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The Hundred-Twenty-Third (Details)

Have you ever had a conversation with someone, particularly when trying to explain something or come to an agreement, and the person just wasn't getting it? Perhaps you were in a group and you were trying to come to a consensus to make a decision and it wasn't happening. No one could agree. Sometimes, it's because you're dealing with stubborn or headstrong people. Sometimes it's because there's a lack of understanding the details of the topic you're discussing.

I recently had that very experience. While part of the issue was a disagreement with what the next step should be with regard to the project we were discussing, there was certainly a hefty portion of the issue being a lack of understanding of the details by a majority of those in the room. Just when I thought we had made progress, someone would ask another question or make another statement that displayed the lack of understanding that existed. Part of that misunderstanding was also a use of terminology that meant something slightly different depending on who heard it. (again, another details issue!)

This same issue you can find many places, but particularly when it comes to understanding and interpreting scripture. For instance, when I look at a pattern of verses I sometimes come to a conclusion that others disagree with. When YHWH told Adam he was not to eat of a certain tree in the garden (Genesis 2:17) and when Moses and Peter wrote of a day being a thousand years for YHWH (Psalm 90:4, 2 Peter 3:8), I conclude that to YHWH a day is a thousand years on earth for us. Others see Moses and Peter's words as figurative, so they do not conclude what I do.

I however, believe that when YHWH says "in the day that you eat of it, you will surely die," He is telling the truth, because it is impossible for Him to lie (Numbers 23:19, Hebrews 6:18). Now, we don't know exactly how long it was since Adam was created that he sinned, but we do know that he had multiple children and that he lived to be 930 years old (Genesis 5:5). He definitely didn't die in the 24 hour period after which he sinned, so in order for YHWH's statement to be true, there has to be a different definition for day that He was using when He said it.

If the day that YHWH was talking about was 1000 years as Moses and Peter wrote, the statement He made to Adam would certainly be true. However, if you miss the detail that He said "in that day" and then subsequently don't try to figure out why He said that when Adam actually lived for 930 years, you will definitely not understand why I feel so strongly about this conclusion. You also will not understand why I then see other scriptural references to a day as meaning 1000 years as measured by the sun.

You will then also be confused about some of the different references to the "last day" and the "day of the Lord" that you come across in scripture. Like how can it be a "time of the heathen," if it lasts only 24 hours? (Ezekiel 30:3) Are the nations only going to have 24 hours? Or how about when you read about the sun being dark and moon turning to blood before the day of the Lord (Joel 2:31)?

Clearly, this is a reference to the end times, since not only does it mirror Revelation (Revelation 6:12), but it comes after the verse referencing the pouring out of the Holy Spirit (Joel 2:29) that Peter referenced on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:16-18). There's a lot of things that happen in Revelation after the sun going dark and the moon turning to blood. Far more than can happen in a 24 hour period.

In fact, one of those things is described as a reign of Yeshua for 1000 years (Revelation 20:4), with a concurrent binding of Satan for 1000 years (Revelation 20:2). Perhaps this time period is a day in the eyes of YHWH. And if we expound on that, we can try to make some sense of some other verses referencing the day of the Lord.

What if YHWH's day is modeled after the 24 hour day He created? When we look at that day, it starts with the beginning of darkness, night comes, and then it turns to light (Genesis 1:5). Does the great and terrible day of the Lord have the same characteristic? Does it start with some warnings, like the seals and trumpets of Revelation, get really dark when YHWH's wrath comes with the bowls of Revelation, and then become light when Yeshua comes and reigns on earth? Eventually, we'll find out, but we would never have thought of this possibility if we didn't connect the 1000 year to one day together based on those earlier verses we looked at.

There are other things you can miss out on if you don't look at the details as well. As I was studying the Hebrew version of Revelation previously, there was a note regarding the word used for sickle in chapter 14 (Revelation 14:14-19). In verses 14-16, the word used is charmesh but in verses 17-19 it's magal. First off, it's highly notable that two different words are used in Hebrew but only one is used in the Greek. If this were a translation from the Greek into Hebrew, there is no reason the translator would have chosen two different words when translating from the same Greek word.

Second, why choose two different words in Hebrew? Well, charmesh means "a sickle," and magal means...."a sickle,"...so no help there! There's a slight difference between the two in the Strong's exhaustive concordance. It says magal is from an unused root meaning "to reap," and charmesh is from the root charam which means, "to ban, exterminate." Maybe a little help there, but what's more interesting is where these words are used.

It turns out, there are only a combined four places where these words are used. Two of them are charmesh and both are commandments to Israel about the use of the sickle (Deuteronomy 16:9, 23:25). The other two are magal and are both of those are associated with judgment (Jeremiah 50:16, Joel 3:13). In fact, the verse from Joel is a mirror of the same Revelation verses that use magal.

If we use this distinction between the words, and the references in earlier scriptures, we can determine that the sickle is used by the man on the white cloud is being used to harvest His chosen while the one being used by the angel coming from the temple is used to execute judgment. While we may be able to gather that from the context in Revelation, we would have missed the excitement of finding connections YHWH put in His word if we didn't get into the details!

We're not the only ones prone to missing the details though. When you read some scriptures in Torah, what was read from in the synagogues up to and during the time of Yeshua, there are things that clearly point to Yeshua being Messiah. However, they were missed, or intentionally ignored, by the vast majority of religious leaders of His time. For example, when you read through Psalm 78, you find a Psalm that seems to be written by Yeshua Himself.

The author writes to His people that He will speak in parables and for them to listen to His instruction. It then goes on to recount the times that YHWH showed grace to His people and yet they continued to sin against Him, faking their loyalty and being unfaithful to His covenant. It then ends with a reminder of how David shepherded His people, just like Yeshua was doing during His ministry.

Detail like that, and connecting them to Yeshua, would have helped identify Him as the Messiah through the connection of His parables, the reminder of how Israel screwed it up in the past, and His current role as a shepherd. The important thing about all this is making sure we don't make the same mistake. The details in scripture are very important to putting together the whole picture that YHWH has hidden in His word.

Take the opportunity to find the details in scripture this week. Go through a passage or two (or more!) looking for all the details. Then, try to find connections of that detail that are hidden in other passages. To help, try a relatively recent translation of scripture: The Berean Standard Bible. As I've looked at verses and compared to the original language, I've found that the majority of what in this translation is more accurate to the original intent of the original words than a lot of other translations (even KJV!). As an added benefit, there are copious notes and cross-references included in the text which definitely aids in your studies.

Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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