Messiah in Yom HaBikkurim Chapter 52

Parable #33. The Shrewd Manager:

  1. Today is Day #33
  2. The Thirty-third Mashal of Messiah
  3. Follow-up to the Mashal of the Lost (Prodigal) Son
  4. The lowly socioeconomic status of the followers of the Messiah
  5. The embittered Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) of the Eldest Son
  6. The rise of the Reformed Messianic Faith of the Youngest Son
  7. The troubling pride and arrogance of the Eldest Son
  8. The pleadings of the Loving Father to the Eldest Son continue today
  9. Forced retirement leads to the release of the (Elder-ly) General Manager
  10. The release from debt of several of the Master’s debtors
  11. The profitable times of the Eldest Son were rapidly coming to an end
  12. The Nimshal of Messiah follows His Mashal
  13. The Nimshal of Messiah reads as follows
  14. Lesson #1 (of 3) in Messiah’s practical business remarks
  15. What does the term “unrighteous wealth” mean?
  16. Lesson #2 (of 3) in Messiah’s practical business remarks
  17. Lesson #3 (of 3) in Messiah’s practical business remarks
  18. The Prushim scoffed at the Messiah
  19. The Accuser is accused by the Mashiach
  20. The Mystery of the 100 measures of Olive Oil and Golden Wheat
  21. The Sodim of the Messiah and the Shrewd Manager
  22. Searching for the Grace of the Elah Shemaiya
  23. The Silver, The Salt, and The Wine
  24. Searching for and finding Wisdom
  25. In Conclusion: May you be wise like Ezra!

Today is Day #33:

1. Today is “Day #33” in the forty-nine day Countdown to Shavuot.

2. Today is thirty-three days which are four weeks and five days of the Omer.

.היום שלושה ושלושים יום, שהם ארבעה שבועות וחמישה ימים בעומר

Haiyom shloshah ushloshim yom, shehaym arba’ah shavuot vechamishah yamim ba’omer.

“You shall count for yourselves — from the day after the Shabbat, from the day when you bring the Omer of the waving — seven Shabbats, they shall be complete. Until the day after the seventh sabbath you shall count, fifty days.” (Leviticus). “You shall count for yourselves seven weeks, from when the sickle is first put to the standing crop shall you begin counting seven weeks. Then you will observe the Festival of Shavu’ot for Adonai Eloheinu.” (Deuteronomy).

“Blessed are You, Adonai Eloheinu, King of the Universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us concerning the counting of the Omer.”

ברוך אתה, אדוני אלוהינו, מלך העולם, אשר קדשנו במצוותיו וצוונו על ספירת העומר.פ

Baruch atah, Adonai Eloheinu, melech ha’olam, asher kid’shanu b’mitzvotav v’tzivanu al sefirat ha’omer.

The Thirty-third Mashal of Messiah:

Mashal

וְגַם אֶל־תַּלְמִידָיו אָמַר אִישׁ עָשִׁיר הָיָה וְלוֹ סֹכֵן עַל־בֵּיתוֹ וַיַּלְשִׁינֻהוּ אֵלָיו כִּי־מְפַזֵּר הוּא אֶת־קִנְיָנָיו׃ וַיִּקְרָא אֵלָיו וַיֹּאמַר מַה־זֹּאת שָׁמַעְתִּי עָלֶיךָ תֵּן חֶשְׁבּוֹן פְּקֻדָּתְךָ כִּי לֹא תוּכַל לִהְיוֹת עוֹד סֹכֵן לִי׃ וַיֹּאמֶר הַסּוֹכֵן בְּלִבּוֹ מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה כִּי־יִקַּח אֲדֹנִי מִמֶּנִּי אֶת הַפְּקֻדָּה לַעֲדֹר לֹא־אוּכַל וְלַחֲזוֹר עַל־הַפְּתָחִים אֲנִי בוֹשׁ׃ יָדַעְתִּי מָה אֶעֱשֶׂה לְמַעַן יַאַסְפוּנִי אֶל־בָּתֵּיהֶם בְּעֵת אִם הוּסַרְתִּי מִפְּקֻדָּתִי׃ וַיִּקְרָא אֶל־כָּל־אֶחָד מֵהָאֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר־נָשָׁה בָהֶם אֲדֹנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־הָרִאשׁוֹן כַּמָּה אַתָּה חַיָּב לַאדֹנִי׃ וַיֹּאמֶר מֵאָה־בַת שָׁמֶן וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו קַח אֶת־שְׁטָרְךָ וּמַהֵר שֵׁב וְכָתַבְתָּ חֲמִשִּׁים׃ וְאֶל־אַחֵר אָמַר כַּמָּה אַתָּה חַיָּב וַיֹּאמֶר מְאַת כֹּר חִטִּים וַיֹּאמֶר קַח אֶת־שְׁטָרְךָ וּכְתֹב שְׁמֹנִים׃ וַיְשַׁבַּח הָאָדוֹן אֶת־סֹכֵן הָעַוְלָה עַל־אֲשֶׁר הֶעֱרִים לַעֲשׂוֹת כִּי בְנֵי הָעוֹלָם הַזֶּה עֲרוּמִים הֵם בְּדוֹרָם מִבְּנֵי הָאוֹר׃

He (the Mashiach) said to His talmidin:

There was a rich man, and  he had a manager over his house whom people slandered to him (or informed against him), saying that he was squandering his possessions. He called to him and said, ‘What is this that I heard about you? Give an accounting of your management because you will not be able to be my manager any longer.’ The manager said in his heart, ‘What will I do if my master takes the management from me? I am not able to hoe (do hard physical work). I am too ashamed to go door to door (to beg). I know what I will do so that I may be taken into their houses if I am removed from my management.’ He called to every one of the people with whom his master had a claim. He said to the first, ‘How much are you indebted to my master?’ He said, ‘One hundred batin of oil.’ He said to him, ‘Quickly take your bill and sit and write fifty.’ To another he said, ‘How much are you indebted?’ And he said, ‘One hundred korin of wheat.’ He said, ‘Take your bill and write eighty.’ The master praised the manager of the wrongdoing since he behaved so cleverly. For the sons of this world are more clever in their generation than the sons of light.”

וְגַם־אֲנִי אֹמֵר לָכֶם קְנוּ לָכֶם אֹהֲבִים בְּמָמוֹנָהּ שֶׁל־עַוְלָה לְמַעַן יַאַסְפוּ אֶתְכֶם בְּעֵת כְּלֹתוֹ אֶל־מִשְׁכְּנוֹת עוֹלָם׃ הַנֶּאֱמָן בִּמְעַט מִזְעָר נֶאֱמָן גַּם־בְּהַרְבֵּה וְהַמְעַוֵּל בִּמְעַט מִזְעָר מְעַוֵּל גַּם־בְּהַרְבֵּה׃ לָכֵן אִם־בְּמָמוֹנָהּ שֶׁל־עַוְלָה לֹא הֱיִיתֶם נֶאֱמָנִים אֵת הָאֲמִתִּי מִי יַפְקִידֶנּוּ בְּיֶדְכֶם׃ וְאִם־בַּדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר לַאֲחֵרִים לֹא הֱיִיתֶם נֶאֱמָנִים אֵת אֲשֶׁר לָכֶם מִי יִתֵּן לָכֶם׃ אֵין עֶבֶד יָכֹל לַעֲבֹד שְׁנֵי אֲדֹנִים כִּי יִשְׂנָא אֶת־הָאֶחָד וְיֶאֱהַב אֶת־הָאַחֵר אוֹ יִדְבַּק בְּאֶחָד וְאֶת־הָאַחֵר יִבְזֶה לֹא תוּכְלוּ עֲבֹד אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִים וְאֵת הַמָּמוֹן׃

Nimshal

I also say to you, purchase friends for yourselves with mamon (wealth) of wrongdoing, so that when it is finished, *”They” will take you into eternal dwellings. One who is faithful with just a little is also faithful with much; one who does wrong with just a little also does wrong with much. Thus, if you are not faithful with mamon of wrongdoing, who will entrust you with what is real? And if you are not faithful with what belongs to others, who will give you what is yours? No servant is able to serve two masters. For he will hate one and love the other. You are not able to serve both Adonai (the Almighty) and mamon.”

*”They” in Hebrew, the third-person plural without an antecedent, is an indirect way of referring to Adonai and to the Proceedings of His Heavenly Court.

Follow-up to the Mashal of the Lost (Prodigal) Son:

In this mashal of the Shrewd Manager the Messiah follows up His previous mashal of the Lost (Life-waster, Prodigal) Son with additional practical teaching (nimshal) regarding how His disciples are now expected to administer Abba Avinu’s Ministry of Redemption and Reconciliation to their fellow Yehudim (Jews). Since at the time of this teaching the vast majority of Messiah’s talmidin (disciples) were composed of non-practicing (unorthodox) and secular Yehudim (outcasts), it is important that we now consider these followers as former Yehudim (not goyim) prodigal sons themselves.

Therefore, as a group the vast majority of these Jewish disciples of the Messiah were made up of not-very-religious (spiritually ignorant) commoners. The majority of these Yehudim were not well-educated. There was nothing exceptional about them. They did not belong to the aristocratic priestly class of the Tzedokim (הַצְּדוֹקִים), or the educated Prushim, the “Separated Ones” (הַפְּרוּשִׁים), or the Hordos (הוֹרְדוֹס), the “Great Ones” who were privileged loyalists to the royal Herodian monarchy.

The lowly socioeconomic status of Messiah’s followers:

The lowly social status of  most of these followers of Messiah is important to note. We must understand the selection of the teaching language and illustrations the Rabbi of rabbis employed; that for the most part He was directly speaking to the common people; and only secondarily was He speaking to the privileged classes of the rabbis, scholars, priests, and loyal followers of the Herodian royal family. With these points in mind, let us briefly revisit the Messiah’s teaching in the last mashal of the Lost Son and the Loving Father as a means for us to effectively introduce the follow-up teaching in this mashal.

The embittered Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) of the Eldest Son:

As you will recall at the conclusion of the Messiah’s last mashal He had reconciled the younger prodigal son with The Father (HaAv) and the Jewish community at large. However, the Messiah had left the Eldest Son in a state of embittered opposition with the Loving Father. Therefore, the last words of exchange between the Eldest Son and the Father were as follows.

[Two parts] First, closing challenge of the Eldest Son: “Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends; but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with *prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!”

אמן. אומר אני לכם, המוכסים והזונות יבואו לפניכם למלכות האלהים. פ

“Amen. I say to you, the tax collectors and prostitutes will come before you to the Kingdom of G-d.”

Second, closing response of the Loving Father. “Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.”

We recall here the dreary depiction of our Jewish faith that was (and continues to be) embraced by our Elder Brother (and his successors). Our Elder Brother, the ultra-orthdox rabbinic movement was begun by the Prushim. More than any other sect it is the sect of the Prushim that usurped the Messiah’s authority and replaced Him with their own rule.

These men (the Bramble Bush King) are the ones who have characterized our life with Abba Avinu as one of indentured slavery. These men (our Elder Brother) have slandered the Holy One without ever even knowing it. How have these men slandered Abba Avinu?

Our Elder Brother has slandered Adonai by declaring that we Yehudim are His working, suffering slaves and not His beloved sons.

This is what our Elder Brother believes and this is the belief that he demands that we all accept. This system of Rabbinism (יהדות רבנית) at the first appears to have worked out well for the Elder Brother. However, as we discover in the next mashal things don’t work out so well for the Elder Brother. For at the end he is revealed to actually be the spiritually lost and impoverished one; who is related to five younger brothers who—although rich in material possessions—are also lost and living in spiritual poverty; as did their Elder Brother before them (i.e. there are six lost sons in all).

Prophetically what does this mean? From the first to the sixth century (CE) our Elder Brother and his five younger brothers (*six generations of Tannaim) and from the time of the Tannaim to the Acharonim (**six eras of rabbinism; since Messiah) our spiritually lost hyper-orthodox sages have supplanted and replaced our prophets, the Messiah, the shlichim of Adonai, and most damaging of all the Oral Torah of the Spirit of the Holy One with their own invalid man-made (six) systems of Judaism.

*Six Generations of the Firstborn Eldest Son (the Tannaim) and His Five Younger Brothers who at the first “rejected”and “replaced” the rule of the Messiah (cf. five brothers of Rich Man in the next mashal of the “Rich Man and Lazarus.”

**Six Eras of Elders-Sages (since the replacement of the Messiah):  Tannaim (תנאים), Amoraim (אמוראים), Savoraim (סבוראים)  Geonim (גאונים), Rishonim (ראשונים), Acharonim (אחרונים).

Like Esau these naturally talented Elder brothers (of six eras of rabbinism) have despised their spiritual birthright.

The many prophetic criticisms and pronounced judgments of the Messiah toward the Elder Brothers (sages), however, only partially applies to the “Zugot sages”—the Soferim (scribes)—who are considered the first of the seven total eras of rabbinsm. This is so because the Zugot (הַזּוּגוֹת) lived in a time before the coming of the Messiah. The authority of the rabbi sages was valid before the appearance of Shiloh. However, when Shiloh (the Messiah) appeared then all of the authority of the Rule of G-d passed on to Him (the Messiah Yeshua).

.הסופרים והפרושים יושבים על כסא משה

 “The Soferim and the Prushim sit on Moshes’ throne.”

So, the authority of the rabbis was valid right up to the time of Messiah’s coming to earth. At the time of His first appearance to Israel He affirmed this. For He said of the Prushim rabbis that they possessd authority to act as as Adonai’s proxy teachers who sit on the Throne of Mosheh—-until He sent M’shico (His Messiah) to appear before and lead His people and nation of Israel (as our Messiah, Prophet, Great High Priest, and King) .

Therefore, when the Messiah appeared to our ancestors He made it abundantly clear that from the time of His appearance (תנאים-from the era of the Tannaim) to the end of days no man was to be called Teacher (Rabbi). For Adonai alone is our Great Rabbi; and the Voice of Adonai is M’shicho (His Messiah).

This is a true saying for the Messiah Yeshua (the Salvation of Adonai) does not speak his own words. He does not come to us in his own name. He has come to us only in the name of Adonai. Therefore, the Messiah whom Adonai has sent He alone is the one who speaks to us the words of Adonai (in these latter days).

Therefore, no man is our teacher. The Spirit of the Holy One, who directly speaks to us (in the first person) through His Holy Servant (Eved HaKadosh)—-M’shicho, He alone is the One who personally leads and guides every one of us into all His truth.

All men are merely servants of the Holy One. Even our Messiah first was sent to us as a humble, suffering servant. Therefore, it is a true saying that from the time of Messiah to the present day, the six eras of rabbinic teaching that have replaced all of the teachings of the Messiah and the prophets, they are all—-illegitimate and invalid in the eyes of HaAv L’Yeshua HaMashiach.

The long-standing success of our six Elder Brothers (from the time of the Tannaim to the Acharonim of the present day) in replacing the inspired writings of our prophets (Tanakh) and our Messiah (cf. HaBrit HaChadashah)—with their “leaven of pride“—has only led our people astray into times of great suffering and confusion. For the false teaching of our Elder Brothers (six in all) has only served to move our people farther and farther away from the actual safety, security, and love of G-d our Father.

Now this very early rejection of our Messiah Yeshua by our first century (CE) era of the Tannaim sages (that includes six generations) and by their follow on five successor eras (making six eras in all of failed hyper-orthodox rabbinic Judaism)—-this has tragically already delayed for nearly two millennia the time of the full restitution and *restoration of Israel (i.e. the messianic age of G-d’s rule on earth).

*Our (israel’s) unbelief in the Messiah has “delayed” the time of the Return of our Messiah and His establishment of the Rule of G-d on earth. However, one day (we pray soon) we shall believe in the one who Avinu Shebashamayim sent to us and then He will return to earth. Then when Shiloh appears in Israel (a second time) He shall bring to Israel the time of the First Jubilee and of the Great Sukkot when all of the nations, peoples, and families of the world shall be brought to faith in Adonai Avi-Khol (the Loving “Father of all”).

Thus far all has temporarily gone well for our *replacement Elder Brother (Rabbinic Judaism). The old system has worked well for him so far. For as soon as he convinced our ancestors that our Loving Father does not exist (i.e. He is an invalid belief and should be “dead” to us), and that the Messiah had not come (for he is a false prophet; and a sorcerer), then as the only remaining publicly acknowledged heir, the Elder Brother then ascended to the place of the judge and self-appointed ruler over all of the entire household Israel. So until 1948 did Rabbinic Orthodox Judaism rule over us with all of the zeal, vigor and efficiency it could muster (out of his own natural vanity). Thereby making us as if we wer all slaves to him and worshipers of his “pretend” false deity; which is a “graven” image made in their “own image.”

*Who has temporarily replaced our true and rightful Elder Brother (the Messiah).

But now, as the story goes things are about to change. For when the younger Jewish brother returned home (to the land of Israel) from the far country (of the gentile nations). Then, the great problem for the replacement Elder Brother began. For when the younger brother came home from suffering in the he did not return as a submitted devoted follower of the hyper-orthodoxy of the Elder Brother. For these teachings he rejected long ago. Rather, after living among the Gentiles, the non-religious younger brother has come home solely because he now believes that that there is no better place for him to live than in his own native land (eretz Israel).

The rise of the Reformed Messianic Faith of the Youngest Son:

So now comes the trouble! For the Messiah prophesied that one day (we believe in the past 20th and present 21st centuries) when the irreligious, Jewish profligates (the Reformed sons), the younger brothers (and sisters), start returning home from the far country (the Gentile nations) to (modern) Israel, having squandered and lost all of our rich (spiritual) inheritance; then it will not be possible for the (replacement) Elder Brother to reject us; for Adonai our Loving Father will overrule him and He will even welcome us home (by His Presence) Himself.

The troubling pride and arrogance of the Eldest Son:

How does the replacement (orthodox) Elder Brother act when his younger brother is received back home solely by the grace of G-d?

Here we see the troubled arrogance of the self-righteous Eldest Son. The Elder Brother who took the place of our Messiah. He proclaims himself to be a separated one, the holy and righteous one. He claims that everyone (including Adonai Avinu Himself) should put all of their trust in Him. For he is the just one. He is the only true Judge. All others, therefore, should bend our will to him. He knows what is best for all. He alone is always right. So all who oppose him are wrong and should be punished. If you dare disagree with the Eldest Son:

You will be publicly disgraced and humiliated;
You will be branded as unrighteous;
You will be treated as an undesirable outcast (1, 2, 3, 4);  and
He will do all that he can to turn your own family against you.

In hearing this mashal of Messiah one shudders to think what will happen to the household servants, their families and the community at large when this soon to be wealthy and powerful Elder in the Jewish community, Holy One, and Righteous One “replaces’ the benevolent chesed-spiritual rule of our Loving Father with his own brand of rigid, hyper-legalistic, toilsome, materialistic rule.

The pleadings of the Loving Father to the Eldest Son continue today:

So the conflict between the leadership style of the (replacement) Eldest Son (the Prushim and their ultra-orthodox successors) and that of our Loving Father and M’shico (His Messiah) continues to the present day, a period of almost two millennia.

This leads us to today’s mashal of the “Shrewd Manager.” Today’s mashal begins with a rich man calling his steward (manger) to appear before him to put him on notice that he will soon be *terminating his employment due to the elderly manager’s recently failing business performance.

*In ancient times there was no severance pay or retirement income provided; so when the manager’s business performance began to fall into decline, due to his advancing in years, he knew that he would shortly be laid off with no ability to find further employment; for in his old age he was too weak to do the work of a day laborer.

A steward is a servant who manages the resources of his Master. He is one who is given authority by the Master over all of his financial resources and his household estate. The steward could transact business in the Master’s name. This extensive, all encompassing authority required considerable trust to exist between the Master and his steward. The steward was required at all times to be both honest with his Master and competent in handling all of his Master’s property. It was not enough for the steward to be honest and incompetent. To keep his job the aged steward quite naturally had to be good at making just about everything in the businesses of his rich and powerful Master run efficiently and above all be profitable—-at all times.

Forced retirement leads to the release of the (Elder-ly) General Manager:

The aging steward was getting old and less effective, so he was being retired. He was not being fired for *”theft.”

This means the manager was being retired because he had significantly declined in his job performance due to the onset of old age. He no doubt was declining in physical strength, stamina, and his cognitive ability.

He was not being fired for theft. The steward would have been severely punished if he had actually stolen his Master’s property. In some cases of minor theft, the servant would have been thrown into debtor’s prison. There he would have remained in a state of continuous “hard labor,” at least until the amount he had stolen would have been repaid. In the case of severe theft the servant might have even be executed.

In any case if the manager had stolen anything from his master he would at the very least have been dismissed immediately. His termination of employed would have never been delayed to a later date. This is why the “shrewd” servant was able to conduct a few more (wise) transactions before he was retired and released.

Since in the mashal there was no jail time or debt repayment assigned to the steward it is clear therefore that the servant was being retired. He was old, diminished in his energy and mental abilities, and was about to be “replaced” by a much younger person (a younger Yehudi; i.e. “younger brother”).

Therefore, it is apparent in the narrative of the mashal that some time had elapsed before the Master was thoroughly convinced that the steward’s job performance had declined enough that his employment had to be discontinued. Most likely the steward had done a satisfactory job in the past, however, he had more recently fallen into a sustained period of poor job performance.

The release from debt of several of the Master’s debtors:

When the old, elderly steward realized that he would soon be out of a job he made some shrewd business deals.

The Shrewd Manager immediately reduced the debts of several of the Master’s debtors in exchange for friendship later when he knew he would be laid off from his job. When the Master became aware of what the poor performing steward had done he actually commended him for his *“shrewdness.”

*This of course reveals that the Master was a shrewd man himself.

The profitable times of the Eldest Son were rapidly coming to an end:

We fully expect that it was the steward’s former expert ability to understand and judge a situation quickly and to use this understanding to his Master’s advantage that had caused the highly successful Master to both love and like his General Manager. The good will and friendly relations between the business owner and his soon to be retired senior executive reveals that there had existed in the past  a significant period of profitability.

Of course business being business, this wonderful past history could not interfere with the present need to effectively maintain the day to day business of the Owner. it was time for the Master to send his old senior executive away and replace him with a new younger executive. Nevertheless:

המאסטר נהנה לראות ניצוץ אחרון של זוהר בעסקיו האחרונים של המנהל הכללי הפורש. פ

The Master enjoyed seeing a last spark of zohar (זוהר-radiant brilliance) in the latest affairs of the departing General Manager.

The Nimshal of Messiah follows His Mashal:

Following the mashal of the Shrewd Manager the Master revealed the meaning of His mashal and its intended application. This additional follow up explanation is called a “nimshal.” The nimshal (נִמשָׁל) is the moral application of the mashal. In this case it is the practical explanation of the deeper prophetic truth that the Messiah is indicating in the story.

The Hebrew term nimshal means something like “to be compared with” or “to be like.” A nimshal in this present context, therefore, is being used by Messiah as a follow-up to the previous four meshalim of the Lost Sheep (משל השה האובד), Lost Coin (משל המטבע שאבד), Lost (prodigal, life-waster) Son (משל על הבן האובד), and (*today) the Shrewd (soon to be retired] General Manager  (המשל על הסוכן הבלתי ישר).

הוא הכשיר אותנו להיות משרתים של ברית חדשה, לא של אות כתובה, אלא של הרוח; שכן האות ממיתה, אבל הרוח מחיה.  פ

He prepared us to be servants of a Brit Ha-Chadashah (ברית חדשה-new covenant), not of a written letter, but of the Spirit; For the letter [of the law] is dying (*passing away), but the spirit lives. [is bringing us new life, the gift of the Loving Father that shall never pass away.]

*[Obsolete, passing away:]  If you follow the orthodox method of counting the omer today is Lag BaOmer (ל״ג בעומר); which occurs on the 18th (19th Hidden) day of the Hebrew month of Iyar. This is quite interesting because we Jews are presently “counting” down the days to Shavuot and today’s mashal is about business “accounting.” Is it a coincidence or providence that on the day of Shavuot, when the gift of the Father was received by a remnant of Israel the old ways of “debt collection” (letter of the law) began to become obsolete (was retired) and all became the new ways of “debt forgiveness“? (spirit of the law) You decide.

The Nimshal of Messiah reads as follows:

For the sons of this age (בְּנֵי הָעוֹלָם-b’nei ha’olam) are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light (מִבְּנֵי הָאוֹר-b’nei ha’or). And I say to you, make friends (יְדִידִים) for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness (בְּמָמוֹן הַמִּרְמָה-material gain acquired through worldly means; fraud, deceit), so that when it fails, *They will receive you into the eternal dwellings **He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which belongs to another, who will give you that which is your own? No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve Adonai and wealth (materialism).”

*”They” in Hebrew, the third-person plural without an antecedent, is an indirect way of referring to Adonai and to the Proceedings of His Heavenly Court.

**Be Rich in Adonai. As is the case with the shrewd servant above: the Sons of Light (the followers of the Messiah) should care for those Yehudim (and Gentiles) who possess great material wealth and worldly power that they might become spiritually Rich in Adonai; otherwise they (the employers) will now be temporarily materially wealthy but later they will become (in eternity) permanently poor.

The Sons of this Age need the help of the Sons of LIght because they have no real spiritual treasure to take with them in the life to come.

The Sons of Light as ministers of reconciliation are directed by the Messiah to enlist our materially wealthy (and spiritually impoverished) neighbors in the righteous cause of doing good (Hebrew: צדקה,  Arabic:  صدقة – acts of charity) and in so doing turn these individuals away from the evil that the love of money and power brings. Thereafter, these shrewd masters can be turned around toward the present and future joy of being Rich in Adonai (1, 2).

This transformational approach is the preferred methodology that is employed by the Loving Father (Abba Avinu). His Sons of Light will be more effective if we use this approach (Ministry of Reconciliation); rather than the judgmental approach of the (replacement) Eldest Son (Ministry of Alienation).

In time the kind (chesed), caring, and patient approach of our Father of Mercies (Avi HaRachamim) will change the sons of this age into sons of light. We are those who are Rich in Adonai; men and women who are learning to use all that we possess solely as a means to worship and serve Adonai, who is the G-d of Heaven (יְהוָה֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י הַשָּׁמַ֔יִם-Adonai Elah Shemaiya).

Lesson #1 (of 3) in Messiah’s practical business remarks:

Lesson #1.  “For the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.”

The Messiah our Master is drawing a contrast between thesons of this age (בני העולם)and thesons of light (בני האור).”

Participants in the present world system are wiser in the things of this present world than most (messianic) believers. The unjust steward knew he was about to be put out and maneuvered to create a better future for himself, his Master, and the customers who were debtors. The Shrewd Manager created a better future for everyone by converting his Master’s Debt Collection Business into a Debt Forgiveness Business.

In this new business activity of (debt) forgiveness the Shrewd Manager helped his Master be Rich in Adonai. By practicing generosity (charity) on behalf of his Master he brought honor to his name; and whether he knew it or not: he brought blessing upon his Master from G-d the Father. He also became a permanent friend to his Master’s debtors who were then obligated to be a blessing to him once he was retired from his job of debt collection. So, what is the moral lesson here? Look again to the Messiah’s words:

“Make friends for yourselves by means of unrighteous wealth, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal dwellings.”

Our Rabbi of rabbis is encouraging His fellow Yehudim (Jews) to be generous with their wealth in this life so that in the life to come their new friends will receive them “into eternal dwellings.”

This tzedakah (צדקה-works of charity) is how we Jews lay up treasures in heaven. The Master is telling the business-minded Prusim rabbinate and their legalistic successors—the replacement Elder Brother who only stores up for himself treasures on earth—now that you are about to be laid off by Adonai let Me give you some great insider business advice:

“Get out of the obsolescing Debt Collection Business and go (immediately) into the high growth Debt Forgiveness Business!”

What does the term “unrighteous wealth” mean?

Messiah’s use in the Nimshal of the term “unrighteous wealth” is a bit confusing. Messiah is not saying that believers should sinfully gain wealth and then be generous with it. “Unrighteous” in this reference to wealth can refer to:

Unrighteous wealth #1.  The evil means that many use to acquire wealth;
Unrighteous wealth #2.  The way in which people selfishly use wealth; and
Unrighteous wealth #3.  The corrupting influence wealth has when it usurps the loving rule of Abba Avinu and makes the value of things more important than the souls of people.

All three of these challenges apply. However, given the contextual way in which the Master employs the term unrighteous wealth. However, we believe the third explanation is the central issue here. Therefore, wealth is not inherently evil, but the love of money can lead to an incredible amount of trouble; the destruction of our (Israel’s) *”spiritual treasures” that the Loving Father has freely given to us.

*Therefore losing the treasures of the prophets, the teaching of the Messiah (our true and preferred Elder Brother), and the Living Torah of the Spirit by choosing the prideful way of life of Rabbinic Judaism- (our hyper-legalistic ‘replacement’ Elder Brother).

The Messiah is telling us, those of us that are His Jewish followers, that Judaism (AmIsrael) should be using all of the unlimited resources given to us by Abba Avinu so that we together (in the unity of the Spirit) may all become—-Rich in Adonai.

If we trust El Shaddai (All-Sufficient One) in this way nothing will be impossible for us (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). We should be using the unlimited resources of heaven on earth to create eternal relationships that are built on the sure foundation of the loving-kindness and forgiveness of Adonai.

We should never be using the unlimited resources entrusted to us by Abba Avinu to create relationships built on the false (fear, guilt, and shame) foundation of obligation, indebtedness and a false belief in a harsh unloving, unforgiving deity who does not even exist; except in the minds of those who wish to believe that they (החסידים-haChassidim, the Pious Ones) are better than the rest of us (יהודים שאינם יהודים חרדים).

If we understand the principle that everything we own is a gift from Abba Avinu then we will also realize that Avi-Khol is the owner of everything and everybody and that we are His stewards. As such we are to use His unlimited resources to bring about the Rule of G-d here on earth. This necessarily means:

We are never to use the Master’s resources to only further our own interests.

How do we do this? How does the Loving Father desire for us to live? We are to zealously practice the mitzvah of hachnasat orchim. Like father Avraham we are to nationally be “Bringing in the Guests” of all the nations and peoples of the world into the ‘hospitality’ of our nation, Israel.

So let us be generous with the wealth that Avinu Shebashamayim entrusts  us with. Let us help each other fulfill our great calling as the beloved children of Abba Avinu; that we as one united people, as one person, might be a national Servant-leader like Adonai our Father. Therefore, like our heavenly Father, the Generous One, let us use all the wealth that He our Father gives to us only to  benefit others. The Messiah who is The Voice of the Holy One has spoken (1, 2, 3):

בּוֹאוּ אֵלַי כָּל הָעֲמֵלִים וְהָעֲמוּסִים וַאֲנִי אַמְצִיא לָכֶם מְנוּחָה. קְחוּ עֲלֵיכֶם אֶת עֻלִּי וְלִמְדוּ מִמֶּנִּי, כִּי עָנָו אֲנִי וּנְמוּךְ רוּחַ; תִּמְצְאוּ מַרְגּוֹעַ לְנַפְשׁוֹתֵיכֶם, כִּי עֻלִּי נָעִים וְקַל מַשָׂאִי.פ

“Come to Me, all who are weary (הָעֲמֵלִים-miserable) and heavy-laden (הָעֲמוּסִים-put upon with an unbearable load), and I will make rest come upon you (אַמְצִיא לָכֶם מְנוּחָה-i.e. ‘make you rest’). Take My yoke upon you (קְחוּ עֲלֵיכֶם אֶת עֻלִּי-i.e. team up with My strength, My Spirit) 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.”

So may our nation and our people never again accept being that miserable slave nation that continuously labors in the highly unprofitable and soon to be “obsoleteDebt Collection Business of the Bramble Bush King (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). Now it is time for us to re-discover our elect friendship with Hannoten Teshuah (the Giver of Salvation); just as our father Avraham did so long ago. We must go back into business with Abba Abinu by accepting the one who He sent who is Ha-Elohim Hamvorakh L’Olam Va’ed (G-d Blessed Forever).

Then finally—the True Eldest Son (Messiah; not the replacement) and the true reconciled youngest son (AmYisra’el)—will become the happy family business that Abba Avinu (the Loving Father) has always wanted us to be all along: we shall all go together into His high growth (extremely profitable) international Debt Forgiveness Business! (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

Lesson #2 (of 3) in Messiah’s practical business remarks:

Lesson #2.  “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the real (הָאֲמִתִּי) {riches} to you? And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?” The Master in this second lesson goes on to expand on the principle of tzedakah (צְדָקָה); the righteous works of charity. If one is faithful in “little” (material things), then one will be faithful in “much” (cf. Rich in Adonai). The concept here is that one is to use material resources to sow and reap relational treasure:

Material wealth (מָמוֹן) is the slave of the Royal Law (תּוֹרַת הַמַּלְכוּת). The Royal Law is generously loving all others as Abba Avinu loves us.

It isn’t the wasting of matter and energy that we should be concerned about but the wasting of human souls; human life. In the previous mashal, the Eldest Son is obsessed with loving things and wasting (harshly judging and punishing) human souls. The Messiah is teaching us that Abba Avinu, our Loving Father, would rather the Eldest Son be obsessed with loving and forgiving people (forgiveness business) more than judging and punishing people (debt collection business).

Therefore, practicing loving-kindness, mercy and grace (חֶסֶד); benevolence, philanthropy (גְמִילוּת חֲסָדִים); generosity (נַדבָנוּת); and above all hospitality, bringing in, letting-in the guests (הַכנָסַת אוֹרְחִים) into the present Kingdom of heaven (now) and the KIngdom of Adonai (soon).

If the Elder Brother (the old obsolescing hyper-orthodox religious establishment) does not understand how to be spiritually Rich in Adonai and be a good steward of what they (we) have already been entrusted with (the spiritual needs of the people of Israel), then why would Adonai our Father ever trust them (us) with more new riches? (The Eldest Son of the Family of Israel has yet to accept the real (הָאֲמִתִּי) riches of the anointing of the Spirit of Truth and follow the teaching of the Holy One that is found in both the Tanakh and the Brit Chadashah.

The real riches refer to our stewardship both in the Kingdom of heaven now and the future Kingdom of Adonai (in Restored Israel).

Lesson #3 (of 3) in Messiah’s practical business remarks:

Lesson #3.  “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve Adonai and wealth.”

The logical assertion of the third lesson is that if Adonai is our eternal sovereign King, then all our wealth will be at His disposal. In other words, the faithful and just steward whose Sovereign is Adonai will employ all the wealth that he is entrusted with in building up the kingdom of Heaven (now) and the Kingdom of Adonai (after the Mashiach returns); and not in building up a kingdom for himself. The love of things over people will not just drive us away from the loving service of others it will drive us away from the loving-kindness of Abba Avinu: the practice of Materialism is a form of spiritual idolatry that will drive us farther and farther away from our Heavenly Father, who is the source, nurturer, and protector of all of true happiness!

The Prushim scoffed at the Messiah:

Now the whole while the the Prushim (the Elder Brother) who were lovers of money (אוֹהֲבֵי כֶּסֶף-lit. silver) were listening to the mashal and nimshal of Messiah and they were scoffing at Him (הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה  וְלָעֲגוּ לוֹ-they were mocking Him). So the Messiah in response to their disrespect and opposition said to them: “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of men, but Adonai knows our hearts; for that which is highly esteemed among men is detestable in the sight of Adonai.

The Torah and the Nevi’im (Prophets) were proclaimed until Yochanan (Ben Zechariah Ben Aaron); since that time the besorah (Good news) of the Kingdom of Adonai has been preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it. But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one stroke of a letter of the Torah to fail.”

The Accuser is accused by the Mashiach:

Immediately following the Master’s comments about the fulfillment of the Torah (Law) and the Nevi’im (Prophets) He once again refers to His previous mashal of the Lost Son, where the Elder Brother accused His younger brother of practicing sexual immorality by saying: “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries one who is divorced from a husband commits adultery.” Remember in the previous mashal how the Elder Brother accused his younger brother of sexual impurity?

Now the Messiah is pointing out that the elite religious leaders of his day were not only phonies who were “lovers of money,” who deceitfully “justified themselves before men” but they were also “adulterers” who used their own trumped up hyper-religious legal system to cover-up and justify their own practices of sexual (and spiritual) immorality. This kind of gross self-justifying religious ‘hypocrisy’ is what Messiah numerously referred to as being an “Abomination before Adonai” (תּוֹעֵבָה הוּא לִפְנֵי אֱלֹהִים – lit. ‘detestable before the Face of G-d’)

The Mystery of the 100 measures of Olive Oil and Golden Wheat:

There is, as usual, a very subtle hidden message in this particular mashal of Messiah. In the mashal of the Shrewd Manager, “What are we to make of the meanings of the two debtors and the significant reductions (forgiveness) of their two different debts?” The following is four questions in this regard:

Question #1.  What are we to make of the redemption and forgiveness of the debt of olive oil?
Question #2.  What are we to make of the redemption and forgiveness of the debt of golden wheat?
Question #3.  How much of the oil debt and wheat debt was forgiven by the shrewd servant?
Question #4.  What spiritual meanings are conveyed by the actual numbers that are employed by the Messiah in this mashal?

The Sodim of the Messiah and the Shrewd Manager:

In our previous studies of the meshalim of Messiah we studied the dry measures of the omer and the seah. In those studies we discovered that the omer was an incredibly important measure that symbolized the living Word of Adonai, the Messiah, whose teaching is the measure by which all other measures are made.

Ha-Mashiach is the Bread of Heaven. He is the real Manna from Heaven. This is why on the 49 days that we Count the Omer leading up to Shavuot (the Feast of Weeks) we are studying all 49 meshalim of the Messiah. Today we are looking at two new measures. We are studying the meanings of the liquid measure of olive oil, the measure of 100 batin of oil, and the dry measure of the 100 korin of wheat. Again, in previous studies we have discussed the symbolism of olive oil and wheat (use the Beta Search on this web site to further study these words).

[Two measurements] First, the liquid measurements. In short, the olive oil is representative of the tzedakah (righteous works; charity etc.) that is manifested by the Spirit of Holiness through the kingly and priestly reign of the lives of the children of Adonai. This truth is most celebrated during the two Festivals of Light; which are forty weeks apart and are celebrated in the winter (Feast of Chanukkah, Dedication) and the following fall (the Feast of Sukkot, Booths).]

Second, the dry measurements. The golden wheat is symbolic of the follow-on resurrected glory that is promised to those who (first) embrace the sacrificed life of the Humble Man (symbolized in the Barley Bread).

These spiritual lessons should be reflected on throughout the 49 days of Counting the Omer beginning on the first day of HaBikkurim (“Firstfruits“). Thereafter, on the day immediately following the 49th day of Counting the Omer, on the 50th day of Shavuot (also called in the Septuagint Pentecost), the spiritual meaning of the Glorification of Messiah should be celebrated; which is symbolized in the Golden Wheat.

Next we must ask, what is the meanings of the numbers? The meaning of the number 100 was thoroughly discussed in the first of the “Lost Trilogy” (1, 2, & 3). the mashal of the one Lost Sheep that was part of a sheepfold of 100 (a flock of 100). The number one hundred represents the redemption of the land and people of Israel. The meanings of the numbers 50, 80 and 20 have already been discussed multiple of times throughout the other writings found within this webs-site:

Meanings of the numbers:  The numbers 5, 8 and 2 respectively symbolize “grace,” “a new beginning” (also “eternity“) and “witness.”
Meanings of the numbers:  The number 10 indicates *sanctification and with it the Presence  of the Holy One.
Meanings of the numbers:  The number 50 refers to a complete and perfect order of the “Grace of Adonai” (i.e. a Jubilee).
Meanings of the numbers:  The number 80 indicates the the complete and perfect “Order of Eternity” when Adonai makes “all things new.”
Meanings of the numbers:  The number 20 refers to a complete and perfect “Witness.”

*All three numbers 5, 8, and 2 are multiplied by 10 (the number of sanctification). This indicates that the Divine Presence of the Spirit of the Holy One is providing us sanctification (10); grace (5); a new beginning (8); and a witness (2).

Together the numbers 100, 50, 80, and 20 in a redemptive and forgiving context indicate the following:

[First] The redemption and forgiveness of the debt of olive oil is one that speaks of an intended perfect order of the Grace of Adonai brought about by the Presence and the works of the Holy Spirit.

[Second] The redemption and forgiveness of the debt of the golden wheat speaks of a perfect witness of a Divinely ordained new beginning in the Order of Eternity (i.e. a perpetual [unending] Jubilee of the Grace of Adonai). With these observations in mind, let us ask again:

“What are we to make of the spiritual meanings (sodim, sodit) of the witness of the redemption and forgiveness of the two debtors and debts of the 100 batin of olive oil and the 100 korin of wheat?”

Searching for the Grace of the Elah Shemaiya:

When you prayerfully look throughout the entire Tanakh to further understand the mystery of the spiritual meaning of the 100 liquid measures – batin of olive oil and the 100 dry measures – korin of wheat—-we arrive at Ezra 7:21-22:

וּמִנִּי אֲנָה אַרְתַּחְשַׁסְתְּא מַלְכָּא שִׂים טְעֵם לְכֹל גִּזַּֽבְרַיָּא דִּי בַּעֲבַר נַהֲרָה דִּי כָל־דִּי יִשְׁאֲלֶנְכֹון עֶזְרָא כָהֲנָה סָפַר דָּתָא דִּֽי־אֱלָהּ שְׁמַיָּא אָסְפַּרְנָא יִתְעֲבִֽד׃ עַד־כְּסַף כַּכְּרִין מְאָה וְעַד־חִנְטִין כֹּרִין מְאָה וְעַד־חֲמַר בַּתִּין מְאָה וְעַד־בַּתִּין מְשַׁח מְאָה וּמְלַח דִּי־לָא כְתָֽב׃

“I, even I, King Artaxerxes, issue a decree to all the treasurers who are in the provinces beyond the River, that whatever Ezra (The Helper) the priest, the scribe of the Law of the Almighty One of Heaven (Aramaic, Elah Shemaiya) may require of you, it shall be done diligently, even up to 100 talents of silver, 100 korin of wheat, 100 batin of wine, 100 batin of oil, and salt as needed.

Measure #1:  100 talents of silver (עַד־כְּסַף כַּכְּרִין מְאָה-Ad kesaf kakrin meah); and
Measure #2:  100 korin of wheat (וְעַד־חִנְטִין כֹּרִין מְאָה-ve ad chintin korin meah); and
Measure #3:  100 batin of wine (וְעַד־חֲמַר בַּתִּין מְאָה-ve ad chamar batin meah); and
Measure #4:  100 batin of *olive oil (וְעַד־בַּתִּין מְשַׁח מְאָה-ve ad batin meshach meah); and
Measure #5:  **Salt without prescribing how much (וּמְלַח דִּי־לָא כְתָֽב-oomlach di־la chetav).

*Literally oil for “anointing.”
**Meaning salt “without measure.”

This edict (written first in Aramaic, then Hebrew) of a Persian King’s material support for the worship of the people of Israel in the rebuilt (515 BCE) Second Temple in Jerusalem was ordered (458 BCE) by King Artaxerxes. This shrewd Gentile king obviously saw that his material support of the Temple worship in Jerusalem was a means to secure favor with Elah Shemaiya, the G-d of Heaven. Ezra ben Seraiah ben Aaron (עזרא בן שריה בן אהרן), the incredibly wise priest, scribe, and teacher of the Torah expertly led this ancient pagan Persian King to:

International initiative #1:  Approve a large contingent of Jews to leave Persia and move back to Israel;
International initiative #2:  Grant certain freedoms that the returning people were to have as they journeyed to and lived in Israel;
International initiative #3:  Provide financial support, silver and gold, for the people to take with them; with a pledge for future support;
International initiative #4:  Authorize and provide material support for the sacrifices of the altar at the temple.
International initiative #5:  Permit Ezra to return the utensils of worship for the temple;
International initiative #6:  Exempt the priests and Levites from being taxed; and
International initiative #7:  Assign authority and power to Ezra to administer justice to all the Yehudim of the area; and this to be done according to all that the Torah of the Almighty One of Heaven required.

The reference of the Messiah in the mashal of the ‘Shrewd Servant’ to the same measurement amounts and types used in this account of Ezra, 100 batin of olive oil and 100 korin of wheat, is deliberate. It is not a coincidence. The non-mention in the mashal of the 100 talents of silver, the 100 batin of wine and an unspecified supply of salt is also deliberate. But not for the reason you might think. The non-mention of these three additional worship items is actually a creative rabbinic way of Messiah highlighting all-the-more the 100 talents of silver, the 100 batin of wine, and and salt that is “without measure” that is referenced in the account of “wise” Ezra. In reference to these items (three insights follow):

Insight #1.  The specified wheat, oil, and salt were used in the Second Temple grain offerings (1, 2)
Insight #2.  The wine was used for drink offerings (1, 2)
Insight #3.  The amounts of the “five” worship items were quite large: 100 talents (3.5. tons) of silver, 100 korin (600 bushels) of wheat, 100 batin (600 gallons) of wine, 100 batin of olive oil, and salt without limit. All of these payments to the Almighty One of Heaven were made in return for Ezra and his fellow priests daily petitioning Adonai to continuously grant this Gentile King protection and blessings for himself and his sons.

The Silver, the Salt, and the Wine:

The spiritual meanings of the silver and the salt were just discussed in the last four meshalim of Messiah. The spiritual meaning of the wine, used for the thank offerings, was discussed in the 2nd mashal, “New Wine in Old Wineskins” and in numerous chapters of our web-site (that you can locate by entering the word “wine” in our web-site Beta search):

SILVER.  In the 31st mashal of the Lost Coin we observed:

Silver is the metal that symbolizes our redemption.

SALT. In the 29th mashal of the “Cost of Discipleship,” paragraph #7, we studied “Forty-nine Observations about the use of Salt in the Tanakh.” Once again, simply put, salt is a symbol of the Divine Essence of the Presence of the Spirit of Holiness, which is His purifying Grace. Therefore, salt is a symbol for the Grace of Adonai:

Salt represents the purifying Presence of the Holy One; the work of the Spirit of Grace and Truth.

WINE. In the 2nd mashal of the “New Wine in Old Wineskins” and in the 49th mashal of the “Vinedresser, Vine & the Branches” and in numerous other chapters of messianic teaching on this web-site, we learn that wine is a symbol of the “New Covenant” (Brit Chadashah) and of the Gift of The Father which includes the Indwelling Presence of His Holy Spirit:

Wine is a symbol of the fullest measure of the Presence, Love, and Joy of Adonai.

A good place to start discovering how to receive the eternal life-giving Presence of the Holy Spirit and the full measure of the love and joy of Adonai would be to read and meditate on all of chapter twenty-one of our study on the “Messiah in Yom Kippur.”

Searching for and finding Wisdom:

“For the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings.”

We believe the Messiah deliberately alluded to this page out of the life of Ezra to showcase what the life of a “wise” steward actually looks like. Like father Abraham, Ezra was “Rich in Adonai.” Wise Ezra knew how to bring honor to the House of Adonai. The privileges that the Iranian King Artaxerxes granted were for the glory of Adonai Elohim, not Ezra. Ezra, as a chosen example of a wise son of light, stated that the chesed of Adonai was shown to him for all the pagan advisors and officials to see. This favor was solely extended to Ezra for the furtherance of the will of Adonai here on earth.

The good favor in view here is the blessedness that resulted from Ezra’s wise facilitation of Abba Avinu’s Covenant of Love (Brit HaAhavah) that for the sake of His own Name He has extended to the children of Israel; and to the gentile nations, kings and peoples who are wise (shrewd) enough to seek the favor of Elah Shemaiya, the Almighty One of Heaven. Ezra saw that Abba Avinu was working through him (The Hand of Adonai my Almighty One was upon me; cf. Ezra 7:6,9; 8:18,22,31).

Because of Ezra’s excellent rapport (wisdom in his dealings) with the gentile king he was able to lead 1,772 men, with women and children probably around four to five thousand people, back to Jerusalem. Although this chosen contingent of returning Jews was much smaller than an earlier return of the children of Israel (nearly 50,000 persons had returned previously; cf. Ezra 2:64-65), the royal edict secured by Ezra was the means to assure that all of the souls of the many Yehudim (Jews) who had repopulated the holy city of Jerusalem were protected and adequately provisioned for.

In this way the eternal will of our Father in heaven was inevitably applied to the successful rebuilding of Jerusalem and the salvation of many souls. We must point out here that countless souls were saved as a result of this wise and great endeavor of Ezra (and later his associate Nehemiah; whose name means the Comforter). This is so because the Persian King’s edict to bless the Yehudim and assist us in our repopulating and rebuilding the Holy City of Jerusalem set the stage later for the ultimate fulfillment of all prophecy, which is the Coming of the Messiah.

In Conclusion: May you be wise like Ezra!

התנהגו בחכמה עם אלה אשר בחוץ, ונצלו את ההזדמנות. יהיו נא דבריכם מלוים תמיד בחן ומתבלים במלח, באפן שתדעו איך להשיב לכל שואל.  פ

When there is an opportunity practice wisdom with those outside [our faith]. Always salt your words with grace, so that you will know how to respond to every question.

[אתה יכול להיות חכם כמו עזרא הסופר – you can be as smart as Ezra the Scribe] In conclusion, so what are we to make of the Messiah’s mishal, nimshal, and subtle showcasing of  the wisdom of Ezra? What are we to make of the mysterious meanings of the silver, wheat, wine, oil, and salt? The answer is found in the very simple discovery of the meaning of the name of the wise priest, scribe, and skilled teacher Ezra (the Wise Steward). Ezra’s name means The Helper.

The Help that Ezra’s name refers to is the long awaited coming of the Administration of the Spirit of Grace to our nation and people of Israel. The Spirit has been patiently waiting for the children of Israel to turn away from our hyper-religious traditions of the Prushim rabbinate (and their successors) and now accept the teachings of our Mashiach. When Israel as an elect nation and an elect people accepts the Mashiach then our Father in heaven (Avinu Shebashamayim) will accept Israel and pour out His Spirit upon all of the children of Israel. Through the wise help and direct leadership of the Holy Spirit we (the younger “second born son;” modern Israel) shall become wise, faithful stewards of the following:

Administration of the Spirit #1:  The redemptive sacrifice of Messiah (the Silver);
Administration of the Spirit #2:  The resurrection and glorification of Messiah (the Wheat);
Administration of the Spirit #3:  The Brit Chadashah, the New Covenant of the Life of the Spirit permanently indwelling our hearts (the Wine);
Administration of the Spirit #4:  The manifestation of the powerful workings of the Spirit (the Oil); and
Administration of the Spirit #5:  Our abiding forever in the favored Presence (chesed) of Adonai our Father (His Salt Friendship-Covenant).

The future of the world is not just up to the Messiah. Israel’s cooperation is also required. As the children of the promises, the elect flock of 100, we are expected to fulfill our destiny; a destiny that through faith in Adonai and submission to our Messiah will one day (we pray soon) lead to not only the salvation and blessing of all of the future generations of Israel but also to the salvation and blessing of all of the  future generations of all the nations, peoples, and families of the world. So may there be: “No more delay!” (1, 2)

NEXT, PARABLE #34, THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS…

Messiah in Yom HaBikkurim Chapter 53 >>