Home // Blog

Parashah #4 Vayera / And he appeared

In Weekly Torah Portions | on October, 21, 2013 | by

Parashah #4
Vayera ~ And he appeared
Torah: B’resheet/Genesis 18:1~22:24
Haftarah: M’lakhim Bet/2nd Kings 4:1-37
B’rit Hadashah: Luke 17:26-37; Romans 9:6-9; Galatians 4:21-31;
Ivrim/Hebrews 6:13-20; & 11:13-19; Ya’akov/James 2:14-24; Kefa Bet/2nd Peter 2:4-10

This week’s Parashah is quite interesting and there are SO many avenues we could travel.

It has become more and more clear to me the (moe-eh-deem in Hebrew) moedim/appointed times of The Almighty were put in place from creation. Although Torah had not been written down until Moshe at the time of the Exodus, I believe Yehovah taught Torah and His moedim to Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, Avraham and others. Otherwise, how would Cain and Abel know about the sacrifices? How would Noah have known about the clean and unclean pairs of animals as well as sacrifices? How would Avraham known about hospitality? As we go through this Parashah, we will see shades of Yom Teruah/Feast of Trumpets and we will see shades of Pesach/Passover as well.


Beginning, in verses 1-5, Avraham is visited by Yehovah. This was a rare appearance for The Holy One. Normally, the Master of the Universe makes Himself known when He has a message for someone. However, this time, The Almighty came making` a “sick call” to Avraham, on the third day after his (B’reet Meh-lah) Brit Milah/circumcision. We learn from this week’s Torah portion about the mitzvah of (b’koor kho-leem) ‘bikur cholim/visiting the sick. And if one feels it beneath their dignity to perform this mitzvah, they should remember Yehovah didn’t feel so when He visited Avraham!

Three “men” begin approaching, so Avraham says, (Batyah’s translation) “‘scuse me Abba, hold on just a sec, I’ll be right back” and he runs out to greet these guys. We could spend a considerable amount of time discussing the pros and cons of this scenario!!

Then, , in verses 3 & 4, he tells these guys to relax & get comfortable; he’ll get some water for them to wash their hot, tired feet and he will get them some bread. Avraham is performing the mitzvah of (hahk-nah-saht or-kheem) hachnasat orchim/hospitality. Then he asks Sarah and (Yish-mah-ehl) Yishma’el/Ishmael, to prepare this feast! Gee, I wonder if this is the basis for “do unto others as you would have others do unto you” (Mattityahu/Mat-thew 7:12). After all, the verse does say it “sums up the Torah and the Prophets”. Also, (Eve-reem) Ivrim/Hebrews 13:2, Tells us “. . .don’t forget to be friendly to outsiders for in so doing, some people, without knowing it, have entertained angels.”

One of the commentaries suggested the “tree” Avraham mentioned was a (sue-kah) סכה sukkah/a temporary dwelling place, and the Sages compare it to the shelter (Ha Mah-she-ahk) HaMashiach/The Messiah will erect over Jerusalem.

Before we go any further, let’s consider the reality of this setting. Avraham is 99 years old. A heat wave has descended on the area and it’s the third and most painful day after his B’rit Milah/covenant of circumcision, when he normally should be at his weakest. Yet he has this incomparable gift of hospitality!!! Did you notice? Avraham told “them” to rest and then we read the words . . .

                   Hurried                                      Quickly                                                  Ran
Can you begin to imagine yourself, only three days after surgery, doing such? No wonder The Holy One felt him worthy to be the spiritual leader of all mankind!!!

Take a look at verse 8 . . . CURDS? Milk? And calf? Apparently, some of the rabbis haven’t read THIS verse. As Torah teacher, Mark Ensign mentioned, it looks like they had milk and cheeseburgers!!! So much for the rabbinic rules about not mixing meat and dairy!

When told about the child they would have in approximately one year there was laughter. Avraham laughed out of joy. Sarah laughed with disbelief and then had the audacity to lie about her laughing. (Verses 13-15) Why was Avraham’s laughter considered different than Sarah’s? In B’resheet/Genesis 17:17, Torah says then Avraham fell on his face, laughed and said in his heart, “. . . shall a child be born unto him who is a hundred years old . . .?” The term “fell on his face” is an indication or expression of being in prayer. Also, the verse about Avraham only says he was laughing. The verse about Sarah, on the other hand, in Chapter 18:12 says she was laughing inside which implies disbelief. She didn’t laugh openly, such as laughter of joy. Consequently, Sarah’s laughter was considered “unbelief”.

Then there’s the whole S’dom/Sodom & ’Amora/Gomorrah thing. That’s pretty disgusting when you understand what those dudes were wantin’ to do to Lot’s guests. Nonetheless, in verses 23-33 Avraham intercedes, not only for S’dom, but actually for a total of 5 cities mentioned in B’resheet/Genesis 14:2. S’dom & ‘Amora were the most prominent; less significant were Admah and Zeboiim with Tzo’ar being the smallest of the group.

For those who don’t know me, I get into “numbers” because I know my Father does as well. So I thought about Avraham praying for the 50 “righteous ones” and wondered if it ties into the “minyan” concept, which would have been 10 righteous people per city. I don’t know, what do you think? According to the dictionary, a minyan is “a properly constituted group for a public Hebrew prayer service, made up of at least 10 Hebrew males over thirteen years of age.” Then in verse 32 the final number Avraham asks for is 10 righteous. I’m inclined to believe it was a minyan thing.

We learn from the Prophet Ezekiel (16:49) it wasn’t the sin of the individuals which brought the city to destruction. It was the social sinfulness – the traits of the community at large. The corporate wickedness was bad enough but what made it worse was the fact it was clothed with legality. It was justified. Wrong had become right and sin had become the law of the land. For such a society, there is no remedy but total destruction. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil . . .” (Yesha’yahu/Isaiah 5:20a). Using Torah as a blueprint, the world and our nation in particular, should be shaking in its boots!

“The crimes of your sister S’dom were pride and gluttony; she and her daughters were careless and complacent, so they did nothing to help the poor and needy. They were arrogant and committed disgusting acts before me; so when I saw it, I swept them away.” (Yechezk’el/Ezek-iel 16:49-50) Surprisingly, the prophet attributes the final judgment on S’dom, not only to the sexual sins implied in the Genesis account, but to something which The Almighty considers even more serious – social injustice! Apparently the sexual immorality was merely the fruit of the idleness and selfishness which Abba condemns through Ezekiel. Consequently, S’dom was destroyed, not only because of sexual deviancy, but, because they mistreated the poor and needy, the whole society received judgment.

Listening to the news one Friday in 2003, I was appalled to hear Judge Roy Moore had been disbarred from practicing law in the State of Alabama. We watched and listened for months to the debate over the Ten Commandments being removed from the Supreme Court building. I applaud this man and the strong stand he took for RIGHT. I couldn’t help but think of this Parashah and the destruction of S’dom for their trying to make the wrong look right. This nation needs to be on its knees in repentance lest the same thing befall us.

Before we leave this chapter, remember back in the beginning where I gave Batyah’s translation of Avraham’s comments to The Holy One? Here is what my Orthodox Rabbi friend, Ya’akov Youlus, of blessed memory, had to say . . .

        “. . . Genesis 18:22, ‘. . . but Avraham stood yet before the LORD”. What does
        ‘stood yet’ mean? It means that while Avraham was conscientiously serving the
         needs of the three men, he had not disconnected himself from God. Remember
         that in Genesis 18:1, the LORD appeared to Avraham by the terebinth trees of
         Mamre. Then in verse 3 Avraham says, “My Lord, if now I have found favor in
         thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant”. This is Avraham’s way
         of telling God, who appeared to him, to please wait for him while he serves the
         three. So, during all of the time and effort that it took for him serve all their needs,
         Avraham was under the tension of getting back again to God. Even though God
         was giving Avraham the go ahead to serve the three men, because God loves it when
         we serve others and perform deeds of loving kindness to our fellow human beings,
         still during all of this, Avraham had not detached from God and was anxious to get back
         to Him. It was as if Avraham was doing all the necessary activities to properly serve his
         guests, but all the while he had his mind on being back with God. This inner tension is
         a beautiful kind of anguish when we truly prefer to be with God, but God is calling us
         forth to serve others.”


It is believed the “men” who visited Avraham were the “angels” who went to S’dom. Chapter 18:2 says, “three men”; then verse 22 says “the men turned away”. But here, in Verse 1, it says, “The two angels came to S’dom that evening.” So what happened to one of the angels?

Tradition tells us the three “men”/angels who appeared to Avraham were . . .

        • Rapha-el ~ the Healing Angel

        • Gabri-el ~ the Announcing Angel

        • Myka-el ~ the Warring Angel

After they left Avraham, Rapha-el’s job was completed, so only the other two were needed for the rest of their journey and assignment.

Anyway, Lot insists they come to his home, although they were willing to “stay in the square”. Now, I’m assuming there was some kind of lodging available. (Biblical Motel 6?) Nonethe-less, I believe Lot knew what would befall these men/angels and it is why he insisted they come to his home, believing they would be safe there.

The depravity of the community is made very clear in verses 4-9. Illicit sex was rampant in S’dom! Did you notice the men of S’dom were not interested in Lot’s virgin daughters? According to the Stone Edition of the Artscroll Chumash, “when the Sodomites said they wanted to know them, they meant they wanted to sodomize them.” Then verses 10 & 11 tell of the “angels’” might and how they prevailed over those who would do harm to Lot and them-selves, by striking them blind.

The “angels” give instructions in verses 12 & 13 to Lot concerning his family. Lot spoke with his sons-in-law, who chose not to take him seriously. The following morning, Lot didn’t under-stand the urgency to escape to the hills. So the “men” took hold of the hands of Lot, his wife and his daughters and led them outside the city. The Holy One was being merciful to them. In verses 19-22, Lot obtains permission to escape to Tzo’ar because he is concerned he can’t make it to the “hills” before destruction falls.

In the above verses we see angels become men and then angels again. As we study Torah, when we see passages like these, we should ask questions and communicate with The Almighty. As Rabbi Ya’akov says . . .

“Torah is not like reading Shakespeare or any other piece of literature, it is not like a
regular book. The lesson here is to see the minute variations in these verses and to ask!
In these Torah passages, we learn that angels can be God’s way of giving a message to
someone, or sometimes angels can appear as people to give a message. Avraham saw the
angels as men who were messengers of God, while Lot saw them as angels with the message of God”

Verse 24 states Yehovah caused sulfur and fire to rain down from heaven. According to the Sages, “sulfur and fire were not natural earthly phenomena but were Divinely originated visitations without natural cause.” Interestingly, in the area of S’dom, today, the desert is rich with sulfur mines. Hmm!!!

As most of us know, Lot’s wife became a pillar of salt because she looked back. This just didn’t make sense to me. Why such a harsh judgment for looking back? Why did she turn to salt? The region of S’dom/Sodom & ’Amora/Gomorrah is in the area of the Dead Sea also known as the Salt Sea. The Dead Sea is famous for its extremely high salinity. The shores of the Dead Sea are frosted in salt deposits. Because she turned into a pillar of salt, the natural salt of the Dead Sea area became a reminder of Lot’s wife for generations to come.

I believe Lot’s wife was looking back in sorrow because of what she was losing instead of looking forward to what she would be gaining, a lifestyle without sin. As we are told in Ivrim/Hebrews 12:1 “let us lay aside every . . . sin which easily besets us, and let us run . . . the race that is set before us”. Today, it is equally important for us not to look back with longing at where we have been. Instead, look forward with eagerness, joy and anticipation to the road we are traveling with Yeshua!

Yeshua warns we must be ready to let go of our things, hopes and plans in an instant. We need to be able to let go of everything without turning back as Lot’s wife did. He says, “Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it (Luke 17:32-33) I believe He was referring to literally fleeing for one’s life in a time of tribulation and cataclysm, but His warning also carries an important spiritual lesson. Lot and his family were nearly swept up in the destruction of S’dom and ‘Amora, not because they were wicked like the rest but because they had allowed themselves to become attached to the place and the people. They did not indulge in all the vices of the material culture around them, but neither had they maintained a healthy distance from that culture. When it came time to flee, they found they could not let it go. The angels had to drag them from the city and, even then, Lot’s wife could not help but look back.

                        Some time ago I ran across “Out Of The Mouths Of Babes
James, age 4, was listening intently to a Bible story. His dad read: “The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city but his wife looked back and was turned to salt.” Concerned, James asked: “What happened to the flea?”
                                        Sorry . . . I just had to share it!!!!

Okay, back to Lot. (Verses 31-38) Lot and his daughters make it to Tzo’ar. According to tradition, his daughters were modest, righteous women whose actions were nobly motivated. The Torah does not label their actions as incestuous because they believed the entire world had been destroyed. Since their mother was no longer alive, they felt it was their responsibility to save the human race by having children even if it was through their father. There are several rabbit trails we could chase on these scriptures . . . like “he was not aware of her lying down and of her getting up” two different times? Give me a break!!!! I could fall in the category of thinking Lot had become a lecherous old man. Perhaps he had given in to the society of S’dom. However, think about this . . . The Almighty considered him righteous enough to remove him from the destruction.

The Rabbis teach, because their intentions were pure, among their descendants would be Rut/Ruth, ancestress of David and Na’amah, queen of Sh’lomo/Solomon and mother of Rehoboam, Solomon’s successor. All are links in the Davidic chain, which we know includes Yeshua.

Digging into the (Eve-reet) Ivrit/Hebrew, I checked the names of the children. The older daughter, who “knew” her father the first night, named her son, Moab which means from father. The younger daughter named her son Ben-Ammi which means son of my people. The descendents of both of these births reside in the country of Jordan to this day.


This chapter takes us to the 2nd abduction of Sarah and the 2nd time Avraham lies about her being his sister. Nevertheless, it was an act of deception. One of the stories accompanying this abduction is . . . although Sarah was 90 years old, she didn’t look it because she had become youthful again, in her entire being, so she would become pregnant. This is an interesting concept, perhaps not as miraculous as a “virgin birth” but nonetheless, a miraculous birth!

There is really interesting dialogue between The Almighty and Abimelech in verses 3-7 and much to conjecture concerning their discussion. For the last year or so I have been unable to find any commentary concerning this part of the Torah portion.

Yehovah warns Avimelech/Abimelech he’s about to die because he has taken another man’s wife and Avimelech says, in verse 4, “Lord, will you kill even an upright nation?” In effect, he went on to say it wasn’t his fault; he didn’t know. In fact, both Avraham and Sarah had said she was Avraham’s sister. Yehovah’s answer is one we should remember for our own lives. He said, in verse 6, “Yes, I know in doing this, your heart has been pure; and I too have kept you from sinning against me. This is why I didn’t let you touch her.” In essence The Holy One let Avimelech know He knew Avimelech was a faithful person. This is why The Almighty interfered with Avimelech’s flesh and helped him, keeping him from touching Sarah. When Yehovah knows a person wants to do good, He will help them do it. When a person, who doesn’t’ want to do bad is tempted, then Yah sees this person fighting his temptation, and interferes to help them overcome their flesh and do right. Part of the Hebrew daily prayer is “Please God, do not bring us to any temptation.” Isn’t that interesting?! I bet you thought Matthew 6:13 “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” was a “Christian” prayer. Hmmm, looks like it comes straight from the Hebrew prayer book. We know The Holy One is full of grace and helps those who want to stay on the straight and narrow path. This verse is clear and simple and yet, most overlook it. Yah helps those close to Him; those whose sincere desire is to do good.

With regard to verse 12, I don’t know where this “brother/sister” thing came from but, just for the record, Sarah was Avraham’s niece; she was the daughter of Haran, Avraham’s older brother who died before they left Ur.

Verses 14-18 are interesting indeed. Abimelech appeases both Avraham and Sarah but it is beyond my comprehension why the Lord allows Avraham’s deception to be rewarded. Now-a-days, it would be considered inappropriate behavior. It’s a good thing God is God!!!


In Chapter 21 Sarah conceives Yitz’chak/Isaac. According to tradition, Sarah conceived on the first day of Rosh Hashanah or more specifically Yom Teruah/Feast of Trumpets. Later, after Yitz’chak is born, we find Sarah insisting Ishmael be banished from their midst because she saw Ishmael “mocking” Yitz’chak. In verse 9, the Chumash states the Hebrew verb “m’tza’chayk” is used to denote the three cardinal sins:

• Idolatry (Sh’mot/Exodus 32:6)
• Adultery (B’resheet/Genesis 39:17)
• Murder (Sh’mu’el Bet/2nd Sam. 2:14)

. . . indicating Ishmael’s behavior proved he had become thoroughly corrupt and evil and had to be sent away.

In verse 12 Yehovah says, “. . . Listen to everything Sarah says to you . . .” The Hebrew word Shema is used here for listen and, as we will learn later, it actually means hear and obey.

I find verses 16 &17 interesting. In verse 16 Hagar sat at a distance, lifted her voice and wept. BUT verse 17 says “God heard the cry of the youth” and again in the same verse “God has heeded the cry of the youth”. It was the cry of the child The Almighty responded to. Why would Hagar abandon her child, although 13~14 years old, just because they ran out of water and might die? What better time to comfort and console? Verse 19 states God opened her eyes and she saw a well. The Torah doesn’t state a well was miraculously created. Apparently the well was there all along but Hagar was blinded by her own introspective ~ “oh, woe is me” ~ attitude. It is important for us to know and remember Yah is our Yehovah-Yireh/Provider. He always provides what we need but we must have our eyes open and be ready to see it and receive it.

Verse 33 states “he (Avraham) planted a ________ in Be’er-Sheva. Eight different translations said “tamarisk tree”; one said a “grove” and the Chumash and Tanach say “eshel”. One Rabbi understands it to mean an “orchard” which would correspond more correctly with “grove”, and Avraham served its fruit to the travelers. However, since I LOVE the Hebrew language and its meanings, I like another Rabbi’s interpretation: it was an inn for lodging (a motel, if you please). In Hebrew “eshel” is spelled “aleph, shin, lamed” which is an acrostic from the Hebrew words meaning “eating, drinking and escorting” ~ the three basic services a host should provide his guests. This makes sense to me given Avraham’s gift of hospitality as we learned earlier in this Parashah.

Curiosity got the best of me concerning the (ah-lef) aleph (א), (sheen) shin (ש), and (lah-mehd) lamed (ל). The aleph has a numerical value of 1. The shin has a numerical value of 300 and the lamed has a value of 30. Consequently, 1 + 300 + 30 = 331. Then 3 + 3 + 1 = 7. Seven is the number of spiritual perfection and completeness. The color spectrum has seven colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue indigo, violet). There are seven notes of the musical scale (A, B, C, D, E, F, G). There are seven individual feasts (Pesach/Passover, Chag Hamotz/Unleavened Bread, HaBikkurim/First Fruits, Shavu’ot/Pentecost, Yom Teruah/Trumpets, Yom Kippur/Day of Atonement and Sukkot /Feast of Tabernacles). Seven pieces of furniture in the Tabernacle: Altar of Sacrifice, Brazen Lave, Golden Candlestick, Table of Shewbread, Altar of Incense, Ark of the Covenant. Seven lamps on the Golden Lampstand/Menorah. AND, seven is the number of rest. The seventh day, the Sabbath is the day of rest!

Before we continue, I want to share a traditional rabbinic legend concerning Avraham and Yitz’chak’s father-son relationship. One legend says scoffers claimed, “The child is Sarah’s but not Avraham’s because he is too old to sire a son. It must be the son of Abimelech.” In response to those scoffers, Yehovah made the face of the Yitz’chak a mirror image of Avraham. When they looked at the son, it was like they were looking at the father. Then they knew this really was Avraham’s son, because he was the very image of his father.

Oh my gosh! In proof reading these notes, I thought of Avinu, our Father and Yeshua, His Son. Think of the nay-sayers concerning our Messiah and His Father. Yeshua, Himself said a son’s deeds prove his true paternity. He does the work of his father, especially in the culture of 1st Century Israel. In Yochanan/John 14:9 Yeshua said, “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” It helps to know the culture and customs of the Middle East and Israel, in particular!!!


This chapter tells about Avraham’s Tenth Trial, the (ah-kay-dah) Akeidah/Binding of Yitz’chak. I believe we could spend a week on this chapter alone; it is SO symbolic. There is no way a quick scan of the verses will suffice. Oh well . . . .

In verse 1, Yehovah speaks to Avraham, who responds with (he-nay-nee) Hineni/Here I am. (Remember, I love to share [Eve-reet] Ivrit/Hebrew!)

Then in verse 2 Yehovah says “Please take”. The Chumash tells us Avraham was 137 and Yitz’chak/Isaac was 37 so there was no way Avraham could force Yitz’chak to go. Instead, Avraham was to take him by persuasion to do the will of God. Also, in this verse he is told to go to the land of (More-ee-ah) Moriah which we learn later is called Jerusalem. Additionally, Avraham built his altar at the very spot where King Sh’lomo/Solomon would build the Holy Temple (another pattern/blue print?)

As short as verse 2 is, a lot transpires between Avraham and HaShem. According to Rashi, there was a conversation, recorded in the Talmud, which went like this:

• God said, “Take your son.”
• Avraham: “But I have two sons. Which should I take?”
• God said, “Your only one!”
• Avraham: “But each of them is the only son of his mother.”
• God answered: “Whom you love.”
• Avraham: “But I love them both.”
• God replied: “I mean Isaac.”

Additionally, verse 2 has “first mention” of the word love/ahahvah in Hebrew.

Verse 3 says “he took his two young men with him”. According to Midrash, Avraham took Eliezer and Ishmael, who had come to visit him. I want to point out these two “young men” must have been about 50 years of age because Ishmael was 13 when Yitz’chak was born.

Verse 4, “On the third day”, (the day of resurrection?), “Avraham raised his eyes and perceived the place from afar.” A friend suggested this verse indicated Yah had allowed Avraham to see Mt. Calvary, where He offered His Son as a sacrifice. The Chumash commentary indicates Avraham saw a cloud hovering over the mountain and understood it represented God’s Presence. Avraham asked Yitz’chak if he saw what Avraham had seen and Yitz’chak replied affirmatively. Given this information, I believe both Avraham and Yitz’chak saw the “crucifixion” which helped both of them follow through with the instruction of Yehovah.

The prophetic voice of God is heard in verse 5 when Avraham says, “. . . I and the lad will go yonder; we will worship and we will return to you.” Additional “fore-shadowing” is found in verse 6 when Avraham places the wood for the offering on Yitz’chak’s shoulders. It reminds of us when “the wood for the offering” on Calvary was placed on Yeshua’s shoulders.

Yitz’chak questions his father, in verse 7, concerning the lamb for the burnt offering and Avraham responds, in verse 8, with “Elohim will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering.” (Complete Jewish Bible) Seven out of nine translations render it this way. When you consider it could have read, “Elohim, himself, will provide the lamb . . .” I am intrigued it reads as it does. As we know, from a Messianic viewpoint, He truly did “provide Himself, The Lamb” for an offering.

Verse 9 tells us “he bound Isaac”. Given the information we already have, we know Avraham could not have bound Yitz’chak without his consent. There is an interesting interchange between the two of them during this time. Traditionally, the Sages say Yitz’chak requested his father to bind him because he was afraid his natural instinct of survival might cause him to flinch causing injury to both of them or might prevent the proper performing of the ritual slaughter. Therefore, the binding took place. From the Messianic standpoint, we know Yeshua carried the wood (execution stake) up the mountain for His sacrifice just as Yitz’chak carried wood up the mountain for his sacrifice. Yitz’chak had marks on his wrists and ankles from the rope which “bound” him. Similarly, Yeshua had marks on his wrists and feet where He was “bound” to His altar. There are some who believe Yitz’chak’s binding took place during the same time of the year as Pesach/Passover, and of course, we know Yeshua was the Passover Lamb, many years later.

Here’s another GREAT teaching from Rabbi Ya’akov: Look again at the first verse of Genesis 22 where it says, “Now God tested Avraham and He called upon Avraham.” We read only once did God call Avraham and right away Avraham said, “Here I am”. Now, let us compare this to Genesis 22:11, when the Angel of God called from heaven and said, “Avraham, Avraham”, twice. And Avraham said, “Here I am.” The question is, why, in the beginning, is Avraham called only once and in verse 11 he is called by name two times? In the beginning, God spoke and He had to say Avraham only once. Avraham heard him and was ready. BUT, the reason Avraham didn’t hear the second time and God had to call his name twice is because Avraham was eager to hear God and to do what He said when He told him to take his own son and sacrifice. Avraham was prepared to do it. He was so intently involved and immersed in what God told him to do he just couldn’t hear God. It was because Avraham desired so deeply to obey God and to fulfill the word of The Almighty. Thus, God had to call his name out twice to get his attention. Take a moment to consider the long drawn-out intensity and emotional drama of Avraham’s actions as he built an altar, placed the wood on it, bound Isaac and placed him on the altar. Then Avraham stretched out his hand, picked up the knife and positioned himself to slay his son. Avraham was totally engrossed in doing the command of The Holy One. Even though it was against every thread of his ethical instinct; he was immersed in doing it.

I read an interesting comment about the ram being caught in the thicket by its horns (verse 13). In reality the ram’s horns protect it from getting caught in the thickets! Hmmmm!!! Another act of Yehovah!!! Further more, the Midrash claims the two horns of the ram became the two (show-fah-roat) shofarot/trumpets of God. Yehovah blew the first one on Mount Sinai (Sh’mot/Exodus 19) at the giving of the Torah and He will sound the second one at the coming of HaMashiach/The Messiah.


Here are some parallels in the lives of Yitz’chak and Yeshua. Upon examining the scriptures closely, as mentioned above Yitz’chak was not a small boy when his father took him up the mountain. Rather he was approximately 37 years of age while we are told Yeshua was 33 to 34.

• Yitz’chak is the promised son of the covenant with Avraham
• Yitz’chak is born through a miraculous conception.
• Yitz’chak is the long-awaited fulfillment of God’s promise.
• Yitz’chak is offered up for a sacrifice by his father.
(This place one day would be called the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.)
• Yitz’chak does not die, but lives.

• Yeshua is the promised son of the covenant with Avraham.
• Yeshua is born through a miraculous conception.
• Yeshua is the long-awaited fulfillment of God’s promise.
• Yeshua is offered up for an offering by His Father!
• Yeshua dies, but also lives.

Back to our Parashah (Torah portion), in verse 14 we learn Avraham named the site “Yehovah Yireh”, which means “Yehovah will see to it” or “Yehovah provides”. According to the Chumash, the original name given by Shem, the son of Noah, was “Salem” or “Shalem”, meaning “peace, wholeness, completeness, nothing missing, nothing broken”. After the Akeidah, Avraham called it “Yireh”. According to the Chumash, in deference to both names, God synthesized it and called it “Yireh~shalem” or “Yerushalayim”.

Another traditional source says when King David renamed the place; he wanted to honor both Malchi-Tzedek and Avraham so he combined the names to form Yireh-Salem, which sounds similar to Yerushalayim/Jerusalem. Either way, the name is prophetic for when Messiah comes, He will rule from “Yerushalayim” where “Peace will be seen”.

Sometimes when we read verses like 20-24 we buzz right through them without REALLY paying attention. Let’s not overlook verse 23 “B’tu’el fathered (Reev-kah) Rivkah/Rebecca.”

Haftarah: M’lakhim Bet/2nd Kings 4:1-37

The Stone Edition of the Artscroll Chumash says Elisha’s greatness is set forth by his compassion for others. We see here in the Haftarah two episodes which reveal this. The first one involved a destitute widow who has no one to help her and the second involved a wealthy, influential woman who needed no favors from anyone.

Perhaps the first one was chosen because of the similar apathetic condition of the widow’s neighbors given her plight as compared to those in Sodom. According to the Sages, this was a widow of the prophet (Oh-vahd-yah) ‘Ovadyah/Obadiah, who risked his life and spent his fortune to support and shelter hundreds of prophets from the sword of Ach’av/Ahab and Izevel/Jezebel. However, when his widow was confronted by a creditor who was about to take her children as slaves in payment for her debts, she turned to Elisha. He listened, empathized and helped. As long as there were empty vessels to fill, oil continued to flow until there was no more need (verse 6). In our lives, our Heavenly Father causes blessings to continue flowing to us until we choose to no longer receive them. Then we are no longer an open or empty vessel.

The bulk of the story in 2nd Kings, verses 8-37 and the second episode involves the Shunamite woman who had everything – but no children. Elisha shows his gratitude for her hospitality by blessing her with a son, as Yehovah blessed Sarah with a son. However, after some time, the child grew ill and died. Summoning the prophet again, the woman received another miracle of Yehovah – life from the dead.

We can instantly see the connection between the two stories in the Torah and the Haftarah. Our Torah portion involves the miraculous birth of the “son of promise”, Yitz’chak. In the Torah portion, we also find the “death” of this same son. To be sure, if the Angel of Yehovah had not stopped Avraham, his son surely would have died. Therefore, the Torah considers him to have died—figuratively (Hebrews 11:17-19). Even the rabbis of antiquity interpret the “Akeidah” (the binding of Yitz’chak) in this manner.

In verses 8-10, we see where the Shunamite woman implores her husband to build a (mish-kahn) mishkan which implies room or dwelling place. It is an anagram in Hebrew . . .
(so here we have our major Hebrew lesson for this week!)

• Mem [sounds like mehm] (מ) for (mee-tah) mitah/bed
• Shin [sounds like sheen] (ש) for (shul-kahn) shulkan/table
• Koof [sounds like koof] (ק) for (key-say-ee) kisei/stool
• Nun [sounds like noon] (נ) for (nehr) ner/candle.

These four items were all that were necessary to make a comfortable mishkan/dwelling place/room for Elisha. I think knowing some basics of Hebrew causes Torah to come to life!

One of my favorite parts of this story has to do with verses 25-27. Despite the fact her only son lay dead in her home, when asked “Is everything all right with you?” her reply was “It is well.” What an affirmation of faith!!! This is a verse I have chosen as one of my own. When asked about my circumstances, my reply is “It is well!” At her insistence, Elisha returns home with her and revives the child by placing himself upon the lifeless body of the boy. The Sages say Elisha injected his own soul into the child. Somewhere I read or heard this child may have been ‘Ovadyah/Obadiah (Servant of Yehovah). For the life of me I am unable to find the information. Oh well . . . maybe next year!!!!

B’rit Hadashah: Luke 17:26-37; Romans 9:6-9; Galatians 4:21-31; Ivrim/Hebrews 6:13-20; Ivrim/Hebrews 11:13-19; Ya’akov/James 2:14-24; Kefa Bet/2nd Peter 2:4-10

Luke 17:26-37 (Geneva Study Bible Commentary): Verse 26) The world will be taken by surprise with the sudden judgment of God, and therefore the faithful ought to continually watch. Verse 31) We must pay careful attention. Neither distrust nor the enticements of this world, nor any consideration of friendship hinder us in the least way. Verse 37) The only way to continue is to cleave to Christ.

Once again, we find ourselves in scripture which alludes to those who will be “taken away”. We must be careful of the teachings we have received from the traditions of man and pay close attention to what Yeshua has to say about the last days. Idolatry places man-made worship above Yehovah’s prescribed way. Remember what happened to Ishmael because of his idolatry.

I really hate to repeat myself but the Lord continues to lay this matter on my heart. Here is an excerpt from my notes of a couple of weeks ago . . .

Just as Yehovah didn’t “rapture” Noah from the flood, He did provide a way of escape and He was with Noah during his trial. (And I can think of other instances as well . . . Daniel in the lion’s den; three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace, etc, etc.) Just as in Noah’s days, the generation of Yeshua’s return will ignore the warnings leading up to the big event. Life will continue as normal. Then catastrophe will strike! Yeshua goes on to speak about those who will be taken away and those who will be left:

• “Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.
• Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.”
Mattityahu/Matthew 24:40-41

According to First Fruits of Zion, “these verses are often interpreted to mean that when Yeshua comes, the one taken will be whisked away to meet Him in the sky. Since the one left working in the field is not a believer, he will be left behind. The one left grinding at the mill also not a believer will also be left behind. However, the one “taken away” in the Matthew 24 passage is not ‘raptured up’, as is popularly taught. Just as the flood came and took people away in judgment, the ‘taking away’ in Matthew 24:40-41 refers to people being taken in judgment.

Yeshua makes this explicitly clear in a parallel passage in Luke 17 when His disciples ask about the ones taken away. “Where [will they be taken], Lord?” they asked and He answered, “Where the body is, there also the vultures will be gathered.” (Luke 17:37)

“In Yeshua’s teaching, those ‘taken away’ correspond to those who perished in the flood. The corpses of those who perished in the flood became food for the scavenging birds, such as the raven, which was released from the ark. So, too, when Messiah comes, the wicked will be slain and left as food for ravens and the like. Thus we should understand those who will be ‘left behind’ in the Matthew 24 passage are the righteous. They can be compared to Noah and his seven family members who survived the flood. As Peter says, “The Lord knows how to rescue the Godly.” (2 Peter 2:9) The thrust of the passage is . . . we must stay vigilant in our wait for Messiah. We must not be like the complacent generation of Noah who were caught unaware, for Messiah will come suddenly, like a thief in the night. “Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:42”

Yeshua often warned His disciples about the troubled times to come. He foresaw days of persecution, the coming destruction of Jerusalem and a catastrophic day of judgment at the time of His second coming. He warned His disciples at the time of His second coming, people will be caught unaware and unprepared for the moment of judgment.

In the days of Lot they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day Lot went out from S’dom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day the Son of Man is revealed. Yeshua warns we must be ready to let go of our things, our hopes, and our plans in an instant. We need to be able to let go of everything without turning back as Lot’s wife did. He says, “Remember Lot’s wife, whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.”

He was referring to literally fleeing for one’s life in a time of tribulation and cataclysm, but His warning also carries an important spiritual lesson. Lot and his family were nearly swept up on the destruction of S’dom and ‘Amora along with the rest of the inhabitants, not because they were wicked like the rest of the city but because they had allowed themselves to become attached to the place and the people. They did not indulge in all the vices of the material culture around them, but neither had they maintained a healthy distance from that culture. When it came time to flee, they found they could not let it go. The angels had to drag them from the city, and even then, Lot’s wife could not help but look back.

Disciples of Yeshua are to be in the world, but not of the world. It is easy to let the comforts and mundane things of everyday life lull us into a sense of complacency. We tend to cling to the material world. It’s busyness, pleasures and concerns distract us from matters of spirituality and godliness. If we cannot let go of materialism, we will be double-minded like Lot’s wife.

Romans 9:6-9 The Apostle Paul mentions in verse 6 “. . . For not everyone from Isra’el is truly part of Isra’el.” Verse 7 tells us physical lineage does not make one a part of Israel because the people of Israel are the people of God. If you reject God how can you remain part of the people of God? Further more, in verse 7 there is additional clarification concerning the “seed of Avraham”. “What is to be called your ‘seed’ will be in Yitz’chak/Isaac.” (B’resheet/Genesis 21:12) and again in verse 9 “At the time set, I will come; and Sarah will have a son.” (B’resheet/Genesis 18:14)

Some Muslims claim the Land of Israel belongs to the Arabs on the ground they are “Avraham’s seed” through Ishmael. However, verses in the Torah as well as these verses clearly refute this on-going claim!

Galatians 4:21-31 These verses provide a very clear delineation between the children of the two covenants. Hagar represents the mother of those who are in bondage and Sarah represents the mother of those who are free, which of course parallels our Torah portion concerning the birth of Yishma’el/Ishmael, born of the bond woman and Yitz’chak/Isaac, born of the free woman.

One must remember there were and are two Torahs: the written Torah (the Torah of Moshe/Moses) and the oral Torah (the Mishna, the traditions of men). The latter is condemned by Yeshua in Mark 7:7-13 and Sha’ul/Paul throughout his writings. Students of Sha’ul/Paul’s letters need to understand the two Torahs to understand him.

Hebrews 6:13-20 (Geneva Study Bible Commentary) Verse 19 Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters into that within the veil;

The author compares hope to an anchor because in the same way an anchor when cast into the bottom of the sea secures the whole ship, so hope also enters even into the very secret places of heaven. He makes mention of the sanctuary, alluding to the old tabernacle and, by this, returns to the comparison of the priesthood of Christ with the Levitical priesthood.

Ivrim/Hebrews 11:13-19 As most of us know, this chapter is called the “Faith Chapter” or “Trusting Chapter” as rendered in The Complete Jewish Bible. The specific parallel to our Torah portion is found in verse 18 “. . . What is called your ‘seed’ will be in Yitz’chak.” which is found in B’resheet/Genesis 21:12. Avraham’s faith or trust was so great he trusted Yehovah to fulfill His promise, even if it required miracles . . .

• First, of making an aged couple able to have children (B’resheet/Genesis 17:19; 18:11-14; 21:2) and . . .
• Second, of resurrecting Yitz’chak/Isaac from the dead, an implication of the story of the binding of Isaac for sacrifice by Avraham (B’resheet/Genesis 22:1-19)

Ya’akov/James 2:14-24 Yeshua’s brother, Ya’akov/James, makes the point offaith without actions is dead and of little or no benefit. Here, in these verses, he uses Avraham as an example. Avraham proved his faith by his actions of taking Yitz’chak/Isaac up Mt. Moriah to sacrifice him on the altar. This parallels our Torah portion. In B’resheet/Genesis 15:6 we see “Avraham had faith in God and it was credited to his account as righteousness.”

Kefa Bet/2nd Peter 2:4-10 Here we find punishment for the ungodly. The blueprint is found in our (pah-rah-shoat) Parashot/Torah portions from last week and this week. The judgments are the Flood and then by fire and brimstone. Yet those whom Yehovah regarded as righteous, Noach/Noah and his family and Lot were delivered from it all.

Our corresponding Psalm for this Torah portion is: Psalm 11

Next lesson: Parashah #5
Chayyei-Sarah ~ Sarah’s life
Torah: B’resheet/Genesis 23:1-25:18
Haftarah: M’lakhim Alef/1st Kings 1:1-31
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu/Matthew 8:19-22; 27:3-10; Luke 9:57-62

Shavuah Tov (Have a good week)!!!

Who fills his mind with Torah clears it of fear and folly.
Rabbi Chanina Sgan HaKohanim

Organize yourselves into classes for the study of Torah,
since it can best be acquired in association with others.
Talmud: Berkot 63b

One Response


This is great Batyah thanks so much!

Leave Your Response

* Name, Email, Comment are Required

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.

Monthly Supporter

The cost of the monthly meeting is well in excess of $1000 every month. Would you please consider supporting Ozarks Hebrew Heritage on a monthly basis by choosing an amount below and clicking the Subscribe button. PayPal refers to this type of recurring payment as a "Subscription".
Choose a Monthly Support Amount
Add a note:
Subscriptions and donations are made to: Torah Chai Messianic Fellowship's PayPal Account
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

One-Time Offering

If you would prefer to give a one-time donation use the button below instead.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Cancel Monthly Support Here

We really appreciate your monthly support and ask YHVH bless you for all you have done for this ministry. To stop the automated monthly support, just click the unsubscribe button below and follow the steps. Again thank you so much!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


new secure location