NASSO

SHALOM!

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Sunday 28th May 2017  / 6th of Sivan 5777  to Saturday 3rd June 2017 / 10th Sivan 5777

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Nasso | נשא | “Take up “

TORAH – Numbers 4:21 – 7:89

PROPHETS – Judges 13:2-5

GOSPEL – John 11:1-54

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Portion Outline

  • TORAH
    • Numbers 4:21 | The Gershonites and Merarites
    • Numbers 4:34 | Census of the Levites
    • Numbers 5:1 | Unclean Persons
    • Numbers 5:5 | Confession and Restitution
    • Numbers 5:11 | Concerning an Unfaithful Wife
    • Numbers 6:1 | The Nazirites
    • Numbers 6:22 | The Priestly Benediction
    • Numbers 7:1 | Offerings of the Leaders
  • PROPHETS
    • Jdg 13:1 | The Birth of Samson

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Summary of the TORAH PORTION

The second reading from the book of Numbers and the thirty-fifth reading from the Torah is called Nasso (נשא), a word that literally means “lift up.” It comes from the first word of the second verse in Hebrew, which could literally be translated to say, “Lift up the heads of the sons of Gershon,” an idiomatic way of saying, “Make an accounting of the sons of Gershon.” This Torah portion finishes up the census of the Levites that was under way at the end of the last Torah portion, before going on to discuss the purification of the camp, the ritual for a woman suspected of adultery, the laws of the Nazirite vow, the priestly benediction and the gifts the heads of the twelve tribes brought for the dedication of the altar.

 

 

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Commentary on the TORAH PORTION

Messiah the Avenger

Thought for the Week:

Messiah is our redeemer. He has redeemed us from slavery, from sin, from condemnation and from death. He is our kinsmen redeemer, our brother in the house of God, who has ransomed us from the debt we could not pay. Therefore, we speak of Him as redeemer. He is also the national redeemer of Israel. Just as Moses, the first redeemer, redeemed all Israel from slavery, so too the second redeemer, Messiah, redeems the whole nation. And this great second redemption is not only a spiritual redemption, but it is the literal, physical redemption of Israel. He will gather the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob from the nations, and restore them to the land of Israel.

Commentary:

The blood avenger himself shall put the murderer to death; he shall put him to death when he meets him. (Numbers 35:19)

Messiah is the redeemer of Israel. In the Bible, the job of a kinsmen redeemer includes taking blood vengeance. Therefore, if Messiah is to redeem Israel, He must also avenge Israel. He will require recompense in blood for every drop of Jewish blood that has been spilled, and for every drop of His disciple’s blood, whether Jew or Gentile. Psalm 110 says, “He will judge among the nations, He will fill them with corpses, He will shatter the chief men over a broad country. He will drink from the brook by the wayside; therefore He will lift up His head.” (Psalm 110:6–7)

Psalm 9:12 speaks of God as the redeemer, the blood avenger, when it says, “He who requires blood remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the afflicted.” Psalm 79:10 says, “Why should the nations say, ‘Where is their God?’ Let there be known among the nations in our sight, vengeance for the blood of Your servants which has been shed.”

The implications of Messiah coming to avenge the blood of Israel is frightening when we consider that the Church has been, historically, the chief spiller of Israel’s blood. In the name of Christ, literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands, even millions of Jews have been ruthlessly killed through the centuries.

The book of Revelation depicts the souls of martyrs crying out to God for vengeance:

“How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” … and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also. (Revelation 6:9–11)

In Deuteronomy, the LORD says, “Vengeance is Mine, and retribution,” (Deuteronomy 32:35) The prophet Isaiah assures us, “Take courage, fear not. Behold, your God will come with vengeance; the recompense of God will come, but He will save you.” (Isaiah 35:4) All of these texts combine to paint a dire picture of Messiah’s second coming. When He comes again, He comes as the avenger of His people.

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PORTION READING

 

Numbers 4:21-7:89 Names of God Bible (NOG)

21 Yahweh said to Moses, 22 “Also take a census of the Gershonites. List them by households and families. 23 Register all the men between the ages of 30 and 50 who are qualified to serve at the tent of meeting.

24 “This is what the Gershonite families will do and what they will carry: 25 They will carry the sheets that are part of the inner tent and the tent of meeting. They will also carry the inner cover for the tent of meeting, the outer cover of fine leather that goes over it, the screen for the entrance to the tent of meeting, 26 the curtains for the courtyard around the tent and the altar, the screen for the entrance to the courtyard, the ropes, and all the equipment used to set up the curtains. The Gershonites will do everything that needs to be done with these things. 27 All their work, whatever they carry and all their duties, will be done under the direction of Aaron and his sons. You are in charge of telling them everything they’re supposed to carry. 28 This is the work of the Gershonite families in the tent of meeting. Ithamar, son of the priest Aaron, will be in charge of them.

29 “Register the Merarites by families and households. 30 Register all the men between the ages of 30 and 50 who are qualified to serve at the tent of meeting. 31 These are their duties as they work at the tent of meeting: They will carry the framework for the inner tent, the crossbars, posts, and sockets, 32 the posts for the surrounding courtyard, the bases, pegs, and ropes. They must take care of all this equipment. Tell each man by name the things he will carry. 33 This is what the Merarite families will do as they work at the tent of meeting. Ithamar, son of the priest Aaron, will be in charge of them.”

34 Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of the community registered the Kohathites by their families and households. 35 They registered all the men between the ages of 30 and 50 who were qualified to work at the tent of meeting. 36 The total of those who were registered was 2,750. They were listed by families. 37 This was the total of all those in the Kohathite families who served at the tent of meeting. Moses and Aaron did as Yahweh had commanded Moses and registered the Kohathites.

38 The Gershonites were registered by families and households. 39 All the men between the ages of 30 and 50 who were qualified to serve at the tent of meeting were registered. 40 The total of those who were registered was 2,630. They were listed by families and households. 41 This was the total of all those in the Gershonite families who worked at the tent of meeting. Moses and Aaron did as Yahweh had commanded Moses and registered the Gershonites.

42 The Merarites were registered by families and households. 43 All the men between the ages of 30 and 50 who were qualified to serve at the tent of meeting were registered. 44 The total of all those who were registered was 3,200. They were listed by families. 45 This was the total of those registered in the Merarite families. Moses and Aaron did as Yahweh had commanded Moses and registered the Merarites.

46 The grand total of all the Levites whom Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of Israel registered was 8,580. They were listed by families and households. 47 These were the men between the ages of 30 and 50 who were qualified to do the work of serving and who carried the tent of meeting.[a] 49 At Yahweh’s command through Moses each man was registered and told what to do and what to carry.

So they were registered as Yahweh commanded Moses.

Removing Unclean People from the Camp

Yahweh said to Moses, “Command the Israelites to send outside the camp anyone who has a serious skin disease or a discharge or anyone who is unclean[b] from touching a dead body. Send all of these unclean men and women outside the camp. They must not make this camp where I live among you unclean.” So the Israelites did as Yahweh had told Moses. They sent these unclean people outside the camp.

Confessing and Paying for Sins

Yahweh said to Moses, “Tell the Israelites: If you do something wrong to another person, you have been unfaithful to Yahweh. When you realize your guilt, you must confess your sin, pay in full for what you did wrong, add one-fifth to it, and give it to the person who was wronged. But there may be no heir to whom the payment can be made. In that case, the payment for what you did wrong must be given to Yahweh for the priest to use. This payment is in addition to the ram which makes peace with the Lord.

“Any contribution over and above the holy offerings that the Israelites bring to the priest will belong to the priest. 10 Each person’s holy offerings will belong to that person, but whatever is given to the priest will belong to the priest.”

When a Husband Suspects That His Wife Has Been Unfaithful

11 Yahweh said to Moses: 12 “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: A man’s wife may have been unfaithful to him 13 and may have had sexual intercourse with another man without her husband’s knowledge. She may have kept it secret if there were no witnesses to accuse her and she wasn’t caught in the act.

14 “A husband may have a fit of jealousy and suspect his wife, whether she was actually unfaithful or not. 15 He must then take his wife to the priest along with eight cups of barley flour as an offering for her. He must not pour olive oil on the flour or put frankincense on it, since it is a grain offering brought because of the husband’s jealousy, an offering used for a confession—to remind someone of a sin that was committed.

16 “The priest will have the woman come forward and stand in Yahweh’s presence. 17 Then the priest will take holy water in a piece of pottery and put some dust from the floor of the tent into the water. 18 The priest will bring the woman into Yahweh’s presence and loosen her hair. In her hands he will put the offering used for a confession (that is, the grain offering brought because of the husband’s jealousy). The priest will hold in his hands the bitter water that can bring a curse.[c]

19 “Then the priest will say to her, ‘If no other man has had sexual intercourse with you and you haven’t been unfaithful to your husband, you’re not guilty. This bitter water that can bring a curse will not harm you. 20 If, in fact, you have been unfaithful and have had sexual intercourse with another man, 21 may Yahweh make you an example for your people to see what happens when the curse of this oath comes true: Yahweh will make your uterus drop and your stomach swell.’[d]

“Then the priest will administer the oath and the curse by saying: 22 ‘May this water that can bring a curse go into your body and make your stomach swell and your uterus drop!’

“Then the woman will say, ‘Amen, amen!’

23 “The priest will write these curses on a scroll and wash them off into the bitter water. 24 Then he will have the woman drink the bitter water that can bring the curse. This water will go into her and become bitter. 25 The priest will take the grain offering she was holding, present it to Yahweh, and bring it to the altar. 26 The priest will take a handful of the grain offering as a memorial portion and burn it on the altar. Then he will have the woman drink the water. 27 If she has become unclean by being unfaithful to her husband, the water that can bring the curse will go into her and become bitter. Her stomach will swell, her uterus will drop, and she will become cursed among her people. 28 But if the woman is not unclean and is pure, she is not guilty and will be able to have children.

29 “These are the instructions for how to deal with jealousy. They tell you what to do when a woman is unfaithful to her husband and becomes unclean. 30 They also tell you what to do when a husband has a fit of jealousy and is suspicious of his wife. He will make his wife stand in Yahweh’s presence, and the priest will do everything these instructions tell him to do. 31 The husband isn’t guilty of doing anything wrong, but the woman will suffer the consequences of her sin.”

Taking a Special Vow

Yahweh said to Moses, “Speak to the Israelites and tell them: A man or a woman may make a special vow to live as a Nazirite dedicated to Yahweh. Nazirites must never drink wine, liquor, vinegar made from wine or liquor, or any kind of grape juice, and they must never eat fresh grapes or raisins. As long as they are Nazirites, they must never eat anything that comes from a grapevine, not even grape seeds or skins.

“As long as they are under the Nazirite vow, no razor may touch their heads. During the entire time that they are dedicated to Yahweh as Nazirites, they will be holy. They must let their hair grow long. While they are dedicated to Yahweh as Nazirites, they must never go near a dead body. Even if their own father, mother, brother, or sister dies, they must not make themselves unclean[e] by going near them. Nazarites show their vow to Elohim with their long hair. As long as they are Nazirites, they will be holy to Yahweh.

“Someone might suddenly drop dead next to a Nazirite and make the Nazirite’s hair unclean. Seven days later he must shave his head in order to be declared clean.[f] 10 On the eighth day he must bring two mourning doves or two young pigeons to the priest at the entrance to the tent of meeting. 11 The priest will sacrifice one as an offering for sin and the other one as a burnt offering. The priest will make peace with the Lord for the person who touched the dead body. That same day the person must dedicate his head again. 12 Once again he will dedicate himself to Yahweh as a Nazirite for the same length of time as before. He must bring a one-year-old male lamb as an offering for guilt. The first time period won’t count. He has to start over from when he became unclean.

13 “These are the instructions for Nazirites who complete their vows: They must come to the entrance of the tent of meeting. 14 They must bring these offerings to Yahweh: a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering, a one-year-old female lamb as an offering for sin, and a ram as a fellowship offering. All of these animals must have no defects. 15 They must also bring a basket of unleavened bread containing some rings of bread made with olive oil and wafers of unleavened bread brushed with olive oil, along with other grain offerings and wine offerings.

16 “The priest will bring these offerings to Yahweh and make the offering for sin and the burnt offering. 17 He will sacrifice the ram as a fellowship offering to Yahweh, offer the basket of unleavened bread along with it, and make the grain offerings and wine offerings.

18 “Then the Nazirites will shave their heads at the entrance to the tent of meeting, take the hair as proof that they had made this vow, and put it on the fire under the fellowship offering.

19 “Then the priest will take one of the shoulders from a boiled ram, one ring of unleavened bread from the basket, and one wafer of unleavened bread and hand them to the Nazirites after they have shaved off their hair. 20 The priest will present them as an offering to Yahweh. They are holy and belong to the priest, along with the ram’s breast that is presented and the thigh that is given. After that, the Nazirites may drink wine.

21 “These are the instructions for those who have vowed to bring their offerings to Yahweh because they were Nazirites. They must bring these offerings in addition to anything else they can afford. They must fulfill the requirements of these instructions for Nazirites and finish whatever they vowed to do.”

How Aaron and His Sons Will Bless the Israelites

22 Yahweh said to Moses, 23 “Tell Aaron and his sons, ‘This is how you will bless the Israelites. Say to them:

24 Yahweh will bless you and watch over you.
25 Yahweh will smile on you and be kind to you.
26 Yahweh will look on you with favor and give you peace.’

27 “So whenever they use my name to bless the Israelites, I will bless them.”

Offerings for the Dedication of the Altar

When Moses finished setting up the tent, he anointed it and dedicated it and all the furnishings. He also anointed and dedicated the altar and all the utensils. Then the leaders of Israel, the heads of the households—those tribal leaders who helped in the census—came to give their offerings. They brought these gifts to Yahweh: six freight wagons and twelve oxen, one wagon from every two leaders and one ox from each leader. They brought them in front of the tent.

Yahweh said to Moses, “Accept these gifts from them to use in the work done for the tent of meeting. Give them to the Levites to use wherever they need these gifts for their work.” Moses took the wagons and the oxen and gave them to the Levites. He gave two wagons and four oxen to the Gershonites for the work they had to do. He gave four wagons and eight oxen to the Merarites for the work they had to do under the direction of Ithamar, son of the priest Aaron. But Moses gave none of these gifts to the Kohathites, because they took care of the holy things. They had to carry the holy things on their own shoulders.

10 The leaders also brought offerings for the dedication of the altar when it was anointed. They presented their gifts in front of the altar. 11 Yahweh said to Moses, “Each day a different leader will bring his gift for the dedication of the altar.”

12 The one who brought his gifts on the first day was Nahshon, son of Amminadab, from the tribe of Judah. 13 He brought a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds, using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 14 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 15 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 16 a male goat as an offering for sin; 17 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Nahshon, son of Amminadab.

18 On the second day Nethanel, son of Zuar, the leader from the tribe of Issachar, brought his gifts. 19 He brought a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 20 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 21 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 22 a male goat as an offering for sin; 23 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Nethanel, son of Zuar.

24 On the third day the leader of the descendants of Zebulun, Eliab, son of Helon, 25 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 26 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 27 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 28 a male goat as an offering for sin; 29 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Eliab, son of Helon.

30 On the fourth day the leader of the descendants of Reuben, Elizur, son of Shedeur, 31 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 32 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 33 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 34 a male goat as an offering for sin; 35 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Elizur, son of Shedeur.

36 On the fifth day the leader of the descendants of Simeon, Shelumiel, son of Zurishaddai, 37 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 38 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 39 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 40 a male goat as an offering for sin; 41 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Shelumiel, son of Zurishaddai.

42 On the sixth day the leader of the descendants of Gad, Eliasaph, son of Deuel, 43 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 44 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 45 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 46 a male goat as an offering for sin; 47 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Eliasaph, son of Deuel.

48 On the seventh day the leader of the descendants of Ephraim, Elishama, son of Ammihud, 49 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 50 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 51 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 52 a male goat as an offering for sin; 53 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Elishama, son of Ammihud.

54 On the eighth day the leader of the descendants of Manasseh, Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur, 55 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 56 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 57 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 58 a male goat as an offering for sin; 59 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Gamaliel, son of Pedahzur.

60 On the ninth day the leader of the descendants of Benjamin, Abidan, son of Gideoni, 61 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 62 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 63 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 64 a male goat as an offering for sin; 65 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Abidan, son of Gideoni.

66 On the tenth day the leader of the descendants of Dan, Ahiezer, son of Amishaddai, 67 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 68 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 69 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 70 a male goat as an offering for sin; 71 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Ahiezer, son of Amishaddai.

72 On the eleventh day the leader of the descendants of Asher, Pagiel, son of Ochran, 73 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 74 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 75 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 76 a male goat as an offering for sin; 77 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Pagiel, son of Ochran.

78 On the twelfth day the leader of the descendants of Naphtali, Ahira, son of Enan, 79 brought his gifts: a silver plate that weighed 3¼ pounds and a silver bowl that weighed 1¾ pounds using the standard weight of the holy place. Each dish was filled with flour mixed with olive oil as a grain offering. 80 He also brought a gold dish that weighed 4 ounces, filled with incense; 81 a young bull, a ram, and a one-year-old male lamb as a burnt offering; 82 a male goat as an offering for sin; 83 and two bulls, five rams, five male goats, and five one-year-old male lambs as a fellowship offering. These were the gifts from Ahira, son of Enan.

84 These were the gifts from the leaders of Israel for the dedication of the altar when it was anointed: 12 silver plates, 12 silver bowls, and 12 gold dishes. 85 Each silver plate weighed 3¼ pounds, and each bowl weighed 1¾ pounds. Together all the silver dishes weighed 60 pounds, using the standard weight of the holy place. 86 The 12 gold dishes filled with incense weighed 4 ounces each, using the standard weight of the holy place. Together all the gold dishes weighed about 3 pounds. 87 The total number of animals for the burnt offerings was 12 young bulls, 12 rams, 12 one-year-old male lambs, along with their grain offerings. Twelve male goats were used as offerings for sin. 88 The total number of animals for fellowship offerings was 24 bulls, 60 rams, 60 male goats, and 60 one-year-old male lambs. These were the gifts for the dedication of the altar after it was anointed.

89 Whenever Moses went into the tent of meeting to speak with Yahweh, he heard the voice speaking to him from above the throne of mercy on the ark containing the words of God’s promise, from between the two angels.[g] This is how Yahweh spoke with Moses.

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Judges 13:2-5 Names of God Bible (NOG)

There was a man from Zorah named Manoah. Manoah was from the family of Dan. His wife was not able to have children. The Messenger of Yahweh appeared to her and said, “You’ve never been able to have a child, but now you will become pregnant and have a son. Now you must be careful. Don’t drink any wine or liquor or eat any unclean[a]food. You’re going to become pregnant and have a son. You must never cut his hair because the boy will be a Nazirite dedicated to Elohim from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the power of the Philistines.”

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John 11:1-54 Names of God Bible (NOG)

Jesus Brings Lazarus Back to Life

11 Lazarus, who lived in Bethany, the village where Mary and her sister Martha lived, was sick. (Mary was the woman who poured perfume on the Lord and wiped his feet with her hair. Her brother Lazarus was the one who was sick.)

So the sisters sent a messenger to tell Yeshua, “Lord, your close friend is sick.”

When Yeshua heard the message, he said, “His sickness won’t result in death. Instead, this sickness will bring glory to God so that the Son of God will receive glory through it.”

Yeshua loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus. Yet, when Yeshua heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was for two more days.

Then, after the two days, Yeshua said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”

The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, not long ago the Jews wanted to stone you to death. Do you really want to go back there?”

Yeshua answered, “Aren’t there twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day don’t stumble, because they see the light of this world. 10 However, those who walk at night stumble because they have no light in themselves.”

11 After Yeshua said this, he told his disciples, “Our friend Lazarus is sleeping, and I’m going to Bethany to wake him.”

12 His disciples said to him, “Lord, if he’s sleeping, he’ll get well.”

13 Yeshua meant that Lazarus was dead, but the disciples thought Yeshua meant that Lazarus was only sleeping. 14 Then Yeshua told them plainly, “Lazarus has died, 15 but I’m glad that I wasn’t there so that you can grow in faith. Let’s go to Lazarus.”

16 Thomas, who was called Didymus, said to the rest of the disciples, “Let’s go so that we, too, can die with Yeshua.”

17 When Yeshua arrived, he found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days. 18 (Bethany was near Jerusalem, not quite two miles away.) 19 Many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them about their brother.

20 When Martha heard that Yeshua was coming, she went to meet him. Mary stayed at home. 21 Martha told Yeshua, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask him.”

23 Yeshua told Martha, “Your brother will come back to life.”

24 Martha answered Yeshua, “I know that he’ll come back to life on the last day, when everyone will come back to life.”

25 Yeshua said to her, “I am the one who brings people back to life, and I am life itself. Those who believe in me will live even if they die. 26 Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe that?”

27 Martha said to him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who was expected to come into the world.”

28 After Martha had said this, she went back home and whispered to her sister Mary, “The teacher is here, and he is calling for you.”

29 When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Yeshua. 30 (Yeshua had not yet come into the village but was still where Martha had met him.) 31 The Jews who were comforting Mary in the house saw her get up quickly and leave. So they followed her. They thought that she was going to the tomb to cry. 32 When Mary arrived where Yeshua was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”

33 When Yeshua saw her crying, and the Jews who were crying with her, he was deeply moved and troubled.

34 So Yeshua asked, “Where did you put Lazarus?”

They answered him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Yeshua cried. 36 The Jews said, “See how much Yeshua loved him.” 37 But some of the Jews asked, “Couldn’t this man who gave a blind man sight keep Lazarus from dying?”

38 Deeply moved again, Yeshua went to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone covering the entrance. 39 Yeshua said, “Take the stone away.”

Martha, the dead man’s sister, told Yeshua, “Lord, there must already be a stench. He’s been dead for four days.”

40 Yeshua said to her, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see God’s glory?” 41 So the stone was moved away from the entrance of the tomb.

Yeshua looked up and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. 42 I’ve known that you always hear me. However, I’ve said this so that the crowd standing around me will believe that you sent me.” 43 After Yeshua had said this, he shouted as loudly as he could, “Lazarus, come out!”

44 The dead man came out. Strips of cloth were wound around his feet and hands, and his face was wrapped with a handkerchief. Yeshua told them, “Free Lazarus, and let him go.”

The Jewish Council Plans to Kill Jesus

45 Many Jews who had visited Mary and had seen what Yeshua had done believed in him. 46 But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Yeshua had done. 47 So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council. They asked, “What are we doing? This man is performing a lot of miracles. 48 If we let him continue what he’s doing, everyone will believe in him. Then the Romans will take away our position and our nation.”

49 One of them, Caiaphas, who was chief priest that year, told them, “You people don’t know anything. 50 You haven’t even considered this: It is better for one man to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.”

51 Caiaphas didn’t say this on his own. As chief priest that year, he prophesied that Yeshua would die for the Jewish nation. 52 He prophesied that Yeshua wouldn’t die merely for this nation, but that Yeshua would die to bring God’s scattered children together and make them one.

53 From that day on, the Jewish council planned to kill Yeshua. 54 So Yeshua no longer walked openly among the Jews. Instead, he left Bethany and went to the countryside near the desert, to a city called Ephraim, where he stayed with his disciples.

 

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