A Chiasm in Genesis 7:20-24 on the Death of All Life


This chiasm is bracketed by the waters prevailing above the whole earth measured in space on one side and time on the other, and centered on the death of all life.

Chiasm on Matza and Houses in Exodus 12:18-22

Keep this out of the house. Keep yourself inside the house.
Cut that person off. Kill this lamb.
Don't eat that. Eat this.


Exodus 12:18-22

  • V18-19a – A time in which something is not to be found in your house
    • V19b – If anyone eats leavened bread, he is to be cut off from the people
      • V20a – Don’t eat anything leavened
        • V20b – In your houses
      • V20c – Eat unleavened bread
    • V21 – The elders of the people are to select lambs according to the families and kill them.
  • V22 – A time in which you are not to be found outside your house
Tangent: Many English translations of this passage make it appear that there is a switch from singular to plural in verse 21: select the "lambs" and then kill the "lamb". This is misleading because only the first instance, the plural, actually uses the Hebrew word for lamb, which is tson, a collective noun. The singular of "Passover lamb" only uses the Hebrew word for Passover, which is pesach. The word "lamb" in the latter instance has been inserted by many translators.

Parallels Between Transfiguration and the Wedding at Cana

Check out these parallels between the Transfiguration on the Mount and the Wedding at Cana.

The Transfiguration is described in Matthew 17:1-13, Mark 9:2-13, and Luke 9:28-36. The Wedding at Cana in Galilee is described in John 2:1-12.

Giving of the Law Transfiguration on the Mount Wedding at Cana in Galilee
On the 3rd day After 6 days After 3 days
Moses went up the mountain with Joshua. Jesus went up the mountain with Peter, James, and John. Jesus went to the wedding with his mother Mary and his disciples.
The Law was given on Mount Sinai, probably in Arabia, not the Sinai Peninsula. The Transfiguration probably took place on Mount Tabor in Galilee. The Wedding took place at Cana in a valley near Mount Tabor.
Moses said, "Listen to the prophet to come." God said, "Listen to him." Mary said, "Listen to him."
Moses was transfigured. Jesus was transfigured. Water was transfigured.
Hebrews fell on their faces, terrified. Disciples were very tired, but later fell on their faces, terrified. The wedding guests had "well drunk."
The glory of God appeared. The glory of God appeared. Jesus manifested his glory.
Moses came down the mountain with Joshua and the tablets. Jesus came down the mountain with his disciples. Jesus went to Capernaum with his mother, brothers, and disciples.
? The disciples kept silent. The servants kept silent.
? Jesus said not to speak of it until after the resurrection. Jesus asked Mary why she involved him since his time had not yet come.

The primary point of the Transfiguration seems to be to demonstrate to Yeshua's inner circle that he was the prophet Moses had promised in Deuteronomy 18:15, but I don't know why there are so many parallels with the wedding at Cana. There are too many elements in common for this not to be significant. Sinai was a wedding and the Covenant a marriage ketubah. I'm sure there must be a clue there.

Individual Attention


A chiasm in Numbers 4:49 emphasizes that Moses assigned a specific task to each of the 8,580 Levites counted in the census of men from 30-50 years old.
  • According to the commandment of YHVH through Moses
    • They were listed
      • Each one with his task of serving or carrying
    • They were listed by him
  • As YHVH commanded Moses 


Have the Dietary Laws Outlived Their Purpose? a dialogue

Friend: When the Lord removes and nullifies the purpose of a Law, does it also remove and nullify the existence and enforcement of the same Law?
 I think it's a very dangerous thing to suppose that God has removed or nullified the purpose of a law unless He explicitly says so. God's Law is very elegant (I'm an IT person, so forgive me if I'm not using the word "elegant" the same way most people do), in that it doesn't waste words, but makes every word serve multiple purposes. (See here for something I wrote on that last year: http://www.americantorah.com/2016/05/13/the-elegance-and-depth-of-torah/). If we say that the purpose for any particular commandment has been removed, we are supposing first, that we understand every purpose that God described, and, second, that God described every purpose for that commandment. Neither supposition is warranted unless God explicitly said so, and I'm not aware of anywhere in Scripture where He did that.

(Usual objection: Thus he declared all foods clean..." Context, context, context. But that's for another post.)
Friend: Leviticus 20:24-26 is the passage of scripture that defines the law concerning unclean foods and its purpose:
 Is it? From Leviticus 11:

  • "they are an abomination to you..."
  • "They shall be an abomination to you..."
  • "you shall regard their carcasses as an abomination..."
  • "they shall not be eaten, they are an abomination..."
  • "shall be an abomination to you..."
  • "By these you shall become unclean..."
  • "It is unclean to you...."
  • "These also shall be unclean to you..."
  • "these you shall not eat, for they are an abomination..."
  • Etc.

There are multiple passages that define clean vs unclean animals including the whys and wherefores
Friend: Leviticus 20: 24-26 says, "But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the LORD your God, which have separated you from other people. Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean. And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the LORD am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine."
As stated in the passage above, the only purpose the Lord stated for not eating certain foods (ie. "unclean meats") was for Israelites to remember to separate themselves from the Gentiles. 
From Leviticus 11, you can see that that isn't entirely accurate. God also said he didn't want them to eat unclean animals because they are "abominable" and "unclean". Apparently, there's something about their meat that God really doesn't like.

But about that separation... Paul wrote, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:2) In other words, God wants us to be separate from the unbelieving world, just like He told the Israelites in the Wilderness. Even if that were the only purpose for the commandment--which it isn't--how then can we say that the purpose (separation from the world) has been removed when Paul said that the purpose of separation from the world still remains?

Paul also said that the distinction between Jew and Gentile is removed in Christ, which is what God told Peter also. But did either of them say that the distinction between believer and unbeliever has been removed in Christ so that the unrepentant and rebellious sinner is just as "saved" and part of the Kingdom as the repented and submissive servant of God? No, of course not. The distinction hasn't been removed, but amplified. We are to be in the world so that we can serve God in it, but separated in our behaviors and attitudes.

"11 Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh—who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands— 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ." (Ephesians 2:11-13)

In Ephesians 2 and in Romans 11, Paul says that believing gentiles have been grafted into the tree of Israel, not the other way around. If we are to be separate from the world and if we are now made part of Israel, how exactly has the need for separation been removed? It hasn't in any way.
Friend: Let us keep this passage in mind as we consider Peter's explanation of his vision as described in Acts 10:9-17; In Acts 11, Peter explains his vision to the other brothers in Jerusalem:
"And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them. But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them, saying, I was in the city of Joppa praying: and in a trance I saw a vision, A certain vessel descend, as it had been a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came even to me: Upon the which when I had fastened mine eyes, I considered, and saw fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air. And I heard a voice saying unto me, Arise, Peter; slay and eat. But I said, Not so, Lord: for nothing common or unclean hath at any time entered into my mouth. But the voice answered me again from heaven, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common. And this was done three times: and all were drawn up again into heaven. And, behold, immediately there were three men already come unto the house where I was, sent from Caesarea unto me. And the Spirit bade me go with them, nothing doubting. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered into the man's house: And he shewed us how he had seen an angel in his house, which stood and said unto him, Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon, whose surname is Peter; Who shall tell thee words, whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God? When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life."
And that is exactly my point. Peter explains the vision. No one whom God has cleansed and brought near (adopted into the commonwealth of Israel) should be kept out by man-made traditions and ceremonies that God didn't command. All who call on the name of Jesus and repent from their sins are made clean and whole, no matter who their parents were, and no one has the authority to exclude them. This was the point of Peter's dream, not what a person should or shouldn't eat. God used unclean animals to illustrate the point because Peter was thinking of fellowship with men in the same category as eating unclean animals.

Why Is Rosh Hashanah Called Rosh Hashanah


The Feast of Trumpets (aka Rosh Hashanah) begins at sunset tonight (9/20/2017)!

Rosh Hashanah means "head of the year". On the Hebrew calendar, it's the first day of the month of Tishri. Although i's popularly known as the Jewish New Year, any rabbi will tell you that the actual beginning of the year is 6 months earlier on the first day of the month of Nisan. Biblically, Tishri 1 is called Yom Teruah, which literally means "Day of Shouting", but is more commonly translated as "Feast of Trumpets".

So why is this day called Rosh Hashanah or New Years?

1. It's thought to be the anniversary of the creation of Adm and Eve.
2. Debts are to be forgiven, slaves released, and family land restored in the month of Tishri.
3. The shemitah year is counted from the month of Tishri.
4. Traditionally, kings were coronated on this date.
5. Prophetically, Yom Teruah signifies the start of the reign of Messiah on earth.

Every culture maintains multiple annual cycles without contradiction. In America, we have fiscal years, election years, and school years. Even though the school year for the class of 2018 starts in September of 2017, everyone knows that New Years Day is January 1st and nobody gets them confused.

A Little More on the Name of God

Accents & pronunciations change over time. Even if you know exactly how a word was spelled three hundred years ago, you cannot know exactly how it was pronounced. For example, Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders, and Brits, who were once a single people and still speak the same language, all pronounce the same letters differently. If you picked up an English text written by a 17th century Virginia planter you could not pronounce the written words exactly as he did, even though you could read and understand them plainly.

No consider the tetragrammaton, YHVH. If a little time and geography make it impossible for English speakers today to know exactly how a familiar English word was pronounced just three centuries ago, how much more is it impossible for English speakers today to know how a Hebrew word was spoken two or three thousand years ago? It's not just a different language separated by millennia. It's an entirely different alphabet with no vowels! Even if we could be 100% confident about what vowels should go between the consonants, nobody alive can know exactly how to pronounce the consonants, let alone the assumed vowels.

There are only two ways to know how to pronounce YHVH for certain: 1) Go back in time and hear it pronounced by Yeshua or one of the prophets; 2) Get a direct revelation from YHVH himself.

Anything else is just academic speculation and anyone who tells you otherwise is just blowing hot air.