Shabbat Reading: “BeHar – BeChukkotai”

Friday, May 11, 2007 |  Michael Schneider
Leviticus 25:1 – 27:34;  Jeremia 32:6-27  

This week we again have a double Torah portion. In the first part, "BeHar – At the mount (Sinai)," God’s appointed times of rest are stressed. God ordered resting times for mankind and for nature, which He connected with the number seven (sheva). In Hebrew, a week is called shavua because of its seven days. The shabbat, the seventh day, is the holy resting day for all mankind, even gentiles (see Isaiah 66).

Nor was nature forgotten. According to our reading, the land should rest every seven years (the Sh’mita Year).

Additionally, the Seventh Millenium – according to the Jewish calender we are ending the 6000 years! – will see the establishment of Messiah’s Thousand-Year Kingdom, when peace and rest is declared over all the earth. The Mishna refers to this when it calls the shabbat, the seventh day, a "foretaste of the World-to-Come."  

Seven, as we can see, is a number of fullness and completion (shalem), which has the same root of the word for peace (shalom).  

In the second part of our double portion, beginning from chapter 26, the topic is that of blessing and curse. When we serve God with joy and walk in His paths, He showers/overwhelms us with His blessings, and keeps us away from any curse. That’s how we enter the inner rest and peace that is also mentioned by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Hebrews (chapter 4). That's God's full and complete shabbat rest!

“So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His.”  

- Shabbat Shalom -  

Michael Schneider

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