Nehemia Gordon & Keith Johnson – Pearls from the Torah Portion – Masei – Numbers 33:1-36:13

We have reached the final portion for the Book of Numbers! Among the topics we discuss the question: how are the gentiles who join themselves to Yehovah, spoken of in Isaiah 56, assigned to one of the twelve tribes as Calev was assigned to Judah? In other words, could Keith one day be a Levite?

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  1. Owen Murphy says

    Regarding the potential for blood feuds in Numbers 35. Do we have a similar situation in United States history with the ‘Feuding’ Hatfields & McCoys—they was fightin mountain boys as the song goes? This may tie in to the lost ten tribes issue and the so- called ‘Bible Belt’ states Kentucky-Missouri.You guys are forthright and informative without ‘religious’ bias. Thanks much!

  2. Yvonne says

    Dear Jono,

    Thanks for your great efforts with the Torah portions – very helpful and informative especially as we are often clueless about much of the Torah. However last week was a double portion Matot-Masei and this week should be Devarim. It would be good if you could also put up Devarim on the site, otherwise you will be out of sync with the Torah cycle for the rest of the year.

  3. Suzanne Utts says

    The Civil War was a huge blood feud.

  4. Darren Chan says

    Stupid is as stupid does with old corn.

  5. Nick says

    Shalom, Nehemiah,

    I am glad Isa 56:1-8 is your favorite passage. It is mine, too. I need your expertise in textual criticism of the word translated as “eunuch.” It is not very clear why castrated people would be distinguished from among many others to receive such a blessing. After all, Torah forbids a eunuch both from becoming a proselyte (Deu_23:1) and from worshiping at the Temple (Lev_21:17-20). I have read the Aramaic word for “eunuch” has two meanings: castrated and faithful, and since Hebrew and Aramaic are sister languages, the Hebrew word saris meaning “castrated” could also mean “faithful” but over time it has lost this meaning.

    Please, what is your understanding of this and how can we explain such passages in the Aramaic text of Acts 8:27 where a man seemingly a proselyte is making the Torah-required pilgrimage to Jerusalem (Deu_16:16) if it is to be translated as “eunuch?” Or, in Mat 19:12, where the teaching of Yeshua does not make a lot of sense; “self-made eunuchs” could hardly mean that someone would cut his member to enter the kingdom in heaven or that there are eunuchs from their birth meaning they have been castrated while still in his mother’s womb. Also, consider Wis_3:14 for the meaning of “saris” in the context.

    I also went into Shem-Tov Hebrew Mat 19:12 which gives an explanation of what “saris” means in the context: “Because there are “saris” from their birth; these are those who have not sinned. There are “saris” made by man and there are self-made “saris” who subdue their desire for the sake of the kingdom in heaven; these are those who enter into great prominence. Whoever is able to understand let him understand.”

    It looks like this is another Mat 23 situation. Can we say that “saris” in Isa 56 can be translated as “faithful” as it seems the context prompts so?



  7. student of Torah says

    Hmmm, so should we assume that just because the Hebrew text says does not say old, that it wasn’t OLD corn, that it had to be new corn. Don’t get me wrong, it should not have been added if it’s not there, but it doesn’t say NEW either. We have to admit that it is not clear if it is old or new, right? Also, I’m not so sure we can use Joshua 5 as an argument for which day they began to eat the fruit of the land of canaan that self-same day. For day the word is yom, which can mean DAY or YEAR. Verse 12 goes on to say that they ate of the fruit of the land of cannan that YEAR-the Hebrew word shaneh Strongs 8141-which is always used in the bible as YEAR. I’m just not seeing ANYTHING here in these verses that can be strong evidence for either argument.

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