Parsha Naso (Numbers 4:21 through all of chapter 7) is on the agenda for this week’s Torah portion, but after the Sabbath this week is the 50th day of the counting of the Omer, and thus the day of Shavuot, or the Feast of Weeks.

The Erev Shabbat reading of the parsha begins with the last part of the first “head count”, of the families of the Levites, but continues with some elements that are not widely studied by much of ‘mainstream Christianity.’

The Erev Shabbat reading helps explain why:

There are any number of places in the Torah, and in the prophets, where specific sequences of words seem to be used to “set off” a particular story, or make an emphasis, and often to connect elements in the text that might otherwise seem separated.

But there are other ways the Author uses His Word to draw our attention to connections. Imagery is one.

And this parsha demonstrates more than one of them.

The process for determining the guilt or innocence of the ‘sota’ or woman who’s husband SUSPECTS adultery is one such. The image of the ‘cup’ which contains the “water of bitterness that causes the curse” may be one of the most dramatic images in Scripture. It arguably appeared at the giving of the Torah – at this very time of year – and WILL appear at the climax in Revelation 18. But, most importantly, it was the cup which Messiah drank for us. Even though the identity of the guilty was not in question.

Which is why Mark Twain may have been right about prophecy and imagery in Scripture, too. It may not repeat precisely, but ‘rhymes’.

“Naso – and Shavuot: Rhymes in Scripture”

The combined two-part podcast is here: