Behar-Bechulotai – Torah Portion

Parasha With Passion – Torah Reading Cycle – Week #32-33

Parashiyot Behar-Bechukotai is often read as a combined Torah reading. Behar (on mount) and Bechukotai (by My regulations) concludes our readings in the book of Leviticus for this reading cycle.  Throughout the book of Leviticus God instructs the children of Israel on how they should live.  However, in Parshiyot Behar-Bechukotai God instructs the children of Israel on how we should rest.

On Mt. Sinai, God communicated to Moses laws concerning the Sabbatical year (7th year) and the Jubilee year (50th year), laws concerning commerce, and the redemption of slaves.  

Entering Into God’s Rest

Many scholars consider the number seven to be a significant number.  The number seven often symbolizes wholeness, completeness, and rest. The pattern of seven has been evident since the beginning.  After God was finished creating, He set apart the seventh-day and rested.  We commemorate God’s rest by entering into rest with Him on Shabbat.  Entering into Sabbath rest is a picture of what eternity will look like with our Creator.

This week, Parashat Behar-Bechukotai outlines a Sabbath rest for the land every seventh year.  This sabbatical year is called the Shemitah (release).

Leviticus 25:3–4:

“For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops.  But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the Lord.”

Every seven years, the land was not to be planted or harvested. We may wonder how the people survived.   However, even in our modern times, we often find ourselves in situations where we are completely dependent on God.  It is in these times of dependency that our faith is increased.  God is faithful.  

Psalms 37:25:

I have been young; now I am old; yet not once have I seen the righteous abandoned or his descendants begging for bread.”

Although the Israelites could not reap or sow, whatever the land yielded on its own could be eaten. {Leviticus 25:7}. 

In addition, God promised that in the sixth year, the land would yield enough food to last for three years.  This abundance of crop (in the sixth year) resembles the double portion of manna that God provided for His people in the wilderness, so that they could enjoy their rest and have enough food for Shabbat.

Leviticus 25:21:

“I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years.”

Rest For the Weary

Hebrews 4:10:

“For the one who has entered God’s rest has also ceased from his own work, just as God did from His. “

In this world of self-importance living a life of humility and surrender cannot be overemphasized. Personal pride, self-importance – assuming the credit for our accomplishments has no place in our walk with God. We are God’s representatives on earth. We are charged with His mission. This alone is the source of our dignity. Our lives belong to God. We can take no credit for His goodness and his kindness towards us. For this cause, we cease from our labor and strivings towards success.

Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and ‘you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

The Year of Jubilee

Leviticus 25:10:

“Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.  It shall be a jubilee for you; each of you is to return to your family property and to your own clan.”

In the 50th year, on the tenth day of the seventh month, which is Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), the shofar was to be sounded, announcing the Year of Jubilee.

This year was sanctified, set apart, and holy to the Adonai, much the same as the Shabbat and the Shemitah Year.  The laws of the Shemitah applied during the Year of Jubilee. Additionally, slaves were to go free, people were to be released from debts, and land that had been sold due to misfortune or poverty were returned to the original owner.  

Leviticus 25:23:

“The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you reside in my land as foreigners and strangers.” 

God is just!  God instituted a just system that ensured that everyone could live a blessed life.  Ultimately, both the land and the people belong to God!  We are just stewards over that which God entrusts to us.

The Rewards for Obedience

In Parshat Behar-Bechukotai, God promises to reward Israel for their obedience.

Those promises include the following:

  • Rain in its season
  • Prosperity – An abundant, fruitful cycle of sowing and reaping
  • Safety and Peace
  • Security from threat of wild beasts
  • Victory over enemies

Leviticus 26:3–6:

“If you live by my regulations, observe my mitzvot and obey them;then I will provide the rain you need in its season, the land will yield its produce, and the trees in the field will yield their fruit. Your threshing time will extend until the grape harvest, and your grape harvesting will extend until the time for sowing seed. You will eat as much food as you want and live securely in your land.  I will give shalom in the land — you will lie down to sleep unafraid of anyone. I will rid the land of wild animals. The sword will not go through your land.”

Prayer Point:

Father, may all my missed jubilees and sabbatical years come into fruition with divine compensation. In Yeshua’s name – Amen!

Weekly Scripture Readings:

Torah:                 Leviticus 25:127:34

Haftarah:            Jeremiah 16:1917-14

Shlichim:            John 14:15-21; Luke 4:16-21; 1 Corinthians 7:21-24

Next Torah Reading: Bamidbar

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I am a burning-one and my mission is to reach, teach, and unleash other burning-ones. I am in love with a Jewish man. His name is Jesus. He is the Messiah. He is the hope for the entire world. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” {1 John 1:1-3) In this latter day revival there is an emergence of an ancient prophetic stream to raise up burning-ones, to refresh the weary warrior, to set ablaze those in slumber, and to ignite a prayer-movement. ---- Kenyette Mills

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