This week’s Parashah Torah Portion Pinchas is taken from Numbers 25:10-30:1 . Join Dr. Jeffery Myers, as he investigates the principle of “inheritance”, its importance, and the legalities involved in the generational covenant we have in MESSIAH YESHUA, to our inheritance!
Follow along in the AUDIO PODCAST, by clicking on the play button below, and reading along with the notes, as you listen to today's Parashah Torah Portion:
Lion of Judah Speaks: Parashah Torah Portion Pinchas - Numbers 25:10-30:1
In Numbers 26 and 27 we see a very important principle played out in the narrative. The principle of “inheritance” is important to understand as it is part of a generational covenant. What is an “inheritance”? It is something that is legally given to relatives or friends by the legal owner. To inherit something means that someone has passed down something they rightfully own. Elohim declares to Moshe, “To these shall the Land be divided as an inheritance…”. However, how can the Land be called our “inheritance” when it is occupied by other people? Furthermore, if those who possess the Land are not part of our family how can it be passed down? If there was no legal arrangement to pass the Land after their death, how could we take possession?
To answer this question, we have to understand our identity—our family. The Land is our inheritance because our Father owns it and we are His firstborn. Elohim told Moshe that Israel was His firstborn son in Exodus 4:22. Therefore, if Elohim is the Owner of all things, then He has the right to give to His firstborn whatever He desires, and it becomes his as a matter of inheritance.
Why is Israel, not another nation, His firstborn? What was so special about them? Were they more powerful? Are they more holy? No, the answer is in the mystery of His love…as it is for all of us. Why did He choose us? Who are we? In Deut. 4:37 it says, “Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them. And He personally brought you from Egypt by His great power.” So, Elohim gave His inheritance to Israel because of His love for Abraham, Isaac and Ya’akov. He made covenant promises to them, and He will fulfill them. Elohim is sovereign and out of His love He chose Israel to be His people and to carry the message of His love to the world. Israel is the nation of light who is supposed to shed that light to the nations. It is in the choosing that gives us our own identity, purpose and mission in life.
Inheritance is important to Elohim and in this parashah, He reveals how important. Each tribe, except for Levi, were to have a portion of the Land as theirs. Because of the evil report and the disobedience of the people—none of that generation who despised the Land were allowed to enter it. Only their children, born in the wilderness, were allowed to possess the inheritance of Elohim. Joshua and Caleb are the two exceptions because of their faith in Adonai and because it was in their heart to possess the Land, but the negative report of the rest prevented it.
Please don’t miss an important side principle here: The misdeeds of one generation will inevitably affect the next. While the obedience of any generation may overturn the rebellion of a former generation, may we never forget that the sins of the fathers always have an effect upon their children and their children’s children.
But why is inheritance in the Land so important to Elohim? Why does the Torah go out of its way to make sure each tribe receives its due portion in the Land? The answer is that the faithfulness of Elohim to His promises demands that Israel possesses the Land. Elohim’s name is profaned when Israel is not in the Land because the nations seem to have a valid argument about Yah not keeping His promise if Israel is not in the Land. So, if Israel is not planted in the Land, Elohim’s faithfulness and power are brought into question.
The terms for inheritance occur over 200 times, most frequently in Numbers, Deut., Joshua and Psalms. To inherit means “to receive an irrevocable gift” with an emphasis on the special relationship between the benefactor and the recipients. Unlike legal inheritance, the benefactor, Elohim, does not die, yet He provides material and spiritual blessings for His people.
We also see another spiritual principle in Num. 27. Moshe passing the authority of leadership to Joshua. Joshua is chosen by Elohim not by Moses. Numbers 27:18 says, “So Adonai said to Moshe, ‘Take Joshua son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit of leadership, and lay your hand upon him.” The ceremony of transferring authority becomes the norm for designating leaders for Moshe “leans his hands upon” Joshua. We see this “laying on of hands” characteristic of designating positions of authority in the ekklesia. Paul speaks of Timothy receiving this commission to teach others. We also see this concept in the sacrifices as the offeror of the sacrifice would lay their hands on the animal to transfer identity.
From the Hebrew verb for “lean” we get the noun form “s’micha”, the term used for ordination. This is important for the word “hand” conveys the idea of power or authority in Hebrew. Moshe was symbolically and physically passing the authority of leadership to Joshua—the authority of his office as a primary leader of the nation of Israel. However, most people don’t understand, in this symbolic act another important principle was laid down: Joshua would always be under the authority of Moshe, for the authority received is delegated, and cannot rise above the one giving it. Though Joshua would be a leader in his own right, never could he transgress the words of Moshe from whom he had received his authority. The Law-giver Himself had given to Moses the words of Torah, and Joshua, in accepting the “s’micha” of Moses, submitted to the authority passed on to him, i.e., the authority of Elohim’s revealed Torah. This is the same as Yeshua anointing His disciples, including Paul, and sent them out—they could never change the message passed on to them. Yeshua, Himself said “He has anointed Me”, which means Yeshua cannot change the words of Torah either.
The text says that Moshe placed upon Joshua some of his “majesty”, by which is meant the recognized authority which Elohim had placed upon Moshe. Never could the people say that Joshua had somehow usurped the position of leadership. The evident appointment of Elohim, like His appointment of Moshe, was to have been received by all the people.
What is interesting and we should all take note, was the role of Joshua as leader in Numbers 27:21 saying, “Moreover, he shall stand before Eleazar the priest, who shall inquire for him by the judgment of the Urim before Adonai. At his command they shall go out and at his command they shall come in, both he and the sons of Israel with him, even all the congregation.”
Joshua was to be a mediator between the High Priest and the people, listening to the decisions which Elohim confirmed via the Urim and Tummin, and then conveying these to the people. Joshua’s strategic role was to hear the message accurately and convey it to the people without changing it. I pray you heard what I just said, especially leaders…we are to accurately convey the Word of Adonai without changing a single yod or tittle. So many today put their own spin or interpretation on His Word making Torah align with their doctrinal beliefs. We try to submit the Word to our lifestyles, desires and wants instead of simply submitting to the Word of Elohim. His Word never changes because it is the same yesterday, today and forever…He is Adonai!
Yeshua who is our mediator has not changed the Father’s Word either because the power of s’micha” doesn’t permit it. He is the voice in the wilderness speaking Truth of His Father’s Word. As a shepherd, pastor or rabbi, whatever people call me, my responsibility or position is not to usurp the Torah’s authority but to accurately convey it to the people. May we never be false shepherds who do not rightly divide the Word of Truth.
The understanding or principle is the proper role for all leaders in all generations. Our duty is to convey to the people what Elohim has said, and to do so without changing the message. After all, Elohim is the One who actually leads the people, not Joshua.
Our leader is Yeshua HaMashiach! He is the revelation of Elohim to us. He is the One True Shepherd; we are His sheep (even if leadership). We listen for His voice and follow Him. We all (no matter what kind of leader) have as our ultimate mission to lead those under our care to Yeshua. This is true for us who lead Kehillahs. We must always strive to help the congregation hear and obey the One, Chief Shepherd.
My question is…how is your hearing? Are you properly hearing and conveying the Torah of Adonai?
Shabbat Shalom Mishpocha,
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Elohim is great and His Torah, His instructions are good and true. Study His Torah and know the Truth and convey that Truth to those who have ears to hear. Have a great and blessed Sabbath and we will see you at the altar!