Three Offices of Messiah

“God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name”

Almond branch with new buds and blossoms. (Image: Adobe Stock)

Korach

Regular Shabbat Readings

Read / Listen to these Portions

  • Korach (קורח | Korah)
  • Torah: Numbers 16:1-18:32
  • Haftarah: 1 Samuel 11:14-12:22
  • Gospel: John 19:1-17

Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

Portion Outline

  • Torah
    • Numbers 16:1 | Revolt of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram
    • Numbers 17:1 | The Budding of Aaron's Rod
    • Numbers 18:1 | Responsibility of Priests and Levites
    • Numbers 18:8 | The Priests' Portion
  • Prophets
    • 1Sa 11:1 | Saul Defeats the Ammonites
    • 1Sa 12:1 | Samuel's Farewell Address

Portion Summary

Korah (korach, קורח) was the name of a prominent Levite. It is also the name of the thirty-eighth reading from the Torah. It comes from the first verse of this week's reading, which says, "Now Korah the son of Izhar... took action" (Numbers 16:1). This week's Torah reading tells the story of how Korah led an unsuccessful rebellion against Moses and Aaron. After thwarting the insurrection, God confirms Aaron in the priesthood and provides additional legislation regarding priestly and Levitical privileges and responsibilities.


The rod that blossomed alludes to Yeshua, the Righteous Branch that came back to life and has been given the authority of the ineffable name: “God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name” (Philippians 2:9). He is the high priest in the heavenly Temple, the high priest of the order of Melchizedek, seated at the right hand of God.

The LORD commanded Moses to keep Aaron’s rod before the ark to be kept as a sign for future generations. The writer of the book of Hebrews points out that Moses kept three things inside the ark: “A golden jar holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod which budded, and the tables of the covenant” (Hebrews 9:4). Each item alludes to one of the three offices of Messiah—prophet, priest, and king. In His first coming, Yeshua came primarily in the role of a prophet. After His resurrection and ascension, He entered His role as our heavenly high priest. When He comes again, He will reign in Zion as King.

The manna symbolizes His role as a prophet, as it says, “[He] fed you with manna … that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Yeshua said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven” (John 6:41). Aaron’s rod that budded symbolizes His resurrection and priestly ministry, seated at the right hand of the Father. The tables of the covenant symbolize His role as king and lawgiver. In the Messianic Era, all nations will be subject to the King Messiah, and the Torah will go forth from Zion.

Moses and the children of Israel kept Aaron’s staff in the ark as a testimony of God’s choice of the house of Aaron. According to Jewish legend, “The same staff was held in the hand of every king until the Temple was destroyed, and then it was hidden away. That same staff also is destined to be held in the hand of King Messiah” (Numbers Rabbah 18:23).

That same staff also is destined to be held in the hand of King Messiah (may he come speedily in our days), as it says [in Psalm 110:2], “The LORD will stretch forth Your strong scepter from Zion, saying, ‘Rule in the midst of Your enemies.’” (Numbers Rabbah 18:23)

Adapted From: Torah Club Commentary Set: Shadows of the Messiah. Learn more about Torah Club and how you can start a Club of your own, or join a Torah Club in your area. Visit TORAHCLUB.ORG

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