When Do Words Become A Blessing? – Torah Q+R

[Music] Hey Tim hey John hello hello we're Coming back to do one final question Response we've read through Um the Torah yeah five books at the Beginning of the Bible and we've been we All year yes we've been doing this yes Dozens of hours of conversation it's Been wonderful we've been tracing one Theme through each what we call Movements of each scroll and so it's and So five Scrolls uh what yeah it was 16 To 18 I forget something like that a lot A lot a lot we didn't read every part of The Torah but we read lots of it we then At the end of every Torah uh scroll we Stopped and we had a q r and we didn't Get to every question but as a way to Kind of recap the whole journey let's uh Answer some questions from the whole Torah from the whole from this question From the whole year the whole year and Throughout the whole year yeah so we're Going to start with a question from Ben In California who has a question about Kind of the the method of reading and Making hyperlinks between stories hi my Name is Ben and I'm from San Jose California you've been talking a lot About biblical Connections in the Genesis scroll how do you decipher Between biblical connections the authors Intended to make versus connections we Fabricate or force that weren't intended

To be made yeah it's a very practical Question this is a very practical Question Um Yeah when do you know that you're You're natively reading the text the way It was designed and finding something The authors intended Um and when have you gone too far and You know it's also interesting I I've Noticed this with like uh certain Creatives artists or writers or Something they'll they'll make something Uh maybe a movie And then someone will ask like hey like I saw this character and then they did This thing and they whatever yeah was That like part of this theme of this Thing and the director's thinking well No but It kind of was you know I mean that's Beautiful yeah yes yes So like there's also something about Like at what point does the Beautiful Mind that's designed the Bible like has Seen like all the things that could be Seen yeah totally now that's a one it's A great question Um it's a question that I've been asking Myself for a long time almost it's Beginning to read the Bible when I paid Attention to how Jesus and the apostles Quote from and reflect on and get Meaning out of the Old Testament

And especially when they would say or Make conclusions you're like what really What what really so to me that actually Began a long journey to understand Inner biblical interpretation how later Biblical authors quote from and use and I I eventually developed this conviction That they grew up within The native tradition from which these Texts emerged in the first place and so If anybody's qualified to understand Them it's more than likely going to be Them and not me and that's kind of been A Guiding Light for me throughout Throughout the years so where it's led Me is into this whole world of biblical Studies especially among Jewish and Israeli Scholars who are really trying To preserve and recover How ancient Israelites and how Jewish Israelite communities in the second Temple period read and understood these Texts as they were being brought into Their final shape And so a lot of it has to do with this Language we've developed you know and Our resources called hyperlinking Narrative patterning design patterns the Melody which is often the biblical Authors will set up an analogy or Comparison in a story or in a poem that Wants it's meant to send your mind like A hyperlink on a website or a web page Back to an earlier part through key

Repeated words or ideas so that you pull Them up and begin to compare and Contrast so how do you know when an Author is giving you the clues to do That versus is that really a connection Or am I just making that one up you're Just forcing it what's the criteria yeah There was some sort of textbook or Something well Um I I wish there was a textbook that Did all of the things that I've learned How to do in different ways from lots of Different books that were all in one Yeah but in in a way Um classroom classes are an exercise in Giving you that tool set especially the Introduction to heat Revival class but The most basic tool the biblical authors Use is repetition The words of words because that's the Medium of these texts these words but Creative repetition is the name of the Game so sometimes it'll be one word Sometimes it'll be a repetition of a Constellation of words or a network of Words sometimes it'll be a repetition of Words but with the letters swapped Around or through wordplay or through Puns So Um it I yeah I get the sense that it's Way deeper than we tend to appreciate For sure the amount of of the way how Much this is happening yeah totally now

Can you think of an example where You have Thought you saw something that wasn't Maybe there or someone came to you or Something and you're like actually no I Don't think that's actually there So here's an example in the story of the Birth and the rescue of Moses when he's A baby you know the famous his mom Um has him and puts him in the Reed Basket in the waters Exodus chapter 2. So there's an interesting turn of phrase Where she um Moses his mom has him And she sees that he was good and she Took him Um so that's exactly the language from The woman at the tree in Eden in Genesis Chapter 3. she saw that it was good and She took but I've been trained that is a Negative thing where she saw and desired Something that she shouldn't have and She does the wrong thing yeah with it But there in Moses's story it's a good Thing she sees that he's good she takes Him and what she does is saves his life And so for the longest time I was Puzzled like is that a connection Because the outcomes are different Um like just because those two words Show up Maybe it isn't always hyperlinking to it Well that was my question I think for a Long time yeah but then what I started To

Notice was in the in between from Genesis 3 to Exodus you can tally up all Of these moments where somebody sees Makes an evaluation about good and bad Takes or gives And so and the biblical authors don't Always mean it negatively sometimes when They make a hyperlink it's the inversion Of it so they see and they take And it's it produces life instead of Depth and I think that's what's Happening here it's an inversion moment Because Dude in the opening chapters of Exodus Chapters 1 and 2 there are seven women Who saved the world wow cool yeah That'll preach the two Hebrew midwives Uh it's like a book title what's that The seven seven women who say did they Do they saved the cosmos dude this is so Awesome okay so it begins with the two Hebrew midwives okay Exodus one one and Two then you have Moses's mom yeah Number three then you have uh he's the One that puts him in the ark she puts Him in the ark then you have uh Moses Sister kind of follows the ark and kind Of yeah then you have Pharaoh's daughter Finds it goes to the river to wash then Pharaoh's daughter sends her female Slave down to go pick up the basket okay And then you have Um his Midian minions Midianites uh wife Moses's wife uh

Sipporah who saves his life In Exodus Exodus chapters one and two and one and Two okay exactly right well so and all Of all of them Have little verbal hyperlinks or word Plays connecting them to Eve oh yeah so I think what's happening because it gets A bad rap oh totally Yeah well yeah she Becomes an archetype of uh human Deception and Folly distorted desire Yeah Um But uh here are seven women who are Being presented as redeemed Eaves yeah In other words they are women who see What the deceiver is doing Pharaoh yeah And then in all these different ways They counter-deceive or deceive the Deceiver that results in the Preservation of life and not the Destruction of life so it's a good Example of I've been staring these two Chapters for decades and it's taken me a Long time to see what's there but now You can see what's there and it's like Oh my gosh and sometimes the clues for Any of these individual you know stories About these seven women will just be one Or two little words that are similar to The Eden store and you're like wow can You hang that much on those but a lot so A lot of times Ben it's about the whole Picture that emerges over time

And as you see a bigger picture in a Section of literary units and you're Like there's no way that that's Coincidental that's for sure on purpose And that's kind of what I found Ben is Sometimes it's one or two little details That let create a link and you're like Well That's in the maybe status in my mind But as you meditate on it more sometimes You find more connections so you put Something in a maybe status yeah and Oftentimes or sometimes those end up Becoming something yeah that's actually There they kind of it most begin as Maybes and then they just kind of build In my notes over time as you reread and Meditate and and then sometimes it just Passes like there's just no there's like Seven keyword links here and two of them Are just there's no way that's Unintentional And then sometimes I'll be reading later In the Torah or in the prophets and There'll be links back To both earlier links where you can see Like your baby links get linked and You're like oh yeah yeah you can see an Author of Judges is making a connection Between Hagar and Passover and the sacrifice of Isaac on in Genesis 22. and all three of Those are being linked to in one place In judges and you're like oh well

There's somebody who saw the hyperlinks Between those earlier stories so I'm not Crazy for seeing them myself So there you go Ben it's not a clean Answer that I just know but it's I think It's the answer that tends to emerge That I am finding for other people too As I read through I mean this is the Classic like are you Exegesis versus icy Jesus kind of thing Like am I pulling out something that's Internal to actually what this text is Doing yeah or am I inserting my ideas Onto them yep and while we're applying Um a very specific methodology that We're saying is native to the way that This text is designed Um Ben's wondering at what point are you Like over ramping that methodology and Almost like breaking it finding its Limits that's right and what I'm hearing You say is it doesn't happen that much Um in your experience and when it does You just go oh well that's a maybe let's Hold it lightly yeah that's right um and Then just kind of see how it pops uh as You continue to do that and that but That's no different just this is gonna Be really nerdy that's no different than How any other hypothesis verification Process works sure in hit in historical Research in the even in the Sciences Yeah you're like I've gotta I don't Really know if anything is real this is

How we do it yeah so yeah yep so in Terms of philosophy you know I I rest my Hat in the ring of critical realism Which is that reality can be known but All of our approaches to it are partial And subjective in ways that we can't Fully always observe and so you know you Put out a hypothesis I think I see this Going on you gather data but an account For counter data until your Paradigm Breaks and you're like okay I'm I gotta Rethink this because the data points all Are pointing in this direction and you Constantly revise And that's how you accumulate knowledge And that is also I think how reading the Torah and the prophets and the writings In the New Testament work and this is The nature of human knowledge yeah okay There you go Ben some I didn't mean to For that to be the biggest can of worms Ever I just I thought we could talk About that in a contained way but I Sprawled all over sorry Uh we have another good question from Christine in Connecticut hi John and Tim My name is Christine and I'm from Hartford Connecticut my question is About blessings What actually makes a set of words that Somebody speaks a blessing who gave the Patriarchs the ability to give out Blessings and why was Isaac constrained From taking back the blessing he gave to

Jacob and giving it to Esau instead Thanks so much guys bye This was a repeated question as we Talked through the stories about Abraham Isaac and Jacob yeah the nature of Blessing And the way that the characters seem to Use and abuse the blessing God gives Them as they pass it on and what are we To make of all that right we get into This even more as we're gonna get into a New theme yes Um next year called the theme of the Firstborn because a lot of it is no Actually this year oh but sorry the Podcast series will release in 2020. Yeah the video video will release videos Come out soon soon yeah there's like This blessing that is like the Eden Blessing or it's also the blessing of Um God going to reverse and confront Evil destroy evil through Humanity Um to bring us back to Eden and there's That blessing Um and then there's also just the Blessing of like hey you're the Patriarch and you get to hand down Um yeah your inheritance To your firstborn child yes and and all Of those are offshoots of the core Concept that I think really where this First unfolds in the seven day creation Narrative is humans as an image of The God Who blesses and gives life yeah so

Humans are enlisted as real partners With God in bringing his life and Blessing and Rule to the world And that you know that's a risky Business to go into a partnership with Somebody especially if you know they're Gonna make foolish decisions So just in the same way that Adam and Eve and Kane and Abel and Abraham and All of them make good and bad decisions With the blessing that God gives them I Think part of that good and bad is Expressed with how they pass it down to The different Generations so so the Question is what makes the Patriarchs Have the ability to bless people and so On one sense they are the family that God chose to make the conduit of his Eden blessing and that is why did God Choose that family they were to the Theme of the firstborn like you're Saying and to God's and we'll get into It I think we get into this question a Lot more in the firstborn Series yeah we Will now one thing you did teach me About blessing that was really helpful Was the first time it shows up is in Genesis one God creates the birds and The fish yep and He blesses them you get The first blessing that's the very first Blessing in the Bible yeah and it's a Very specific blessing that's right it's Multiply be fruitful fruitful multiply Yeah it's a it's abundance the blessing

Is fund experience Abundant Life life That begets life because there's just Enough and so blessing is this idea of There's there's enough and life can Multiply life yep Um and So any because that word becomes very Vague to me like what is a blessing and That's kind of the first question here Is what makes something a blessing yeah And it's it's connecting to the source Of all life if you're telling someone And enacting that I want you to be Connected to the source of all life to Find abundance then you're enacting a Blessing that's right yeah in other Words the words don't have some kind of Magical power it's the words that name a Reality or wish a reality on someone may The source of all life and abundance may His face shine upon you yeah it's yeah Exactly that's exactly right and then God invested that image bearing power to Bless to Um one particular family that both uses And abuses that that responsibility and That's these are the trials and errors Of the family of Abraham in the story So I think that's what's underneath the Story of Isaac And Esau and Jacob is that he is Misusing the blessing Authority that God's given him in that story because He's willing to trade it for his oldest

Son for a bowl of food and that's not What God has planned but there does seem To be some inner narrative logic of like Oh I already give the blessing away I Can't give it away again totally yeah The threat in terms of because the Narrative is all about God keeps Selecting one through whom the promise Of abundance and the promise of a future Seed who will crush the snake And that promised a blessing Can only come through one lineage Because it's tracing an action lineage Behind this question a little bit though Is like doesn't God get to decide that Why are the patriarchals like yes oh I Get oops I gave it to this son yeah Totally yeah yeah yeah yeah and so I Think that's where we're back to God Delegating to real Partners okay okay That's where you started which is a Risky business but it's apparently God Thinks that risk is worse the the Greater end and here we're to you know Much much bigger questions yeah but You're I appreciate that you're asking It Christine because it is a question That comes up a lot for lots of people When they read Genesis and I think what We're rubbing up against is why does God Enlist anybody as an actual partner and Delegate responsibility to them and that Is a great question yeah that I think You have to wrestle with with the

Biblical Portrait of God feels like a Mistake [Laughter] I I understand that and that why so many Of us Feel like the setup even in Eden was Like was that the was that the right way To go about it but that's so here we are The leather rabbit but here we are each Morning waking up with a decision of if We want to become a vehicle of blessing Or curse in the lives of the people Around us and whatever God chose here I Am today in this moment with a decision In front of me and That's what the biblical authors want us To really think about too Thank you Christine Um Carl you've got a question uh you're From Wisconsin what's your question hi Friends Carl from Middleton Wisconsin Here I have two questions in the creation Account in the Genesis scroll no Covenant is ever explicitly made between God and humans why then when the humans Eat from the Tree of Good and Evil is There a curse furthermore why is it the Ground that has to Bear the curse and Not Humanity itself thanks Okay yeah two good interrelated Questions about the opposite of Christine's question which was about Blessing this one's about curse if if

The whole setup to the story of Adam and Eve and God and the garden is about all Humanity yeah and God and the first Covenant relationship why is the word Covenant not used yeah it's a good that Is a great question that actually is a Whole rabbit hole because whenever God Engages a human as a partner after the Garden of Eden the word and the Formalized relationship of a covenant is Always focused is first used in the Story of Noah or after the flood God Makes a covenant because of what Noah Has done he makes a covenant with Noah And his family and all creation To never send flood again then there's The Covenant with Abraham that gets Deepened with and repeated with Isaac Jacob and then with the Israelites of Mount Sinai and so on so but but Covenant is about formalizing drawing up The terms I see of a relationship and so The question is but wasn't there a Formal term eat of all the trees and Enjoy them just not this one yeah which Is taking good and bad your own too yes The Eden relationship between God and Humans has all of the elements of what Will appear later in Covenant Relationships it's just the word Covenant is not used and the question is Is it just taken for granted or is there A reason that it's not used and this is A much longer conversation I've at least

For a time a couple years now have Become persuaded that it's intentional Intentionally withheld intentionally Withheld because I believe the fact that The Covenant is introduced after the Flood is trying to communicate that form A formalized relationship where you sign On the dotted line and agree to with Benefits ancient treaty kind of thing Yeah that it's a tree it's God's triage Mechanism the first one was hang out With me in the garden yeah and just Listen to my words trust my wisdom let's Go for walks together and Um we don't have to formalize this thing And I think that is what um Jeremiah is Referring to when he talks about the New Covenant and you won't need anybody to Teach you Because the God's instruction will be Written on the heart yeah so he uses the Word covenant to describe that new setup But then when he describes it he Describes about something that's Informal that's deeply intimate yeah That you don't need somebody to remind You of the Covenant curses of the Torah To motivate you to do God's will because You'll just want to do it so I think It's intentional and so so the reason Why that's relevant to to the curse then Is that blessing and curse is brought in For Covenant language later but the Blessing is not contingent on human

Obedience the blessing he had just shows Up and humans get to enjoy it yes the Blessing precedes human obedience And so it's not about if you obey the Divine word then you get blessing it's Because of the Divine that's where you Are enjoy the blessing yes and your Continued enjoyment of it is in your Hands and so their blessing and curse Take on more Cosmic terms where living By the Divine will means that I continue To enjoy Eden blessing Um and if I choose to Forfeit it Then I in what I will bring upon myself Is the opposite of blessing yeah which Is curse and so it is interesting you're Right Carl that um the man and the woman Are not cursed it's the snake in the Ground yeah that are cursed it's only After the first murder of Adam and Eve's Children right Cain Cain is the first Human that's cursed from the ground and Then he's exiled to the east so there's Something about blessing and curse that Get what he made they get turned Cosmic As images of life and death Blessing and curse good and bad which is What Moses makes all those connections At the end of Deuteronomy so But they're not covenantally contingent In the Eden narrative you get the Blessing in life and good because God Loves to get good gifts But you can forfeit it in which case you

Will bring on yourself the opposite of All those things And once that happens then what God does Is start arranging Covenant Relationships with all of that as Conditional consequences blessing or Curse which you know is like a repair Mechanism but it's not the ideal yeah Triage I like that uh now we kind of Glossed over it the humans aren't cursed After that the land is cursed the snake Is cursed but then you said that in the Story of Cain he's cursed cursed and I Don't remember that cursed are you from The ground oh interesting so why does it Escalate like that Why does it not start with a curse for Humanity and would make sense I mean oh Yeah they broke the totally my hunch is That it's well not my hunch I think it's A sign of Mercy yeah because if were he To curse Adam and Eve uh then they would Be bound to the whole project bounded The whole Project's over but because Kane is cursed because he took a life I Think when him being cursed sets his Lineage on a path towards death which it Will in the flood yeah an escalation of Violence okay with Lemak and then the Nephilim It All Leads to the flood Whereas Adam and Eve's line through Seth Leads to the continued life of the snake Crusher okay which God says that's what Actually he says about the man and the

Woman is that you'll have seed that will Give birth to the snake Crusher so I Think it's interesting Adam and Eve Aren't cursed Humanity would just be Yeah it would be over game over correct But when we get to Cain and Abel Kane well that well and then becomes Kane and Seth yeah Cain chooses the Cursed path but but there's still a line Of humanity that doesn't yeah so Kane is Cursed not Adam and Eve uh and then the Ground is cursed and not Adam and Eve But remember there's a close Relationship because the ground is Adama Yeah Hebrew and human is Adam Adam comes From the Adama For Life yeah correct and his Blessing Was abundance of multiplication then Curse is all about scarcity and famine And scarcity is you know what the curse On the ground is about yeah so it's a Curse that affects the humans yeah but It's not a curse on the humans as such At least not right then because what God Says is you're gonna have children which Is a sign of blessing multiplication and One of those children will be the snake Crusher Yeah so yeah great thank you Carl all Right let's move on to Exodus Let's uh Go to a question from militia uh from Arizona hi Tim and John it's militia From Phoenix Arizona Exodus 14 reminds Me of Genesis 15 when at night Yahweh in

The form of smoke and fire pass through The Animal House to demonstrate his Covenant with Abram there are similar And inverted language and images that Connect these two passages however what Is the significance of the people Passing through the death Waters versus Yahweh passing through the dead animals Thank you that's interesting yeah very Provocative yes it's actually a good Example of back up to Ben's first Question yeah of how do you know are we Going too far here militia yeah So let's um pay attention there's two Stories one is Genesis 15. where what Abraham is saying actually he's still Abram Um is you promised me a big family so I Moved out to this new new part of the Country And still don't have a big family so Um in a way what he's look and he's like I'm old so he's looking at his coming Death And he has this nice man named aliaser Who will inherit the estate but lock but That's not his kid that's not you said I'd have children So he always says I'm gonna give you a Big family and Abraham trusts that Promise God says I'm going to give you the this Land for that family and Abraham's like Really I'm not sure

And so then God says do this Covenant Ceremony so Abraham splits these animals In half to create a bloody aisle like You do and then Yahweh shows up for the First time in Fire and smoke what do you Mean he shows up for the first time ah In the biblical story so he showed up in The Wind of the day in Eden hmm with Adam and Eve ate them from the Forbidden Tree but this is the first time Yahweh Shows up well and there's this Cosmic Appearance of fire and smoke okay And what Yahweh does is Abraham passes Out And he's silent and asleep on on the Side and Yahweh goes through the bloody Aisle of the severed halves of animals Yes and what he says is you're gonna Have that fan of that family and that Family is gonna leave the land and Become enslaved to another people group For a long time but I will bring Justice And deliver them in the future So it actually predicts and anticipates The Exodus story so when you get all the Way forward to the Exodus story and the Israelites have escaped Egypt after Passover they're at the shore of the sea And it's night time just like with Abraham and Yahweh through Moses splits The waters okay it's the culmination of The thing that Yahweh predicted when he Passed through oh the the bloody halves And so the people go through and lo and

Behold who and what is leading them yeah Fire this fiery pillar of cloud and Smoke It's the same thing except what's Passing through is Yahweh with his People hmm going through the middle People aren't passed out this time They're marching through yeah totally so Actually and sorry the symbolism of Yahweh passing through the bloody Animals And the meaning of that symbolism Doesn't actually get unpacked until this Interesting little corner of the Jeremiah scroll Which talks about that same ceremony and As a way of symbolically it was a Covenant ceremony where the two partners Would walk down the aisles and reference The fact that either of us breaks this Agreement May Our Fate be like these Animals I see you make you make a Covenant with someone you walk through The dead animals that are severed on Either side of you yeah you're like this Is how serious we're taking this yeah Totally so I actually that's crucially Important I can't believe I forgot that In other words the animals are like Death death on one side death on the Other side okay and we walk down the Middle together now here comes we could Have thought of a different way to do This it's really it's really that poor

Ox I know just straight up severed in Half I mean to really think about what That involved like Abraham was Bloody by The end of like setting up that little Ceremony yeah so gnarly sonar no wonder He passed out yeah I've never thought of that anyhow Um so death on either side so when you Get to the walls of water on either side Death on either side but the question is What do the bloody animals have to do With the walls of water like it should I Join those in my mind like that's so Weird So you have to you have to just put a Maybe on the table militia let's start With maybe there's a connection okay I'm Thinking of our question with that too So Um how many stories Do you have where Yahweh appears in a Pillar of fire cloud and smoke leading Them through some narrow place in Between something oh that's interesting Two You know like these two stories you have Yahweh's pillar of cloud and smoke Leading them through the Wilderness yeah So in that sense there's death and Desolation on the round yeah but in Terms of through a narrow place like an Aisle yeah And you've got two so that's interesting So then usually if there's a really

Potent image like that then usually That's the author's way of inviting you To meditate on these two stories and Find other connections they both take Place at night they both take place when God's chosen one is in a helpless State At the end of themselves yes yeah Um God sends a deep sleep on Abraham he Tells Israelites to stand by and be Silent little Echoes like that so that's What I mean like this is actually a Great example oh and remember what God Said would happen to his family Yeah God shows up with Abraham he Predicts what then happens with Israel In The Exodus yeah and going through the Waters is the culmination of the events That Yahweh predicted when he passed Through the aisle so I think then the Narrator really does want us to see These two passages through death Um maybe what's also significant is a Difference That God himself and Only God went Through the bloody animals And he made his Covenant partner pass Out yeah so as to like spare him Whereas uh he leads he goes with the People through the waters and delivers Them from the certain death that they Would have experienced if he wasn't with Them So this also sets up a motif On and through the Torah and profits of

Yahweh's saving or delivering people in The narrow place or in the in-between Place There's a number of biblical stories David and Goliath Yes in a valley is in this Valley and There's all these narrative details Depicting on like on the one side and on The other side is this and it's it's the Same language as the wall of water on The one side the wall of water on the Other side So I think it becomes a motif of Salvation in the narrow place That actually begins all the way back With Abraham so there you go cool yeah Good work militia yeah nice work Okay what another one let's keep going Okay uh we've got a question from This is Kari from Washington DC hey Tim And John this is Kari from Washington DC Reading Exodus and numbers this year I Noticed that God requires the firstborn Be redeemed saying they belong to him Ever since the tenth plague this is Described in Exodus 13 11 to 16. the Levites in particular also seem to get Caught up in this whole thing in numbers Three What happened during the tenth plague That made this ongoing Redemption Necessary and honestly when every other Instance of the word redeem seems like a Rescue how am I supposed to think about

People being redeemed from God Do we talk about this in all this word No but it's a great question that's why Yeah so in other words Um the night of passover okay tenth Plague yeah all the times but one when Yahweh describes what's going to happen He says I'm going to pass through the Land and I will strike the firstborn Yeah But one of those one time Exodus 12 23 24 Yahweh says uh I am going to passage Over the door and I won't allow the Destroyer all right to enter in and Strike the firstborn and that Hebrew Word pesach gets translated in our English translations that's Passover Which raises this huge interesting Debate about what is the meaning of the Word Passover Um because it seems to mean the opposite Of Passover passed through because what He says is I'll do this activity over The door That will protect that house and won't Allow a striking to take place and it Also it's the one time where it seems Like there's some death force that is The actual thing that strikes yeah and Yahweh's relationship to that death Force Is whether he will stand in the way to Defend that house or not and the house Is that he will protect or defend

Are the ones with the blood of the Pesach Lamb on them so that's the Picture yeah of Passover So when Yahweh says I will strike that's A way of describing Whether or not Yahweh will hand that House over to a force of Destruction on The night of passover yeah that makes Sense right and so actively striking but Not standing in the Gap totally this Goes back to blessing and curse it's Sort of like when when Yahweh is Actively bringing his life-sustaining Presence of abundance and blessing you Get blessing but if Yahweh were to Withdraw yeah take his hand off the Wheel take his hand off the wheel then Creation goes back to the dark disorder And Chaos from which it emerged in Genesis 1 verse 2. the dark formless and Void and there's some sort of Force that does that a dark Sinister Force yeah so here's what's fascinating And Kari we'll get to your question but This is all important set up to it when Yahweh describes Passover as allowing The Destroyer to enter in and strike the Firstborn that word Destroyer Is the same exact word used to describe The Waters of the flood in the flood Story they're called The Waters that Bring destruction or that destroy And the flood is actually a set on Analogy in all these parallels between

The ark which is the word house Backwards really Tava okay and then the House for Passover habayat it's exactly The same letters just switched around And both are marked with a sign Um for Noah it's the rainbow After the Flood for the Passover house it's the Blood over the door both are places Where a sacrificial animal is offered Um Noah offers his outside the door of The Ark when he gets off the boat so There's all these parallels between the Ark was this little Refuge of life when The destroying Waters that strike all Life yeah it's the words destroy and Strike well so Passover is depicted as a Flood hmm and what we know about the Flood set on analogy the flood we know The flood was very similar if humans Release so Much Death into the land Yahweh allowed the cosmos to implode on Itself but he staked out a little place Of Refuge in life similarly The Passover is depicted as this Cosmic Handing over of Egypt to forces of death But any house that's marked with the Blood Yahweh will pesach Defend that house and not allow the Death to enter in so if that's true then What that means in the story is that Every firstborn of that generation owes Their lives to Yahweh for standing in Front of the door and blocking the death Force from entering

And so that's the whole thing about the Redemption of the firstborn So every generation of Israel after that Exists because of that first generation Of redemption meaning oh yes that Firstborn Was destined for death yes but God stood In the Gap and he protected that Firstborn yeah so the redeem yeah it's Literally to purchase A slave's Freedom that's what the word Literally means slavery becomes an image Slavery to death to slavery to death Which is literally what Israel talks About or oh well it's what the Israelites were enslaved to in Egypt Okay yeah to pharaoh and death Pharaoh's Death regime and Paul later sees this on A cosmic level yeah which is why he uses Exodus language to describe the new Creation So Redemption means to be purchased so That you are transitioned out of a state Of enslavement to death into a a realm Of Life yeah and freedom okay Um so the firstborn is redeemed yeah From Death on the night of passover but If that's true then every generation That follows owes its life to that first Redemption sure and so Passover was a Meal where you retell the story but the Redemption of every firstborn of every Family throughout their history going on From here is also another way of saying

Our people owes their their lives to the Sparing of the firstborn so will you ask Curry was So are the firstborn being rescued from God right or are they being rescued from The darkness Force correct so this Actually really relates to Modern Discussions about atonement and the Meaning of Jesus death and God's Wrath And all of that and so when the biblical Authors use Redemption language what we Are rescued from is not from God we are Rescued from Death God rescues from Death yeah and I think the complexity For us is but the reason why they're Enslaved to death is because God has Handed over Egypt to the death forces Right God handed creation over to the Flood and so in that sense It's Yahweh allowing it yeah Um but it's Yahweh handing creation over To death but he is simultaneously Offering for any who want to take refuge In the house or in the ark or to be Redeemed yeah and so the way the Biblical authors see that is what Paul Says like in Romans 8 when he thinks of The cosmic rescue in light of Jesus what He says is creation is in slavery not to God it's in slavery to death and Decay And futility and what God provides is Redemption unto life and so creation Will be liberated from its bondage to Decay and that's how the apostles see

God's role not being rescued from God But God is The Rescuer from death So I think that's how the apostles Understand all this imagery of Redemption and Passover in Exodus and Numbers about the firstborn so that Makes sense yeah totally yeah yeah and So when she says Every Generation Um needs to be rescued Um it seems like there's there's an Active continual participation in the Story of saying I want to be part of This Legacy yeah of God rescuing Um that we still stand between life and Death with the choice yep to opt in or Out to like have God stand in the gap For us or not and that's the sense of Continuing to be redeemed totally yep And that's what passover's annual Repetition was about it's what the Redemption of every firstborn was about And then Jesus of course timed his death To take place during Passover yeah Um which is what transformed and Developed into the Eucharist and Community taking the bread in the cup And so that is also Uh Mark of the house yeah it's a Messianic Passover participation about Um Allowing God to redeem me renewing my Commitment to being Redeemed by God from This slavery and forces of death yeah Yeah cool yeah All right so we've hit a lot of Genesis

We've hit some of Exodus uh that carried In Leviticus to the degree that and we Didn't talk about this in her question Though Um was the whole discussion of the Levites being swapped out correct and Saying they're now which oh it's dense It's a dense kind of idea yeah that all Of Israel Or the firstborn were now to be set Aside yeah but Israel becomes that so I Don't know yeah all the redeemed First-born sons from that generation Were swapped out for the Levites yeah And so the Levites become the Representative Representatives of all of Israel Whose lives exist only because of Yahweh And so that who gets selected yeah to Work in and around the Tabernacle which Means that these are the people whose Lives exist only because of yahweh's Act Of Passover on Passover night and so When they when that crew Rebels In the wilderness wanderings you're just Like oh this is This is really not but in a way every Every life is due to God constantly Standing in the gap for us correct so What this is saying is that's true in a General sense it gets but in a deeper or In a more And even a more meaningful sense not More meaningful but

More it's symbolic representation Symbolic I mean the Levites represent All the tribes in the high priest from Among the Levites represents Levites and All the tribes which represent all Humanity and all the way down okay I Think we have time for one more question Yeah okay Um this one from Naomi is really cool It's long but it's about Two ways of viewing sacrificial animals And when she saw a different way it just Transformed her view that sounds nice Okay all right So uh there's a question from Naomi uh Who's asking about the meaning of Sacrifices sacrificial animals in the Book of Leviticus hi Bible project this Is Naomi from Scotland here I found it Very powerful when there was the Description of the laying off on of Hands onto the blameless lamb or cow and There was that transference Between the Israelite who is offering The sacrifice and the the lamb and what I just wanted clarification on was is it That the lamb representative which was Spotless and blameless then my sin is Transferred onto that lamb and then that Gets burned up on the offering or was it That it enables me to be in relationship With God because Um I have gone before God's spotless and Blameless in place of the Lamb if that

Makes sense so was it that I'm Transferring my sin and giving that over To God on the altar or is it that I'm Coming before God as the Spotless Lamb On the Altar and that would really help If you could clarify that for me thank You you get quite confusing Yes I can Naomi yeah yes it can but but You're right that's a big difference Restate the difference for me okay so so At root Naomi is what you're asking is What does it mean this repeated ritual Laying of hand of laying of the hands on An animal and then it is offered up to Yahweh and smoke the smoke of this Blameless animal Rises up into the skies Yeah is the idea that my sin is Transferred onto the animal and so it's Being punished right and dying on my Behalf right Or is it a transfer of representation of Impurity coming to me yeah so that it Becomes me and my and I become it and It's righteous blamelessness Can now go up into the heavens in the Form of smoke and appeal to God yeah for On my behalf um is it the death right That's transferred symbolically or is it Life and righteousness and Purity that's Transferred symbolically that's the Difference and that's a pretty big Difference man it is and I feel like the Sunday School answer was always I'm Putting my sin on Jesus and then he is

Paying the consequences of that sin so Before we go to the Jesus symbolism okay Let's just stick within Leviticus and we Actually did talk about this but I think It's so I remember this when this Shifted for me it it was a game changer So if you look within Leviticus the Laying on of hands happens with these Atonement sacrifices of atonement your Sins yeah Um the animal without blemish yep no it It doesn't say in Leviticus one through Seven what the meaning of the hand Transfer images we called it the hand Press or the double hand press no it's The single hand this is the single yeah On the day of atonement there are two Goats right selected and and this one Feels like it becomes clear that one go Actually gets yep the sin put on it one Goat gets a double hand press double Head press the priest confesses the sins Of Israel and places them on the goat But that logo doesn't get sacrificed That goat yes goes out into the Wilderness exactly to get exiled so that It's a little set of details is so Important the other set of details That's so important is that the hand Pressing ritual Is also used not for animals but for People it's the same phrase used for When Moses puts his hands on Joshua or When Paul says he laid his hands on

Timothy yeah it's about appointing a Representative So if that's what's happening In other words if that's what's Happening then the logic of the hand Pressing on the animal is about a Transfer of identity and representation But there's two different ways that Identity can be transferred my sinful Identity transferred onto the animal That's the scapegoat yeah or my identity That God wants to give me of being a Blameless person who can then rise up to God yeah is another way that can be yeah Established yeah so it seems like what The hand transfers the hand placing is Doing is saying that I'm appointing this One as my representative Moses to Joshua Paul to Timothy the worshiper to the Animal now what that animal now does as Me yeah is one unique thing about the Animal is this tamim which is the Hebrew Word for without any blemish yeah or as Referred to as humans it would be Righteous moral yeah moral blamelessness That's right and so and remember also Leviticus is the blood is life The blood is the life principle yeah and That's why symbolically the blood is you Know sprinkled about the blood is Brought in to the holy of holies and so When the animal is transferred up via Smoke up into the heavens it goes before God's Heavenly Temple of throne and its

Blamelessness speaks for me and God says That it's a like a wonderful fragrance Yeah and it smells when there is a Righteous blameless one who surrenders Everything in an act of total surrender Then that's what that that's what all This is okay so at the crutch of this is Then is that animal being punished on Your behalf or is the symbol being about How You're gonna have to go through death And how's it going to go down And this animal is going through death Up into God's throne And it's pleasing Aroma to God and it Gets access to God's throne and so You're celebrating that somehow I'm Going to get access to God's Throne yeah That's right and the way that that Happens is through my actual surrender Of something valuable and then that Something valuable surrenders its life In place of me Um but remember the way back into Eden Which is where that animal is going Through the smoke is up into the Heavenly Temple it's ascending the Holy Hill yeah and there's a serious looking Bouncers at the door with carrying a Sword that's on fire yeah okay on fire Yeah just like on the altar okay how are You gonna pass through the fire how are You gonna pass through the fire so it's All it's all a powerful not just symbol

But it's a symbol pointing to reality That Um my mortal body is on its way to Giving out and I will pass through pass By the fiery sword at some point and What is my posture towards the one who's Given me life and if it's the one of Surrender that I have enacted through The offering of of this one Then it can appeal to God on my behalf I Think that's what this is about so it Death is Not absent from the story but It doesn't have this active role of Punishing the animal and killing it but There is a famous sacrifice yeah of Surrender of surrender surrender of life And that the righteous one the servant Like what does it mean to be a truly Righteous person that serves it's a Surrendered life yes and the climactic Surrendered servant is going to Uh surrender to the point of death and That's in one sense tragic because death Is tragic but because the person is a Truly blameless person they can Transcend through death to the throne of God yep be transformed that's right so What Leviticus in its presentation of These atoning sacrifices is doing is Setting up The need because what animals do is they Can create this symbolic Experience where the worshiper can Posture themselves before God but what

We know about the narratives on both Sides of Mount Sinai is the people who Are making all these offerings before And after are really screwed up and Foolish and rebellious like Adam and Eve And so what if animals Psalm 40 like What if animals can't actually fix the Core problem what you need is like Psalm 40. somebody who says behold it is Written about me in the scroll I Delight In doing your will doing God's desire Um and that one will come and surrender Surrender themselves wholly over to God A suffering servant now so Jesus is the Ultimate suffering servant who is the Ultimate blameless human yeah who Ultimately Rose to ascend to God through His suffering yep and that we can be Connected to Jesus like as our Representative as a representative yes So that we too can Ascend Um it's beautiful now there's so much Language Around Jesus dying for my sins Yeah that that phrase makes just is so Connected to this idea of Jesus punished For my sin yeah yeah like help me Reorient to the phrase where's that Phrase come from yeah and like oh where The phrase comes from is exactly the Ritual that we've been describing the Ritual we just described yeah is in Leviticus what it means to die for the Sins of another hmm because the animal Dies

It's death it's it's intercessor it's Surrender gendering on behalf death is The surrender of life and what did Adam And Eve not do they didn't surrender What their version of life was they Rather took because they saw that it was Good to take a version of life that was Good in their own eyes and so if I'm Willing to surrender a life Um then Yahweh can work with such a Person but the problem is none of us Want to surrender Our Lives Right so I think I mean for a righteous Man someone might yeah yeah Dare To Die Um but God demonstrates his own love for Us and this and so yeah Jesus died for Our sins and that is the reference to This Ritual we've been describing now what we Haven't talked about is on the day of Atonement there is that one animal that Does get the sins transferred onto it Yeah the scapegoat it would be a Contradiction of the whole meaning of The situation for that one to go up to God that's the goat that's left alive And exiled Into the Wilderness right and Jesus has set on analogy to both animals In the letter to the Hebrews okay he's The one the righteous representative who Ascends up and he atones in Hebrews he Atones for our sins when he presents his Life before God in the Heavenly Temple That's a pleasing Aroma yeah this is

Interesting the emphasis on Jesus's Death in Hebrews is that that's his Surrender so that he can make atonement By entering the Heavenly Temple so Resurrection and atonement happens in The Heavenly temple in Hebrews okay it's Interest but then at the end of Hebrews The author Likens Jesus also to the one Who was exiled outside the city and died Outside the city and there he's also Portraying Jesus as the goat that was Exiled out of the camp So Jesus is both he's both goats But the function of death has it it's Not that death is absent I'm not trying To erase death as a consequence of sin Right but I'm just trying to understand The role that death plays And the emphasis that it plays in the Way the biblical authors construct the Scenario and it's slightly different and It's so easy to be misunderstood that It's usually described in a shorthand of God's perfect you're not he has to kill Somebody he'll kill the substitute Instead of killing you and it's just Like man that that's a that's a way that I was introduced with that kind of Summary to the good news about Jesus and It's like the all those elements are There in Leviticus and in how the Apostle saw Leviticus but it's sort of Like the way the story is put together And the things that are being emphasized

And not retelling I think don't reflect Faithfully what Leviticus or the Apostles are trying to turn our Attention to yeah when when Paul says This is the gospel that the Messiah died For our sins according to the scriptures According to scripture means go to Leviticus and meditate on what it means For one to die for the sins of another Well then yes Just figure that all out yeah totally Well thanks Naomi that oh it's good to Yes refocus on that yeah um it's a good Place to stop yeah it brought us to Jesus it brought us to the what I mean What all this lit what this is doing is We didn't get to experience that as Ancient Israelites going into the Tabernacle doing this but we get to buy Proxy through these stories through These laws get to experience it yeah um And then reflect on it Um as something that points to Jesus Yeah Um and what a what a great way to stop Um okay yeah we are man we are just Rounding the corner to the end of this Year and what we wanted to do was one Final celebratory episode to Mark the End of this journey through the Torah Yep that's right yeah so we're gonna It's a little special conversation that We're gonna have next about some the way The Torah transitions in into the

Prophets and the writings And well we'll just we'll take you on an Adventure in the next episode but uh This is our last q r in the Torah series For the year 2022 Um you guys thank you for your questions Throughout the year your enthusiasm and Support Um the Bible project exists because of All of the uh generosity of uh you Patrons among the the podcast listening Audience and we're just so grateful we Couldn't do this without you wouldn't Want to and thanks for being part of This with us [Music] Hi this is Shannon and I'm from the Philippines hi this is Doug from Spokane Washington I first heard about the Bible Project about three years ago when I was Looking for new podcasts they were Pretty high in the charts I use Bible Project for getting context right for Help in interpretation that would be Hard otherwise and for a fresh Perspective to see God's word in a Different angle my favorite part about The Bible project is that John and Tim Are super amazing in their conversations And just so curious and love to learn How clear and accessible the resource Sources are and each one is a solid Entry point when it comes to digging Deeper into scripture we believe the

Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus we're a crowdfunded project by People like me find free videos study Notes podcasts classes and more at Bibleproject.com [Music] Foreign [Music] [Music]

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