the field for the meeting with David. And a little boy was with him. 36 And he said to the boy, Now run and find the arrow which I am shooting. The boy ran, and he shot the arrow, causing it to pass over him. 37 And the boy came to the place of the arrow which Jonathan had shot. And Jonathan called after the boy and said, Is the arrow not away from you and onwards? 38 And Jonathan called after the boy, Hurry, make haste, do not stand! And Jonathan’s boy gathered the arrow and came to his master. 39 And the boy did not know anything. Only Jonathan and David knew the matter. 40 And Jonathan gave his weapons to the boy with him, and said to him, Go, bring them to the city. 41 The boy left, and David rose up from the south side. And he fell on his face to the ground. And he bowed three times. And they each one kissed his friend. And they each wept on his friend, until David was overcome. 42 And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, because we have sworn, the two of us, in the name of YAHWEH, saying, YAHWEH shall be between you and me, and between my seed and your seed forever. And he rose up and went. And Jonathan went into the city.”

 

This covenant love story shows that the Israelites, just 500 years after Moses learned the Hebrew biblical calendar from the mouth of Yahweh, understood that the new month begins at conjunction, not at the sighting of the crescent moon. The sighting of the New Moon crescent ended their new moon festivities, it did not begin the new month. I cannot tell from this story whether or not they ate during the  night time hours or during the daylight hours. Saul’s reference to the possibility that David was unclean seems to indicate that they were eating during the daylight hours, because most uncleanness was over at sunset, the beginning of a new day. But they apparently partied until the new moon crescent was sighted, which confirmed to them that the new month had already begun!

 

Hope this helps.

 

Gene Benjamin II

July 6, 2013 CE

 

THE MARK OF A MAN

THE MARK OF A MAN

 

Leviticus 18:22 (HRB), “And you shall not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is detestable [an abomination, NKJV; perversion].” The word for detestable, or abomination,  means morally disgusting, an abhorrence, idolatry. In the Hebrew grammar, this word is a feminine participle, or noun. It is Strong’s number 8441.

 

Leviticus 20:13 (HRB), “And a man who lies with a male as one lies with a woman, both of them have done a detestable (abominable, # 8441) thing, surely they shall die; their blood shall be on them.” Homosexuality is a capital crime, punishable by death.

 

Deuteronomy 23:17 (HRB), “There shall be no harlot among the daughters of Israel, nor shall there be a homosexual among the sons of Israel.” Homosexuals, lesbians, transgenders, bisexuals, all are to be cut off by death from our society. Not my words, Yahweh’s words.

 

Homosexuality is sexual immorality, one of the four dogmasin for non-Hebrew believers from the First Council of Jerusalem in Acts 15. It is not only a sin, but a crime against Yahweh and humanity. It is a perversion of Yahweh’s natural order of sex within a holy marriage between one man and one woman, created at the beginning. 1 Corinthians 6:18 (HRB), “Flee fornication [sexual immorality]. Every sin which a man may do is outside the body, but he doing fornication [sexual immorality] sins against his own body.” The disease called AIDS is just one of the judgments of Yahweh against homosexuality. If the sin of homosexuality is not repented of, it will ultimately result in eternal death, separation from Yahweh, and annihilation in the Lake of Fire. Any and all sin leads down this same path of final destruction.

 

A few years before Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple were destroyed by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar, Ezekiel received this startling vision:

Ezekiel 9 (HRB),1And He cried in my ears with a loud voice, saying, Let the overseers [angelic ministers to the saints] of the city draw near, even each with his destroying weapon in his hand. 2And, behold, six men were coming from the way of the Upper Gate, which faces north. And each had his shattering weapon in his hand. And one man among them was clothed in linen, and an ink horn of a scribe at his loins. And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar. 3And the glory of the Elohim of Israel had gone on, from on the cherub where it was on it, to the threshold of the house (Temple). And He called to the man clothed in linen with the ink horn of a scribe at his loins. 4And YAHWEH said to him, Pass through in the midst of the city, in the midst of Jerusalem, and imprint a mark on the foreheads of the men who are groaning and are mourning over all the abominations (Strong’s # 8441) that are done in her midst. 5And He said to those in my hearing, Pass over in the city after him and strike. Do not let your eye spare, and do not have pity. 6Slay the aged men, the young man, and the virgin, even children, and women, all to destruction. But to every man who has the mark on him, do not come near. And begin from My sanctuary [the Temple, the church, the synagogue. Judgment begins in the house of Yahweh.]. And they began with the aged men who were before the house [Temple]. 7And He said to them, Defile the house [Temple] and fill the courts with the dead. Go forth! And they went out and killed in the city. 8And it happened as they struck, and I remained, even I. Then I fell on my face and I cried out and said, Ah, Adonai YAHWEH! Will You destroy all the remnant of Israel in Your pouring out of Your fury on Jerusalem? 9And He said to me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and of Judah is very great, and the land is filled with blood, and the city is full of perversity. For they say, YAHWEH has forsaken the land; and, YAHWEH does not see. 10And even I, My eye does not spare, and I will not have pity. I will put their way on their head. 11And, behold, the man clothed with linen, with the ink horn at his loins, reported the matter, saying, I have done as You commanded me.”

 

Friends, our cities are full of perversity today. We do not know in which hour the age of grace will close, the day when there will no longer be any mercy shown to the sinner. That day is rapidly approaching, now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of sexual immorality. Homosexual marriage is a perversion of godly marriage. It will bring swift judgment upon America. The whole world follows America down this path of sexual immorality and then to judgment.

 

But notice in the passage above, there are those who are marked by the angels of Yahweh to be spared this judgment. Some righteous people mourn and wail over the sins in this world. This remnant will be saved from the wrath to come. See the parallel passage in the Book of Revelation, chapter 7, where saints are sealed by Yahweh’s holy angels. Folks, you have a choice, be sealed by Yahweh, or accept the Mark of the Beast. Every human will soon have a mark, either from Yahweh, or from the enemy, Satan, through his beast system. This mark, either sealed by Yahweh, or marked by Satan, will assure your final destiny and set your place during the final judgment of Yahweh upon mankind. Revelation 14:9-11 (HRB),9And a third cherub followed them, saying in a great voice, If anyone worships the beast and its image, and receives a mark on his forehead, or in his hand, 10he also shall drink of the wine of the anger of YAHWEH having been mixed undiluted in the cup of His wrath. And he will be tormented by fire and brimstone before the holy cherubs and before the Lamb. 11And the smoke of their torment will rise forever and ever. And those worshiping the beast and its image have no rest night and day, even if anyone receives the mark of its name.” Revelation 16:2 (HRB), “And the first went away and poured out his bowl onto the earth. And it came to be a bad and malignant sore onto the men, the ones having the mark of the beast, and the ones worshiping its image.” Revelation 19:20 (HRB), “And the beast was seized, and with this one the false prophet doing signs before it, by which he led astray those having received the mark of the beast, and those worshiping its image. The two were thrown alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone.”

 

Just ask Sodom and Gomorrah, a society that turns to wholesale sexual perversion and immorality soon receives the wrath of Almighty Yahweh. America has sealed her doom by her choices. The same goes for every nation on this planet. You come against His people Israel, you try to divide up His land, you throw out His commandments and run to sin with your whole being, you ask for judgment. Yahweh will answer the call.

 

Ellen White, over a hundred years ago, received a similar vision to Ezekiel’s. You can read it in her book, Early Writings, pages 279-282. Heartbreaking when you know that Yahshua has already shed His own priceless precious blood to atone for all sin for all men for all time, but most men reject His sacrificial offering. That is the most tragic mistake any hu-man can make.

 

Homosexuality is not a birth defect. It is a behavioral lifestyle choice of your will. Your only birth defect is that you were born with a sin nature, giving you that propensity to sin. But you always have had a choice. Choose your mark wisely. Soon, the day of being able to choose to repent and turn away from your sinful lifestyle will be past. The door to salvation will close. The judgment of Yahweh will come. It’s guaranteed by the Word of your Creator. The angelic scribe with the ink horn at his side is recording your choice today. Gentlemen, choose your mark wisely. Yahweh gave us a simple multiple choice final exam, and even gave us the correct answer!! Deuteronomy 30:19-20, “I call Heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, that you and your seed may live, 20to love YAHWEH your Elohim, to listen to His voice, and to cleave to Him. For He is your life, and the length of your days so that you may live in the land which YAHWEH has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give it to them.” Repent now, before it is too late.

 

Gene Benjamin II

July 3, 2013 CE