Numbers 6:22-27: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”’ “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.””
The ‘parsha’ (‘Torah’ portion) this week, ‘Parsha Naso’ (Lift Up), found in Numbers 4:21 – 7:89, is the 35th weekly ‘Torah’ portion in the annual Jewish cycle of ‘Torah’ reading and is the longest of the 54 weekly ‘Torah’ portions, with 176 verses. The corresponding ‘Haftorah’ (reading of the prophets) is found in Judges 13:2-25.
‘Parsha Naso’, opens with G-d’s instruction to Moses to take a count of the Levite families of Gershon, who were charged with the task of transporting the doorway curtain, tent-coverings and tapestries of the Tabernacle.
The Gershonites were one of the three Levite clans, which carried the names of Levi's three sons: Gershon, Kehat and Merari.
The previous ‘parsha’ of ‘Bamidbar’ records the figures for the census taken of all Levite males from the age of one month and up. In ‘Parsha Naso’, a second count is taken of those who will be doing the actual work of transporting the sanctuary - the Levite men between the ages of 30 and 50.
In ‘Parsha Naso’, G d directs the Israelites to remove from the camp anyone with an eruption or a discharge as well as anyone defiled by a corpse so that they would not defile the camp. He also communicates to Moses the law of the ‘sotah’, the wayward wife, suspected of unfaithfulness to her husband as well as the law of the ‘nazir’ from which the word ‘Nazirite’ is derived.
A Nazirite was forbidden to drink wine or drink and eat anything made from grapes; they had to let their hair grow long and no razor was to touch their head until the completion of the ‘nezirut’ (Nazirite term). A Nazirite was also forbidden to become contaminated through contact with a dead body - even a father, mother, brother, or sister.
On the day that a Nazirite completed his or her term, the Nazirite was to be brought to the entrance of the Tent of Meeting and had to present a male lamb in its first year for a burnt offering, an ewe lamb in its first year for a sin offering, a ram for a peace offering, and a basket of unleavened cakes and unleavened wafers spread with oil for a meal offering. The priest was to present the offerings, and the Nazirite was to shave his or her consecrated hair and put the hair on the fire under the peace offering.
G-d then told Moses to instruct Aaron and his sons that they should bless the Israelites with this blessing: “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The LORD turn His face to you, and give you peace.” ’ “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” (Numbers 6:24-27).
Our ‘parsha’ tells us that Moses finished setting up the Tabernacle, and annointed and consecrated it, its furnishings, the altar, and its utensils. The chieftains of the tribes then brought their offerings to Moses, and G-d told Moses to accept them for use by the Levites in the service of the Tent of Meeting.
‘Parsha Naso’ ends with the words: “And when Moses would go into the Tent of Meeting to speak with Him, then he heard the voice speaking to him from off the covering that was upon the Ark of Testimony, from between the two cherubim; and it spoke to him.” (Numbers 7:89).
‘Haftorah Naso’, found in Judges 13:2-25, describes the birth of perhaps the most famous of all the Nazirites – Samson. This echoes this week’s ‘parsha’ which discusses the laws of the nazirite.
Manoah and his wife were childless. One day an angel appeared to Manoah's wife, informing her that she would give birth to a child. This child, the angel instructed, was to be a Nazirite for all his life. In addition, the angel instructed her to abstain from all foods forbidden to a Nazirite from the moment she would conceive. The angel further informed the woman that her son would save the Jewish people from the Philistine oppression they were enduring at that time.
The soon-to-be-mother told her husband the good news. He entreated G d to send His messenger again, unaware that the messenger was an angel. G d sent the angel again, and he repeated his instructions.
The ‘haftorah’ ends with the birth of Samson.
In this weeks ‘parsha’, Aaron and his descendants, the ‘kohanim’ (priests), were given instructions by G-d on how to bless the people of Israel: “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; The LORD turn His face to you, and give you peace.”
In fact, the ‘Priestly Blessing’ is G-d’s perfect blessing.
It’s important to understand that this blessing is primarily for the Jewish people; we see this in Numbers 6:22-23: “And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel’.”
Numbers 6:27 goes on to say: “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
G-d put His name on the Jewish people and He said that He would bless them; and today, the Jewish people are a blessed people. You just need to look at how many Jewish people are hugely successful; in the business world, in the entertainment world, in the arts…and the list goes on and on.
Just look at how many Jewish people have won the Nobel Prize - At least 180 Jews have been awarded the Nobel Prize, accounting for 22% of all individual recipients worldwide between 1901 and 2018.
In the research fields of Chemistry, Economics, Physics, and Physiology/Medicine, the corresponding world and U.S. percentages are 27% and 39%, respectively.
Let’s take a look at the entertainment world:
• Jewish Recipients of the Academy Award for best Original Song – (50% of recipients).
• Jewish Recipients of the Academy Award for best Musical Scoring of a Motion Picture – (50% of recipients).
• Jewish Recipients of the Tony Award for best Musical Production – (64% of recipients).
• Jewish Recipients of the Tony Award for best Original Score of a Musical – (72% of recipients).
The above statistics are amazing, especially when you realize that Jews currently make up approximately 0.25% of the world’s population.
Truly, we see here the faithfulness of G-d to His word; He HAS put His name on the Jewish people and He HAS blessed them.
What about the Gentiles?
If you are a born again believer in Yeshua, you too receive the blessing of Almighty G-d. As believers in Yeshua, G-d has put His name on you as well and you are grafted into the olive tree of which Jewish people are the natural branches – Romans 11:16-18: “For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you”
Does this mean that every Jewish person is part of the olive tree? Sadly not! Only Messianic Jews who believe in and follow Yeshua remain the natural branches of the olive tree. We see this in Romans 11:20-23: “…Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.”
What does this mean? It means that to have G-d put His name on you, you have to be a born again follower of Yeshua – whether you are Jewish or Gentile. In light of this, I have a question for you: Has G-d put His name on you and are you able to receive His full blessing?
I said that the Jewish people are truly blessed by G-d…and they are. However the FULL blessing of the Father is the forgiveness of sin and eternal life.
So have you received G-d’s FULL blessing? Are your sins taken care of and is your eternal future secure?
G-d’s desire for all people, Jews and Gentiles, is to live in His full blessing; this can only happen if one accepts the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, as L-rd and Saviour.
Yeshua sacrificed His life for mankind so that mankind could receive the forgiveness of sin, and have the guarantee of eternal life in heaven.
Only by accepting Yeshua and G-d’s gift of salvation can your sins be forgiven you and eternal life in heaven be granted to you.
G-d is extending an invitation to you to accept Yeshua as your L-rd and Saviour which will bring about your ultimate redemption, guaranteeing you eternal life in heaven. Will you accept G-d’s invitation? Will you commit your life to Yeshua, who lovingly and faithfully endured the cross for you and for me, accepting Him as your L-rd and Saviour?
To accept G-d’s gift of the forgiveness of sin, salvation and everlasting life in heaven, all you need to do is confess your sins, repent of them and ask Yeshua to come into your life as your L-rd and Saviour.
And you can do this by praying the Prayer of Salvation found at the end of this article.
And then, through Yeshua, you will be able to live in the FULL blessing of Almighty G-d.
We love you.
Scripture of the week: 2 Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Thank you Yeshua for Your love for me.
Thank you for giving up Your life on the cross for me and for taking my sins upon Yourself.
I confess that I have sinned.
I repent of my sins and I turn from everything I know to be wrong.
I invite You to come into my life as my Messiah, my Saviour.
By Your grace I will serve You all the remaining years of my life.