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Devarim Shoftim

Deuteronomy 16.18 - 21.9

Time And Gematria:

 The Time of First Fruits

Lesson Five


By Dr. Akiva Gamliel Belk

Dean of Jewish Studies

B'nai Noach Torah Institute, LLC

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Dr. Akiva Gamliel and Rebbetzin Revi Belk

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Course Text Begins Here:

Dear Ones

We are going to discuss several Observances specific to The Land of Israel. These Observances are linked ONLY to the Land of Israel. ONLY those Jews living in The Land Of Israel can perform these Observances. Those of us outside the Land of Israel should not ignore these Observances. We should be aware of them. We should be supportive of them even though we who are outside The Land of Israel cannot perform them.

On the Day Moses taught the Observance known as 'The Great Trumah' The People of Israel were living outside of The Land of Israel. Before anyone could perform this Observance The Land of Israel had to be conquered and divided. Then Jewish farmers had to settle into The Land and plant grain produces, grape vineyards and olive trees. Vineyards and olive trees remained because The Army of Israel was prohibited from cutting down fruit trees in Deuteronomy 20.19.

Dear Ones, our discussion in this chapter will be a little like a hexagon. We will discuss different views to the same subject in Time. The heart of our discussion is Deuteronomy 18.3 - 5. We will branch off from our discussion several times then return.

Deuteronomy 18.1 - 5

The Priests the Levites, and all The Tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel; they shall eat The Offerings of The Lord made by fire, and His inheritance. Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brothers; The Lord is their inheritance, as He has said to them. And this shall be The Priest's due from The People, from those who offer a sacrifice, whether it is ox or sheep; and they shall give to The priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the stomach. Also The firstfruit of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the first of the fleece of your sheep, shall you give to him. For The Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes, to stand to minister in The Name of The Lord, him and his sons FOREVER.

Two Mitzvot

There are two Mitzvot / Observances in Deuteronomy 18.1 - 2. Both are Prohibitive Observances. The First Observance is in regards to the Kohanim / Priests. 'The Priests the Levites, and all The Tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel'. This means The Tribe of Levi will not inherit a section of The Land of Eretz Yisroel except for the Forty-Eight Cities. [Leviticus 25.34 and Numbers 35.2;7]. The second Observance is The Tribe of Levi could not share in the booty the armies of Israel captured during their conquest.

We are going to branch off for several pages to discuss Three Observances associated with the cities and land given to The Levites as an inherit.

Numbers 35.2

And The Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan at Jericho, Saying; 'Command The People of Israel, that they give to The Levites of the inheritance of their possession cities to live in; and you shall also give to the Levites an open ground around the cities. And they shall have the cities to live in; and their open ground shall be for their cattle, and for their goods, and for all their beasts. And the open ground around the cities, that you shall give to The Levites, shall reach from the wall of the city outward a thousand cubits around. And you shall measure from outside the city on the east side Two Thousand cubits, and on the south side Two Thousand cubits, and on the west side Two Thousand cubits, and on the north side Two thousand cubits, and the city shall be in the midst. This shall be to them the open ground of the cities. And the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be six cities of refuge, which you shall appoint for the man slayer that he may flee there; and to them you shall add Forty Two cities. So all the cities which you shall give to The Levites shall be Forty Eight cities; both them and their open grounds.'

The Levites and the Priests are separated unto The Lord. The Tribe of Levi is a chosen Tribe from among the other Tribes of Israel. They are separated for and dedicated to service in and around the Holy Temple. They are to spend their time studying and Teaching Ha Torah. They are also The Learning Centers distributed throughout The Land of Israel where by their brethren may come to study. Six of the cites are cites of refuge for one who has murdered by accident to flee for protection. This is a Pro-formative Mitzvah.

Leviticus 25.34

But the field of the pasture lands of their cities may not be sold; for it is their everlasting possession.


There is a great deal more to this Observance than what we will discuss. I am sharing these two Observances to help us better realize the permanency of The last Word in Deuteronomy 18.5, 'FOREVER'. This is very complicated in this sense. The People of Israel are given 613 Observances forever. Deuteronomy 18.1 -5 Informs us that The People of Israel are to give to The Levites 'A due' forever.


We are also informed in Numbers 35.2 - 7 that The People of Israel are to give Forty-Eight Cities to The Levites along with the land surrounding each city going out Two-Thousand Cubits which is about eighteen to Twenty-One inches in length. This means between 3,000 to 3,500 feet. Now we must inquire which are the Forty-Eight cities? Are the Forty-Eight cities still in existence today?


In Leviticus 25.34 Ha Torah informs us of another Observance. The Land surrounding the Forty-Eight Cities cannot be altered or sold.

Here is how this becomes very complicated! The Forty Eight cities must be returned to The Levites. The land around these cities must be returned to The Levities. Who owns the homes in theses cities? How expensive are these homes? What has happened to the land around these cities? Has the land been sold? Has the land been altered? For us humans this is a big mess. Yet, these are three Mitzvot of Ha Torah with 'FOREVER' stamped on them By The Lord God! Why am I sharing this? This seems completely devoid of the beginning discussion. How are these Three Observances related to our discussion?

We now return to where we began our discussion. Moses was Teaching The People of Israel in the year 2488 FC. when they were just a short time from beginning the conquest of Eretz Yisroel about Observances they would fulfill years down the road.

Dear Ones, this is where we are at today. We are 3,287 years from when Moses spoke those Words. The Jewish people do not occupy all of the Land Promised to them by The Lord God. Millions of Jews live outside of Eretz Yisroel. The Levites do not occupy the Forty-Eight Cities as intended in Scripture. The land outside the Forty-Eight cities has been altered. I am saying the Mitzvot spoken of in the above Scriptures will need to be reestablished again as it was in the Days of Joshua! There will be a serious war to reclaim our land. Jews from every corner of the world will come to help liberate The Land of Israel Again. A number of countries will be wiped off the face of the earth. Moshiach / Messiah will lead forces to defeat all our enemies. This time they will be defeated once and for all! I am saying The People will fight these wars again as in the days of Joshua. So it is like each of us are standing before the great Prophet Moses hearing His Words again 3,287 Years later. We return to the subject at hand.

2488 FC

Once the Land of Israel was conquered, Jewish farmers settled the land and planted crops of grain, i.e. wheat, oats, rye, barley and spelt. Then they could harvest their First Fruit. When a Jewish farmer owned land with grape vines or olive trees they could observe the Mitzvah of offering First Fruits without planting them first..


Another Observance for the Land of Israel is The Shmittah Year. Every Seventh Year The Land of Israel is to be given a Time of rest. This Year, 5775 FC is a Shmittah Year. The Shmittah Year began on Rosh HaShanah, Sept 25, 2014 and continues until September 13, 2015. In conjunction with the Shmittah Year is The Release of debt between The People of Israel. Deuteronomy 15.1 - 3.

Deuteronomy 15.1 - 3

At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release. And this is the manner of the release; Every creditor who lends anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord's release. Of a foreigner you may exact it again; but that which is yours with your brother your hand shall release;

The above Scriptures contain Three Observances. They are:


An Individual of B'nei Yisroel that is owed money from another individual of B'nei Yisroel may not demand payment of money owed once the Shmittah has passed.


The Lord God Commands that the debt be 100% forgiven. Those of B'nei Yisroel who are owed money from B'nai Yisroel must write a waiver saying I waive all claims to debts owed me from among The People of Israel.


There is a separation between the People of Israel and The People of Noach. Debts owed to anyone among B'nei Yisroel may demand payment from among The People of B'nai Noach when the debts are due regardless of The Shmittah year. This is called 'The Release.'

The Mitzvah is ONLY for The People of Israel. Why mention The Release? The Release happens in conjunction with the Seventh Year. At nightfall on September 13, 2015 all debt among The People of Israel will be cancelled.

When the last day of Elul 5775 FC concludes The Shmittah Year ends. . This is also the last Day of the Seventh Year. All debt between B'nei Yisroel is cancelled with the exception of the debt assigned to the Bet Din, i.e. Jewish Court.

During The Shmittah Year The Land of Israel sits. There is no plowing. There is no sowing of seed. There is no harvesting for profit.

Leviticus 25.20 - 22

And if you shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our produce; Then I Will Command My Blessing upon you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. And you shall sow the eighth year, and eat still of old fruit until the ninth year; until its fruits come in you shall eat of the old store.

Ha Torah is not saying that The People living on The Land in Israel must go three years complete years without sowing or harvesting. Here is what Ha Torah is Saying. Our present Shmittah year began 01 Tishrei 5775 F.C. However in reality it began much earlier. Farmers would only plant crops that they could harvest before The Shmittah began.

5774 FC

Part of this year is counted for several reasons.

Farmers could only harvest crops up to when The Shmittah year began.

Farmers would not be permitted to plant fall crops because The Shmittah Year began.

All work on The Land stopped when The Shmittah year began.

5775 FC

No planting sowing, fertilizing or harvesting was done during The Shmittah year. The Land rested.

5776 FC

The Last Day of Elul 5775 FC concludes the Shmittah Year. However with all the Holy Observances that begin with the new Year planting among The People of Israel would not begin until the spring for many Jewish Farmers. Why?

2 Mitzvot

Deuteronomy 16.16

Three times in a year shall all your males appear before The Lord your God in The Place which he shall choose [ Jerusalem ] ; in The Feast of Unleavened Bread, and in The Feast of Weeks, and in The Feast of Booths; and they shall not appear before The Lord empty; Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of The Lord your God which He Has Given you.

The second Mitzvot is appearing with an offering. We are to give as The Lord Has Blessed us. If the blessing is tiny then a small gift is appropriate. If the blessing is great then a large gift is appropriate.

3,287 years ago this meant traveling by foot, donkey or Camel to Jerusalem. In some instances this required traveling several weeks to arrive in time to build a booth to celebrate the Festival of Booths.

As a way of example if a descendant of Simeon living is southern Israel were to travel to Jerusalem this would be a journey of about 140 miles {225 KM} as the eagle flies. This does not include traveling by foot through dessert or up over mountains etc. which was the common method of travel then. The length of a days travel was about 15 miles. Merrill C. Tenney, General Editor, The Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia of the Bible Volume Five (Grand Rapids MI Zondervan Publishing House 3rd printing 1978) p 799. The average traveler would take about 9 days each way.

However, when one includes the Observance of not traveling on Shabbat it is likely that the Nine Day journey becomes a Twelve Day journey depending on Shabbat and other High Holy Days.

As a way of example if a descendant of Dan living in northern Israel were to travel to Jerusalem the journey would be about 100 miles {150 KM}. This would require about Six Days each way. When one includes the Observance of not traveling on Shabbat or High Holy Days the Six Day journey becomes perhaps a Nine Day journey.

Think of it this way. Before the Festival of Booths is Yom Kippor The Day of Atonement. Yom Kipper concludes just Four Days before The Festival of Booths. Neither those traveling from Southern or Northern Israel could make the trip if they left after the conclusion of Yom Kippur. All travelers would need to leave the day after Rosh HaShanah to have time to travel and set up their Booth for the Festival of Booths. Then after the Festival they would make the long journey home. When they arrived home sowing time will have passed.

So we learn from these examples we learn Holy Days associated with Time even though Ha Torah Does not spell them out with each mention. So when we read Deuteronomy 18.1 - 5 where It is Written רֵאשִׁית דְּגָנְךָ 'Your First Grain' we should realize this is in reference to the First Day of The Festival of Weeks, Shavuot. We have connected the Time, with the Festival of Shavuot The Holy Scriptures referenced.

BaMidbar 28.26

Also on the Day of The Firstfruit when you bring a new Grain Tribute to The Lord on your Festival of Weeks it shall be a Holy Gathering to you. Cease all labors work.

The point is after all battles were fought and the wars won The People of Israel were entirely in position of The Land of Israel. Then The Land was divided. Then Jewish farmers planted wheat in the spring. Some of the new Wheat [Grains] were first brought to The Lord on Shavuot / The Festival of Weeks / Pentecost. What day was this?

Dear Reader, Moses died on 7 Adar 2488 FC. He was mourned for Thirty Days until 7 Nissan 2488. Joshua Instructed the People they would be crossing the Jordan in three Days on 10 Nissan. The People of Israel crossed the Jordan River then journeyed to the eastern edge of Jericho and camped at Gigal.

10 Nissan 2488 FC

Joshua 4.19

And the people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho.

Joshua performs Brit Milah / circumcision on all the males. On 14 Nissan at eve the People of Israel celebrate their first Passover in The Holy Land.

14 Nissan 2488 FC

Joshua 5.9 - 11

And the Lord Said to Joshua, 'This day have I rolled away the reproach of Egypt from off you.' Therefore the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day. And The people of Israel encamped in Gilgal, and kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening in the plains of Jericho. And they ate of the old grain of the land on the next day after the Passover, unleavened cakes, and parched grain in the same day.

Joshua 14.7

Then the sons of Judah came to Joshua in Gilgal; and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenazite said to him, 'You know the thing that The Lord Said to Moses the man of God concerning me and you in Kadesh-Barnea. I was Forty years old when Moses the servant of The Lord sent me from Kadesh-Barnea to spy out The land; [ 29 Sivan 2449 FC ] and I brought him back word as it was in my heart. And my brothers who went up with me made the heart of the people melt; but I wholly followed the Lord my God. And Moses swore on that day, [9 Av 2449 FC] saying, Surely the land on which your feet have trodden shall be your inheritance, and your children's forever, because you have wholly followed the Lord my God. And now, behold, the Lord Has Kept me alive, as He Said, these forty five years, since The Lord spoke this word to Moses, while the people of Israel wandered in the wilderness; and now, behold, I am this day eighty five years old [29 Sivan 2495 FC].

Our Sages Teach that The Conquest for The Land of Israel took Seven Years. It is based on this Text. Caleb was Forty Years of age when the spies were sent. This was the second year in the Wilderness. Add Thirty- Eight Years to Forty Years. When B'nei Yisroel began the conquest for The Land of Israel Caleb was 78 Years old. Now we move ahead to Joshua 14.6 - 10. Caleb says he is 85 Years old. This informs us that the conquest took Seven Years. 78 from 85 = 7.

The Seventh Year was the Shmittah Year [2495 FC]. This was the first Seven Years in Jubilee count of Forty-Nine Years. Ninety Days later The Shmittah Year would end with the beginning of the New Year 01Tishri 2496 FC.

Farmers were not plowing their fields yet. The task of dividing the Land among The Twelve Tribes begins. This is why Caleb came to Joshua. He wanted to insure that The Tribe of Judah received the city of Hebron. How long did the division of The Land of Israel take? Our Sages teach Seven years? How do we know this. Remember back to Chapter Two where we discussed the meaning of 'Many Days' regarding the Nineteen Years the People of Israel lived in Kadesh. In Joshua 22.23 we have another use of many Days.

Joshua 22.1 - 4

Then Joshua called the Reubenites, and the Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh, And said to them, You have kept all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded you, and have obeyed my voice in all that I commanded you; You have not left your brothers these many days to this day, [01 Nissan 2502 FC] but have kept the charge of the commandment of the Lord your God. And now the Lord your God has given rest to your brothers, as he promised them; therefore now return, and go to your tents, and to the land of your possession, which Moses the servant of the Lord gave you on the other side of the Jordan.

These Many Days means the division of the land required Seven Years. So the first Seven Years the army of Israel conquered The Holy Land. Then the second Seven Years The Holy Land was divided. The division of the Holy Land concluded about ninety days from the completion of the second Shmittah year. The second Seven Year period ended with the Shmittah Year [2502 FC]. This was the second Seven Years in the Jubilee count of Forty-Nine Years. 01 Tishri 2503 FC began which is September in the Gregorian Calendar. Now farmers were free to prepare their land for sowing wheat and other produce. However remember 01Tishri was Rosh Ha Shanah which is followed by Yom Kippur which is followed by The Festival of Booths so the wheat crop would not be sown until the spring of 2503 FC. The first festival in which new grain was offered by farmers from all twelve Tribes in Israel was Shavuot 2503 FC. This was a little over fourteen years from when Moses spoke the Words רֵאשִׁית דְּגָנְךָ 'Your First Grain'.


Dih Gaw Nih Kah / Your Grain

ד4 ג3 נ50 ך20 = 77

It is like the first Seven represents the Seven Years of conquest for the Holy Land of Israel and the second Seven is for the division of The Holy Land Of Israel. Seven plus Seven.

However, the Seventy-Seven is also significant because it points to the Altar The Tribes of Ruben and Gad along with half The Tribe of Manasseh constructed after returning to their tents in Joshua 22. The armies from The Ten Tribes of Israel gathered to war against them because of that altar. However The Ten Tribes learned the altar was not intend for sacrifice. It was intended to be a testimony to their children of the Victories The Lord Brought. The Gematria for sacrifice and for 'your altar' are both 77.


Meez Bah Chah Kaw / Your Altar

מ40 ז7 ב2 ח8 20 = 77


Zee Bih Chah Chawm / Sacrifice


Rah Sheet / First

ר200 א1 ש300 י10 ת400 = 911

Some have inquired about the significance of 911 occurring during a Shirttail year. 9-11-2001 was during the Shirttail year 5761 FC. The Shmittah ended on September 18, 2001. The Shirttail is only in relation to The Land of Israel. 2008 was a Shirttail year and this year, 2015 is a Shirttail year.

I cannot predict what enemies plan or do. All that I can say is that the Shirttail is in relationship ONLY to The Land of Israel. The Gematria of 911 is found and established in the very first Word of Ha Torah. Genesis 1.1 - 'In the beginning'. I see a Mystical relationship between The Firstfruits the People of Israel offered the first time 'In the beginning.'


Ray Sheet / Firstfruit

ר200 א1 ש300 י10 ת400 = 911


Ray Sheet / first beginning

ר200 א1 ש300 י10 ת400 = 911

We know that The People of Israel had to possess The Holy Land before they could offer firstfruits. The Gematria for הוֹרַשְׁתָּ meaning to possess is 911.


Hoh Rah Shi Taw / To Possess

ה5 ו6 ר200 ש300 ת400 = 911

Dear Ones We have Journeyed through a number of Mitzvot of HaTorah. We have discussed, in brief, Eleven Mitzvot of Ha Torah. We have mystically linked Time with Gematria.

1. What is prohibited during The Shmittah Year?

2. Explain The Scriptures usage of 'Three Years' in reference to The Shmittah Year.

3. What Year did The People of Israel Bring their first firstfruits of new grain?

4. What is the importance of the Word FOREVER in Deuteronomy 18.1 - 5

5. There are many Observances associated with the Levites. What do you think it means when The Lord God Says, 'O that there were such a heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep All My Commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children forever! ' Deuteronomy 5.26?


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