The Shofar Newsletter
THE SHOFAR Newsletter of Bet Yeshurun Messianic Assembly
Good News for the Assembly of Bet Yeshurun
No. 1110 / November 30, 2019
Schedule of Gatherings
11/30 Sabbath 1:30 pm
12/7 Sabbath 1:30 pm
12/14 Sabbath 1:30 pm
12/17 Yom Peguim (Leap Day of the winter season) 1:00 pm
12/18 Chodesh (New Month 10 Feast Day) 3:00 pm
12/21 Sabbath 1:30 pm
12/28 Sabbath 1:30 pm
2019 Schedule for Reading the Bible in One-Year
Ketuvim; Divrey ha’Yamim 1 (The Annals of Time) First Book of Chronicles
11/24 - Chapters 1 – 2 11/25 - Chapters 3 – 5 11/26 – Chapter 6
11/27 - Chapters 7 – 8 11/28 - Chapters 9 – 11 11/29 - Chapters 12 – 14
11/30 - Chapters 15 – 17 12/1 - Chapters 18 – 21 12/2 - Chapters 22 – 24
12/3 - Chapters 25 – 27 12/4 - Chapters 28 – 29
Ketuvim; Divrey ha’Yamim 2 (The Annals of Time) Second Book of Chronicles
12/5 - Chapter 1 – 3 12/6 - Chapters 4 – 6 12/7 - Chapters 7 – 9
12/8 - Chapters 10 – 12 12/9 - Chapters 13 – 17 12/10 - Chapters 18 – 20
12/11 - Chapters 21 – 24 12/12 - Chapters 25 – 27 12/13 - Chapters 28 – 31
12/14 - Chapters 32 – 34 12/15 - Chapters 35 – 36
Brit Cha’Dasha; MattithYahu (Gift of Yah) Gospel of Matthew
12/16 - Chapters 1 – 4 12/17 - Chapters 5 – 6 12/18 - Chapters 7 – 8
12/19 - Chapters 9 – 10 12/20 - Chapters 11 – 12 12/21 - Chapters 13 – 14
12/22 - Chapters 15 – 17 12/23 - Chapters 18 – 19 12/24 - Chapters 20 – 21
12/25 - Chapters 22 – 23 12/26 - Chapters 24 – 25 12/27 - Chapter 26
12/28 - Chapters 27 – 28
Interested in joining Bet Yeshurun Assembly? Please contact Pastor ObadiYah by email, telephone, mail, or in person at a gathering of Yahushuah’s Body.
A Lamb In A Large Place
(Editor’s Note) Scripture's prophetic books can be a challenging read for many. The harsh words of gloom and doom from prophets, like Hosea and Amos, may seem irrelevant to modern times. Their prophetic messages written in odd phrases about ancient cultures from unfamiliar, far-away places can appear much too foreign to the American way of life. Thus, the prophets go unheard by those who are tempted to speed read or skip their Books entirely. In this article for Bet Yeshurun Assembly (BYA), Jory encourages us to consider some scholarly comments about the warnings from Elohim to the House of Israel. As you read this Bible study, reflect upon the similarity of America (the third largest country in the world by land mass) to the small ancient 10-tribed nation of Israel that disobeyed Yah.
A fascinating prophecy about the 10 Tribes of the House of Israel: (Hosea 4:15-16)“Though thou, Israel, play the harlot, yet let not Judah offend; and come not ye unto Gilgal, nor go ye up to Bethaven, nor swear, YAHUAH liveth. For Israel slideth back as a backsliding heifer: now YAHUAH will feed them as a lamb in a large place.”
Historians note that Gilgal was known as a place of false worship. According to the Biblical Background Commentary, “The exact location of this site near Jericho has yet to be determined: (see Joshua 4:19) ‘The people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.’ Among the most likely suggestions, based on Iron Age deposits uncovered in survey work, are sites near Khirbet el-Mefjir, a little over a mile northeast of Jericho. Its name, meaning ‘ring of stones,’ suggests its importance as a cultic center. Both Amos and Hosea condemn Gilgal for the religious transgressions and inappropriate sacrifices made there. The nature of these religious activities is not spelled out, but it may be presumed that they involved the worship of gods other than Yahweh.” (Amos 4:4) "Come to Bethel and transgress, at Gilgal multiply transgression; Bring your sacrifices every morning, Your tithes every three days.” (Hosea 9:15) "All their wickedness is in Gilgal, for there I hated them. Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive them from My house; I will love them no more. All their princes are rebellious.” (also see Amos 5:5 and Hosea 12:11)
Similarly, Beth-Aven (“house of wickedness”) was a pun on the name of the city of Beth-El (“house of Elohim”). This was the prophet’s way of denouncing the false worship found there and identifying it as an illegitimate place of worship. The prophets Hosea (“Salvation”) and Amos (“Burden”) were the two Old Testament prophets whose ministry focused specifically on Ephraim and the ten northern tribes of Israel. Hosea refers to them as “a backsliding heifer” meaning they were a stubborn and rebellious people. Elohim therefore issued His judgment upon them, saying through Hosea, “now YAHUAH (the Lord) will feed them as a lamb in a large place.”
Hosea’s prophecy has fascinated and bewildered Bible students. What is the “large place” to which Elohim would lead them? The Jameson, Faucett, and Brown Commentary says, “It shall be no longer in the narrow territory of Israel, but ‘in a large place,’ namely, they shall be scattered in exile over the wide realm of Assyria.” Bishop Horsley had a similar interpretation: “Sheep love to feed at large. The sheep of Ephraim shall presently have room enough. They shall be scattered over the whole surface of the vast Assyrian empire, where they will be at liberty to turn very heathen [i. e. gentilized]. It is remarkable, however, that it is said that even in this state, Jehovah will feed them. They are still, in their utmost humiliation, an object of his care.”
Barnes Commentary, however, specifies a different location for Israel in exile: “To Israel, this ‘wide place’ was the wide realms of the Medes, where they were withdrawn from God’s worship and deprived of His protection.” Media was a different land to the east of Assyria. Actually, the Bible tells us that the ten tribes were exiled to both countries, Halah and in Habor: (2 Kings 17:6) In the ninth year of Hoshea the king of Assyria took Samaria, and carried Israel away into Assyria, and placed them in Halah and in Habor [by] the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
Did these Israel tribes remain permanently in Assyria and Media? From A Commentary on the Holy Bible (J. R. Dummelow, ed.) tells us, “A large place always in Scripture is used as a symbol of safety: (Psalm 18:19) ‘He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me. (Psalm 118:5) ‘I called upon the LORD in distress: the LORD answered me, [and set me] in a large place.’” The territory ruled by the ruthless Assyrians and Medes could not be considered a place of safety for Elohim’s people! They would therefore have left for safer pastures as soon as events would allow their escape. Some Bible expositors insist the exiled Israel tribes still remain in that exact same location even today, but the Geneva Bible translation notes say, “God will so disperse them that they will not remain in any certain place.”
Other expositors also realize that these cast off Israel tribes have wandered far from their original home and far from their original place of exile. Thus, the English Bible Commentary so interprets, “…the final casting out of the people by God so that they should become wanderers among the nations.” Similarly, the Companion Bible describes Israel’s exile location as “an unenclosed space: i. e. the lands of the heathen.” This unenclosed space to which they were later to be found was outside of Canaan.
The People’s Bible, a commentary by the famous 19th century Rev. Joseph Parker notes: “Israel said, ‘I want liberty, I do not want this moral bondage any longer; I do not want to be surrounded by commandments, I do not want to live in a cage of ten bars called the ten commandments of God; I want liberty; let me follow my reason, my instincts; let me obey myself.’ The Lord said, ‘So be it. Thou shalt have liberty enough, but it shall be the liberty of a wilderness.’” The MacArthur Bible Commentary also places them in an immense wilderness land: “Because Israel was like a stubborn calf, God no longer attempted to corral her, abandoning her as a lamb in a vast wilderness.”
A wilderness indicates a wild, largely unpopulated region. The Popular Commentary explains, “Now the Lord will feed them as a lamb in a large place, by removing them to a distant and large country, where they would be far removed from those with whom they were associated in their idolatry.” This was, in fact, the moral purpose in Yah removing the House of Israel, the ten tribes, from the land of Canaan where pagan nations surrounded them and seduced them into false worship and idolatry. The prophet Hosea, writing to these lost and dispersed tribes reveals Elohim’s ultimate purpose in the exile: (Hosea 14:4) “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely: for mine anger is turned away from him.”
Bible readers are generally unaware that in the Scriptures, as Lang’s Commentary informs, “The phrase, ‘to feed in a large place,’ is elsewhere used in a good sense: (see Isaiah 30:23) ‘Then shall he give the rain of thy seed that thou shalt sow the ground withal; and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous: in that day shall thy cattle feed in large pastures.’ (also see Psalms 18:19 and 118:5).” Elohim would employ the seemingly disastrous conquest and exile of His people for their own ultimate good.
Yah therefore took them away to wilderness regions free from the gross idolatry of Canaan where He could restore them for His purposes. The Apocrypha tells BYA exactly the same thing: (2 Esdras 13:40-45) “Those are the ten tribes, which were carried away prisoners out of their own land in the time of Osea the king, whom Salmanasar the king of Assyria led away captive, and he carried them over the waters, and so came they into another land. But they took this counsel among themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen, and go forth into a further country, where never mankind dwelt, That they might there keep their statutes, which they never kept in their own land. And they entered into Euphrates by the narrow places of the river. For the most High then shewed signs for them, and held still the flood, till they were passed over. For through that country there was a great way to go, namely, of a year and a half: and the same region is called Arsareth.”
Famous theologian, Dean Prideaux, wrote regarding these exiled ten tribes: “They … thenceforth utterly lost their name, their language, their memorial, and were never any more spoken of as Israel. They were in effect ‘gentilized.’” They would lose their identity as Israel and be known by other names. Another prophet explains (Jeremiah 50:6), “My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place.” Mountains in prophecy signify large nations, hills represent small nations. Thus, Israel was exiled to large and small nations of the world. They needed “unenclosed spaces” where YAHUAH could “heal their backsliding” and make them “an object of His care.”
Israel’s judgment was thus a widespread scattering of the holy people throughout the world as foretold in the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 28:14) Your seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west, to the east, to the north, and to the south. In you and in your seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” It was both a physical exile from the Promised Land as well as spiritually losing knowledge of the true worship of Yah. Importantly, they needed to be removed from the idolatry of old Canaan in order to be open to the Gospel.
It was for this reason that the New Testament apostles were told by Yahushuah to “go to the lost sheep of the House of Israel,” (Matthew 10:5-6). Yah used the apostles and their followers to restore this dispersed people through the Gospel and keep His promise to remember them in their exile and affliction. Shalom, Jory
Friday evening, December 6, 2019, Men's Meeting 6 PM to 8 PM. Let's discuss Scriptural answers to problems in men'sr lives.
Thoughts for Meditation
“Be sure you put your feet in the right place, then stand firm.” Abraham Lincoln
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success until they gave up.” Thomas Edison