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At the conclusion of the Sabbath or any Biblical festival, a ceremony for the close of the ‘holy’ day is observed and prayers are said for the coming week. This ceremony is known as Havdalah, which means separation; a time to separate the holy from the mundane. The ceremony uses all five senses: taste, sight, smell, hearing, and touch, to convey the message of the benevolence of G-d and our relationship to Him. The elements of the Havdalah include a wine goblet filled with wine, a jar of spices, a braided candle, and a saucer or plate on which these elements are placed.

During the Havdalah ceremony a special braided candle with several wicks is used. In Hebrew the Havdalah candle is called a lapidot, a plural Hebrew work for torches. The candle is lit, the room being dark, and the appropriate blessing is recited. The candle is then passed in front of each present who extend their hand toward the flame. The candle must pass close enough for each to feel its warmth. The fingers are spread to allow the rays of light to pass through the fingers. Possibly the prophet Habakkuk was referring to this ceremony when speaking of the coming of the Messiah.

G-d came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran. Selah. His glory covered the heavens, and the earth was full of his praise. And his brightness was as the light; he had horns (rays of light) coming out of his hand: and there was the hiding of his power.

Habakkuk 3.3-4

Without doubt one of the most fascinating pictures of the Messiah as represented in the torch is found in the book of Judges. Several characters emerge in Chapters 4 and 5 that give tremendous information concering the second coming of the Messiah. In these passages the main characters are Deborah, Barak, Sisera, and Yael.

Deborah is a Hebrew term that means “Bee,” or “Congregation,” and is a representation of those who believe in the coming of the Messiah.

And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.

Judges 4.4-5

She is the wife of Lapidot, or “Torches,” who is a picture of the Messiah. Even though the rest of the passage does not deal with Lapidot, the revelation of his name as the husband of Deborah is essential. As a judge over the children of Israel, her relationship with her husband presents a very strong picture of the relationship of believers, congregations, etc. with the Messiah. Consider the following passage from the book of Revelation. Incidentally, the previous chapter of Revelation refers to the symbolic marriage of the Messiah with the congregation of believers.

And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Yeshua, and for the word of G-d, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Messiah a thousand years.

Revelation 20.4

Barak, the commander of the armies, in Hebrew means “Lightning,” showing the Messiah who comes as the lightning from the east. In the account of Judges, Barak attacks Sisera, the enemy, from the east. Compare this with the following verse from Matthew.

For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Matthew 24.27

And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the L-RD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the L-RD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. And the L-RD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet. But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left.

Judges 4.14-16

Sisera is a gentile ruler intent on destroying the Hebrew people. He is from a town known as Harosheth Hagoyim, which means “The Work of the Gentiles.” When Sisera’s armies are defeated by Barak, he flees to the tent of Yael the Kenite. The Kenites are the descendants of Jethro, or Hobab, the Father-in-Law of Moses who became a Gentile believer in the G-d of Israel. On arriving at the tent of Yael, Sisera requests a drink of water. In scripture water, often termed “Mayim Chaiyim,” or “living water” is symbolic of the Holy Spirit which is received by faith in the redemptive work of the Messiah.

In the last day, that great day of the feast, Yeshua stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Yeshua was not yet glorified).

John 7.37-39

Instead of giving Sisera this water, Yael hands him a drink of milk. The milk is symbolic of the Word of G-d. Each year at the Festival of Shavuot, or Pentecost, which commemorates the anniversary of the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai it is customary to eat dairy products. The illustration of the milk representing the Word of G-d can be seen in a writing of Shimon or Peter.

Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the L-rd is gracious.

II Peter 2.1-3

Sisera, tired from battle and lulled by the milk he is offered, is covered by a blanket and falls asleep. At this time, Yael seizes the opportunity and takes a peg. driving it through his head, thereby ridding herself and the Hebrews of this powerful enemy.

Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Yael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. And Yael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my L-rd, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and enquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No. Then Yael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

Judges 4.17-21

Within these words are many pictures of the time when Messiah will come in power. The scripture tells us that all who resist the Messiah who is coming at the head of His army will suffer utter defeat. They will try to hide from His judgement and strength.

And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Revelation 6.13-17

The scripture states that he that rejects the Messiah of G-d is as one who sleeps, not discerning the times or the message of G-d.

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

I Thessalonians 5.4-8

There is a special significance to the peg that Yael drove through the head of Sisera. When Adam and Chava (Eve) had sinned in Gan Eden (The Garden of Eden), they who had been in the image of G-d were stripped of His Shekinah (Indwelling Presence), Kivod (Radiance), and Ruach haKodesh (Holy Spirit). The kingdom, which had been theirs to rule under G-d, was stripped from them and passed to Nachash (the Serpent). But G-d in His faithfulness and love provided for them and clothed them with the skins of an animal that He had slain, promising to restore them back to all that they had had in creation. The agent of G-d to accomplish this would be the Messiah. He was promised to come as the “seed of the woman” showing His virgin birth. Not only would He restore man but also He would crush the head of the serpent.

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

Genesis 3.15

Sisera is a type of not only the false messiah but also the serpent that empowers him.

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Revelation 13.2

The instrument Yael used to crush the head of Sisera is a peg. The Hebrew word for peg is “Yataid.” This word is used many times in the scripture to show the Messiah. It is used in the Mishkan or Tabernacle, where there are five poles upon entering the actual tent, the center pole being the Yataid. Upon this pole pegs were driven to hang all the various vessels and tools to be used in the Mishkan. This can plainly be seen as how it represents the Messiah in the book of Isaiah where Elikim is a picture of the coming Yeshua.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.

Isaiah 22.20-24

The word is also used in Ezra as a prayer for the Messiah’s coming.

And now for a little space grace hath been shewed from the L-rd our G-d, to leave us a remnant to escape, and to give us a nail in his holy place, that our G-d may lighten our eyes, and give us a little reviving in our bondage.

Ezra 9.8

This word is related to the word for a cornerstone, which is often a reference and one of the titles for the Messiah. The obvious picture is that the Yataid used by Yael in striking and defeating the enemy is reflective of Messiah defeating his enemies, especially the false messiah.

One of the earliest pictures of the torch for the Messiah is found in Genesis as G-d makes a covenant with Abraham. In the covenant ritual an animal is slain and split down the backbone. The halves of the animal are separated as the two making covenant stand in their midst. They each list their assets and liabilities. For G-d there would only be assets and no liabilities but for Abraham there would only be liabilities and no assets. There is an exchange of garments and vows of allegiance to each other. Following this the covenant ritual would have the two walk a path around the animal halves making a figure of eight or infinite sign. As this was done, the two would pronounce “let so be done to me as done to these animals if I ever break this covenant.” Of course, G-d would not break the covenant, but what about Abraham or the rest of us. In His mercy He put Abraham to sleep and a burning torch went in His place. This torch that took the judgment for Abraham and all of mankind who would receive Him is the Messiah.

And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces.

Genesis 15.17

Therefore, as the torch represented by the Havdalah candle passes around the room each should think of the Messiah. Thoughts of His coming in power, the warmth of his presence and touch, the promise of the resurrection, the marriage that is coming, and the covenant of which he is the agent. We also remember the consequences of turning away, the judgment that follows those who reject the light and covenant.

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