Study and Test the Entire Bible in a Year, Every Year
How It Works
On the first day of every week (Sunday), we release the next week’s Bible study. It will take you all week to get through it if you even do. All of our subscribers gather on different days to discuss the HomeGroups© Bible studies, so after the majority of our subscribers have finished their Sunday services, we update for the next week. All of the resources you need are available in the mobile app for free. You can get it here or anywhere in the world mobile apps are installed from at absolutely no cost.
You will also find our study guides by chapter and advanced study of the original languages following the Bible audio/ text and study outline then commentary. While it is our belief that many of the letters of the New Testament were originally written in Aramaic and/ or Hebrew, the Greek texts are used for study even when there are known Hebrew manuscripts (eg. Mathew and Hebrews).
The books or scroll of the Torah/ Pentateuch is the oldest (other than Job) and most sacred of all our Scriptures. Without it, we wouldn’t have the rest of the Bible, including the “new testament”. And if you don’t know the first 5 books well, it is impossible to understand the rest of the Bible. That’s why there are more than 30,000 Christian denominations worldwide, and more than 1,200 in the U.S. alone! See our Christian Statistics page for more on that subject.
Torah (תּוֹרָה) is the Hebrew pronunciation for “instruction”. Penteteuch comes from two Greek words (πέντε + τεῦχος ) which means “five books” and is made up of the “five books of Moses”.
The Hebrew name for the first book is B’reisheet (בראשית) because it is the first word of the book in the Hebrew text, which is why it is the name for the first Bible Study (the first week’s reading). B’reisheet means “in the beginning.” And it is important to upstand that this IS the BEGINNING! We are introduced to the first humans, the first sins, the first Sabbath, etc.
It’s the first book of the Bible, after all. And the Writer of the Book has to set the stage for the Book; to lay the Foundation. It can also be thought o as the book of origens… of the world, mankind, the nations, the covenants, instructions and more! Prophecy is all over the first 5 books, even though we don’t list them in the Prophets section.
The “old testament” in Hebrew is not exactly like our English translations. There are a ton of mistranslations in our English Bibles, but despite what non-believers and skeptics argue, the first 5 books, the Torah, has been proven beyond doubt that the Hebrew text we have today is unchanged down to every letter as far back as 2000 years ago.
Not only that, but with modern computers, we have been able to discover that if we count every 50th Hebrew letter in the Torah, it spells TORAH (תּוֹרָה) forward and backwards. No man could write a book/ scroll that does that.
Written entirely in Hebrew, a Torah scroll contains 304,805 letters, all of which must be duplicated precisely by a trained scribe, or sofer, an effort which may take as long as approximately one and a half years.
Let’s get going!
* Week 3- Go Forth*
The third reading from the “Bible in a year” that starts in the book of Genesis is named “go forth.” The first verse says, “Now the LORD (YHVH) said to Abram, ‘Go forth (lech lecha לך לך) from your country.’” This study introduces Abraham and tells the story of his pilgrimage in pursuit of God.
Bible Audio & Text:
Listen to all the Bible study below or click the link to read them at biblegateway.com in your favorite translation:
- Penteteuch: Genesis 12:1-17:27
- Writings: 2 Samuel 19
- Prophets: Isaiah 40:1-41:1
- Prophets: Jeremiah 3
- Gospels: Mathew 22
- Letters: Romans 7
- Letters: Hebrews 13
- Revelation: Revelation 19
Bible Outlines & Chapter Study Guides
Penteteuch/ Torah Outline
- Genesis 12:1 | The Call of Abram
- Genesis 12:10 | Abram and Sarai in Egypt
- Genesis 13:1 | Abram and Lot Separate
- Genesis 14:1 | Lot’s Captivity and Rescue
- Genesis 14:17 | Abram Blessed by Melchizedek
- Genesis 15:1 | God’s Covenant with Abram
- Genesis 16:1 | The Birth of Ishmael
- Genesis 17:1 | The Sign of the Covenant
- 2 Samuel 19 | The House of Joseph’s 10 Parts in the King
- Isaiah 40:1 | God’s People Are Comforted with the gospel
- Isaiah 41:1 | Israel Assured of God’s Help
- Jeremiah 3 | Unfaithful Judah and Divorced Israel Prophecy
- Mathew 22 | Invitation to the Wedding Feast
- (Greek Audio) (Interlinear)
- 1 Corinthians 7 | Counsel About Marriage
- (Greek Audio) (Interlinear)
- Romans 7 | Marriage to Messiah
- (Greek Audio) (Interlinear)
- Hebrews 13 | Brotherly Love in the Community of the Bride
- (Greek Audio) (Interlinear)
- 1 John 3 | The Definition of Sin in the “New” Testament is the same as the “Old”
- (Greek Audio) (Interlinear)
- Revelation 19 | Victory Songs and the wedding feast
- (Greek Audio) (Interlinear)
Bible Study Commentary
Abraham (coincidentally born in 1948bc) encountered God, and it changed his life. We have all sorts of different names for this experience. Some call it a conversion. Others refer to it as being “born again.” To others it is a “spiritual awakening.” Regardless of what we call it, it is pure joy. It is a conversion of the heart, a spiritual awakening of the soul; it is a new birth. This “new birth” experience didn’t just become possible at “Pentecost”. That was merely an extension of what already existed; a qahal (assembly/ ekklesia/ church) that gentiles were now able to be grafted into as it was promised to Abram. A marriage covenant, if you will.
God takes marriage very seriously. In the Bible, adultery is a sin punishable by death. Today, people change partners and spouses more often than their apartments and houses. Nevertheless, God has not changed how He feels about marriage. He still holds the marriage union as sacred.
Pharaoh abducted Abraham’s wife Sarah for his harem, but he never did get around to consorting with his new bride. Rather than let Sarah’s marriage be defiled, God struck the unsuspecting Pharaoh and his household with a painful, disabling disease. This is a good example of how something seemingly bad can actually be meant for good. Pharaoh probably could not see any good in the fact that he was sick with some awful disease, but that disease spared him from committing a great sin.
Pharaoh probably consulted with his wise men and priests, who identified the phenomenon as some sort of divine disfavor. They determined that Sarah, the new addition to the household, must be the source of the problem. They put two and two together and realized she must have been a married woman. Pharaoh’s affliction was a punishment for attempting to transgress the bounds of marriage.
Jesus/ Y’shua addresses this and Paul expounds on it in the “New Testament”. It’s one of the most profound enlightenments of Scripture that I have yet to encounter. And I struggle with putting it into words, but here is one of many things to consider:
When Jesus/ Y’shua went to pray at the garden of Gethsemane, He prayed about the CUP He was about to drink from:
Mt 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Have we considered what this CUP (הכוס הזאת) refers to? I believe it is beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus/ Y’shua spoke Hebrew. And I also believe that He prayed these words in Hebrew, not Greek. I also believe the cup/ vessel that He was referring to was the same one spoken of in Numbers 5:12-31, the law of jealousies. As did Moses in Ex 32:20 make the Israelites drink a similar (if not the same) cup for their sin before the renewal of the covenant and the second set of commandments in chapters 33 and 34 of Exodus.
So of course in its simple meaning He is referring to His death, but there is a specific reason and a specific sin that He is paying our penalty for so that we may have access to a renewed covenant between the house of Israel and the house of Judah (Heb 8:8, Jer 31:31) and cover all of our sin (1 John 3:4) so that we may continue to walk in repentance, no longer in our lawlessness. And there is a specific death as well that we see revealed in several places and referred to as a “mystery”. Namely, the death of a husband that frees the Bride to remarry while paying the penalty for her adultery.
Prophecy is clear in the whole text of Scripture that we will see this in an ultimate consummation between the Bridegroom and the Bride. All this and more is mentioned in our third Bible-in-a-year study.
We are also introduced to Ishmael through Abraham and Hagar- which we find out is a people that God has a purpose for in this Bible study and blesses; Yes, even the people who have become “Muslims” in these latter days. Listen to what God promises regarding these people. Just like all the other nations of the world have a purpose as we learned last week, no one is exempt from having a reason for their existence and role in God showing all people that He will be one and His name will be one (Zch 14:2).
Abraham Saw My Day
What did Yeshua mean when he said that Abraham had seen his day and rejoiced? The answer is in the Torah.
Out of the great and dreadful darkness that overcame Abraham, the LORD appeared in the light of a flaming torch and passed between the sacrificial portions of the covenant. The LORD spoke to Abraham and made promises to him about the birth of a seed and about his seed returning and taking possession the land of Canaan.
On that day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates.” (Genesis 15:18)
Genesis 15:18 seems to allude to the final redemption when it says that the LORD made His covenant with Abraham “on that day.” The prophets use the formulaic words, “on that day,” to indicate the future day of the LORD, the hour of judgment, and the final redemption. The LORD showed Abraham the future through the vision recorded in Genesis 15. The sages say, “He revealed to him the future from the day of the Exodus from Egypt until the day of Messiah.” The tradition about Abraham’s vision of the Messianic Era explains why our Master said, “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad” (John 8:56). Abraham rejoiced to see the day of Messiah—the coming kingdom of heaven on earth.
On what day did the LORD make His covenant with Abraham? The exodus from Egypt occurred four hundred and thirty years later “on that very day” (Exodus 12:41). That means that the exodus from Egypt and the first day of Passover (Nisan 15) coincided with the anniversary of the very day that God made the covenant with Abraham. Four hundred and thirty years before the first Passover, Abraham slaughtered the animals for his covenant on the fourteenth of Nisan. Then he waited. He drove off the birds. He waited for the LORD. The sun went down, darkness fell, and the fifteenth of Nisan began, which is the first day of the week of Passover. The Almighty appeared in the form of the blazing torch and made the covenant with Abraham.
This implies that on the anniversary of the day on which Abraham slaughtered the animals in order to make the covenant between the parts with the LORD—that self-same day, the fourteenth of Nisan—the children of Israel slaughtered their Passover lambs in Egypt. What is more, our Master suffered and died on the anniversary of that same day. On the anniversary of the night that Abraham had his vision of great and terrible darkness, the angel of death slew Egypt’s firstborn. On the eve of Passover, as the sun set, they closed the Master’s tomb. A great and dreadful darkness fell, but out of the darkness, a light blazed forth.
In the Hebrew Scriptures there are hidden aleph-tav’s [את] that aren’t usually translated into English. But they are very enlightening when we read them in the Hebrew. These are the ones we find in this week’s study:
In Genesis 12:5 the first time we see את in front of Sarai is when she departs with Abram from Ur. Abraham and Sarah are the father and mother of the One True Faith (Eph 4:5) for those who seek to follow righteousness according to Isaiah 51:2 Look to Abraham your father and to Sarah who gave birth to you in pain; when he was but one I called him, then I blessed him and multiplied him.
In Gen 12:14 when the Egyptians see Sarai for the first time they look at את the woman.
Notice in Gen 13:16 and 16:10 the precise placement of the את in regard to Abram’s seed; it is את seed in Abram that is promised to be multiplied as the את dust of the earth. Signifying both יהוה through את is the one doing the multiplying.
In Gen 12:7 we see that the את land promised to Abram belongs to יהוה and the covenant with the land is made with both יהוה through את.
In Gen 15:8 when Abram asks יהוה how will he know he will inherit what יהוה promises, Adonai then ask Abram to bring Him animals for sacrifice to enter into blood covenant but when Abram brings the requested animals, it is clear that the presence of Y’shua is upon the sacrifices by virtue of where the את symbol is placed.
In Gen 15:18 both יהוה and את are manifested as the “smoking furnace and a flaming torch” who make the covenant with Abram, while Abram is sleeping.
The first and only time we see an את in front of Hagar’s name is when Sarai gives her to wed Abram in Gen 16:3 And after Abram had lived ten years in the land of Canaan, took Sarai, wife of Abram, את Hagar, her Egyptian maid and gave her to her husband Abram to be his wife…signifying she was now in את covenant with the את seed of Abram.
In Gen 17:5 יהוה Father through את Yeshua changes Abram’s name to Abraham. In Gen 17:7-9 the everlasting covenant that is made with Abraham and his descendants is with יהוה Father through את Yeshua.
In Gen 17:11, 14 and 23 regarding circumcision notice it is את flesh of Abraham and his descendants that will be required to be circumcised for the covenant.
We know from Gen 17:19 that את names Isaac, as יהוה Father through את establishes His covenant with him, clearly both יהוה and את working together as ONE the plan of redemption.
Bible Study for Kids
It’s sometimes hard to make the Old Testament fun for kids. Try these Children’s activities:
For Deeper Language Learning
Hebrew “Word of the Week” by Hebrew4Christians.com
Greek “Greek of the Week”
How do you begin Shabbat? Is the home filled with peace, the air permeated with the aroma of challah bread baking in the oven? Are the children ready and dressed, the home clean and the table set? Or is it a mad rush to beat the 18 minutes before shkiah (candle lighting)? Prior to Shabbat, it is imperative to prepare ahead of time, to arrange everything to welcome the Sabbath, to be dressed for the occasion, to enter the Sabbath in peace. One should be wearing clothing appropriate for Shabbat, as if to receive an incredibly important guest into your home.
Abraham and Sarah were experts in receiving guests. Sarah created a home that was conducive to receiving guests. They were blessed in revealing the Creator to the nations of the world. Yet, in Genesis 23:1–25:18, we read of the death of Sarah. It was as if the sun at set upon the world,
“And the life of Sarah was a hundred and seven and twenty years; these were the years of the life of Sarah. And Sarah died in Kiryat-Arba – the same is Hebron – in the land of Canaan; and Abraham came to mourn for Sarah, and to weep for her (וְלִבְכֹּתָֽה).” Genesis 23:1-2
It may seem counter-intuitive that the Bible study describing the death of Sarah is titled the Life of Sarah. This illustrates the Hebrew emphasis on life, as it is said, “L’chayim!” Bearing this in mind, hidden beneath the English, in the Hebrew, it seems there was something “defective” in the mourning of Abraham, as if the mourning did not overcome him. This is illustrated by the Hebrew word “and to weep for her” (v’livkotah). The word is written in the Torah scroll with a small kaf. What is the meaning of this?
The book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) says,
“For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.” Ecclesiastes 9:5
Kohelet Rabbah reveals the secret of this verse,
“The righteous … are called LIVING even in their death; BUT THE DEAD KNOW NOT refers to the wicked who, even in their lifetime, are called DEAD. Whence do we know that the righteous are called living even in their death? As it is said, Unto the land of which I swore unto Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” Ecclesiastes Rabbah 9:4, Soncino Press Edition
Rabbi Nosson Weisz writes,
“God is above space-time. To Him, past, present and future have no existential meaning. It is we who experience time as a reality. We are born young, gradually age and finally die. None of these human experiences apply to the Divinity. The flow of time is part of our world, not God’s [see Droshot Haran #8]. According to our perception of reality, Abraham and Sarah may have died four thousand years ago; but as far as God is concerned, they are no more dead or in the past than they ever were. They are still walking around, fully active and very much alive in their own reality envelope. Their connection to God is still vibrant and alive and remains very much a function of the present from His point of view. It is spiritual distance that separates us from God, not time, and spiritual distance has nothing to do with being alive or dead; the living person who cuts himself off from God is no closer to Him alive than dead. Rashi (Genesis 11:32) explains in the name of the Midrash that the wicked are already considered dead in their lifetimes; whereas the righteous are considered alive even after they die.” R’ Nosson Weisz, Mayanot, Chayei Sarah, Aish.com
“Now he has departed from this strange world a little ahead of me. That means nothing. People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”
Prior to Einstein, Rebbe Nachman stated the same exact concept regarding time,
“In reality there is no such thing as time. Time is only an illusion…Our notions of time are pure illusion. Someone who thinks about this carefully will certainly put all his strength into abandoning the vanities of this time-bound existence and putting all his hope in that which is beyond time. You should have faith in the One who is beyond time. Then nothing in this world can throw you down. Wherever you are, you will always be able to remind yourself, “This day have I given birth to you” (Ps. 2:7). These words refer to Mashiach who is in a realm beyond time. There everything finds healing. Time past is annulled completely.. . There is only today. Today you were born. Literally! All that is wrong with the world is a part of the “Evil work that is done beneath the sun” in the time-bound world. . . what remedy is there for all the days and years, all the time that [one] wasted in wrongdoing? His only hope is in the realm beyond time. From there comes all healing. It will be as if he were born again today. So long as you have faith – in God, in the World to Come, and in the Messiah who is beyond time – you have eternal hope.” Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, Meshivat Nefesh, Restore My Soul, Translated by Avraham Greenbaum, Breslov Research Institute, pg. 88-89
“I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you grieve as others who have no hope.” 1 Thessalonians 4:13
Although he was heart broken, Abraham was not overcome with grief, as he believed he would see Sarah again. He believed in the resurrection, which the Rambam wrote as an article of the Jewish faith:
“I believe with perfect faith that there will be a resurrection of the dead.”
Maimonides, 13th Principle of Faith
“I am the Resurrection and the Life. He who believes in me will live, even if he dies. Whoever lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26
In our study, Abraham purchased the cave of Machpelah in Hebron for 400 shekels from Ephron the Hittite. The Baal HaTurim comments,
“16. עפרן Ephron. the name is spelled here defectively (without a ו). The gematria of (400) is equal to that of רע עין, stingy one, (literally of an evil eye) And the number 400 corresponds to the four hundred shekalim that Ephron took for that cave.” Baal HaTurim Chumash on Genesis, Mesorah Publishing Ltd., pg. 183
Machpelah literally means “double.” Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Jacob and Leah are buried there. Unfortunately, along with the Tomb of Joseph and the Temple Mount, the Cave of Machpelah is one of the most disputed holy sites in the land of Israel. Regarding this, the Midrash makes an fascinating observation,
“AND HE BOUGHT THE PARCEL OF GROUND, etc. (Genesis 33:19). R. Judan b. R. Simon said: “This is one of the three places regarding which the nations of the world cannot taunt Israel and say, ‘You have stolen them.’ These are they: The cave of Machpelah, the site of the Temple, and the tomb of Joseph. The cave of Machpelah: “And Abraham weighed to Ephron the silver (Gen. 23:16).” The Temple: So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold (I Chron. 21:25). And Joseph’s sepulchre: AND HE BOUGHT THE PARCEL OF GROUND.” Genesis Rabbah 79:7, Soncino Press Edition
This creates a massive problem for pro-Palestinian activists, who say that the land does not belong to Jews. They will further argue that the violence stems of Israel’s “illegal occupation” of the Land. History does not support their claim. On August 29th, 1929, almost 70 Jews were massacred in Hebron, with many others wounded and injured. The violence was incited by a rumor that the Jews were going to seize control of the Temple Mount.
On October 16, 2015, Palestinians set the Tomb of Joseph ablaze:
It is incredibly ironic that the some of the most disputed places are the three that the Midrash Rabbah specifically mentions. However, in a world in which the nations do not care about facts or morality, this should not surprise us.
In Lech Lecha (Genesis 12:1–17:27), a massive battle unleashes upon the earth in what may be termed World War Zero, often called The War of the Nine Kings:
“It happened in the days of Amraphel, king of Shinar, Arioch, king of Ellasar, Kedarlaomer, king of Elam, and Tidal, king of Goyim, that they made war with Bera, king of Sodom, and with Birsha, king of Gomorrah, Shinab, king of Admah, and Shemeber, king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar). All these joined together in the valley of Siddim (the same is the Salt Sea). Twelve years they served Kedarlaomer, and in the thirteenth year, they rebelled. In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer came, and the kings who were with him, and struck the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim, and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim, and the Horites in their Mount Seir, to Elparan, which is by the wilderness. They returned, and came to En Mishpat (the same is Kadesh), and struck all the country of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites, that lived in Hazazon Tamar. The king of Sodom, and the king of Gomorrah, and the king of Admah, and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (the same is Zoar) went out; and they set the battle in array against them in the valley of Siddim; against Kedarlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goyim, and Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar; four kings against the five.” Genesis 14:1-9
In this text, a strange anachronism occurs that at first glance, may not be evident,
“And they returned, and came to Ein-Mishpat (the Well of Judgment), which is Kadesh, and smote all the country of the Amalekites.” Genesis 14:7
How is it possible that they smote the ‘country of the Amalekites’, when Amalek has not yet even been born? Amalek was the grandson of Esav, as Genesis states:
“Timna was a concubine of Esav’s son Eliphaz. She gave birth to Amalek for Eliphaz.” Genesis 36:12
The Midrash Rabbah comments,
“And they smote all the country of the Amalekites. Amalek had not yet arisen, yet you say, And they smote all the country of the Amalekites! But, ‘He declares the end from the beginning’ (Isaiah 46:10)” Genesis Rabbah 42:7
Moreover, in verse 5, the following is written,
“And in the fourteenth year came Kedarlaomer…” Genesis 14:5
Kedarlaomer, King of Elam was the monarch of what is now modern-day Iran. The Masoretes noted that this phrase, “in the fourteenth year,” occurs twice in the Tanakh. The second occurrence appears in 2 Kings 18,
“In the fourteenth year of King Hezekiah did Sennacherib king of Assyria come up against all the fenced cities of Judah, and took them.” 2 Kings 18:13
This links these two passages together. In a fascinating discovery, a prism containing the Annals of Sennacherib were discovered. In the annals, Sennacherib mentions King Hezekiah,
According to the Talmud, Hezekiah and Sennacherib are prototypes of the Messiah and Gog u’Magog:
“The Holy One, blessed be He, wished to appoint Hezekiah as the Messiah, and Sennacherib as Gog and Magog; whereupon the Attribute of Justice said before the Holy One, blessed be He: ‘Sovereign of the Universe! ‘If Thou didst not make David the Messiah, who uttered so many hymns and psalms before You, will You appoint Hezekiah as such, who did not sing hymns to You in spite of all these miracles which You wrought for him?’ Therefore it [sc. the mem] was closed. Straightway the earth exclaimed ‘Sovereign of the Universe! Let me utter song before You instead of this righteous man [Hezekiah], and make him the Messiah.’ So it broke into song before Him, as it is written, ‘From the uttermost part of the earth we heard songs, even glory to the righteous.’ Then the Prince of the Universe said to Him: ‘Sovereign of the Universe! It [the earth] has fulfilled Your desire [for songs of praise] on behalf of this righteous man.’ But a heavenly Voice cried out, ‘It is my secret. It is my secret.’ ” Sanhedrin 94a, Soncino Press Edition
The Baal HaTurim, R’ Yaakov ben Asher (1269CE – 1343CE), says:
“This teaches that just as nations came to attack Hezekiah but fell into his hand, so too, they came to attack Abram and fell into his hand.” Baal HaTurim Chumash, Genesis 14, Mesorah Publishing, Ltd., pg. 111
This reveals to us the secret: The First World War will be like the Last World War. The Midrash says,
“And it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar’: this alludes to Babylon; ‘Arioch king of Ellasar’: that alludes to Greece; ‘Kedarlaomer king of Elam’: that is Media; and ‘Tidal the king of Goyim [lit. ‘nations’]’: this alludes to the wicked Power [i.e. Rome] which levies troops from all the nations of the world. R. Eleazar b. R. Abina said: When you see the Powers fighting each other, look for the coming [lit. ‘feet’] of the King Messiah. The proof is that in the days of Avraham, because these Powers fought against each other, greatness came to Avraham.” Genesis Rabbah 42:4
R’ Yeshayahu Horowitz, known as the Shelah, describes the objective of kidnapping Lot,
“their prime purpose became to prevent the emergence of a Jewish people and thus to frustrate the concept of the Messiah and what he represents.” Shney Luchot HaBrit, Lech-Lecha, Volume 1, translated by Eliyahu Munk, pg. 83
“You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. . . For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there will be famines, plagues, and earthquakes in various places. But all these things are the beginning of birth pains.” Matthew 24:6-8
ISHMAEL AND EDOM
The Zohar comments,
“R. Simeon discoursed on the verse: ‘And I will remember my covenant with Jacob, etc.’ (Lev. 26:42). The name Jacob, he said, is here written in full, with the letter vav. For what reason? In the first place as an allusion to the grade of Wisdom, the realm where Jacob dwells. But the chief reason is because the passage speaks of the exile of Israel, intimating that the redemption of Israel will come about through the mystic force of the letter vav, namely, in the sixth millennium, and, more precisely, after six seconds and a half a time. When the sixtieth year shall have passed over the threshold of the sixth millennium, the God of heaven will visit the daughter of Jacob with a preliminary remembrance (p’qidah). Another six and a half years will then elapse, and there will be a full remembrance of her; then another six years, making together seventy-two years and a half. In the year sixty-six the Messiah will appear in the land of Galilee. A star in the east will swallow seven stars in the north, and a flame of black fire will hang in the heaven for sixty days, and there shall be wars towards the north in which two kings shall perish. Then all the nations shall combine together against the daughter of Jacob in order to drive her from the world. It is of that time that it is written: ’And it is a time of trouble unto Jacob, but out of it he shall be saved (Jer. 30:7).’ … In the year seventy-three all the kings of the world will assemble in the great city of Rome, and the Holy One will shower on them fire and hail and meteoric stones until they are all destroyed, with the exception of those who will not yet have arrived there. These will commence anew to make other wars. From that time the Messiah will begin to declare himself, and round him there will be gathered many nations and many hosts from the uttermost ends of the earth. And all the children of Israel will assemble in their various places until the completion of the century. The Vav will then join the Hei, and then they shall bring all your brethren out of all the nations for an offering unto the Lord (Is. 64:20). The children of Ishmael will at the same time rouse all the peoples of the world to come up to war against Jerusalem, as it is written, ’For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, etc. (Zech. 14:2), also, ’The kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together, against the L-rd, and against his anointed’ (Ps. 2:2); and further, ’He that sits in heaven laughs, the L-rd hath them in derision’ (Ibid. 2: ). … Happy are those who will be left alive at the end of the sixth millennium to enter on the Sabbath. For that is the day set apart by the Holy One on which to effect the union of souls and to cull new souls to join those that are still on earth, as it is written, And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written unto life in Jerusalem (Is. 4:3).” Zohar, Bereshith, Section 1, Page 119a, Soncino Press Edition
THE LAST WAR
The Book of Ezekiel describes in great detail the coming war of Gog and Magog,
“The word of YHVH came to me, saying, Son of man, set your face toward Gog, of the land of Magog, the prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal, and prophesy against him, and say, Thus says the Lord HaShem: Behold, I am against you, Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal: and I will turn you around, and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you forth, with all your army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed in full armor, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them handling swords; Persia, Cush, and Put with them, all of them with shield and helmet; Gomer, and all his hordes; the house of Togarmah in the uttermost parts of the north, and all his hordes; even many peoples with you. Be prepared, yes, prepare yourself, you, and all your companies who are assembled to you, and be a guard to them. After many days you shall be visited: in the latter years you shall come into the land that is brought back from the sword, that is gathered out of many peoples, on the mountains of Israel, which have been a continual waste; but it is brought forth out of the peoples, and they shall dwell securely, all of them. You shall ascend, you shall come like a storm, you shall be like a cloud to cover the land, you, and all your hordes, and many peoples with you.” Ezekiel 38:1
Interestingly, the Midrash Tanchuma to Korach reveals that the gematria of “Gog u’Magog” is 70, equaling all 70 nations. Therefore, Gog, who is the Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, will lead the world’s nations to attack Israel.
גוג ומגוג = 70
The Biblical definition of “nation” is different from the modern terminology of the word “nation.” A “country” is a nation-state, but a Biblical “nation” is a people group, of which there are 71 (the nations + Israel). This is found in Genesis 10:
HAM: 15) Kush 16) Mitzrayim 17) Put 18) Kena’an 19) Seva 20) Chavilah 21) Savtah 22) Ra’mah 23) Savtekha 24) Sheva 25) Dedan 26) Ludim 27) Anamim 28) Lehavim 29) Naftuchim 30) Patrusim 31) Kasluchim 32) Pelishtim 33) Kaftorim 34) Tzidon 35) Chet 36) Yevusi 37) Amori 38) Girgashi 39) Chivvi 40) Arki 41) Sini 42) Arvadi 43) Tzemari 44) Chamati.
SHEM: 45) Elam 46) Ashur 47) Arpakhshad 48) Lud 49) Aram 50) Utz 51) Chul 52) Geter 53) Mash 54) Shelach 55) Ever 56) Peleg 57) Yoktan 58) Almodad 59) Shelef 60) Chatzarmavat 61) Yerach 62) Hadoram 63) Uzal 64) Diklah 65) Oval 66) Avima’el 67) Sheva 68) Ofir 69) Chavilah 70) Yovav
Rabbi Dr. Raymond Apple explains the connection between Gog u’Magog and Sukkot,
“In Jewish tradition the conflict will take place during Sukkot, and the Ezekiel chapter was therefore selected as the haftarah for the Shabbat of Sukkot.” OzTorah, Gog and Magog, R’ Dr. Raymond Apple 
The word “Gog” means ‘Roof’ and symbolizes a person who seeks to block mankind from praying to YHVH. This is diametrically opposed to the Festival of Sukkot, where the Sukkah’s roof is made of schach, natural materials, and is open to the stars, as R’ Yonason Goldson explains,
“…the prophet Ezekiel describes a great battle on the eve of the messianic era, when the all forces of evil in the world combine themselves into a great army called by the name Gog and Magog. The brilliant 18th century thinker, Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch, interprets the prophet’s vision not as a military battle but as an ideological war between the philosophy of “gog“ — which means roof in Hebrew — and the philosophy of sukkah, where those convinced that their fate lies in the power of their own hands and their own resources will attack the values of those who recognize the limits of human endeavor to influence the world.” R. Yonason Goldson, Sukkot and the War to End all Wars, Jewish World Review 
It is interesting that in Numbers 29, the Torah commands Israel to sacrifice a number of bulls during the Festival of Sukkot,
“On the fifteenth day of the seventh month you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no servile work, and you shall keep a feast to YHVH seven days: and you shall offer a burnt offering, an offering made by fire, of a pleasant aroma to YHVH; 13 young bulls … 12 young bulls … 11 … 10 … 9 … 8 … 7 young bulls.” Numbers 29:13-32
1 DAY – 13 BULLS
2 DAY – 12 BULLS
3 DAY – 11 BULLS
4 DAY – 10 BULLS
5 DAY – 9 BULLS
6 DAY – 8 BULLS
7 DAY – 7 BULLS
The implication is incredible. While Israel has been and is being persecuted by the 70 nations, it is offering sacrifices and praying for them. This is parallel to the Mashiach, who prayed for his persecutors:
“Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34
All the nations will come up to worship at Jerusalem during the Festival of Sukkot,
“It will happen that everyone who is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, YHVH of Hosts, and to keep the Festival of Sukkot.” Zechariah 14:16
It is difficult to logically explain why the nations hate Israel who prays for them. As David wrote,
“Why do the nations rage, and the peoples plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth take a stand, and the rulers take counsel together, against YHVH, and against his Mashiach, saying, ‘Let’s break their bonds apart, and cast their cords from us.’ He who sits in the heavens will laugh. The Lord will have them in derision.” Psalms 2:1-4
In Joshua 9, the kings came to fight against Joshua (who is called Yeshua in Nehemiah 8),
“It happened, when all the kings who were beyond the Jordan, in the hill country, and in the lowland, and on all the shore of the great sea in front of Lebanon, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite, heard of it that they gathered themselves together to fight with Joshua and with Israel, with one accord (literally, “with one mouth.”) Joshua 9:1-2
“And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.” Revelation 19:19
At the end of the Messianic Era, the ultimate Sukkot, there will be the final manifestation of Gog and Magog,
“And after the thousand years, Satan will be released from his prison, and he will come out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. They went up over the breadth of the earth, and surrounded the camp of the holy ones, and the beloved city. Fire came down out of heaven from God, and devoured them.” Revelation 20:7-9
The identification of some of nations listed in Genesis 10 are well known.
- Paras = Persia, modern day Iran
- Put = Libya
- Cush = Ethiopia
But who is Magog? According to the Artscroll commentary on Ezekiel,
“It would seem that Magog was a known place in Yechezkel’s time, and, therefore, we should be able to identify it with reasonably accuracy. Our chapter offers a hint by telling that Gog will come from the farthest north (v. 15). . . Thus, Magog must lie in what was the northernmost extremity of the then civilized world. The various traditions concerning the identity of Magog, who in Genesis 10:2 is listed among the sons of Noah’s son Japheth, tend to place the land of Magog in what today is southeastern Russia – the Caucasian region, which lies between the Black and Caspian seas. . . Chevlei Mashiach BiZemaneinu quotes a letter which R’ Chisdai Ibn Shaprut wrote to the king of Khazaria in which he addresses the king as prince, leader of Meshech and Tubal. This salutation, drawn from our verse, indicates that the Gaonim had a tradition that these countries were indeed located in Russia.” Yechezkel, The Artscroll Tanach Series, Chapter 38, Mesorah Publications, Ltd., pgs 582-583
Even some Christian commentaries link Rosh with Russia, Meshech with Moscow and Tubal with Tobolsk. R’ Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman, known as the Vilna Gaon (“The Genius of Vilna”), makes an incredible commentary, which is summarized in the Artscroll Commentary to the book of Ezekiel,
“…one may understand an oral tradition passed down from the Vilna Gaon (see Chevlei Mashiach BiZemaneinu p. 134), that when the Russian Navy passes through the Bosporus (that is, on the way to the Mediterranean through the Dardanelles) it will be time to put on Sabbath clothes [in anticipation of the coming of Mashiach.]” Yechezkel, The Artscroll Tanakh Series, Chapter 38, Mesorah Publications, Ltd. pg 581
“…when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is at hand. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let those who are in the midst of her depart. Let those who are in the country not enter therein. For these are days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who nurse infants in those days! For there will be great distress in the land, and wrath to this people. They will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive into all the nations. Jerusalem will be trampled down by the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled. There will be signs in the sun, moon, and stars; and on the earth anxiety of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the waves; men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. But when these things begin to happen, look up, and lift up your heads, because your redemption is near.” Luke 21:20-28
Amazingly, Yalkut Shimoni looks forward to do the day when the Mashiach completes this sentence,
“The leader of Persia will bring destruction to the entire world, and all of the nations will be struck by panic and fear … Israel will also be overtaken by panic and fear, and they will cry, ‘Where shall we go? Where shall we go’? “Mashiach will then tell them: ‘My children, fear not. Everything I have done, I have done for you. Why are you afraid? Do not fear! The time of your liberation has arrived.” Yalkut Shimoni, Isaiah, Remez 499, Cited in the Kabbalah of Basra, Yosef Y. Jacobson
The Great Shabbat, the Messianic Era, is rapidly approaching. It is not yet candle lighting, but it is time to lift up our heads, and put on our Shabbat clothes.
WHEN THE PAST, AND THE FUTURE, MEET UP WITH THE PRESENT.