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Nisan versus Aviv
A lot of people will refer to this month as Nisan; but, the proper name of the month is Aviv … Shemot (Exodus) 13:4 says, “Today you are going out, in the new moon Aviv.”, and Shemot (Exodus) 23:15 says, “Guard the Festival of Matzot [Unleavened Bread]. Seven days you eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the new moon of Aviv - for in it you came out of Mitsrayim - and do not appear before Me empty-handed.” The name Nisan, as used for this month, is of Assyrian-Babylon origin. In Ester, the month of Nisan is used in Ester 3:7- “In the first new moon, which is the new moon of Nisan, in the twelfth year of Sovereign Ahashverosh, someone cast Pur - that is, the lot - before Haman from day to day, and from new moon to new moon, until it fell on the twelfth month, which is the new moon of Adar.” I tend to think- but don’t quote me on this; in other words, do your own research -the discrepancies of terminology is because the historical context of the book of Ester is in the Persian-Mede Dynasty, which followed the Babylonian Dynasty, over which Nevukadnetstar (Nebuchadnezzar) reigned; whereas, in the book of Shemot (Exodus), the month of Aviv is given directly from the mouth of יהוה. And, I’ll be honest with you; when I first started learning the names and order of the Hebrew months, I started with Nisan, and it has been a little difficult to remember to use Aviv. But, like everything else, repetition is a key component of memory.
Summary of Shemot (Exodus) 38:21-40:38
Mosheh now assembles the whole congregation of Yisra’el, and gives them, once again, an understanding of the holiness of the Sabbath as a "rest to יהוה" (Shemot (Exodus) 35:2). Then, there is given instructions for the construction of the Dwelling Place, which the people comply so wholeheartedly with that Mosheh had to give an order for the people to stop bringing their wares "for what they had was enough for all the work to be done, more than enough" (Shemot (Exodus) 36:7).
Finally, the work of the Dwelling Place is underway and completed with many skilled workmen. The Dwelling Place structure is made. The ark, that would carry the stones with the Ten Words on them, is made. The Table, the Lampstand, the Slaughter-place of incense, the Slaughter-Place of Ascending Offering, and the bronze Basin for washing are all made. The Courtyard is cordoned off with curtains made for the entrance to the Courtyard.
Afterward, there is a complete accounting of all the materials used for the Dwelling Place under the command of Mosheh and under the direction of Aharon. And, then, Mosheh inspects all the work that had been done and "looked over all the work and saw that they did it as יהוה had commanded, so they had done. And Mosheh blessed them." (Shemot (Exodus) 39:43). The Dwelling Place is set up in accordance with יהוה’s command, word, and will, and it was anointed and consecrated and made holy.
"And the cloud covered the Tent of Appointment, and the esteem of יהוה filled the Dwelling Place." (Shemot (Exodus) 40:34). When the cloud lifted off the Dwelling Place, the Yisra’el-ites would break camp and move to their next appointed campsite. If, however, the cloud did not lift from off the Dwelling Place, the people would remain where they were. This cloud was visible both by day and by night; by night there was fire visible within the cloud so that all of Yisra’el could see it.
What does this mean for the Believer and Follower of Yeshua ha-Meshiach today?
Last week, as I typed out the devotion for Parashat Vayyeqhel, I wrote how יהוה had spoken word and Word, and the people put those words into action. This week, we see the fruit of those actions … the [completed] Dwelling Place of יהוה.
Going back, just a little bit, to Bereshit (Genesis) 3:15, which reads, “And I put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed. He shall crush your head, and you shall crush His heel.”, we see a word and a Word being given by יהוה that the Messiah would be sent. This word and Word of יהוה is put into action from that point forward; Adom, Sheth, Noach, Shem, Avraham, Yitshaq, Ya’aqov, Yehudah, Rahab, Ruth, David, Shelomoh, Yehoshaphat, Hizqiyahu, Yekonyah, and “Yoseph and Miryam, of whom was born יהושﬠ who is called Messiah.” (Mattityahu (Matthew) 1:16).
Yochanan (John) 1:14--”And the Word became flesh and pitched His tent [His Dwelling Place] among us, and we saw His esteem, esteem as of an only brought-forth of a father, complete in favor and truth.”
The word and Word of יהוה continues in action as יהושﬠ teaches the people how to honor, love, obey, and trust יהוה, “And having been found in fashion as a man, He humbled HImself and became obedient unto death, death even of a stake.” (Pilipiyim (Philippians) 2:8). And, as יהושﬠ is our example of honoring, loving, obeying, and trusting in יהוה, we are continuing to put the words and Words of יהוה into action.
Baruch ata, Adonai Eloheinu, Melech ha-olam asher natan lanu et derekh ha’yeshua’ba’meshiach Yeshua, baruch hu. Amein.
Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the universe, who gave to us the Way of salvation through Yeshua ha-Meshiach. Blessed be He. Amein.
Be sure to read the Haftarah Pekudei text.
Melakim Aleph (1 Kings) 7:51-8:21