By: The FGT Team Faith, Grace, and Torah
As believers in Messiah Y’shua we understand there there are no idle words in scripture, which is why it is so fundamentally important to grasp the deeper levels of understanding that we can see utilizing the PaRDeS method of study. For those unfamiliar with the PaRDeS method of study please take a moment to review this article:
We know that everything in the Scriptures were written with a plan. More specifically we know that this plan was the plan of Salvation and Redemption through the Messiah. As Y’shua himself said:
Yochanan 5:39 (AENT)
Search the Scriptures, because in them you think you have that life that is eternal, and they testify concerning me.
Yochanan 5:46 (AENT)
For if only you had believed in Moshe, you would also be believers in me, for Moshe wrote concerning me .
And Paul when speaking of Y’shua said this:
Hebrews 10:7 (AENT)
Then I said: Behold I come, as it is written of me in the beginning of the books to do your will, o Elohim
Now what does this all mean? Of course we see many obvious Messianic prophecies such as Isaiah 53 but was Y’shua just exaggerating his presence in the Tanakh or is it as Isaiah says that if we look at the beginning we will understand the end? Y’shua spoke this literally and so therefore we should expect to see signs of Messiah in every single book of Scripture.
With that said, where would be a good place to start? Torah? the Prophets? How can we know where to find some clear signs of Messiah?
Let’s take a look at an account from the Book of Zechariah: (Keep in mind that the Hebrew name Zekaryah means Remembered of Yah, so maybe there is something here Yah wants us to remember)
Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you—indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the ]Branch.
Now Zechariah deals with many prophetic insights that would be too numerous to go into but what is important to note is that this Joshua son of Jehozadek is being anointed by Yah as the High Priest of Israel… but notice what the text says that he is a SYMBOL as YHWH will bring in his servant the BRANCH who we know from other passages is the Messiah!
But Yah gets even clearer if we have any doubts,
Zechariah 6:11Take silver and gold, make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 Then say to him, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, a man whose name is Branch, for He will branch out from where He is; and He will build the temple of the Lord
Did you catch that? YHWH Tzvaot says that this man Joshua has the NAME of the BRANCH. How much more astonishing does that make the rejection of Y’shua in the first century? Zechariah foretold the very name of the Messiah as plain as can be.
So with this knowledge we are more prepared to go digging for places we see the Messiah, knowing that Joshua (Yehoshua, Y’shua) is the Messiah’s name it may be logical to conclude that the events surrounding Joshua’s ascending to leadership and his relationship to Moses are Shadows of Messiah.
One of the first mentions of Joshua in Tanakh is when his name is changed from Hosea to Joshua. At first glance this may seem insignificant but when we look at the Hebrew names we find something interesting.
Hosea or Hoshea or Oshea = “salvation”
Notice his name means Salvation, yet Moses changes his name to Joshua or Yehoshua/Y’shua!
יהושׁע / יהושׁוּע
Joshua or Jehoshua = “YHWH is salvation”
Now here’s where it gets interesting. It was Moses who changed his name from Salvation to YHWH is salvation. Moses represents the Law/Torah and we can see here a beautiful hint that the Torah/Law points to salvation from YHWH.
But this is merely scratching the surface.
One of the greatest mysteries in Judaism has always been the circumstances surrounding Moses not being able to enter the Promised Land. Rabbi’s of old have tried to figure out why YHWH would punish Moshe so harshly for simply striking the rock twice? To understand this mystery we must first read the first time Moses brings forth water from the Rock at Meribah 40 years earlier.
1 And all the congregation of the children of Israel journeyed from the wilderness of Sin, after their journeys, according to the commandment of the LORD, and pitched in Rephidim: and there was no water for the people to drink.2 Wherefore the people did chide with Moses, and said, Give us water that we may drink. And Moses said unto them, Why chide ye with me? wherefore do ye tempt the LORD? 3 And the people thirsted there for water; and the people murmured against Moses, and said, Wherefore is this that thou hast brought us up out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and our cattle with thirst?4 And Moses cried unto the LORD, saying, What shall I do unto this people? they be almost ready to stone me.5 And the LORD said unto Moses, Go on before the people, and take with thee of the elders of Israel; and thy rod, wherewith thou smotest the river, take in thine hand, and go.6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
In the P’shat level of interpretation this is a pretty straight forward account; just another example of Israel’s unfaithfulness and stubbornness. But if we look deeper we begin to see some amazing revelations about Messiah!
Paul understood the mystery of the Rock:
1 Corinthians 10:4 (AENT)
And they all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that attended them, and that rock was the Mashiyach.
Y’shua himself alluded to this in the Gospel of John
John 4:10 (AENT)
Y’shua answered and said to her, “if only you had known the gift of Elohim, and who this is who said to you, ‘Give to me to drink,’ you would have asked him and he would have given you living waters.’
So now we are more prepared to dissect the passage for spiritual nuggets!
6 Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel.
7 And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?
So Moses struck the Rock which was Y’shua and out of the rock flowed out living waters! What makes this account even more astonishing is that just a chapter earlier (Exodus 16) we find the Israelites drinking bitter water! Which points us back to the Law of the Jealous husband (See 119 Ministries teaching “Nailed to the Cross”) as if almost to contrast the bitter water with the living water of Y’shua (the Rock)! Even more astonishing is the insight we gain if we look at the names these places received:
Massah = “temptation”
Meribah = “strife” or “contention”
So if we put that all together we have, “Temptation”, “Strife” or “Contention” in the wilderness which leads to the Rock (Y’shua) pouring out Living Waters. Does that remind you of anything?
Matthew 4 (AENT)
Then Y’shua was taken by the Ruach haKodesh (Set-Apart Spirit) to the desert to be tempted by the accuser. And he fasted forty days and forty nights and after which he hungered. And approached he that was tempting and said to him “if you are the son of Elohim, say to these rocks become bread,” and he answered and said, “It is written that the Son of man does not live by bread alone, but by all the Words that proceed from the mouth of Elohim”
So Y’shua- the Rock- was in the wilderness being tempted and the Adversary was trying to cause strife, and Y’shua responded with the very words of Elohim which are the words of living water! Do you see how amazing the parallels are?
As we move on don’t forget what we have learned so far as it will tie in later.
Now we can read the passage that has remained a mystery for so long and try to unravel a possible meaning.
This account takes place with the second generation of Israelites which was some 40 years years later:
Then came the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, into the desert of Zin in the first month: and the people abode in Kadesh; and Miriam died there, and was buried there.2 And there was no water for the congregation: and they gathered themselves together against Moses and against Aaron.3 And the people chode with Moses, and spake, saying, Would God that we had died when our brethren died before the LORD! 4 And why have ye brought up the congregation of the LORD into this wilderness, that we and our cattle should die there? 5 And wherefore have ye made us to come up out of Egypt, to bring us in unto this evil place? it is no place of seed, or of figs, or of vines, or of pomegranates; neitheris there any water to drink.6 And Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they fell upon their faces: and the glory of the LORD appeared unto them.7 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,8 Take the rod, and gather thou the assembly together, thou, and Aaron thy brother, and speak ye unto the rock before their eyes; and it shall give forth his water, and thou shalt bring forth to them water out of the rock: so thou shalt give the congregation and their beasts drink.9 And Moses took the rod from before the LORD, as he commanded him.10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the congregation together before the rock, and he said unto them, Hear now, ye rebels; must we fetch you water out of this rock? 11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and with his rod he smote the rock twice: and the water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their beasts also.12 And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.13 This is the water of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with the LORD, and he was sanctified in them.
This account in scripture has been a mystery to the ancient sages of Israel and rightfully so. Moses is the greatest teacher that Israel has ever known (besides Messiah Y’shua) and yet he is punished so harshly. Through two generation of Israelites Moses remained faithful and yet he is denied entrance into the Promised Land?
We can see that even within the ranks of Judaism the reasoning is not known and they ponder this mystery:
Rambam (Moses Maimonides) says that Moses’ sin lay in his anger – his intemperate words to the people, “Listen to me, you rebels.” To be sure, in anyone else, this would have been considered a minor offence. However, the greater the person, the more exacting are the standards G-d sets. Moses was not only a leader but the supreme role-model of the Israelites. Seeing his behaviour, the people may have concluded that anger is permissible – or even that G-d was angry with them, which He was not.*
Ramban (Nachmanides), following a suggestion of Rabbenu Chananel, says that the sin lay in saying, “Shall we bring forth water for you from this rock?” – implying that what was at issue was human ability rather than Divine miracle and grace.
- R. Joseph Albo and others (including Ibn Ezra) suggest that the sin lay in the fact that Moses and Aaron fled from the congregation and fell on their faces, rather than standing their ground, confident that G-d would answer their prayers.So we can see that even famous Rabbis disagreed over why Moses was rejected from entering the promised land and rightfully so. Without the understanding of Messiah Y’shua some of these things are so hard to see…yet so beautiful! Before we address the issue of striking the Rock twice, there remains still a profound connection to be made. We have already established that the Rock is Y’shua and the water that flows out of it is the living waters but it is extremely interesting that we encounter this Rock twice; beyond the P’shat we see an amazing example of the beauty of Torah.Remember Messiah’s words:
Matthew 18:15 (AENT)
And if your brother with you is at fault go rebuke him between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have won your brother. And if he does not listen to you, take with you one or two others because of the mouth of two or three witnesses, every word is established. And if he will also not listen to to them tell the congregation. And if he will also not listen to the congregation, let him be to you like a tax collector and like a heathen.
Y’shua is simply quoting a Torah directive found in Deuteronomy 19:15, which in simple words states that no one can be convicted of certain offences except by the testimony of two or three witnesses. This is extremely interesting when we realize that Y’shua never sentenced anyone to death.
The Messiah, the giver of Torah, came to rebuke us face to face. He came to tell all of us we had forsaken his instructions and win His brothers back. For those who listened he indeed redeemed us, but for those who did not what is the next step?
Revelation 11:3 (AENT)
And I will give my two witnesses; and they will prophesy a thousand and two hundred and sixty days, clothed in sackcloth.” These are the two olive-trees and the two menorahs which stand before the Master of all the earth. And if any person will harm them fire comes out of their mouth and consumes their adversary; and if anyone will harm them, thus must he be slain. They have power to shut up heaven so that the rain will not fall in those days: and they have power over the waters, to turn them into blood; and to smite the earth with all plagues as often as they please. And when they will have completed their testimony, the beast of prey that came up from the abyss will l make war upon them and will overcome them. And their dead bodies (will be) in the open street of that great city which is spiritually called Sadom and Egypt, where also their Master (Y’shua) was executed on the stake. And (they) of the nations and tribes and peoples and tongues will look upon their dead bodies, three days and a half; and will not suffer their dead bodies to be laid in the grave. And they who dwell on the earth will rejoive over them and will be merry, and will send presents to one another; because those two prophets tormented them who dwell on the earth. And after three days and a half, the Spirit of Life from Elohim entered into them, and they stood upon their feet: and great fear fell on those who saw them.
The two encounters with the Rock are a shadow of the Two Witnesses of Revelation, notice that unlike messiah the Two Witnesses do indeed sentence people to death. The world will also reject these Two Witnesses and just as Moses struck the Rock they will strike the Witnesses.
But there is a final step as prescribed by the Torah. The whole congregation will testify against those who have rejected the testimony of not two but three witnesses (Y’shua, Two Witnesses).
The Ascension of the Two Witnesses on or around Yom Teruah will be their chance to report the offences to our King. During that time, during the ten days known to us as the “Ten Days of Awe” where biblically speaking, all men have one last chance to repent before Yom Kippur, we the Congregation will testify against the world that they have sinned and stricken the Rock twice. Those who continue in open rebellion at that point and refuse to repent will be destroyed when the last Great Shofar is sounded.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
The Two Witnesses of Revelation are a beautiful picture of Messiah following his own Torah to the very letter; and when he returns the world will be left with no excuse.
Let’s turn our attention now to the striking of the Rock twice. Why was Moses allowed to strike the Rock in one account but commanded to ask the Rock for water? For too long Judaism has missed the amazing connection to be made here!
The apostles made reference to this many times:
1 Peter 2:6 (AENT)
For it is said in the Scripture, “Behold, in Tsiyon I lay a chosen and precious stone for the head of the corner; and whoever believes in him will not be ashamed.” On you therefore who believe is this honor conferred: but to them who do not believe “he is a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence.” And they stumble at it because they believe not the Word from where they were appointed.
This scripture brings such revelation to the striking of the Rock! Let us look at the pattern once again:
The Two accounts of the Rock represent two comings of Messiah (Mashiyach ben Yoseph and Mashiyach ben David).
In the first account of the Rock, Moses strikes the Rock.. can we see a parallel of that in the Brit Hadasha (New Testament)?
Matthew 26:63 (AENT)
But Y’shua was silent and the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living Elohim, that you tell us if you are the Mashiyach, the Son of Elohim.” Y’shua said to him, “You have said it. But I say to you that from now on you will see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of power and coming upon the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Behold he blasphemes! Why therefore do we need witnesses? Behold now you have heard his blasphemy. What do you want to do?” They answered and said, “He is deserving of death.” Then they spat upon his face and they were striking him on his head, and others were beating him.
Matthew 27:22 (AENT)
And peelatos said to them, “And Y’shua who is called the Mashyiach, what should I do to him?” They all said, “Let him be put to death on the stake!” The governor said to them, “What evil indeed has he done?” But all the more they cried out and said, “Let him be put to death on the stake!” And Peelatos when he saw that nothing helped, but instead the clamor was increasing, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd and said, “I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man, you do as you please.” And answered all the people and said, “Let his blood be upon us and upon our children.”
John 19:34 (AENT)
But one of the soldiers struck his side with a spear, and blood and water immediately came out.
So we see a perfect fulfilment of the first account of Moses and the Rock. The people beat Y’shua- they struck the Rock! And we know that this was Yah’s will as it is written
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
And after they strike the Rock until they can’t strike it any more what pours out? Water!
Can we see the importance of understanding the Rock in the wilderness? Now what of the second encounter of the Rock? What is the significance of this? Note that Yah commanded Moses to ask the Rock for Water. This is a picture of Israel asking for the living water to come forth from the Messiah, something that will be fulfilled in the Messianic Kingdom:
2 And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. 3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
They will go to the Mountain of Yah and living water (His Torah, his words of life) will flow from it! Just as Moses was supposed to ask the Rock to receive it’s thirst quenching water so will the people of Israel ask the Rock (Y’shua) for his water.
So why was Moses punished for striking the Rock the second time? It’s simple. If the Rock is representative of the two comings of Messiah then the question to ask is, will Israel strike Messiah at his second coming?
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for hisonly son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for hisfirstborn.
So it is clear that the pattern is not for the Rock to be struck upon it’s return. And this is why the striking of the Rock was so severe. It is a shadow of the spiritual Rock, Y’shua. At the P’shat level this signaled the end of Moses leadership of Israel and ushered in the leadership of Joshua son of Nun. On a deeper level the fact that this happens as the the second account of the Rock unfolds shows us that Joshua is a shadow of Mashyiach ben David the conquering king.
This brings us to our final point. Another striking parallel is the crossing over of the Jordan and the baptism of Y’shua in the Jordan.
In the Book of Joshua we see first that two spies are sent out to prepare the way for Joshua and the Israelites . The two spies are a hint of John the Baptist who prepared the way for Y’shua’s first coming and Elijah who is to come before the Second coming of Y’shua.
John 1:23 (AENT)
He (John the Baptist) said: “I am the voice of the one crying in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of Master YHWH’ As yesha’yahu the Prophet had said.”
During the crossing over of the Jordan the Ark of YHWH is to go forth first, and the Arm of YHWH the Mashyiach received the Ruach (Spirit) first when he was baptized in the Jordan.
This sheds some light on when John the Baptist said:
Matthew 3:11 (AENT)
I immerse you with water to repentance, but he that will come after me is stronger than me. I am not worthy to remove his sandals. He will immerse you by the Ruach haKodesh and by fire.
Which ties in beautifully with this passage from Revelation:
Revelation 15:2 (AENT)
And I saw as it were, a sea of glass mixed with fire: and they, who had been innocent over the beast of prey and over its image, and over the number of its name, were standing on the sea of glass; and they had the harps of Elohim.
Notice the Sea of Glass mixed with fire; the baptism of Y’shua!
And finally the most beautiful parallel that Joshua shows us is that of circumcision. In Joshua 3 they cross over the Jordan and this represents the circumcision of the heart, the inward expression of obedience and faithfulness to YHWH. After they crossed the Jordan before entering the Promised Land, the Israelites faith was made complete by their works:
At that time the LORD said unto Joshua, Make thee sharp knives, and circumcise again the children of Israel the second time.
3 And Joshua made him sharp knives, and circumcised the children of Israel at the hill of the foreskins.4 And this is the cause why Joshua did circumcise: All the people that came out of Egypt, that were males, even all the men of war, died in the wilderness by the way, after they came out of Egypt.5 Now all the people that came out were circumcised: but all the people that wereborn in the wilderness by the way as they came forth out of Egypt, them they had not circumcised.6 For the children of Israel walked forty years in the wilderness, till all the peoplethat were men of war, which came out of Egypt, were consumed, because they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: unto whom the LORD sware that he would not shew them the land, which the LORD sware unto their fathers that he would give us, a land that floweth with milk and honey.7 And their children, whom he raised up in their stead, them Joshua circumcised: for they were uncircumcised, because they had not circumcised them by the way.8 And it came to pass, when they had done circumcising all the people, that they abode in their places in the camp, till they were whole.9 And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you. Wherefore the name of the place is called Gilgal unto this day.10 And the children of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the passover on the fourteenth day of the month at even in the plains of Jericho.
How beautiful is that! They’re first circumcised of the heart and then afterwards circumcised in the flesh and celebrate the Passover of YHWH, the Redemption of Israel, and again we see both the Suffering Servant Messiah and the Conquering King Messiah! We can see a future fulfilment of this shadow in Ezekiel.
9 Thus saith the Lord GOD; No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary, of any stranger that isamong the children of Israel.
Notice that both physical and inward circumcision are shown here just as in Joshua.
So to conclude we have seen how Messiah’s two comings in the rock of the wilderness, the way he would be treated upon his comings and the shadow pictures of our Messiah in Joshua son of Nun.
Truly we have concluded that the volume of the book is written about him and he is the author of our faith and all things point to Mashyiach!
We must always have eyes to see and ears to here to understand these deep spiritual truths.