One Torah for All


One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Exodus 12:49



The Regathering of Israel


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 11:12 
And He will set up an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Yehudah from the four corners of the earth.    

It is commonly taught and believed in these latter days that Mashiach will return and gather all the dispersed of Israel and lead them back into the land promised to Avraham, Yitzchaq, and Ya’aqov.  However, there are some problems with this scenario. 

First let us pose a question to bring into focus one of the difficulties facing us in what is commonly taught.  The southern house of Yehudah is already back in the land of Israel under the name of Israel today.  Is this a legitimate nation?  Did YHWH do this?  Now there are two basic possible answers to this question.  One, no YHWH did not do it and therefore it is not a legitimate nation.  Or two, yes, YHWH did do it and it is a legitimate nation.  The first position denies the many miracles which accompanied the reestablishment of the house of Yehudah as a nation.  In addition to that, that position does not acknowledge the sovereignty of YHWH over His creation.  The second position rightly recognizes YHWH’s work in our day and the right of Yehudah, the Jewish people, to exist as a nation.

However, it is the second position that exposes the hypocritical position of many Messianics, Nazarenes, and Hebrew Roots people today.  How so, you may wonder?  If one accepts that YHWH did in fact bring back the nation of Yehudah into the land and reestablished them as a nation, but refuses this same scenario for the northern house of Israel, is this not hypocritical?  Why is it okay for YHWH to do this with one house but not the other house?

Romans 2:10-11 
10 but glory and honor and peace to every man that works good, to the Yehudi first, and also to the Aramean;
11 for there is no respect of persons with Elohim.

Please note that in this passage we are taught that YHWH does not respect one person over another person.  More specifically, YHWH does not treat one house differently than He does the other house.  What YHWH does for one house He is bound by His own divine nature to do for the other house. 

Since YHWH brought back the southern house of Yehudah into the land of Israel without the physical presence of Mashiach, should we not expect Him to do the same for the northern house of Israel?  To be sure!  Otherwise, does this not violate what He has declared to us in His written word?  Why do many recognize the work and hand of YHWH in bringing back Yehudah into the land, but refuse to see that He not only can do this with the northern house of Israel, but will do it in much the same fashion?

When YHWH brought Israel out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage the first time was He physically present?  Well, yes and no.  He was not present in the form of a man (Mashiach), but He was present in other forms.  For example, did He not lead them by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night?  Wasn’t this manifestation of YHWH just as legitimate as the bodily manifestation of Mashiach?  To be sure!

Who are we to dictate to YHWH how He chooses to accomplish His will for Israel?  When His people have something set in their minds that YHWH just has to act in a certain way, does this not set limitations upon YHWH that set the stage for His people to miss what He is doing in their very midst?  To be sure!

Is there actually any passage that implicitly states that it has to be Mashiach in person that gathers the outcasts of Israel and then personally lead them back into the land?  Actually, the surprising answer is no.  Let us examine a couple of passages that talk about the regathering of Israel, besides our opening passage.

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 27:13 
And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great shofar shall be blown; and they shall come that were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and they that were outcasts in the land of Egypt; and they shall worship YHWH in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.

Here is one of those passages which teach us about a great shofar being sounded, and it is at that sounding that His people come forth.  Mashiach Yeshua makes a reference to this same event.

Matithyah (Matthew) 24:31 
“And He shall send forth His messengers with a great sound of a shofar, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

The Hebrew word for “messenger” in this passage would be מלאך and this could be a human messenger or a heavenly messenger.  In this context we are not told which one it is.  These messengers could just as easily be human messengers as not.  In fact, when we look at the overall message of Scripture concerning this event, this actually seems to be the case, that they are human messengers.

Let us consider an aspect of these human messengers that seems to have been missed or overlooked.

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:14-15 
14 “When you have come to the land which YHWH your Elohim gives you, and shall possess it, and shall dwell therein, and shall say, I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are round about me;
15 you shall surely set him as king over you, whom YHWH your Elohim shall choose; one from among your brethren shall you set as king over you; you may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother.”

In the Torah of a king, in setting a king over the people of Israel we learn several things.  One is that the people are to place over themselves a man who is chosen from among themselves.  He is their brother.  And how do the people select this man?  First, he is chosen by YHWH.  How does YHWH do this?  We learn in the prophets that when YHWH selected both Shaul and David, that YHWH sent a prophet to anoint the king before the people raised him up as their king.

The Hebrew word for “king” is מלך .  Please note the similarity between מלך (king) and מלאך (messenger).  Both words are from the same root word מלך – “malak” meaning “consult” or “consider differing views.” 

The truth is that the Torah of the king does not just apply to a king, but it actually applies to any leader.  It should be YHWH who raises up the leadership of Israel, whether he be a king or some other type of messenger of YHWH; for example, one of the heads of the tribes or even a leader of thousands, a leader of hundreds, a leader of fifties, or even a leader of tens.  For when a man (or woman) stands in a leadership position he stands only on the authority of YHWH and never upon his own authority.  So, when he speaks, he is not speaking for himself, but for who he is under authority to, namely, YHWH.

There is a passage from the prophet Hoshea which doesn’t quite make sense if it is talking about Mashiach.  But if it is talking about a different type of leader(s), then it actually begins to fit into the overall picture of the latter days.

Hoshea 1:11 
And the children of Yehudah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint themselves one head, and shall go up from the land; for great shall be the day of Yizrael.

The picture here is that the house Yehudah and the house of Israel come together to place over themselves one head.  Now if this is Mashiach it does not really make any sense.  Mashiach is King of the universe regardless of what man does or does not do.  So in what way would they elect or appoint or put Mashiach over themselves as their head?

Let us carefully consider the following phrase from the above passage – ראש אחד – “rosh echad.”  It is the inclusion of the word אחד which has captured our attention in this matter.  The word אחד – “echad” means “a unity among the parts.”  So how does this apply?  We know from Torah that each of the twelve tribes is to have a tribal leader.  Should these men not act in one accord?  To be sure!  We see this same concept played out on the day of the outpouring of the Ruach Qodesh (Holy Spirit) on Shavuot as recorded in the book of Acts (chapters 1 and 2).  Perhaps what is being spoken about in the prophet Hoshea is that each tribe selects a man as its head and these twelve men are echad.  We see a similar concept in the Supreme Court of the USA, in which they act as one (echad).  They have no individual authority, only one authority as a group.

But how are these twelve individuals selected?  First, they have to be anointed by YHWH.  That is first and foremost.  Let us remember that even in our time YHWH has His prophets within the body of Mashiach.

Ephesians 4:11
And He gave some to be apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Please note that it is YHWH who has given these to be who they are in His body.  These are not self-proclaimed prophets like a lot of what we see today.  No, these are true prophets of YHWH.  In His time He will send forth these men to anoint these twelve men, the heads of the twelve tribes.

Devarim 33:5
“And to be in Yeshurun as King, gather yourselves the heads of the tribes to unite the nation of Israel.”

Basically, what YHWH seems to be commanding us to do in these latter days, is to find the heads of the tribes and gather them together in order that He, Yeshua, may be King in our midst.  This verse states that in order for the nation of Israel to be united it has to have the heads of the tribes in place and performing their YHWH appointed task.  When will this happen?  We cannot say with certainty, but it seems reasonable that this will happen during the regathering process.  Let us take another look, a fresh look at the prophecy of the two sticks.

Yechezqel (Ezekiel) 37:16-17
16 “And you, son of man, you take one stick, and write upon it, ‘For Yehudah, and for the children of Israel his companions’; then take another stick, and write upon it, ‘For Yoseph, the stick of Ephrayim, and for all the house of Israel his companions’;
17 and you join them one to another into one stick, that they may become one in your hand.”

First, let us simply deal with the pashat level of understanding, for if we do not properly understand this level, then we certainly cannot understand any deeper level of interpretation. 

First, this is YHWH speaking to the prophet Yechezqel.  Yechezqel was a kohen, a priest.  This is very important for us to understand in order for us to understand what is being spoken in this passage.  Throughout the record of Yechezqel YHWH refers to him as “son of man.”  Perhaps this is where some of the misunderstanding of this passage comes from.  Can this title “son of man” be applied to Mashiach?  Well, Yeshua often referred to Himself as the Son of man as recorded in the Besorahs.  However, can we apply that here in this case?  The truth is that first and foremost it must apply directly to Yechezqel.  Second, it must apply to the kohenim, as Yechezqel was one of them.  With this in mind, let us look again at what YHWH is saying.

Yechezqel, “you” take two sticks and write upon them.  Who is to take two sticks?  Yechezqel the priest, a human man, is directed by YHWH to do this.  It is this human man, the priest, who is directed to bring together in “his” hand these two sticks.  It is entirely possible that it is the priesthood as His messengers who are directed and charged with the task of gathering these two sticks; and once gathered, then they are to put these two sticks together.  In fact, when we look out across the spiritual landscape of what is happening today in our world we see this very thing transpiring even now.  Remember, Mashiach Yeshua is not a kohen of the Levitical order; Yechezqel was a kohen of the Levitical order. 

Another aspect of YHWH speaking to Yechezqel and commanding him to gather two sticks and him being a priest is that there currently is not a functioning Levitical priesthood.  However, there is the priesthood of the body of Mashiach which is functioning currently present.  Could it be that this priesthood is actually charged with gathering the stick of Ephrayim and putting him back together as a nation?  It is well within the realm of acceptable understanding of this passage.

The common interpretation is that this passage is speaking about Mashiach and that He is the one who brings together the two sticks.  While this is certainly a plausible scenario, it is not the only legitimate one.  In fact, Mashiach could just as easily do it through His people, a royal priesthood, as He could do it Himself.  In fact, in most every case as recorded in the Tanak it is always YHWH doing it through His people, rather than Him doing it directly.

Now, please consider the priesthood of YHWH in the latter days.

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 66:21 
“And of them also will I take for priests and for Levites,” says YHWH.

YHWH states that in the process of regathering His people He will select from among them those whom He desires to be priests and Levites.  How will He do this?  Please consider the following passages.

Yechezqel (Ezekiel) 20:37 
“And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant;”

YHWH tells us that in this regathering process He will cause us to pass under His rod.  Most likely this is speaking in metaphorical terms and it is already in the process of happening.  But what does it mean to pass under the rod?  Let us take note of the following Torah commandment.

Vayyiqra (Leviticus) 27:32 
And all the tithe of the herd or the flock, whatsoever passes under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto YHWH.

YHWH commanded Israel to pass their flocks and herds under the rod.  Every tenth animal belonged to YHWH regardless of what sex the animal was, and regardless of how old or how young the animal was.  In this fashion, it seems that YHWH has told us in advance that in this way He will select out from among His people those whom He desires to be priests and Levites.  Upon those so selected He will give a special anointing to do His work by being His messengers to His people Israel.  Those passing under the rod have no say in the matter, it is completely the choice of YHWH our Elohim.

Now we are not suggesting that YHWH has to regather Israel in the fashion set forth in this study.  However, what we are showing is that there are equally valid interpretations of Scripture that do not follow the status quo of man’s present understanding.  And when did YHWH ever follow the status quo of man?

Let us endeavor to keep an open mind to the work of YHWH.  Let us walk in His Spirit at all times, proving all things and being doers of the word and not merely hearers!

ABBA YHWH, give us Your wisdom in these days, that we may walk uprightly before You and all men; in the name of Mashiach Yeshua.

Amein and Amein.


Zerubbabel ben Emunah


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