This weeks reading is from Parsahat Nasso (Bamidbar / Numbers 4:21-7:89). Following the Lord’s command to number the people in Parashat Bamidbar, the Lord asks Moshe to number the Levites including the fathers of their household by their families. In the midst of the numbering, over and over again we read, ל מִבֶּן שְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה וָמַעְלָה וְעַד בֶּן-חֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה תִּפְקְדֵם כָּל-הַבָּא לַצָּבָא לַעֲבֹד אֶת-עֲבֹדַת אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד: 4:30 from thirty years and upward even to fifty years old, you shall number them, everyone who enters the service to do the work of the tent of meeting. (NASB) What is the significance of the persons serving being between 30 and 50 years of age? Following the numbering of the Levites, the Lord commands the people to put outside of the camp (city) the people who are unclean, the Leper, and every person having a discharge of the skin (5:1-4) so the camp is not defiled. The Lord requires justice for His people saying when a person sins he is to make restitution by confessing his sin and then adding one-fifth and giving it to the person that he has wronged. The scriptures then describe what to do if a man’s wife is unfaithful (5:12), the husband and wife go to the Tabernacle and make an offering of jealousy. (5:13-15). The Scriptures continue in detailing the requirements of the one who makes the vow of a Nazarite: (i) do not drink wine, vinegar, strong drink or anything from the fruit of the vine, (ii) do not shave the head, and (iii) do not touch anything dead (6:1-21) throughout the entire length of their vow. The rabbinic ruling (see Rambam’s Mishneh Torah) is that if one violates one of these three things, the time line of the vow must be restarted again. Following the Nazarite vow, the Lord tells Moshe to have Aaron bless the people (6:22-26) and the Lord gives the liturgy of the Aaronic blessing. Moshe then constructs the Tabernacle and consecrates it (7:1-11). Each tribe participates in the dedication ceremony, the description of the dedication is repeated twelve times, one per day for each of the tribes of Israel totaling twelve days. The Scripture reading concludes detailing the total number of animals offered as sacrifices for the dedication of the altar of God.
In this week’s reading, we are looking at Bamidbar / Numbers 5:11-16. This section of the reading describes the unfaithfulness between a husband and wife (5:12). The interesting aspect of these Scriptures is that there are a prescribed set of instructions on what to do when a husband finds or believes his wife to be unfaithful. The Scriptures say the following, טו וְהֵבִיא הָאִישׁ אֶת-אִשְׁתּוֹ אֶל-הַכֹּהֵן וְהֵבִיא אֶת-קָרְבָּנָהּ עָלֶיהָ עֲשִֹירִת הָאֵיפָה קֶמַח שְֹעֹרִים לֹא-יִצֹק עָלָיו שֶׁמֶן וְלֹא-יִתֵּן עָלָיו לְבֹנָה כִּי-מִנְחַת קְנָאֹת הוּא מִנְחַת זִכָּרוֹן מַזְכֶּרֶת עָוֹן: 5:15 the man shall then bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring as an offering for her one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial, a reminder of iniquity. (NASB)
ספר במדבר פרק ה
א וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָֹה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה לֵּאמֹר: יב דַּבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם אִישׁ אִישׁ כִּי-תִשְֹטֶה אִשְׁתּוֹ וּמָעֲלָה בוֹ מָעַל: יג וְשָׁכַב אִישׁ אֹתָהּ שִׁכְבַת-זֶרַע וְנֶעְלַם מֵעֵינֵי אִישָׁהּ וְנִסְתְּרָה וְהִיא נִטְמָאָה וְעֵד אֵין בָּהּ וְהִוא לֹא נִתְפָּשָֹה: יד וְעָבַר עָלָיו רוּחַ-קִנְאָה וְקִנֵּא אֶת-אִשְׁתּוֹ וְהִוא נִטְמָאָה אוֹ-עָבַר עָלָיו רוּחַ-קִנְאָה וְקִנֵּא אֶת-אִשְׁתּוֹ וְהִיא לֹא נִטְמָאָה: טו וְהֵבִיא הָאִישׁ אֶת-אִשְׁתּוֹ אֶל-הַכֹּהֵן וְהֵבִיא אֶת-קָרְבָּנָהּ עָלֶיהָ עֲשִֹירִת הָאֵיפָה קֶמַח שְֹעֹרִים לֹא-יִצֹק עָלָיו שֶׁמֶן וְלֹא-יִתֵּן עָלָיו לְבֹנָה כִּי-מִנְחַת קְנָאֹת הוּא מִנְחַת זִכָּרוֹן מַזְכֶּרֶת עָוֹן: טז וְהִקְרִיב אֹתָהּ הַכֹּהֵן וְהֶעֱמִדָהּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָֹה:
Bamidbar / Numbers 5:11-16
5:11 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 5:12 ‘Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘If any man’s wife goes astray and is unfaithful to him, 5:13 and a man has intercourse with her and it is hidden from the eyes of her husband and she is undetected, although she has defiled herself, and there is no witness against her and she has not been caught in the act, 5:14 if a spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has defiled herself, or if a spirit of jealousy comes over him and he is jealous of his wife when she has not defiled herself, 5:15 the man shall then bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring as an offering for her one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial, a reminder of iniquity. 5:16 ‘Then the priest shall bring her near and have her stand before the Lord, (NASB)
In the MT, the Torah states: טו וְהֵבִיא הָאִישׁ אֶת-אִשְׁתּוֹ אֶל-הַכֹּהֵן וְהֵבִיא אֶת-קָרְבָּנָהּ עָלֶיהָ עֲשִֹירִת הָאֵיפָה קֶמַח שְֹעֹרִים לֹא-יִצֹק עָלָיו שֶׁמֶן וְלֹא-יִתֵּן עָלָיו לְבֹנָה כִּי-מִנְחַת קְנָאֹת הוּא מִנְחַת זִכָּרוֹן מַזְכֶּרֶת עָוֹן: 5:15 the man shall then bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring as an offering for her one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial, a reminder of iniquity. (NASB) The Hebrew text says וְהֵבִיא אֶת-קָרְבָּנָה “and you shall bring an offering.” The husband is to bring a “korbanah” with him when he brings his wife to make an accusation against her before the Lord. In the Tanach and later Judaism, the korban is known as a reference to “what is offered” to the Lord God in heaven upon the altar (Bamidbar / Numbers 7:3). According to the Torah, there are various kinds of offerings, not just the sacrifices of animals (e.g. grain offering). Similarly, Judaism has the same general usage with the addition of the term “korban” also being a way of referencing a vow-formula when something is offered to the Lord. The specific sacrifice here in Bamidbar / Numbers 5:15 is for the case of the grain offering (mincha), the grain was received first in secular usage, taken from the field, but now as a “korban” it has been transferred or dedicated to the service of the Lord. The korban is a reference to something that is subject to a transfer of control, being given over to the Levites, the Temple, and unto the Lord God of Israel. In the first century context we know the korban (Κορβᾶν) may have also taken on a form of a personal renunciation, or the korban was used to deny others the use of one’s possessions such as helping the poor or helping ones family, relatives, father and mother. Such is the case in the example given according to the gospel of Mark 7:10-16.
7:10 ‘For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who speaks evil of father or mother, is to be put to death’; 7:11 but you say, ‘If a man says to his father or his mother, whatever I have that would help you is Corban (that is to say, given to God ,’ 7:12 you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; 7:13 thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.’ 7:14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, ‘Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: 7:15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. 7:16 [‘If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.’] (NASB)
10Μωϋσῆς γὰρ εἶπεν, Τίμα τὸν πατέρα σου καὶ τὴν μητέρα σου, καί, Ὁ κακολογῶν πατέρα ἢ μητέρα θανάτῳ τελευτάτω: 11ὑμεῖς δὲ λέγετε, Ἐὰν εἴπῃ ἄνθρωπος τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί, Κορβᾶν, ὅ ἐστιν, Δῶρον, ὃ ἐὰν ἐξ ἐμοῦ ὠφεληθῇς, 12οὐκέτι ἀφίετε αὐτὸν οὐδὲν ποιῆσαι τῷ πατρὶ ἢ τῇ μητρί, 13ἀκυροῦντες τὸν λόγον τοῦ θεοῦ τῇ παραδόσει ὑμῶν ἧ παρεδώκατε: καὶ παρόμοια τοιαῦτα πολλὰ ποιεῖτε. 14Καὶ προσκαλεσάμενος πάλιν τὸν ὄχλον ἔλεγεν αὐτοῖς, Ἀκούσατέ μου πάντες καὶ σύνετε. 15οὐδέν ἐστιν ἔξωθεν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου εἰσπορευόμενον εἰς αὐτὸν ὃ δύναται κοινῶσαι αὐτόν: ἀλλὰ τὰ ἐκ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου ἐκπορευόμενά ἐστιν τὰ κοινοῦντα τὸν ἄνθρωπον. 16Καὶ
In the example provided by Yeshua, this type of korban (Κορβᾶν) had been used to breach relations and responsibilities within a family in the sense that one did not need to fulfill his responsibility to his parents to take care of them in their old age if one dedicated his possessions to the Lord. The korban is found within the context of what Yeshua is saying, the person states he is bringing a korban for the purpose of disregarding the command to honor your mother and father. This is paralleled to Mark 7:21 ‘For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 7:22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 7:23 ‘All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.’ (NASB) Mark 7 is about wickedness and sin that proceeds from one’s heart where one brings a korban under the pretense of not having to honor his mother and father. In the debate between Yeshua, the scribes, and the Pharisees, Yeshua’s accusation is that the scribes uphold a vow (a korban) taken by a son even though it releases him from all obligations to his parents. The idea here is with regard to the weightiness of a command, what command would supercede another? Which command is greater and thus takes precedence? The Scribal-Pharisaical argument is taken from Parashat Mattot, Bamidbar / Numbers 30:2-3, saying that vows to the Lord God take precedence over one’s obligation to men. The point being missed was if the Scribes truly wanted to obey the Torah, they should realize that God’s love and justice coincide with His concern for human life and welfare. Therefore, taking care of one’s mother and father in old age takes precedence over bringing a sacrifice at the Tabernacle or Temple. More specifically, to make a korban (gift) to one’s parents was synonymous to separating something as holy in service to the Lord in obedience to the command of God. Thus, making a korban by giving it to one’s parents would have been an equal fulfillment of the command, as if it had been sacrificed upon the altar before the Lord. A korban did not have to burn upon the altar in order for it to be considered a true korban (gift) to God. Note how according to 1 Samuel 15:22 listening and obeying is more important than sacrifice since obedience in itself is a sacrifice of our lives and our own personal desires.
In Matthew 27:6, the silver pieces Judas returned to the Temple, the chief priests decided the returned money was not suitable for korbanas (κορβανᾶς), for the temple treasury, even though Judas had put them in the temple and the money most likely originating from the Temple treasury. The reason this is reported in the Matthew account is that “this is blood money” and hence it is unclean for korbanas (κορβανᾶς). So there are some things that may disqualify a korbanas (κορβανᾶς) before God which is related to that thing being used for evil purposes or derived from sinful actions. (e.g. A prostitute taking the money she earned on the street to give in service to the work of God. The Lord would not be pleased on that kind of Tzedakah, charity.)
These concepts follow through in Yeshua’s teaching regarding the korban and the man who had an issue with his brother according to Matthew 5:21-46.
5:21 ‘You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.’ 5:22 ‘But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. 5:23 ‘Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 5:24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering. 5:25 ‘Make friends quickly with your opponent at law while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 5:26 ‘Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there until you have paid up the last cent. 5:27 ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; 5:28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 5:29 ‘If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 5:30 ‘If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell. 5:31 ‘It was said, ‘Whoever sends his wife away, let him give her a certificate of divorce’; 5:32 but I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except for the reason of unchastity, makes her commit adultery; and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 5:33 ‘Again, you have heard that the ancients were told, ‘You shall not make false vows, but shall fulfill your vows to the Lord.’ 5:34 ‘But I say to you, make no oath at all, either by heaven, for it is the throne of God, 5:35 or by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet, or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 5:36 ‘Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black. 5:37 ‘But let your statement be, ‘Yes, yes’ or ‘No, no’; anything beyond these is of evil. 5:38 ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 5:39 ‘But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. 5:40 ‘If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also. 5:41 ‘Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two. 5:42 ‘Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. 5:43 ‘You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 5:44 ‘But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 5:45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 5:46 ‘For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? (NASB)
Note how we need to look at 25 verses in order to get the context of Yeshua’s words. Yeshua is drawing together many concepts in Matthew 5 in his teaching, murder and being angry with your brother (5:21-22), adultery and the thoughts of our hearts (5:27-28), of giving a certificate of divorce to one’s wife (5:31-32, hardness of heart), making a vow and false vows (5:33-37), and then being good to our enemies (5:39-46). The context suggests all of these things may be connected. Now take note of Parashat Naso, the Torah perspective of the Levites (priesthood) making right with property stollen, making a vow, one’s wife and unfaithfulness, construction of the Tabernacle and its dedication, etc. Can you see the parallel here within these topics between Yeshua’s words and this week’s Torah portion? Could Yeshua have been teaching from the Torah on Parashat Naso? Yeshua’s statement about divorce naturally draws us to this week’s Torah portion (Parashat Naso) and the concepts of the korbanah (קָרְבָּנָה) found in Bamidbar / Numbers 5:15. Notice also how Yeshua says in Matthew 5, 23ἐὰν οὖν προσφέρῃς τὸ δῶρόν σου ἐπὶ τὸ θυσιαστήριον κἀκεῖ μνησθῇς ὅτι ὁ ἀδελφός σου ἔχει τι κατὰ σοῦ 5:23 ‘Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, (NASB) using the word δῶρόν (doron). The word δῶρόν (doron) means “gift” and generally is a replacement word for korban קָרְבָּן and also for minchah מִנְחָה (gift, grain) and shokhad שֹׁחַד (bribe). If a parallel might be taken from this Greek word, notice how the word δῶρόν (doron) for “gift or grain” is a replacement word for קָרְבָּן, and its usage in the Apostolic Writings gives us the expression of honor, Matthew 2:11, and of sacrifices and of other gifts offered to the Lord God, according to Matthew 5:23; Matthew 8:4; Matthew 15:5; Matthew 23:18; Mark 7:11; Hebrews 5:1; Hebrews 8:3; Hebrews 9:9; Hebrews 11:4. In addition, this word is also used of money cast into the treasury for the purposes of the temple and for the support of the poor. (Luke 21:1). What appears to be coming out of this study is all of these concepts on the korban draws us back to the Torah concept of honoring one’s parents, one’s spouse, and how this effects our relationship with the Lord God in heaven. Yeshua’s words in Mark 7 coupled with Matthew 5, we find that one needs to deal with sin before bringing the korban. Could this be the intent of the Torah text on bringing a korban when you bring your wife to make accusation before the Lord at the Tabernacle? The sins that proceed from one’s heart holds a very weighty position before God especially in the context of the korban, and most importantly between a husband and wife in the context of intimacy and relationship.
The importance of rooting out sin coupled with the korban is discussed by the rabbis according to the Mishnah Pesachim 3:7 and Bava Kamma 9:12.
Mishnah Pesachim 3:7
If one is walking to go and slaughter his Pesach sacrifice, [or] to circumcise his son, [or] to attend a betrothal meal at the home of his father-in-law, and he remembers that he has chametz in his home; if he can return, destroy [it], and return to his mitzva, he should return and destroy [it]; and if not, he must annul it in his heart. [If one is walking to go and] save [people] from armed foes, or from the [flooding of a] river, or from robbers, or from fire, or from the collapse of ruined buildings, he must annul [the chametz] in his heart; and if [he is walking to go and] set up his optional Shabbat rest [so as to allow for himself a different area within which he may walk on Shabbat], he must return immediately [to destroy his chametz.ההולך לשחוט את פסחו, ולמול את בנו, ולאכול סעודת ארוסין בבית חמיו, ונזכר שיש לו חמץ בתוך ביתו – אם יכול לחזור ולבער ולחזור למצותו, יחזור ויבער. ואם לאו – מבטלו בלבו. להציל מן הגיס, ומן הנהר, ומן הלסטים, ומן הדלקה, ומן המפלת – יבטל בלבו. ולשבות שביתת הרשות – יחזור מיד.
Mishnah Bava Kamma 9:12
If he gave the money to the men of the priestly watch and then died, his inheritors cannot take it out of their, as it says, “Whatsoever a man gives to a priest shall be his” (Numbers 5:10). If he gave the money to Yehoyariv, and the guilt-offering to Yedayah [the first and second two weekly divisions of the 24 Temple divisions], he has fulfilled his obligation. If he gave the guilt-offering to Yehoyariv and the money to Yedayah: if the guilt-offering still remains, the sons of Yedayah shall offer it; and if not, he must bring another guilt-offering. For one who brings what he had stolen before he brings his guilt-offering, has fulfilled his obligation. If he brought his guilt-offering before he brought what he had stolen, he has not fulfilled his obligation. If he gave the principal but not the fifth, the fifth does not prevent [him from offering the guilt-offering]. נתן את הכסף לאנשי משמר ומת אין היורשים יכולין להוציא מידם שנאמר איש אשר יתן לכהן לו יהיה נתן הכסף ליהויריב ואשם לידעיה יצא אשם ליהויריב וכסף לידעיה אם קים האשם יקרבוהו בני ידעיה ואם לא יחזיר ויביא אשם אחר שהמביא גזלו עד שלא הביא אשמו יצא הביא אשמו עד שלא הביא גזלו לא יצא נתן את הקרן ולא נתן את החמש אין החמש מעכב.
The Mishnah Pesachim 3:7 speaks of the one who is bringing a korban for the Pesach sacrifice and remembers that he has chametz in his home, he needs to stop, return home, remove the chametz, and then return to bring the korban before the Lord. Chametz or leaven are various substances which are known to have fermenting properties which are added to bread causing the bread to raise by the production of CO2. Leaven described in Scripture and the rabbinic literature consist of a lump of old dough in a high state of fermentation, which is then mixed into the mass of dough prepared for baking. The Torah forbids the use of leaven in all offerings made to the Lord by fire because leaven represents sin. During the Pesach (Passover) feast, we are told to put away every particle of leaven from the house. The most prominent idea associated with leaven is its connection to corruption that is found within the bread making process and thereby its connection to the sin that is in our lives. In the Pesach sacrifice, the rabbis speak of before bringing a sacrifice before God, one needs to deal with the sin that is in one’s heart (or within one’s house). And we know according to the rabbinic literature and the Torah (see Parashat Noach) that the word for house (beit, בית) may also be a reference to the heart (the inside of a man). The rabbis knew and understood the issue of sin and the sacrifice as we read Yeshua expounding upon according to Matthew 5:21-46.
It is this property of leaven which Yeshua points out when speaking of the “leaven (the corrupt doctrine) of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Matthew 16:6) Note how corrupt doctrines can well up within a man in a sort of uncontrolled state (e.g. rapid CO2 production or release in the forms of baking soda or yeast) to produce all sorts of bad fruit, both physically, emotionally (thoughts) and verbally (relationships). The Apostle Paul according to 1 Corinthians 5:7 used the words “old leaven” coupled with the Mishnah, if one remembers chametz (sin), one must first destroy it before going before the Lord with the Pesach Lamb. (Note the significance of last week’s Torah portion, Parashat Bamidbar, and the significance of the weakness of the korban and the power of God in Yeshua the Messiah to cleanse us from sin from within.) Similarly, by reason of bringing a korbanas (κορβανᾶς) before the Lord while bringing one’s wife to make accusation against her, one is reminded by these things to carefully examine and remove the chametz that is in one’s own life and heart and relationship.
In the Mishnah Bava Kamma 9:12, the rabbis discuss what is stolen, and returning the gift that was stolen before bringing the gift (korbanas) that belongs to the Lord. Making right with what is stolen takes precedence, and is weightier than the gift given upon the altar because one is mending a relationship that is connected to a sacrifice being made to the Lord God in heaven. By a parallel thought, the wrong that is done between husband and wife needs to be remedied prior to coming before the Lord as described in Bamidbar / Numbers 5:11-16.
In Parashat Naso, the MT states, טו וְהֵבִיא הָאִישׁ אֶת-אִשְׁתּוֹ אֶל-הַכֹּהֵן וְהֵבִיא אֶת-קָרְבָּנָהּ עָלֶיהָ עֲשִֹירִת הָאֵיפָה קֶמַח שְֹעֹרִים לֹא-יִצֹק עָלָיו שֶׁמֶן וְלֹא-יִתֵּן עָלָיו לְבֹנָה כִּי-מִנְחַת קְנָאֹת הוּא מִנְחַת זִכָּרוֹן מַזְכֶּרֶת עָוֹן: 5:15 the man shall then bring his wife to the priest, and shall bring as an offering for her one-tenth of an ephah of barley meal; he shall not pour oil on it nor put frankincense on it, for it is a grain offering of jealousy, a grain offering of memorial, a reminder of iniquity. (NASB) The MT states וְהֵבִיא אֶת-קָרְבָּנָה “and you shall bring an offering.” The husband is to bring a “korbanah” with him when he brings his wife to make an accusation against her before the Lord. The point of bringing the korbanah as a minchat offering (מִנְחַת), is found within the details of the Hebrew text. We are told this is a grain offering of jealousy, no frankincense is to be placed upon it. The grain offering is a gift of memorial (מִנְחַת זִכָּרוֹן) a reminder of iniquity (מַזְכֶּרֶת עָוֹן). The point of bringing the offerings is to remind one of the Torah command and of sin. The whole point of bringing the minchat was to remind one of his or her own chametz (sin) and the mercy of God to forgive us of our sins. The man is bringing accusation against his own flesh and blood (his wife), and bringing a korbanah (קָרְבָּנָה) and so in the concept of sin, sacrifice, and mercy, the husband is reminded to be merciful as the Lord our God is merciful to us! All of these Torah concepts that we have discussed, of sin in our hearts, and bringing accusation against one’s wife, of vows that were made before the Lord, our relationship with others, all effects our relationship with and the Lord. All of these things follow through from wickedness and sin that proceeds from one’s heart and the one who brings a korban under the pretense of not having to honor mother and father, and in this case, not having to honor intimate relationships (wife) and this connection to the intimate relationship we have with our Father in heaven and His Messiah Yeshua. Not giving honor and respect to each other may have lead to the unfaithfulness that has occurred between husband and wife. Therefore, based upon Parashat Naso, we need to love and respect one another!
Now the question is whether the korbanah that is brought in Bamidbar / Numbers 5:11-16 is valid if one holds sin in one’s heart and life? What about our going before the Father in heaven in the Name of His Son Yeshua the Messiah, while keeping unrepentant sin in our hearts and lives? The Torah portion this week provides us with a picture of the unfaithfulness that we have towards the Lord God in heaven when we sin. The commandment in the Torah on the bringing of a gift while bringing one’s wife is not meant to be a harsh and crewel ruling as some would say regarding the commandment, under the presupposition that the Torah, “THE LAW,” is cold, hard, and unmerciful. The point of the Torah command is to draw all of these concepts into context of our relationships with both mankind and our Father God in heaven. The Lord has given His Torah for the purpose of reminding us of these things. We are called to return, to be drawn back to him, in the commands, and in the words of Yeshua, and to deeply consider our relationships with both man and God, while maintaining a focus upon mercy, justice, peace, and righteousness, because these are the things the Lord wants us to live by. Ask the Lord to help you overcome the desires of the flesh, and to create in you a new heart, one that is wholly devoted to the Lord, and to be merciful and to live in justice, peace, and righteousness. Because when we see the Lord working in our lives in these ways, we know that He is with us, and these are the things that consist of Simkhat Torah (“The Joy of Torah”)! Let’s Pray! BTT_Parashat Naso-2016