Parasha Ki Tisa
1 Kings 18:1-39
2 Corinthians 3:1-18
The Torah Portion at a Glance
The people of Israel are told to each contribute exactly half a shekel of silver to the Sanctuary. Instructions are also given regarding the making of the Sanctuary's water-basin, anointing oil, and incense. "Wise hearted" artisans Betzalel and Ahaliav are placed in charge of the Sanctuary's construction, and the people are once again commanded to keep the Shabbat.
When Moses does not return when expected from Mount Sinai, the people make a Golden Calf and worship it. YHWH proposes to destroy the errant nation, but Moses intercedes on their behalf. Moses descends from the mountain carrying the Tablets of the Testimony engraved with the Ten Commandments; seeing the people dancing about their idol, he breaks the Tablets, destroys the Golden Calf and has the primary culprits put to death. He then returns to YHWH to say: "If You do not forgive them, blot me out from the book that You have written."
YHWH forgives, but says that the effect of their sin will be felt for many generations. At first YHWH proposes to send His angel along with them, but Moses insists that YHWH Himself accompany His people to the Promised Land.
Moses prepares a new set of tablets and once more ascends the mountain, where YHWH re-inscribes the covenant on these Second Tablets. On the mountain Moses is also granted a vision of the divine Thirteen Attributes of Mercy. So radiant is Moses' face upon his return, that he must cover it with a veil, which he removes only to speak with YHWH and to teach His laws to the people.
(adapted from chabad.org)
The Messiah in the Torah Portion
It is in the Torah of Moshe that we have the most accurate description of YHWH. In Exodus 33, Moshe cries out to YHWH for a greater revelation of His greatness. YHWH answers with a bunch of adjectives!!!
“And Moshe said, I beg You, show me Your tifereth. And He said, I will make all My tov to pass before you, and I will proclaim the Name of YHWH before you; And will show unmerited favor to whom I will, and will show rachamim to whom I will. And He said, You cannot see My face: for there shall no man see Me, and live. And YHWH said, See, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while My tifereth passes by, that I will put you in a cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by: And I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back: But My face shall not be seen. And YHWH passed by before him, and proclaimed, YHWH, YHWH. An El, full of rachamim and favor, longsuffering, and abundant in, chesed, and emet, Keeping chesed for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the ahvot upon the children, and upon the children's children, to the third and to the fourth generation. And Moshe hurried, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped,” Exodus / Shemot 33:18-23 & 34:6-9.
YHWH says that no man can see Him and live. This corresponds exactly with the words of Y’shua when He said, “pick up your execution stake and follow me daily.” To follow YHWH we are to die to ourselves daily. As YHWH passes by Moshe, He calls out His name and describes Himself in some surprising terms. This section of Scripture, especially verses 6 and 7 are called the “Shelosh Esreh Middot” or the “Thirteen Attributes.” The Shelosh Esreh Middot is a listing of YHWH’s adjectives by YHWH Himself.
Notice that these are terms of mercy and love. These are not terms of judgment, anger, or such. These attributes teach us about YHWH from His perspective:
In Hebrew this reads, “YHWH YHWH el rachum chanun erek a’payim rav chesed v’emet notzer chesed la’alafim nosei avon, nosei pasha, nosie chata v’nakel”
First, His Name is repeated twice in a row.
This is prophetic of YHWH The Father and YHWH The Son.
The Son, Y’shua, came in the name of the first YHWH.
Two) YHWH is listed twice to show us His compassion before we sin and His compassion after we sin. YHWH YHWH is full of mercy!
Three) Bext, He is called “el.’
This term literally means “mighty.”
It is often translated as “god” in English Bibles.
Four) YHWH is a mighty el who is willing to judge with mercy.
He is full of “rachum” or mercy.
He is merciful that mankind would not be distressed.
Five) He also has “chanun” or “favor” for us.
This is to comfort and help us if we already in distress or have problems.
Six) The Torah calls Him “erek a’payim” or “slow to anger.”
Though we are quick to judge and cast out,
YHWH is patient and slow to get angrily easily.
Seven) He is “rav chesed” or “abundant in kindness.”
His mercy knows no end.
It endures forever!
Eight) YHWH is “emet” or “truthfull.”
YHWH has truthful and instructive consequences in place to push us closer to His love.
Nine) The Torah also describes Him as a “presever of kindness for thousands of generations.”
The Hebrew reads “notzer chesed la’alafim.”
Ten) YHWH also forgives all types of sin, beginning with iniquity.
Iniquity is the result of a heart that is hardened against YHWH and His ways.
Eleven) YHWH forgives transgression.
This is a willful violation of the Torah.
Twelve) YHWH forgives sin. Man is sinful and lives according to the sinful nature.
Thirteen) YHWH offers “v’nakel or “cleansing or pardon” for all sin.
This is YHWH! He is an El full of Mercy and Forgiveness.
IF we have been praying to or serving a different god, then it is time to confess and move on to the truth!
The overwhelming theme in these attributes is that of “mercy and forgiveness.” In the Hebrew these three key concepts are very similar in meaning. These words reveal much about how YHWH relates to mankind. Rachamum, Chanu, and Chesed are each translated as “mercy” throughout the King James Version Bible.
Mercy is the sum description of our being of worship. He is merciful and gracious. Many times we gloss over the idea of YHWH being full of mercy as a weakness or temporary laps of judgment. But this is not the case. It is through YHWH’s mercy that the universe exists and we breathe.
“YHWH is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love,” says Psalm 103:8. In this verse as well as many others, the terms “merciful and gracious” are used together. In Hebrew this reads “rachum v’chanun.”
This is YHWH! He has compassion and patience towards us at all times. To be merciful is to show empathy to a person. Empathy is the ability to recognize, relate, and directly feel the emotion of another person. To have empathy is to have rachamim. YHWH emphasizes with us.
It has been said that mercy is “not getting what you deserve.” Well, that definition is just a small portion of the truth. Rachamim is so much more.
YHWH’s mercy is the force that sustains creation and allows the world to spin on its axis.
Many describe the “God of the Old Testament” as an angry judge of the world that sent His son to save mankind from the religion of Judaism. This is not so. Such an idea of a bearded man with lightening bolts and a huge throne relate more to Greek Mythology than the Bible. The Scriptures state that “YHWH did not send His son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through Him might be saved,” John 3:17.
Part of Y’shua’s ministry on Earth was to restore the mercy and grace of the Torah. He did not come to start a new religion or write a second portion of the Bible called the “New Testament.” John 1:17 states, “The Torah was given by Moses and its unmerited favor and truth were revealed by Y’shua.”
Y’shua did NOT come to replace the Law with Grace. Our choice today is not mercy or torah but mercy and grace IN the Torah. This is a message we need to know, accept and share with others.
The Torah is YHWH’s instructions for life on planet Earth. These guidelines were given as the means for walking in righteousness through mercy. The Torah reveals our NEED for YHWH’s mercy and grace. For it is impossible to keep the commandments found throughout the Bible. Indeed, if we have broken one, then we are guilty for breaking them all. Our Torah observance should build our mercy dependence to greater levels. The more we strive to walk in His ways, the more we should realize that we are sinful and in need of a Savior. YHWH’s mercy and forgiveness are administered through His Torah. If there was no Torah, then there could be no mercy and forgiveness!
The Torah is the divine will of YHWH. When we obey Torah then we walk according to His ways and enable blessings to come into our lives. When we disobey Torah we sin and allow the enemy to have an inroad to us. One purpose of the Torah was to show man his sinfulness. “What shall we say then? Is the Torah a sinful, or sin causing instrument? Let it not be! No, I had not known about sin, except by the Torah: for I had not known lust, except the Torah had said, You shall not covet. But sin, by means of the commandment, provoked in me all manner of desire. For without the Torah sin was dead. For I was alive without the full Torah once: but when the commandments came, sin revived, and I died. 10 And the commandments, which were ordained to bring chayim, I found to bring death. For sin, taking opportunity by the commandments, deceived me, and by it killed me. Therefore the Torah is kadosh, and the mitzvoth are kadosh, and just, and tov. Then was that which is tov made into death for me? Let it not be! But sin, that it might appear to be sin, worked death in me by that which is tov; so that sin by the mitzvoth might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the Torah is full of the Ruach: but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not know what is going on: for what I purpose to do in obeying Torah, that I do not do; but what I hate in the olam hazeh, that I wind up doing. If then I do that which I do not want to do, I consent to the Torah that it is tov,” Romans / Romiyah 7:7-16.
YHWH has physical and spiritual laws in place that administer justice and the punishment of sin. He also has laws that send blessings to the person who obeys the precepts of Torah. YHWH perfectly balances justice and mercy. This is something that the religious of Y’shua’s day did not understand. They had the Torah. They obeyed to the exact detail. They tithed the enth degree. They lived by the letter of the Law. But their hearts were far from Him. They were a brood of vipers; a group of whitewashed tombs. They kept the Torah but they had forsaken the heart of the Torah, which is mercy! “What does YHWH require of you? But to do tzedekah, and to love rachamim, and to have a humble halacha with your Elohim,” Micha 6:8.
Y’shua told a story that illustrated this in Luke 10. “A certain man went down from Yahrushalayim to Yericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his garment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain kohen that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levi, when he was at the place, came and looked at him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Shomronite, as he journeyed, came to where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And in the morning when he departed, he took out two pieces of silver, and gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you. Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to him that fell victim among the thieves? 37 And he said, He that showed rachamim to him. Then said Y’shua to him, Go, and do likewise,” Luka 10:30-37.
In this well known story, the Good Samaritan loved his neighbor. How did he love his neighbor? By showing mercy! Notice who passed by – a kohen/priest and a Levite. These dedicated servants of YHWH were no doubt busy doing the exact letter of the Law and therefore passed by an opportunity to show the love of the Law. This is a danger that we must conquer as well. As we seek to obey YHWH and walk according to His word, we must not forget The Spirit of the Torah. All of our actions should be towards the goal of loving YHWH and loving those are near us. To show mercy is to love our neighbor.
This message of mercy is difficult because we like the idea of a “god in a box.” Think about it. It’s much easier to kick the sin out of the camp and cast the sinner to hell than it is to love someone and meet their needs. Remember that Y’shua ate and fellowshipped with sinners, tax collectors, lepers and liars. He discipled prostitutes. Y’shua didn’t just tell His followers to learn Torah – He admonished them to live the Torah.
If Y’shua was with us today, He would no doubt have lunch with the homosexuals, unwed mothers, and welfare recipients at the local housing project. Y’shua would spend time with the forsaken and forgotten that have been cast away to the alzheimer’s wing in the local nursing home. If Y’shua was here today, He would spend less time in front of the computer and more time with those less fortunate. Y’shua would be feeding the homeless physical food. He would also be feeding those without a home in Heaven spiritual food. Y’shua said, “it is not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick.” Too many times we are guilty of getting our healthy friends and family together and talking about the sick instead of reaching out to them in rachmim.
There is one specific passage of scripture regarding this subject that has been misunderstood and used against those who desire to obey the Torah. Have you ever wondered about Matthew 9:13? It is here that Y’shua said, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice, now go and learn what that means.” How many of us have done what Y’shua commands here? He tells us to go and learn what this statement means. Is Y’shua ending the sacrificial system with these words? Or is there a better understanding to His statement?
First, Y’shua is NOT saying that the sacrifices should end. Those that heard His words were already making their offerings at the Temple. He simply said that they didn’t need to kill any more animals. Nor did they need to kill any less animals either. The problem was that their formula was wrong. They gave YHWH the burnt offerings but their actions were mostly through religious or selfish intentions. Rachamim and devotion are the MAIN part and idea of the sacrificial system. Though some sacrifices were for praise, thanksgiving, covenant making, or food for the priests, we know that there was much blood shed for the remission of sins.
Many times, the animals were sacrificed to stop judgment upon a person. When Y’shua spoke these words He was actually quoting a text from the Tanakh. The people to which He spoke knew exactly what He was talking about. He wasn’t saying “just show mercy and don’t bother with the Torah.” Instead, He was reminding the multitudes of the importance to show mercy through the Torah. Y’shua was quoting the book of Hoshea and revealing a mystery about His coming and the restoration of the nation of Israel.
Come, and let us make teshuvah to YHWH: for He has torn, and He will heal us; He has smitten, and He will bind us up. After two days will He revive us: on the third day He will raise us up, and we shall live in His sight. Then shall we know, how to follow forward to know YHWH: His going forth is prepared as the morning; and He shall come to us as the rain, as the malchut-rain and the teaching-rain upon the earth.
“O Efrayim, what shall I do to you? O Yahudah, what shall I do to you? For your attempts to be tov before Me is as a morning cloud, and as the early dew it goes away. Therefore have I cut at them by the neviim; I have slain them by the words of My mouth: and My mishpatim are as the light that goes forth. For I desired rachamim, and not sacrifice; and the da’at of Elohim more than burnt offerings. But like Ahdahm they have transgressed the brit: there have they dealt treacherously against Me,” Hoshea 6:1-7.
Here Y’shua is revealing His plan for the Nation of Israel. After two days He will restore His people. The book of Peter/Kefa says that “a day with YHWH is like a thousand years.” After two days, after two thousand years YHWH is going to show forth His mercy and we will walk in mercy. Hoshea was speaking to Ephraim and Judah – the twelve tribes that have been scattered throughout the world. Y’shua quotes the book of Hoshea and so does Peter. “Once you were ‘no people’ but now you are YHWH’s people; you ‘had not received mercy’ but now you have received mercy,” 1 Kefa 2:10.
This is clarified in Jeremiah 31:20. “’Is not Ephriam my favorite son, the child in whom I delight? Often as I threaten him, I still remember Him with favor, my heart stirs for him, I must show him mercy,’ says YHWH.” YHWH is showing mercy to Ephraim and calling the nation of Israel out of bondage. “For if you teshuvah again to YHWH, your brothers and your children shall find rachamim before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for YHWH your Elohim is full of unmerited favor and rachamim, and will not turn away His face from you, if you make teshuvah to Him,” 2 Chronicles 30:9.
Today as the restoration of all things is starting to take place, YHWH is renewing His covenant with the House of Yisrael. This was a covenant of mercy. Many preachers and pastors speak of multiple covenants made with mankind. From Adam to Moses to the New Covenant, the emet – the truth is that there has been and always will be one covenant. Instead of replacing this covenant with new ones, YHWH has renewed His covenant made first to Abraham.
We see this in Genesis 15. “And He brought him out abroad, and said, Look now toward the shamayim, and count the cochavim, if you are able to number them: and He said to him, So shall your zera be. And he believed in the Word of YHWH; and He counted it to him as tzedekah,” Beresheet 15:5-6. This promise was renewed to each of the Patriarchs, and then later at Mount Sinai and the Promised Land. The New Covenant spoken of in the book of Jeremiah is the same covenant. It’s nothing new – it’s Renewed. And notice that this agreement is made with the exact same people. The new covenant is not made with the Baptists and Methodists but with the whole house of Israel.
There is NO Old and New Testament – there is one Word. There is NO Old and New Covenant – there is One covenant that has been renewed with each new generation. There should be do distinction between the church and the believing synagogue – we should be One.
“The time is coming,” declares YHWH, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares YHWH. “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares YHWH. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their Elohim, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know YHWH,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares YHWH. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more,” Jeremiah 31:31-33. This was a covenant of mercy. “YHWH was merciful with Israel and looked upon them with compassion because of His covenant with Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’acov,” 2 Kings 13:23. The Prophet Isaiah agrees. “Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, My love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says YHWH, who has rachamim on you,” Yesha’yahu 54:10. YHWH has not and can not forsake or replace His people. He longs to show mercy.
And to fulfill this covenant, to show mercy, was one reason why Y’shua came. He said “I came to seek and save the whole house of Israel,” Matthew 15:24. This corresponds directly with Romans 15:8 & 9 – “Now I say that Y'shua ha Moshiach was an Eved to Yisrael for the emet of YHWH, to confirm the promises made to our ahvot: And that the nations might all esteem YHWH for His rachamim; as it is written, For this cause I will confess You among the nations, and sing to Your Name.”
By accepting Y’shua as Messiah, a person’s spirit becomes one with YHWH and “mercy triumphs over justice,” James 2:13. The flood gates of Heaven are open to us as we walk in His ways. When we obey we put His blessings into motion. When we disobey we actively stop his blessings from reaching us and release curses to have power upon us. “Don’t you know that to whom you yield yourselves slaves to obey, his servant you become? Whether a slave of sin unto death or obedience to righteousness,” Romans 6:16.
When Y’shua died, He paid the price for forgiveness of all sins past, present, and future. Our sins have been charged to Y’shua’s account. “But Moshiach has now become a Kohen HaGadol of tov things to come, by a greater and more perfect Tent of Meeting, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation; Neither by the dahm of goats and calves, but by His own dahm He entered in once into the Kadosh HaKedoshim, having obtained eternal geulah for us,” Hebrews / Ivrim 9:11-12.
Disobedience doesn’t break our relationship with YHWH. Sin is powerful BUT the blood of Y’shua is much more potent. Just think about it, if we had to confess every time we sinned then no one would be saved. But by entering into covenant with Y’shua we are saved from destruction. The Torah reveals that sin abounds around every corner. Y’shua through His mercy cleanses us from all unrighteousness so that we can build our intimacy with the Father. We are nothing without YHWH’s rachamim.
Applying the Portion to Life Today
\Con`tra*dic"tion\, n. An assertion of the contrary to what has been said or affirmed; denial of the truth of a statement or assertion; contrary declaration; gainsaying. n 1: opposition between two conflicting forces or ideas 2: (in logic) a statement that is necessarily false; "the statement `he is brave and he is not brave' is a contradiction"
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, © 1996, 1998
A contradiction is a statement of opposites. It says one thing while meaning another. “Microsoft Works” for example could be considered a contradiction. So could the phrase “honest politician.” Contradictions abound all over entertainment, news, and the internet. There are even those who teach that there are contradictions in the Bible.
It is true that some statements in the Scriptures seem to contradict each other but they simply do not. Some phrases do seem to make no logical sense in comparison to others, yet there are no contradictions in text of Genesis to Revelation.
The few verses in the Bible that may seem to cancel each other out can be understood by the willing. Like a person digging for buried treasure, the reader must be willing to search deeper to find the truth. Such is the case in this week’s Torah Parasha called “Ki Tissa” and an apparent contradiction concerning Moshe.
Within the chapters of our reading is the story of Moshe experiencing the presence and power of YHWH Almighty. ‘“Then Moshe said, “Now show me your glory” And YHWH said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, YHWH, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live,”’ Shemot (Exodus) 33:18-21. What transpired after this conversation has been written about, preached on, and analyzed for thousands of years. Moshe hid behind a rock and YHWH passed by. “And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen,” said YHWH in Shemot 33:23.
YHWH’s admonition that if a person were to look upon Him then they would die, and indeed, this whole event is puzzling when one considers a another verse in the Exodus story - “And YHWH spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend,” Shemot 33:11. How can YHWH say that man will die if He sees YHWH’s face yet this verse says that Moshe spoke “face to face” with YHWH? If you think this is interesting then just read Amos 5:4, “For thus saith YHWH unto the house of Yisra’el, Seek ye me, and ye shall live.” In one pasuk (verse) YHWH says to seek Him and live and another He says to seek Him will result in death! To bring more confusion here’s a prayer of Dawid from Tehillim (Psalms) 27, “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, YHWH, I will seek. Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper.” Is this more proof of a contradiction?
No. There is no contradiction here. YHWH meant what He said when He told Moshe that to see Him would result in death. YHWH also meant what He said when He called Yisra’el to seek His face and live. How can this be?
Well, many apparent inconsistencies in the Scriptures are simply misunderstandings. First of all, the Bible speaks to the reader on many levels – the plain, the hidden, the physical, the spiritual, the mystical, and so on. Also, much is lost when the original Hebrew text is translated into Greek, or English, or Spanish, or any other language. Conflicts occur when verses are taken out of context and each different Bible translation adds to the confusion. Take for example the New International Version (NIV) that completely deletes over 45 verses that are found in other Bible translations. For example, you won’t find Mattitiyahu (Matthew) 18:11 in the NIV. Here’s what it says, "For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.”
In our present dilemma it must be understood that YHWH was not speaking from both sides of His mouth. The “no man see me and live” pasuk is perfectly in line with the “seek me and live” verse when a person considers the teachings of Y’shua HaMoshiach. “Then said Y’shua unto his talmidim (disciples), If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his execution stake, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it,” Mattitiyahu 16:24-25. True life is found in death. When you die to your sinful desires and fleshly nature, the yetzer hara, then and only then can you experience the life of Messiah. When a person “sees” YHWH they do die – they die to themselves and thus they are changed.
Avraham, Ya’acov, Moshe, Dawid, and even Kefa all died and yet lived once they truly experienced YHWH. Rabbi Sha’ul (Paul) had a vision of Y’shua on the road to Damascus and was never the same. He died to his ambitions and lived to teach the message of Moshiach. “I am crucified with Messiah: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Messiah liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of Elohim, who loved me, and gave himself for me,” Galatians 2:20.
So, if a contradiction is a statement of opposites then there is no contradiction in our weekly reading. Moshe saw YHWH. Moshe died, yet Moshe lived. True life is found in dying to self and living for YHWH.
Portion Points to Ponder
Collected from a study of this Torah portion and various resources.
1. The Hebrew name for this portion is “Ki Tissa.” What does this mean?
2. Read 1 Kings 18:1-39. How does this relate to the story of Exodus this week?
3. Consider the words found in 2 Corinthians 3:1-18. What did you learn from studying this passage?
4. How does this Torah portion speak of the Messiah Y’shua?
5. Describe two ways that you can apply this week’s Torah portion to your life.
6. Why would YHWH command for incense to be burnt?
7. Who was to give the half shekel? At what age were people required to give this donation?
8. Were rich people to give more than a half shekel? Were the poor people to give less?
9. When is the half shekel traditionally paid?
10. What type of metal is the half shekel made of?
11. What exactly was the half shekel donation used for?
12. Explain the purpose of the basin? What is the basin’s significance today?
13. Why would the priests die if they did not wash?
14. What spices were used for the anointing oil?
15. What is the significance and use of myrrh? Cinnamon? Calimus? Cassia? Olive oil?
16. What pieces of the altar were anointed with the holy oil?
17. How was the oil used to consecrate Aharon and his sons? Why?
18. Were people allowed to reproduce the anointing oil for mass consumption?
19. What was the consequence of misusing the anointing oil?
20. What does it mean to “be cut off from Israel?”
21. Explain the Hebrew words used in the Bible to describe the “anointing oil.”
22. What type of spices were used like a perfume?
23. Explain the consequence for abusing the holy incense?
24. Who was chosen in Exodus 31 to help construct the Mishkan?
25. What type of “spirit” did this artisan exemplify?
26. Who was B’tzaelel’s assistant?
27. How did wisdom/chochmah help the Levites and artisans prepare the mishkan?
28. Who day is the Sabbath? Is this counted from the first day of creation or the creation of the moon?
29. What should be the punishment for those who work on Shabbat?
30. How and why is the Sabbath a “sign” between Israel and YHWH? Who is the sign for?
31. Who wrote the first set of tablets?
32. Did the first set of tablets contain only the Ten Commandments or more of the Torah?
33. How did the nation of Israel respond to Moses’ extended stay on the Mountain?
34. Was Aharon a willing participant in the people’s golden calf rebellion?
35. Where did the ex-slaves Hebrew people get the golden jewelry used to make the holy cow?
36. Who fashioned and formed the golden calf?
37. How does the words spoken about the golden calf in Exodus 34 compare to the 1 Kings 12:28? Discuss the similarities and differences of these two rebellions.
38. Did Aharon create a new holiday to worship a cow?
39. How did YHWH respond to the rebellion of the golden calf?
40. Did Moshe allow YHWH to destroy Israel or did he intercede for the nation? Explain.
41. Why in prayer is it important to remind YHWH of his covenants made with the Patriarchs?
42. What does it mean in Exodus 32:14 that “YHWH relented” or “repented?”
43. Did Moshe change YHWH’s mind?
44. What happened to the first set of tablets?
45. In what language do you think the first set of tablets were written?
46. Why did Joshua say the idol worship sounded like “war in the camp?”
47. Explain what Moshe did with the Golden Calf. Why?
48. Did Aharon confess his involvement with the Golden Calf or did he blame it on someone else?
49. Where did Moses stand when he forced the nation of Israel to pick sides? Why was this place appropriate?
50. How did the sons of Levi respond to Moses’ call to action and worship?
51. How many people were killed by the Levites after the rebellion?
52. Why wasn’t Aharon killed by the Levites?
53. In your opinion, describe how Moses acted as an intercessor for Israel. Is such intercessory prayer needed today?
54. If eternal life wasn’t granted before the Messiah came, why would Moshe say “blot me out of your book?”
55. Who was leading the nation of Israel in the wilderness?
56. How did idol worship bring a plague upon the nation? Do people still reap what they sow?
57. What does it mean that the Promised Land was flowing with “milk and honey?”
58. When did the children of Israel show a repentant spirit in our Torah portion?
59. Was the mishkan placed close to the sinful people or “far off?” Why?
60. How was Moshe allowed to enter the tabernacle without being killed? Was Moshe a priest?
61. Explain the Hebrew idiom “face to face” in Exodus 33:11. Did Moses really see YHWH’s face?
62. What can we learn from Moses words saying that he would not go unless YHWH’s presence went with him?
63. How does YHWH’s presence distinguish Israel from other nations?
64. Discuss how Moses prayed to see YHWH’s glory. Should we do the same today?
65. Does the Bible contradict itself when it says that Moses spoke to YHWH “face to face” and then states in Exodus 33:20 that “you shall not see my face and live?”
66. What does it mean that YHWH showed Moses his “back?”
67. Who wrote the second set of Ten Commandments tablets?
68. What name was pronounced to Moses on the top of the mountain? How many times was this name spoken?
69. Describe the 13 attributes of mercy as recorded in our Torah portion.
70. Why would a covenant agreement with surrounding nations be a snare to the nation of Israel? Is this true today with the various peace treaties today?
71. What was to be done to false worship centers and altars?
72. Were the Israelites to religiously inter-marry?
73. How does the commandment to not eat leaven and only eat matzah during Passover contextually fit with the Israelite people not mixing with other nations?
74. Twice in this week’s portion the command to keep the Sabbath is mentioned? Why?
75. How and where are Shavuot and Sukkot to be observed?
76. How long was Moses on top of the mountain?
77. How can a man survive 40 days and 40 nights without food and water? Name two other people in the Bible that fasted for this long?
78. Why did Moses’ face shine when he returned from the mountain?
79. What did you learn from this Open Bible study?
The Open Bible is a teaching series written by Daniel Rendelman of Emet Ministries. Find more teachings, audio messages, videos, and music at www.emetministries.com. Daniel Rendelman is the found and leader of Emet Ministries and the author of the book “Finding the Truth.” He, his wife, and five children live in Newberry, South Carolina. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.