The notes in this post come from the Torah portions Va’era and Bo found in Exodus 6:1-13:16.
The story of Passover is one of repentance, restoration, and forgiveness. It begins in the book of Exodus with Moses going before Pharaoh with a message from YHVH: “Let My people go!” When Pharaoh refuses, the ten plagues are sent on the land of Egypt.
For four hundred years, the Hebrews had lived in the midst of the Egyptians. They had been so steeped in the pagan traditions they didn’t even know who YHVH was! Don’t we find ourselves in a similar situation? We too have been so steeped in a pagan culture that we don’t even know who YHVH truly is. If we did, we would know that YHVH does not desire these pagan ways but, instead, desires we live our lives according to His Torah. So, in order to introduce Himself to the Hebrews, He sent the plagues on the Egyptians. Let’s not push YHVH to the point of sending plagues on our “host nation” ok? Perhaps we should just humble ourselves now instead of making Him humble us.
YHVH uses established/ordinary things in our environment and makes them miraculous by His hand and power;
- this is what we call a “modern day parable”; don’t disregard every day things that YHVH is using to teach you a lesson or reveal Himself; you see it operating under normal circumstances then to one day see it under extraordinary circumstances makes it more meaningful/miraculous to us
- Moses; nothing special about Him until YHVH goes with him; just like us, there is nothing special until YHVH fills us up and uses us for His purpose
- YHVH uses ordinary things to show His glory; that’s even more miraculous because to us these are common things we see every day so when YHVH gets a hold of something/someone you would not expect to be holy, it’s even more of a miracle
4 Layers to the 10 Plagues
- Scientific perspective; a chain of events was triggered by one occurrence
- The grouping of three sets of three
- Each as an attack on Egyptian gods
- Signs to the Hebrews; YHVH revealing/teaching the Hebrews & Egyptians who He really was since neither group really knew Him
3 Sets of Plagues
- 1st set: to show who YHVH was (Exodus 5:2; Pharaoh said he didn’t know YHVH)
- 2nd set: to show the uniqueness of YHVH among the Egyptian gods
- 3rd set: to show the supreme nature of YHVH in all the earth
- each begins with a public message/spiritual lesson to be learned
- followed by a private warning in the palace
- ended with another plague that has no warning/message attached
Set #1: “That you will know that I am YHVH” (Exodus 7:17)
1. Blood Dam דם
- the Nile was worshiped as a deity
- “measure for measure”; retribution for the Hebrew blood that had been spilled
- makes all water unusable for bathing or drinking and causes smell of dead fish; this would have robbed the Egyptians of peace and comfort
- Hatmehit: fish goddess; originally a deification of the Nile River
2. Frogs Tsephardeda צפרדע
- land stank and made living uncomfortable; no sleep allowed because their beds were also invaded
- the frog was considered the deification of the goddess Heqet, the wife of the creator of the world and the goddess of birth
- Heqet was most commonly shown with the head of a frog and body of a woman. Egyptian women wore amulets and scarabs with the image of Heqet to protect them during childbirth. Again, retribution for the death of so many Hebrew babies
- frogs were so sacred in Egypt that even the involuntary slaughter of one was often punishable by death
3. Gnats/Lice Kinim כינים
- irritating and carry disease and bite constantly; bites would have caused itching/irritation of skin
- the lice originated from the dust of the earth
- the Egyptian magicians recognized this as “the finger of God” that even the dust of the earth obeyed His command
- the Egyptians worshiped Ged (or Geb), the earth god
- his laughter was thought to cause earthquakes and he allowed crops to grow
- associated with vegetation, land, and the underworld
- sometimes described as “father of snakes”
- sometimes depicted as jackal-headed and rising from the ground to bind and punish enemies
Set #2: “I AM YHVH in the midst of the land” (Exodus 8:22)
4. Swarms/Mixture Arov ערוב
- there is some debate about what the 4th plague actually was; Rashi, Rabbi Yehudah and others believed this plague was a swarm of wild animals. However, Rabbi Nechemiah believed this plague was a swarm of insects
- if a swarm of insects, then they would have picked at food, laid eggs in food, and caused disease; again, allowing no rest for the Egyptians
- this plague may have been targeting the Canaanite god “the lord of the flies” or “lord of the high place/high lord” baal zevuv which may have evolved later into Beelzebub
5. Livestock Pestilence דבר
- flies and gnats carrying disease from dead fish and frogs; killed sacred animals and food sources
- the god Apis was represented as a bull
- Apis was the most important of all the sacred animals worshiped in Egypt
- connection to crops, herds, fertility, resurrection, and Pharaoh’s strength and fertility
- only animal to be worshiped as only an animal; versus half human half animal
6. Boils Shchin שחין
- soot; is it like the drinking of ashes to determine if a woman had been unfaithful?
- the first plague to harm the physical bodies of the Egyptians
- “measure for measure” the Egyptians had harmed and mistreated the bodies of the Hebrews, so too would they be harmed
- Thoth, the Egyptian god credited with inventing medicine among many other arts and sciences, was unable to cure the boils; depicted with head of either an ibis (bird) or baboon
- Nefertem god of healing and beauty; originally a water lily; son of the sky god and earth goddess; would mature to be Ra; Egyptians carried a small statue of him as a good luck charm
Set #3: “There is none like Me in all the earth” (Exodus 9:14)
7. Hail Barad ברד
- destroys people, animals, crops, land and green things (9:25)
- combined fire and ice
- referred to as “all my plagues” in the biblical text equating it to all the others combined
- Pharaoh says this time I have sinned; what does that show us?
- flax and barely struck but wheat and spelt not struck; YHVH’s mercy for those Egyptians who did fear the word of YHVH or perhaps to show us the time of year this was happening?
- Egyptian goddess Nut, goddess of the sky who covers the earth; she was called “she who bore all the gods” and “she who protects Ra” (the sun god) and “she who holds a thousand souls”
- Tefnut, goddess of moisture and rain; mother of Nut (goddess of the sky); depicted many ways: a lioness with female body, female only, a serpent, or lion headed serpent
8. Locust (Many) Arbeh ארבה
- destroyed what hail did not
- covered the land so no one could even see the land
- ate every green tree (10:5); filled houses of Egyptians (10:6); would have been very demoralizing
- the god Nepri (god of grain) could not help
- Nepri was most often a suckling child; representing sustenance; also called “one who lives after dying”
9. Darkness Hosek חושך
- Ra, Egyptian sun god
- associated with hawk or falcon; thought to rule the sky, earth, and underworld
- the cult of the Mnevis bull, thought to be the embodiment of Ra; thought to be the creator of all beings by speaking their secret names; humans were formed from tears and sweat and then called themselves “cattle of Ra”
- there was even a special burial ground for sacrificed bulls of this cult
- Ra sent his eye (the all seeing eye) in the form of Sekhmet (lioness; warrior goddess of healing) to punish the humans
The final plague brought a true change in Pharaoh shown by his statement Veirakhtem Gam-Oti “And bring blessing on me too!” This shows that Pharaoh finally knew YHVH, saw the uniqueness of YHVH compared to Egyptian gods, and recognized the supreme nature of YHVH. Pharaoh now understood that he too needed to be blessed by YHVH but that the congregation of Israel had such a special relationship with YHVH that their prayers for him would much more effective than his own.
This change in Pharaoh was also necessary and beneficial for the children of Israel. They had been steeped in Egyptian culture for 400 years that to see Pharaoh (a self-proclaimed god) and the other Egyptian gods rendered helpless against YHVH made them more confident in trusting YHVH to lead them out and to make YHVH their only God.
10. Death of the Firstborn Bekor (Firstborn) Makot (Plague) מכת בכורות
- Exodus 12:12 “against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am YHVH”
- Min: the god of procreation
- Isis: the goddess of fertility
- Selket: the guardian of life
- Renenutet: cobra-goddess who was the guardian of Pharaoh
- Bastet or Bast: protector of the pharaoh and solar goddess; depicted as a lioness or cat
- also makes retribution for the killing of Hebrew children
To recap, the plagues have several main things in common:
- They target an Egyptian god/important part of Egyptian life and culture
- They allowed no rest, peace, comfort or sense of safety for Egyptians (warfare tactic)
- They served as signs to both the Hebrews and Egyptians
Are there any areas in your life where you feel you are constantly attacked? If so, why are you being attacked in that area? Is it because you’ve made that area more important than YHVH or because you need strengthening in that area?
Yes, I said “Happy New Year!” And no, I’m not 4 months behind. According to the Biblical timetable laid out for us in the Torah, the month of Nisan (which usually falls in the March/April period of time) begins the New Year! Leviticus 23:4-6 tells us,
“These are the appointed times of YHVH, set-apart gatherings which you are to proclaim at their appointed times. In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month, between the evenings, is the Passover to YHVH. And on the fifteenth day of this month is the Festival of Unleavened Bread to YHVH – seven days you eat unleavened bread.”
According to YHVH’s timetable, Passover will begin on April 14, 2014 this year and the Feast of Unleavened Bread begins the 15th of April because the new moon was spotted March 31, 2014. The focus of this post is not Passover, but rather, the new year…although you can’t talk about one without the other. I will be talking more about Passover in the coming weeks as we get closer to it.
For right now, let’s focus on the New Year. There seems to be conflicting guidance from “Jewish” and “Messianic” sources about when the New Year actually begins. According to both secular and Orthodox Jews, there are up to 4 new years in one year! This is just crazy! Although, if you fail at your new years’ resolution, no need to worry! There’s sure to be another new year right around the corner so you can start over!
Keep in mind that as we go through the Biblical timetable, I will be using the Hebrew names for these months as designated in the Word and will do my best to name the corresponding English month as well.
The first two “new years” I will go through, are lesser known and less commonly “celebrated” in the traditional sense of the word. The first “new year” is 15 Shevat (January/February). This is said to be the new year of trees and separating your fruits for tithing. The second “new year” is 1 Elul (August/September) and is the new year of tithing cattle. The month of Elul is very significant in YHVH’s calendar and we will be discussing this more as we approach this important month.
The third “new year” is where the bulk of the argument about the real New Year comes in. 1 Tishrei (September/October) is the civil new year of Israel. However, 1 Nisan (March/April) is the month designated by YHVH to be the first month. You see, this distorts a very important feast in YHVH’s timetable: Yom Teruach or the Feast of Trumpets.
I will be talking more about Yom Teruach as we approach this appointed time in September/October, but I’ll give you an idea of why this feast is so important. In Biblical times, and even still today, Yom Teruach was nicknamed “the day and the hour which no man knows.” This is because in order to know when this feast begins, the sliver of the new moon must be spotted. Once the new moon sliver is spotted, the Feast of Trumpets immediately begins. While YHVH’s entire timetable is based on the lunar cycle, the other feasts usually begin several days after the new moon is spotted. However, the Feasts of Trumpets is the only one that begins the moment the new moon is spotted. Hence the nickname “the day and the hour which no man knows.”
So when Yeshua said, “The heaven and the earth shall pass away, but My words shall by no means pass away. But concerning that day and the hour no one knows, not even the messengers of the heavens, but My Father only. And as the days of Noah, so also shall the coming of the Son of Adam be,” He was referencing this particular feast…the Feast of Trumpets. There is more to this scripture and the reference to the days of Noah but we can save that for another day.
You can see how this could get confusing, right??? Well, there is definitely a reason for all the confusion.
You see, in Leviticus 23, YHVH lays out his timetable, which include His feasts or His moedim. The Hebrew word moedim can be translated as “feasts, celebrations, or holidays.” But perhaps the most accurate and descriptive translation is “appointed times.” You see, the feasts of YHVH are the appointed times that He has laid aside in order to meet with us. When the King of the Universe says He wants to meet with you, you don’t want to miss it or turn it down. Would you turn down an invitation to the White House? Well….with the political climate the way it is some of you might very well indeed turn down a visit to the White House, but you catch my drift.
My point is that YHVH, our God and King, has said that He wants to meet with us on these days at these times. Why would we turn it down? Simply because we weren’t taught this way of living? Because it goes against our theology? Because it challenges everything we have been taught and believed to this point? So what! Let it go! Would you really miss an opportunity to meet with YHVH because of your stiff neck and your pride? I hope not. Because let me fill you in on the real reason there is so much confusion surrounding the beginning of the new year and YHVH’s timetable in general.
Habakkuk 2:3 tells us that the end time vision seen by Habakkuk is at an appointed time or moedim. It will take time but we are to patiently wait until it is fulfilled.
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, and it speaks of the end, and does not lie. If it lingers, wait for it, for it shall certainly come, it shall not delay.”
Genesis 1:14-19 tells us that YHVH established the sun, moon, and stars to be signs that point us toward the appointed times.
“And Elohim said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years, and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” And it came to be so. And Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars. And Elohim set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good. And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the fourth day.”
As we see from these two passages, the moedim or feasts of YHVH are the timetable that YHVH uses. If this is the timetable YHVH uses, that means that all prophetic visions and end time events are dictated by the feasts of YHVH. If you read any verses about end times prophecy and you have an understanding of the feasts of YHVH, a lot of the “mystery” and “unknown” is taken out and it begins to make a whole lot more sense. Go figure!
So we can see why the enemy would have such an interest in keeping us in the dark about these feasts, the heavenly signs, and YHVH’s timetable in general. Daniel 7:25 tells us that the spirit of the anti-Messiah is to change these appointed times and to keep us forever lost to their meaning.
“and it [the anti-Messiah/beast] speaks words against the Most High, and it wears out the set-apart ones of the Most High, and it intends to change appointed times and law, and they are given into its hand for a time and times and half a time.”
Think about it. If the people of God are kept in confusion and deceit about when these things will take place, how much easier is it for him to catch us off guard and unprepared? How much easier is it for him to defeat us? Fortunately, we know the end of the story and we know that he is not victorious but that YHVH emerges triumphant and His kingdom is established on earth. This means that there are those who hear the word, repent, and return to the ways of YHVH! So to those who have ears to hear and a heart to understand: the time is now to repent and return to the ways of YHVH! Happy New Year 5775!
This week, I am including my Torah Tidbit notes for the blood moons prophecy portion since it was a lot of information and I didn’t get to all of it. If you have any questions, please send me an email or find me on Facebook.
Passover: The Hebrew feast day commemorating the Lamb Sacrifice in Exodus where the Angel of Death passed over Israel while the firstborn in Egypt were slain. It also is the same day the Lord Yeshua (Jesus Christ), our lamb sacrifice for sins, was crucified.
Sukkot (Tabernacles): The feast of Sukkot begins on Tishri 15, the fifth day of Yom Kippur. It is a joyous feast day while Yom Kippur is one of the most solemn of feast days. Sukkot is a feast day with a festival atmosphere. It marks a season of rejoicing. Sukkot means booths and refers to temporary dwelling places the Jews gather into during this holiday. Most Christian Scholars believe the “Feast of Sukkot” is the feast for the 2nd Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ when he returns with his saints on white horses at Armageddon.
Tetrad: 4 total lunar eclipses that happen back-to-back on the Biblical Feasts of Passover and Sukkot
What is a blood moon and why is it important?
Although single blood moons happen fairly regularly, four appearing so closely together is extremely rare. There have only been a series of blood moons a handful of times over the past 500 years.
So what exactly is a blood moon and what is the biblical significance?
A blood moon is when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon. And the sun is shining through the atmosphere of the Earth and casts up on the moon a red shadow. And so the moon appears to be red.
Such moons appear several times in scripture.
In the book of Joel, God says there will be “wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire…the sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”
In Acts, the Apostle Peter repeats that verse from Joel. And the book of Revelation says that during the Great Tribulation, “the moon will become like blood.”
Blood moons are set to appear in April 2014, on Passover, and then again in September 2014 during the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot.
The timing is the same for 2015 — a total of four blood moons, all appearing on Jewish feast days.
The sun, moon, and stars as signs to YHVH’s people
14 And Elohim (God) said, “Let lights come to be in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs and appointed times, and for days and years,
15 and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth.” And it came to be so.
16 And Elohim made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars.
17 And Elohim set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth,
18 and to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And Elohim saw that it was good.
19 And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the fourth day.
Four, blood moons on Jewish Feast days within two years in Israel is very rare and has only occurred seven times since the time of Yeshua. There are now four blood moons scheduled to appear in 2014/2015 and then there will NOT be any for the next 100 years.
Every time a blood moon pattern has appeared on Jewish feast days a big event affects the nation of Israel. The event affecting Israel begins just before the actual years of the blood moons. To understand what will happen in the 2014 – 2015 “blood moons” you must understand the pattern of blood moons in the past.
According to NASA – Four blood-red total lunar eclipses will fall again on Passover and Sukkot in 2014 and 2015… the same back-to-back occurrences at the time of 1492, 1948 and 1967.
1493 – 1494 Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and the Feast of Trumpets Holidays. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain ordered all Jewish people to leave the country.
1949 – 1950 Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacle in during the 1st Arab – Israeli War for Independence just after Israel had become a nation again for the first time in 2,000 years.
1967 – 1968 Four TOTAL lunar eclipses occurred on the Jewish Passover and Feast of Tabernacle in coinciding with the 6 Day War when Israel recaptured Jerusalem. As Israel’s neighbors prepared to destroy the Jewish state, Israel invoked its inherent right of self-defense, launching a preemptive strike (5 June 1967) against Egypt in the South.
At the end of six days of fighting, Jerusalem, which had been divided under Israeli and Jordanian rule since 1949, was reunified under Israel’s authority.
2014 – 2015 The coming Blood Moons of … These four TOTAL lunar eclipses and two solar eclipses WILL occur on the Jewish holidays of “Passover,” the “Feast of Tabernacles” and the “Feast of Trumpets.”
This is the only “tetrad” in the near future that aligns itself with the Jewish holidays. One should make mention here that there are other “tetrads” occurring as well. The difference between these “tetrads” and the 2014 – 2015 “tetrad” is that this “tetrad” aligns with the Jewish holidays and the others DO NOT!
Putting everything into perspective…
Mark 13:24 – 46: “But in those days the sun shall be darkened (eclipse) and the moon shall not give its light (eclipse) then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Yeshua (Jesus) told His disciples what would be the signs of the end of the age and some of them involved signs in the heavens he closes commanding them to ‘watch’ 4 times. To be a “Watcher, and observe what is happening in the heavens” relating to the Last Day, when “unusual signs” are seen in the heavens we watch, pray and record.
Matthew 24:29 – I encourage you to read this entire chapter
15 “So when you see the ‘abomination that lays waste,’spoken of by Daniel the prophet, set up in the set-apart place” – he who reads, let him understand –
16 “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
29 “And immediately after the distress of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars shall fall from the heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
30 “And then the sign of the Son of Adam shall appear in the heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of Adam coming on the clouds of the heaven with power and much esteem.
31 “And He shall send His messengers with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.
32 “And learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that the summer is near.
33 “So you also, when you see all these, know that He is near, at the doors.
36“Watch then at all times, and pray that you be counted worthy to endure all this about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Adam.”
Yeshua spoke those words after He warned us of many of the events that will happen in the end times. They are especially relevant to us today when we consider current headlines are now fulfilling Bible prophecy at an absolutely amazing rate — which is setting the stage for more ominous events to happen at any time. The signs are sometimes obvious, such as rumblings in the Middle East, economic turmoil, shifts in geopolitical policy, earthquakes, signs from heaven, and more. At other times, the clues are more subtle, yet equally astounding to those who know Bible prophecy.
Joel 2:10, 27-32
10 The earth shall tremble before them, the heavens shall shake. Sun and moon shall be darkened, and the stars withdraw their brightness.
27 “And you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am YHVH your Elohim and there is no one else. And My people shall never be put to shame.
28 “And after this it shall be that I pour out My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men dream dreams, your young men see visions.
29 “And also on the male servants and on the female servants I shall pour out My Spirit in those days.
30 “And I shall give signs in the heavens and upon the earth: blood and fire and columns of smoke,
31 the sun is turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of YHVH.
32 “And it shall be that everyone who calls on the Name of YHVH shall be delivered. For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be an escape as YHVH has said, and among the survivors whom YHVH calls.
16 “But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
17 ‘And it shall be in the last days, says Elohim, that I shall pour out of My Spirit on all flesh. And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams,
18 and also on My male servants and on My female servants I shall pour out My Spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy.
19 ‘And I shall show wonders in the heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 ‘The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and splendid day of YHVH.
21 ‘And it shall be that everyone who calls on the Name of YHVH shall be saved.’
This passage says there will be a blood moon before the day that the Lord comes. Since it says that the sun will be darkened, we know the blood moon referred to can’t be caused by an eclipse, because it is physically impossible for a solar eclipse and a lunar eclipse to occur simultaneously. However, a large fiery comet impact that puts dust in the atmosphere is indicated as being the cause of both the darkened sun and the moon being reddened, since “fire” and “smoke” is mentioned.
12 And I looked when He opened the sixth seal and saw a great earthquake came to be. And the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.
13 And the stars of the heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its unripe figs, being shaken by a strong wind.
14 And heaven departed like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place.
The above does not mean that the Second Coming of Yeshua at Tabernacles has to occur in 2015. But, what the above taken as a whole does show a pattern. The “1493 tetrad”… is tied to the Spanish Government expelling the Jews. The “1949 tetrad” is the nation Israel being reborn” and the “1967 tetrad” is the recapture of Jerusalem. The coming “2014 tetrad”… will be tied to some major event dealing with Israel. We believe that the “tetrad” of 2014 through 2015 will have something to do with Israel for the start. The blood moons show a pattern of Jewish persecution… and then new land for Israel after a time of war!
This means that the blood moons of 2014 – 2015 will be a time of war or persecution for the Jewish people. This may Lead Israel to gain and/or loose land during this time.
It cannot be regarded as coincidence that all four blood moons of 2014/15 occur on religious festivals of Israel, together with two eclipses of the sun also on important days in 2015. A blood moon will occur on Passover 2014. Nisan is the first month in Israel’s religious calendar. On the 15th day of the seventh month (Tishri) when the Feast of Tabernacles begins (Leviticus 23:34) there will be another blood moon.
Exactly the same pattern will be repeated in 2015. Because of Israel’s lunar calendar these dates all coincide with the full moon – on these occasions the moon will become blood-red. Apart from the lunar eclipses there will also be two eclipses of the sun in 2015… on the first day of Nisan and again on the first day of Tishri.
The eclipses of the sun and moon confront us with precise dates which cannot be manipulate! Nevertheless, these signs should not be seen as an attempt to date-setting for the Second Coming of Messiah but rather as a wake-up call to be ready for what may happen in the near future. Now is not the time to lapse into spiritual slumber like the Matthew 25 foolish virgins.