Household Salvation

By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

With the assistance of:

Micah ben Hillel & Poriel ben Abraham



In this paper I would like to explore what the scriptures teach regarding household salvation. This is an important subject that is often taught incorrectly.


The general rule is that HaShem never saves just an individual, but rather he saves the head of the household and with him, all of his family. Consider Noach:


Bereshit (Genesis) 6:9 This is the history of Noach. Noach was a righteous/generous man, flawless in his generation; Noach walked with Elohim…

Bereshit (Genesis) 7:7 And Noah went in and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him into the ark because of the flood waters.


Notice that it was Noach that was righteous, but it was his entire family who were saved! This principle, found at the beginning of time, illustrates how HaShem will always act.


In Acts, there is an interesting passage that states:


2 Lukas (Acts) 16:25-33 And at midnight Shaul and Silas (Luqas) prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Shaul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do yourself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Shaul and Silas (Luqas), And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Obey Faithfully the Master Yeshua the Messiah, and you will be saved, and your house. And they spoke unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.


This introduces us to the concept of household salvation. Household salvation is the saving of a whole house through the actions of one individual, the leader of the household. The rest of this article will be used to demonstrate the reality of household salvation and to provide some examples of such salvation taking place. The above passage from Acts is just one of many examples that one can find in this article.


Before we look at some instances of household salvation, we must first understand the full meaning of the word ‘house’ or ‘household’. Household doesn’t just mean household. We know that the usage of the word ‘house’ or ‘household’ can extend from just the immediate family of one’s self from the way it is used for Israel.


Shemot (Exodus) 16:31 And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.


Shemot (Exodus) 40:38 For the cloud of HaShem was upon the tabernacle by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel, throughout all their journeys.


2 Luqas (Acts) 2:36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that HaShem has made that same Yeshua, whom you have crucified, both Master and Messiah.


Hebrews (Bereans) 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them HaShem, and they shall be to me a people.


Clearly the meaning extends to much more extended family. Israel, Jacob, was the father of the people of Israel. The household of Israel is thus the extended family of Jacob.


The concept of Israel as an organic entity consisting of many parts is well known. Israel was another name for Yaakov (Jacob), as well as a name for his collective descendents. A subset of Israel is the community which was centered around the synagogue. Finally, a subset of the community is the family. There was never a smaller subset when it came to salvation, to prayer, or to redemption. These were all communal in nature.


As was said earlier, the concept of household salvation involves the leader of a household doing something which then saves the rest of his household. The actions of one affect the whole family and the community. Many can be saved through one. Therefore, it is important to understand who can be the leader of a household.


The leader of a household is always the father. The leader of a community is also a father to his household. No place in Torah will you find the phrase ‘house of Sarah’ or ‘house of Batshevah’. We can also extend this and say that the leader of the household is also a firstborn, regardless if he was actually the first to come from his mother’s womb. Rashi explains this in his commentary for the following passage in Torah:


Shemot (Exodus) 12:29-30 And it came to pass, that at midnight HaShem smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all the Egyptians; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was not a house where there was not one dead.


Rashi: If there was a firstborn there, he died. If there was no firstborn there, the most important one of the household is called “a firstborn,” — as the verse says, “I, too, will make him a firstborn.” [Psalms (Tehillim) 89:28]


Tehillim (Psalms) 89:20-28 Then You spoke in a vision to Your devout [prophets], and said, “I have placed [My] assistance upon the mighty one, I have exalted the one chosen from among the people. I have found David, My servant; with My holy oil I have anointed him; with whom My hand shall be established [to assist him], My arm also shall strengthen him. The enemy shall not exact from him, nor shall the iniquitous person afflict him. And I will smash his tormentors from before him, and smite those who hate him. And My faithfulness and My kindness shall be with him, and through My Name his power shall be exalted. And I will set his hand upon the sea, and his right hand upon the rivers. He will call to Me, ‘You are my Father, my God and the Rock of my salvation!’ I, too, will make him a firstborn, supreme over the earth’s kings.


There are examples of men who were not born as firstborns, but became firstborns by their actions. For instance, Yaakov became the firstborn when he bought the birthright from Esau:


Beresheet (Genesis) 25:30-33 And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage ; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. And Yaakov said, Sell me this day your birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he swore unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob.


The birthright is the firstborn’s, and when Esau transferred the birthright to Jacob, Jacob became the firstborn.


Judah, according Rashi, was the firstborn of the twelve tribes of Israel (despite Judah being the fourth son of Jacob). He became firstborn through his actions.


Clearly the leader of a household is also the firstborn of the house. Now when someone in the Torah is called a firstborn, we know that it can also have the meaning of leader of his household. We can then restate the concept of household salvation as: The actions of the firstborn can cause him and his entire household to be saved. If the firstborn is saved, his entire household is saved. The implications of this statement are staggering and should not be understated!


If the head of a household is also a firstborn, then one could further state that he is also a Kohen, a priest. Or at least he should have been. Before the sin of the Golden Calf, all firstborns of Israel would be priests. This is called the priesthood of Melchizedek.


Beresheet (Genesis) 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.


Tehillim (Psalms) 110:4 HaShem has sworn, and will not repent, You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.


Melchizedek is understood to be Shem, son of Noah. The Rabbis[1] said that Melchizedek instructed Avraham in the Torah.


Then in the Midrash:


Midrash Rabbah - Numbers IV:8 - TAKE THE LEVITES, etc. (III, 45). Our Rabbis have said: Why did the Holy One, blessed be He, order the firstborn Israelites to be redeemed by means of the Levites? Because originally, before the tribe of Levi arose, the firstborn performed the sacrificial service. As our Rabbis have learned: Before the Tabernacle was erected the high places were permitted and the sacrificial service was performed by the firstborn. From the moment when the Tabernacle was erected the high places were forbidden and the service was confined to the priests. There is proof that the firstborn offered the sacrifices before the tribe of Levi took office. Go back to the beginning of the creation of the world. Adam was the world’s firstborn. When he offered his sacrifice, as it says: And it pleased the Lord better than a bullock that hath horns and hoofs (Ps. LXIX, 32) - he donned high priestly garments; as it says: And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them (Gen. III, 21). They were robes of honor which subsequent firstborn used. When Adam died he transmitted them to Seth. Seth transmitted them to Methusaleh. When Methusaleh died he transmitted them to Noah. Noah arose and offered a sacrifice; as it says: And he took of every clean beast... and offered burnt-offerings on the altar (Gen. VIII, 20). Noah died and transmitted them to Shem. But was Shem a firstborn? Japheth, surely, was the firstborn; as it says: Shem... the brother of Japheth the elder1 (Gen. X, 21)! Why then did he hand them on to Shem? Because Noah foresaw that the line of the patriarchs would issue from him. There is proof that Shem offered sacrifices; since it says: And Melchizedek, king of Salem brought forth bread and wine; and he was priest of God the Most High (Gen. XIV, 18). Now was it to him that the priesthood was given? The priesthood, surely, was not given to any man until Aaron arose. What then is the meaning of the statement here, ‘and he was priest’? Because he offered sacrifices like priests. Shem died and handed it on to Abraham. But was Abraham a firstborn? The fact is that because he was a righteous man the birthright was transferred to him, and he offered sacrifices; as it says: And offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son (Gen. XXII, 13). Abraham died and handed it on to Isaac. Isaac arose and handed it on to Jacob. But was Jacob a firstborn? No; but you find that Jacob prudently took it [the birthright] from Esau. He said to him: Sell me first thy birthright (Gen. XXV, 31). Do you suppose perhaps that it was for no good reason that Jacob asked Esau to sell him the birthright? No! Jacob wished to offer sacrifices and could not, because he was not the firstborn. Said Esau: ‘What can I expect of this birthright? ‘ As it says: Behold I am at the point to die; and what profit shall the birthright do to me?


We see that Shem may not have been a firstborn, but became a firstborn when his father Noah passed the robes of Adam to him. This is a metaphor for passing the priesthood.


We therefore have found that the head of a household is not only a firstborn, but is also a priest. In fact, being a firstborn is being a priest of the order of Melchizedek. Being the head of one’s household is being the priest of that household.


This new understanding requires more explanation. Being a firstborn doesn’t seem to come with many responsibilities or duties. One doesn’t conjure images in one’s mind about a firstborn being much more than the one who helps raise the rest of his siblings and does more household chores. However, one can also see this as training for when the firstborn goes to the house of HaShem to represent his house, to take care of his people and to do the chores of the house of HaShem. Helping to raise siblings instills a sense of responsibility and caring that is hard to acquire any other way.


So now we must explore the duties a priest has to his household. One should be aware that the household of the firstborn is not just his immediate family, but it is the whole community of Israel. The household of Israel is the household the priest is representing, besides his own family.


Returning to the example of Shem, we find a clue as to what the duties of the priest are.


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XXXVI:6 AND SHEM AND JAPHETH TOOK A GARMENT. R. Johanan said: Shem commenced the good deed, then Japheth came and hearkened to him. Therefore Shem was granted a Tallit and Japheth a pallium. AND LAID IT UPON BOTH THEIR SHOULDERS. Now since it is said, AND WENT BACKWARDS, do we not know that THEY SAW NOT THEIR FATHER’S NAKEDNESS? This, however, teaches that they hid their faces with their hands and walked backward, giving him the respect due from a son to a father. Said the Holy One, blessed be He, to Shem: ‘Thou didst cover thy father’s nakedness: By thy life! I will reward thee When these men are bound in their cloaks (be-sarbelehon), ‘ etc. (Dan. III, 21). (R. Judan and R. Huna [differed as to the meaning of ‘ be-sarbelehon ‘]: R. Judan said: It means in their prayer cloaks; R. Huna said: It means in their robes of state.) The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Japheth: ‘ Thou didst cover thy father’s nakedness: By thy life, I will reward thee, for It shall come to pass on that day, that I will give unto Gog a place fit for burial in Israel’ (Ezek. XXXIX, II). The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Ham: ‘Thou didst bring thy father’s nakedness into disgrace: By thy life, I will requite thee: So shall the king of Assyria lead away the captives of Egypt, and the exiles of Ethiopia, young and old, naked and barefoot, and with buttocks uncovered to the shame of Egypt’ (Isa. XX, 4).


A further substantiation that the firstborn son is considered as the most important member of the household is noted within the letters which give the spelling for son. The Aramaic word for son, BaR, is spelled Bet - Resh. Both of these letters lend meaning to the word “son” through their own meanings.


The essential meaning of Bet is “house” whilst that of Resh is “head” or “chief”. This would make the meaning of son “chief of [the] house”. Even more, the word for “great” or “master/teacher”, RaB, has the same letters for BaR; it being spelled Resh-Bet. Further, this means that every son has the capability to become the “great of the household”; yet, this position is given to the firstborn.


Pidyon HaBen


Bamidbar (Numbers) 8:17-18 “For every firstborn of the Children of Israel became mine, of man and livestock; on the day I struck every firstborn in the land of Egypt I sanctified them for myself. I took the Levites in place of every firstborn among the Children of Israel.”


Why do we have the laws of the pidyon HaBen (Redeeming the first born)? We have the laws of Pidyon BaBen because HaShem sanctified them when He struck down the firstborn of the Egyptians. If HaShem takes the firstborn of the Egyptians, representing the whole world, then He also has to take the firstborn of Israel. The firstborn is His.


Why does the firstborn need to be redeemed? The firstborn needs to be redeemed because they became HaShem’s when He struck down the firstborn of the Egyptians.


The Arizal writes that just as children are obligated to respect their parents, so must they respect their firstborn sibling. For the firstborn represents the initial creative act, the essential power of the parents, from which all subsequent births draw their vitality. All things go after the beginning. All beginning starts from beyond. Thus, Yaaqov said about Reuben:


Beresheet (Genesis) 49:3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength .


The firstborn represents the whole household that requires redemption. We learn this from the following pasuk:


Shemot (Exodus) 4:22  And you shall say unto Pharaoh, Thus says HaShem, Israel is my son, even my firstborn: 23  And I say unto you, Let my son go, that he may serve Me: and if you refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay your son, even your firstborn.


In this pasuk we see that the firstborn represents his entire household. If the firstborn is redeemed, then his entire household is redeemed. The firstborn represents the whole, for they were potential heads of their families. As such they would serve as priests, representing the whole of Israel.


Thus, when we redeem the firstborn, Pidyon HaBen, we are redeeming the household of the priest, the firstborn.


Born Again


Born again does not fit a pshat. Is this a firstborn or what?


We are “born again” when we immerse in the mikveh. When we are immersed, we are returning to the state he had in Gan Eden before sin. We are Adam HaRishon being created anew. Thus we see that being “born again” is akin to becoming the firstborn of creation.


We can therefore say that those who are “born again” are firstborns whose duty it is to represent their households as priests before HaShem.


Congregation of the First Born


Why are they called the congregation of the firstborn? What is the eschatological aspect of this congregation?


The Tallit


The tallit is a tent to cover one’s family and community. In Sephardic synagogues, all the children of the community gather under the Hakham’s tallit for the Aaronic benediction.


The tallit has many names. Prayer shawl, prayer closet, and even tent. A tallit is a four-cornered garment with fringes, called tzitzith in Hebrew, that are a representation of the 613 commands of Torah. These commands are our link to HaShem, since in the observance of the commands we learn more and become closer with HaShem. Therefore, when the priest dons a tallit he is connecting himself and his household with HaShem. This garment is needed to make that connection to HaShem during prayer.


When we think about the tallit as a prayer closet, we picture a private area for prayer, one-on-one with HaShem. In this way, the priest is given a very personal connection to HaShem.


When we think about the tallit as a tent, we picture a dwelling place for, perhaps, an entire family. In this way, a man is not only representing himself before HaShem, but his entire household.


The Priests


The firstborn used to be the priest of his household. Thus the priest has much to teach us about household salvation. To understand the priest, we need to answer the following questions: What are the duties of this priest? What are the duties of the household to this priest?


We can see that mediating between the people and HaShem is an important task for the priest and we can see that the tallit is an important tool for this task, but the priest has another duty to perform, he also mediates between man and man. We can see why Aaron and his line were chosen to take the place of the priesthood of Melchizedek.


Shemot (Exodus) 28:1 And take unto you Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto Me in the priest’ office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’ sons.


Aaron was known for his peace-making.


Mishnah Pirke Abot 1:12 Hillel said: Be a disciple of Aaron, loving peace and pursuing peace, loving people and bringing them close to Torah.


In fact, Aaron embodied the guiding principles of Judaism found in the Tanach:


Micah (Mikha) 6:8 He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does HaShem require of you, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?


How is this so? What does justice have to do with peace-making? It has everything to do with it!


Jerusalem Talmud, Ta’anit 4:2, 68a Rabbi Shimon ben Gamaliel said, “The world stands on three things: justice, truth and peace.” And these three are actually one thing. When justice is served, truth is done and peace is made.


So we can see that choosing Aaron and his lineage was not merely an arbitrary decision by HaShem, but was actually a decision based on the normal behavior of Aaron.


Not only is peace-making between man and man important, but peace-making between HaShem and man is important as well. Aaron and his brother Moses, were known for their ability to do that as well. An example is found in the Torah:


Shemot (Exodus) 16:41-50 But on the morrow [following the destruction of Korah and his followers] all the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of HaShem. And it came to pass, when the congregation was gathered against Moses and against Aaron, that they looked toward the tabernacle of the congregation: and, behold, the cloud covered it, and the glory of HaShem appeared. And Moses and Aaron came before the tabernacle of the congregation. And HaShem spoke unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. And they fell upon their faces. And Moses said unto Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and put on incense, and go quickly unto the congregation, and make an atonement for them: for there is wrath gone out from HaShem; the plague is begun. And Aaron took as Moses commanded, and ran into the midst of the congregation; and, behold, the plague was begun among the people: and he put on incense, and made an atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stayed. Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred, beside them that died about the matter of Korah. And Aaron returned unto Moses unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation: and the plague was stayed.


Aaron made peace between HaShem and man, staying a plague that would have wiped out all of Israel. Aaron saved the household of Israel by his actions. It is obvious now just how important the leader of a household really is! He can literally save their lives!


Although we related the duties of mediating between HaShem and man as well as man and man to Aaron’s behavior and his subsequent appointment to the priesthood, these same responsibilities apply to priests of the line of Melchizedek. We should expect no less of a priest from that line.


This also reveals another qualification to be a priest. To be able to be a peace-maker, or ‘to do justly’ as it says in Micah, a priest must be an expert in Torah and Halakha. How can a priest mete out justice if he doesn’t even know the laws of justice? He can’t. Thus we can see that a priest must, in modern terms, also be a Hakham (Rabbi).


In Micah, love of mercy is also highlighted as a guiding principle of Judaism. Mercy is an important quality that priests must be especially diligent to incorporate into their every action and every decision or ruling they make. His Eminence, Hakham Dr. Yosef ben Haggai gives us a concise explanation of the importance mercy has to priests in his commentary for Exodus (Shemot) 12:29-51:


“We read in the Torah Seder for this week about the last plague that killed all the first-born of Egypt, and concluding with the thought that no Gentile is allowed to eat of the Korban shel Pesach (Paschal sacrifice) until he be circumcised. What would these two thoughts have in common?


Simply put, the Egyptians because of their lack of mercy towards the Israelites forfeited the right to be priests of the Most High, and Passover is a meal to celebrate the redemption of the first-born which before Israel participated in the sin of the golden calf were obligated to be priests of their family unit.


Passover is an interesting festival, it celebrates the priesthood of all the first-borns. Also it is a festival that serves to awaken within each Israelite the need to learn and perform their priestly functions. That is why no Gentile is allowed to eat of the Passover sacrifice unless he joins the priestly family by circumcision in accordance to the rites and laws of Moses and of Israel.


This important ingredient of mercy is perfectly outlined in Scripture in Hosea 6:6, where it is stated: “For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of HaShem more than burnt offerings.” Mercy is thus one of the key ingredients of being a priest. Firstborns, because they are often entrusted more responsibilities than the rest of his siblings, tend in general to have more mercy than his siblings. Further, most first-borns have had to take care at some point of his siblings, and by nature is used to taking care of others, thus trained from an early age to have mercy on others. This quality of mercy results also in greater patience and elasticity with other persons. Thus, we do not make priests of persons who do not have mercy, patience, and tolerance to other peoples’ points of view.”


Abraham, a priest from the line of Melchizedek, expresses this attribute of mercy by pleading for the lives of those in Sodom and Gomorrah:


Beresheet (Genesis) 18:20-33 And HaShem said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. And the men turned their faces from thence, and went toward Sodom: but Abraham stood yet before HaShem. And Abraham drew near, and said, Will You also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: will You also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? That be far from You to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from You: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right? And HaShem said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes. And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord, which am but dust and ashes: Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous: wilt You destroy all the city for lack of five? And he said, If I find there forty and five, I will not destroy it. And he spoke unto Him yet again, and said, Peradventure there shall be forty found there. And He said, I will not do it for forty’ sake. And he said unto Him , Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Peradventure there shall thirty be found there. And He said, I will not do it , if I find thirty there. And he said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the Lord: Peradventure there shall be twenty found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for twenty’ sake. And he said, Oh let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak yet but this once: Peradventure ten shall be found there. And He said, I will not destroy it for ten’ sake. And HaShem went His way, as soon as He had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.


Abraham was so well known for his kindness and mercy that the attribute of kindness (Heb. Chessed) said, “All the days that Abraham was in the world, I did not have to do my work, for Abraham took my place”.[2]


So we can see that mercy is an extremely important part of a priest’s duty as mediator between man and HaShem, and mediator between man and man.


We have explored the duties a priest has towards his household, but what about the reverse? What about the duties a household has towards its priest? Let us see what the Torah has to say:


Beresheet (Genesis) 18:19 For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of HaShem, to do justice and judgment; that HaShem may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.


Beresheet (Genesis) 35:2-4 Then Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the strange gods that are among you, and be clean, and change your garments: And let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went. And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.


In Genesis 18:19, it says that Abraham will command his household, and that they will obey him. We can then infer that the members of a household must obey the leader of the household. Therefore, the people of the house of Israel must obey the priests. In 35:2-4, we see again that the members of a household obeyed the leader of their household. We can see that there is an emphasis on obedience to the leaders of household.


We must also honor and respect the priests, as we would the leader of a household.


Now that we know what it means to be a leader of a household, we can now find examples of household salvation in the scriptures.


We’ve already seen some examples in previous paragraphs. Moses and Aaron both saved their household, Israel, multiple times. An excellent example comes from Genesis:


Beresheet (Genesis) 7:1 And HaShem said unto Noah, Come you and all your house into the ark; for you have I seen righteous before Me in this generation.


We all know the story of the flood and Noah’s ark, but now we see the salvation of  Noah and his family in a new way. Noah’s family was saved through his merit. It is because of him that they lived on to repopulate the earth. We can already see just how important it is to have good leaders!


Another example of household salvation:


Beresheet (Genesis) 22:1-13 And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And He said, Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and get yourself into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell you of. And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide here with the ass; and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took the fire in his hand, and a knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spoke unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together. And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of HaShem called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not your hand upon the lad, neither do you any thing unto him: for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns:


In ‘The Midrash Says’ it depicts the sequence of events, including dialogue between Abraham and Isaac. This dialogue includes the following (Bereshit p. 197):


“My father, my father,” he cried. “Here are both fire and wood but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?” “HaShem Himself will choose the lamb for the sacrifice, my son, and if not, you will be the lamb!” Isaac put his face between his hands and wept. “Is this the Bet Hamidrash about which you spoke to my mother?” he sobbed. When Abraham heard this, he wept also. But Isaac controlled himself and comforted him, “Do not feel distressed, father. Fulfill you the Creator’s will through me! May my blood be an atonement for the future Jewish people!”


Then later (p. 199):


When Abraham put his knife to Isaac’s neck, Isaac’s soul departed form his body.


The sacrifice of Isaac would have been an atonement for the sins of all future Jews. However, we read in the Torah that Abraham was stopped before he could slaughter his son. We read in the Midrash that Isaac’s soul departed from his body, however, which means he died. Since Abraham didn’t kill him, how could Isaac’s soul leave his body? Either HaShem took it, or Isaac gave up his life. Since we know that HaShem desired to save Isaac, it must be that Isaac gave up his life to atone for the sins of all future Jews.


But how could Isaac atone for all future Jews? Because all the future Jews would come from him. Isaac begot Yaakov, who begot the twelve tribes, which were the house of Israel. Isaac saved the future house of Israel from their sins, by atoning for them.


Incidentally, this parallels the story of Yeshua.


1 Lukas (Luke) 23:46 And when Yeshua had cried with a loud voice, he said, “Father, into Your hands I commend my spirit”: and having said thus, he gave up the spirit.


Clearly Yeshua gave up his own life, and this too was an atonement. However, who was the atonement for? The Jews didn’t need any atonement, they already had Isaac for an atonement. But since Yeshua was a Jew, who else could he be an atonement for? (For further explanation see: Merit.


Yochanan (John) 1:29 The next day John sees Yeshua coming unto him, and says, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.


Yochanan (John) 3:17 For HaShem sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.


Apparently, Yeshua was sent to save the world, to atone for the sins of the world. But how can that be, since he is Jewish? Not only that, but there doesn’t appear to be a similar relationship between the world and Yeshua as there was between the Jewish people and Isaac. But in fact, the relationship is the same in every way.


1 Corinthians 15:19-23 If in this life only we have hope in Mashiach, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Mashiach risen from the dead, [and] become the first-fruits of them that slept. For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Mashiach shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Mashiach the first-fruits; afterward they that are Mashiach’s at his coming.


The relationship is the same because Yeshua was Messiah (Mashiach), because he was also Adam!


In the article on Adam, it is pointed out that both Adam and the Mashiach are both called the Son of HaShem.


1 Luqas (Luke) 3:38 Which was [the son] of Enos, which was [the son] of Seth, which was [the son] of Adam, which was [the son] of HaShem.


Matityahu (Matthew) 16:16 And Simon Peter answered and said, you are the Mashiach, the Son of the living God.


Clearly then Yeshua was a salvation to the world, because all humanity came through him. As one can see, the subject of household salvation has implications for the whole world!


As for the Master of Nazareth also being the big brother of his household, Israel, he also gave his life willingly to protect the existence of the Jewish people, as is stated:


Yochanan (John) 18:14 Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.


The Master of Nazareth took upon himself the responsibility to be the Bechor (firstborn) of his family as Yaakov had, concerning his household, in buying the birthright from Esav (Esau).


As Yeshua taught and lived he expects the same of his talmidim (disciples) as he addresses in the Midrash of Mattityahu (Matthew) 10:24-25, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord…”


The Master of Nazareth has given us the task to follow his example of being a Bechor (firstborn) firstly unto our Nazarean Community, the Community of K’lal Yisrael (the whole of Israel), and to the world. Let us take up this most noble challenge, in our Emunah (faithful obedience) to HaShem, to serve the people of Israel and all men. Let us bear this “cross” as the Master of Nazareth had to engage in the daily mitzva (deed) of restoring and redeeming the world.


Moshe was faithful in his household.


The Torah indicates that Moshe’s (Moses’) household was “all” of HaShem’s house:


Bamidbar (Numbers) 12:5  And HaShem came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth. 6  And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, HaShem will make Myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. 7  My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all Mine house. 8  With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of HaShem shall he behold: wherefore then were you not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?


Bereans (Hebrews) 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Mashiach Yeshua; 2  Who was faithful to Him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3  For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who has built the house has more honor than the house. 4  For every house is built by some man; but He that built all things is God. 5  And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6  But Mashiach as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.


Moshe was the first redeemer. Mashiach will be the final redeemer. Thus the faithful Moshe had a profound effect on HaShem’s house which will be completed by Mashiach’s effect of HaShem’s house.


To bring a sacrifice is to attach oneself to HaShem. There are two types of sacrifices: korbonot yachid, individual sacrifices that focus on the individual attachment to HaShem, and korbonot tzibur, public sacrifices, that focus on attaching the Jewish people as a nation to HaShem. The Passover sacrifice is the only sacrifice that focuses on the Jewish family:


Shemot (Exodus) 12:21-27 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. When HaShem goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, He will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and He will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down. “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. When you enter the land that HaShem will give you as he promised, observe this ceremony. And when your children ask you, ‘What does this ceremony mean to you?’ Then tell them, ‘It is the Passover sacrifice to HaShem, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when He struck down the Egyptians.’” Then the people bowed down and worshiped.


Who was saved? The firstborn in the house with the blood on the doorpost. The lamb was shared by twenty people of one or more families. Those who ventured outside would be killed.


Yehoshua (Joshua) 6:15-27 On the seventh day, they got up at daybreak and marched around the city seven times in the same manner, except that on that day they circled the city seven times. The seventh time around, when the priests sounded the trumpet blast, Yehoshua (Joshua) commanded the people, “Shout! For HaShem has given you the city! The city and all that is in it are to be devoted to HaShem. Only Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house shall be spared, because she hid the spies we sent. But keep away from the devoted things, so that you will not bring about your own destruction by taking any of them. Otherwise you will make the camp of Israel liable to destruction and bring trouble on it. All the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron are sacred to HaShem and must go into his treasury.” When the trumpets sounded, the people shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the people gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so every man charged straight in, and they took the city. They devoted the city to HaShem and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it--men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys. Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her, in accordance with your oath to her.” So the young men who had done the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. They brought out her entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel. Then they burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of HaShem’s house. But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her, because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho--and she lives among the Israelites to this day. At that time Joshua pronounced this solemn oath: “Cursed before HaShem is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: “At the cost of his firstborn son will he lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates.” So HaShem was with Joshua, and his fame spread throughout the land.


The ones spared were literally “all those of Rahab’s father’s house”.


Noah was righteous, so...


Beresheet (Genesis) 7:1-5 HaShem then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, And also seven of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” And Noah did all that HaShem commanded him.


Beresheet (Genesis) 19:12-16 The two men said to Lot, “Do you have anyone else here--sons-in-law, sons or daughters, or anyone else in the city who belongs to you? Get them out of here, Because we are going to destroy this place. The outcry to HaShem against its people is so great that He has sent us to destroy it.” So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who were pledged to marry his daughters. He said, “Hurry and get out of this place, because HaShem is about to destroy the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was joking. With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for HaShem was merciful to them.


Lot was righteous, but, who gets saved?


Abimelech sinned, but, who gets punished?


Beresheet (Genesis) 20:11-18 Abraham replied, “I said to myself, ‘There is surely no fear of God in this place, and they will kill me because of my wife.’ Besides, she really is my sister, the daughter of my father though not of my mother; and she became my wife. And when God had me wander from my father’s household, I said to her, ‘This is how you can show your love to me: Everywhere we go, say of me, “He is my brother.”‘“ Then Abimelech brought sheep and cattle and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham, and he returned Sarah his wife to him. And Abimelech said, “My land is before you; live wherever you like.” To Sarah he said, “I am giving your brother a thousand shekels of silver. This is to cover the offense against you before all who are with you; you are completely vindicated.” Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, his wife and his slave girls so they could have children again, For HaShem had closed up every womb in Abimelech’s household because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.


Achan sinned, look who gets punished:


Yehoshua (Joshua) 7:19-26 Then Joshua said to Achan, “My son, give glory to HaShem, the God of Israel, and give him the praise. Tell me what you have done; do not hide it from me.” Achan replied, “It is true! I have sinned against HaShem, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.” So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before HaShem. Then Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold wedge, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor. Joshua said, “Why have you brought this trouble on us? HaShem will bring trouble on you today.” Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then HaShem turned from His fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever


Who gets blessed?


Beresheet (Genesis) 39:4-5 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, HaShem blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of HaShem was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field.


Who had atonement?


Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:2-6 HaShem said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die, because I appear in the cloud over the atonement cover. “This is how Aaron is to enter the sanctuary area: with a young bull for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. He is to put on the sacred linen tunic, with linen undergarments next to his body; he is to tie the linen sash around him and put on the linen turban. These are sacred garments; so he must bathe himself with water before he puts them on. From the Israelite community he is to take two male goats for a sin offering and a ram for a burnt offering. “Aaron is to offer the bull for his own sin offering to make atonement for himself and his household.


Bamidbar (Numbers) 18:1-7 HaShem said to Aaron, “You, your sons and your father’s family are to bear the responsibility for offenses against the sanctuary, and you and your sons alone are to bear the responsibility for offenses against the priesthood. Bring your fellow Levites from your ancestral tribe to join you and assist you when you and your sons minister before the Tent of the Testimony. They are to be responsible to you and are to perform all the duties of the Tent, but they must not go near the furnishings of the sanctuary or the altar, or both they and you will die. They are to join you and be responsible for the care of the Tent of Meeting--all the work at the Tent--and no one else may come near where you are. “You are to be responsible for the care of the sanctuary and the altar, so that wrath will not fall on the Israelites again. I myself have selected your fellow Levites from among the Israelites as a gift to you, dedicated to HaShem to do the work at the Tent of Meeting. But only you and your sons may serve as priests in connection with everything at the altar and inside the curtain. I am giving you the service of the priesthood as a gift. Anyone else who comes near the sanctuary must be put to death.”


If a Levite messed up, who got punished?


Bamidbar (Numbers) 30:1-15 Moses said to the heads of the tribes of Israel: “This is what HaShem commands: When a man makes a vow to HaShem or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said. “When a young woman still living in her father’s house makes a vow to HaShem or obligates herself by a pledge And her father hears about her vow or pledge but says nothing to her, then all her vows and every pledge by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her father forbids her when he hears about it, none of her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand; HaShem will release her because her father has forbidden her. “If she marries after she makes a vow or after her lips utter a rash promise by which she obligates herself And her husband hears about it but says nothing to her, then her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her husband forbids her when he hears about it, he nullifies the vow that obligates her or the rash promise by which she obligates herself, and HaShem will release her. “Any vow or obligation taken by a widow or divorced woman will be binding on her. “If a woman living with her husband makes a vow or obligates herself by a pledge under oath And her husband hears about it but says nothing to her and does not forbid her, then all her vows or the pledges by which she obligated herself will stand. But if her husband nullifies them when he hears about them, then none of the vows or pledges that came from her lips will stand. Her husband has nullified them, and HaShem will release her. Her husband may confirm or nullify any vow she makes or any sworn pledge to deny herself. But if her husband says nothing to her about it from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or the pledges binding on her. He confirms them by saying nothing to her when he hears about them. If, however, he nullifies them some time after he hears about them, then he is responsible for her guilt.”


Who can nullify a vow of a woman?


Who served the Lord?


Yehoshua (Joshua) 24:14-15 “Now fear HaShem and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve HaShem. But if serving HaShem seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve HaShem.”


How could Joshua speak for his household?


Who had the hedge around them?


Iyov (Job) 1:8-11 Then HaShem said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out Your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse You to your face.”


Notice who gets punished when the head of the house messes up:


Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 23:34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is the oracle of HaShem,’ I will punish that man and his household.


Beresheet (Genesis) 12:10-20 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.” When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that she was a very beautiful woman. And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, menservants and maidservants, and camels. But HaShem inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.


Eight day old boys are circumcised so that the father can keep the covenant.


Beresheet (Genesis) 17:9-14 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep My covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come. This is My covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner--those who are not your offspring. Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken My covenant.”


But, who gets punished if the father messes up?


In the millennium the household gets blessed based on what the head of the household does:


Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 44:30 The best of all the first-fruits and of all your special gifts will belong to the priests. You are to give them the first portion of your ground meal so that a blessing may rest on your household.


Look at this response to Yeshua’s miracle:


Yochanan (John) 4:46-53 Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at Capernaum. When this man heard that Yeshua had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death. “Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders,” Yeshua told him, “you will never believe.” The royal official said, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” Yeshua replied, “You may go. Your son will live.” The man took Yeshua at his word and departed. While he was still on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, “The fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour.” Then the father realized that this was the exact time at which Yeshua had said to him, “Your son will live.” So he and all his household believed.


Look at this response to Tzefet (Peter)’s preaching:


II Luqas (Acts) 11:5-15 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air. Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Tzefet (Peter). Kill and eat.’ “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again. “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Tzefet (Peter). He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’ “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.


Look at the response to Paul’s preaching:


II Luqas (Acts) 16:13-15 On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.


Another family conversion:


II Luqas (Acts) 18:5-8 When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Yeshua was the Mashiach. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Then Paul left the synagogue and went next door to the house of Titius Justus, a worshiper of God. Crispus, the synagogue ruler, and his entire household believed in the Lord; and many of the Corinthians who heard him believed and were baptized.


Another family conversion?


I Corinthians 1:11-16 My brothers, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Messiah.” Is Messiah divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized into the name of Paul? I am thankful that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, So no one can say that you were baptized into my name. (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.)


A household blessing:


I Shmuel (Samuel) 9:19-21 “I am the seer,” Shmuel (Samuel) replied. “Go up ahead of me to the high place, for today you are to eat with me, and in the morning I will let you go and will tell you all that is in your heart. As for the donkeys you lost three days ago, do not worry about them; they have been found. And to whom is all the desire of Israel turned, if not to you and all your father’s family?” Saul answered, “But am I not a Benjamite, from the smallest tribe of Israel, and is not my clan the least of all the clans of the tribe of Benjamin? Why do you say such a thing to me?”


How about a family curse:


II Shmuel (Samuel) 3:26-29 Joab then left David and sent messengers after Abner, and they brought him back from the well of Sirah. But David did not know it. Now when Abner returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside into the gateway, as though to speak with him privately. And there, to avenge the blood of his brother Asahel, Joab stabbed him in the stomach, and he died. Later, when David heard about this, he said, “I and my kingdom are forever innocent before HaShem concerning the blood of Abner son of Ner. May his blood fall upon the head of Joab and upon all his father’s house! May Joab’s house never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food.”


Another family curse:


Vayikra (Leviticus) 20:1-5 HaShem said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled My sanctuary and profaned My holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.


Another family curse:


Tehillim (Psalms) 109:1-14 {For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.} O God, whom I praise, do not remain silent, For wicked and deceitful men have opened their mouths against me; they have spoken against me with lying tongues. With words of hatred they surround me; they attack me without cause. In return for my friendship they accuse me, but I am a man of prayer. They repay me evil for good, and hatred for my friendship. Appoint an evil man to oppose him; let an accuser stand at his right hand. When he is tried, let him be found guilty, and may his prayers condemn him. May his days be few; may another take his place of leadership. May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow. May his children be wandering beggars; may they be driven from their ruined homes. May a creditor seize all he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his labor. May no one extend kindness to him or take pity on his fatherless children. May his descendants be cut off, their names blotted out from the next generation. May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before HaShem; may the sin of his mother never be blotted out.


Household sanctification:


I Corinthians 7:10-17 To the married I give this command (not I, but the Master): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife. To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not faithful and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not faithful and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unfaithful husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unfaithful wife has been sanctified through her faithful husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unfaithful leaves, let him do so. A faithful man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the congregations.


What makes the offspring godly?


Malachi 2:13-16 Another thing you do: You flood HaShem’s altar with tears. You weep and wail because he no longer pays attention to your offerings or accepts them with pleasure from your hands. You ask, “Why?” It is because HaShem is acting as the witness between you and the wife of your youth, because you have broken faith with her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant. Has not [HaShem] made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. “I hate divorce,” says HaShem God of Israel, “and I hate a man’s covering himself with violence as well as with his garment,” says HaShem Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.


* * *


This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian)

With the assistance of:

Paqid Adon Micah ben Hillel &

Paqid Adon Poriel ben Abraham.


Comments may be submitted to:


Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501


Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/


(360) 918-2905


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[1] Genesis Rabbah 43:6

[2] Sefer HaBahir 86