"7 And Moses came and called for the elders of the people, and set before them all these words which YHWH commanded him."
"9 And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, that bore the ark of the covenant of YHWH, and unto all the elders of Israel.
10 And Moses commanded them, saying: 'At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles,
11 when all Israel is come to appear before YHWH thy God in the place which He shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.
12 Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear YHWH your God, and observe to do all the words of this law;
13 and that their children, who have not known, may hear, and learn to fear YHWH your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over the Jordan to possess it.'"
"32 Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man, and thou shalt fear thy God: I am YHWH.
"29 The glory of young men is their strength; and the beauty of old men is the hoary head."
"2 Hear this, ye old men, and give ear, all ye inhabitants of the land. Hath this been in your days, or in the days of your fathers?"
Zaken (זקן) – old, oldster, graybeard; grandfather, scholar, wise man; beard
In every case in the above quotes the words elders or old men is translated from the same Hebrew word, זקן – zaken. Elders have a major role to play in the midst of the Children of Israel; they are the repositories of the people's memories and history and well-springs of experienced gained wisdom.
Elders have a voice, and that voice must be respected and heard. I remember my father, Nasi Eleazer HaCohen, the Elder Priest, who never bit his tongue when it came to what he knew to be right, and he raised us, as the first generation of prophetic Priests, to live a life that would allow us to stand for Truth and for the people. He was not a respecter of persons or position; if it was wrong according to what he understood to be acceptable to Yah, he voiced his opinion.
Abba Ben Ammi once told me that the experiences I have, the mistakes I make, are lessons to be shared with others on this journey. I would be insulting his memory and that of my father, the Elder Priest, if I failed to be truthful with the information that I have been blessed to acquire over the years. Now, as an Elder and one of the original Anointed Priests, there are things I am obligated to voice, and let those who have a heart to understand, understand.
We are a people, not an organization. My children are my children, whether they live in my house and abide by my rules or not. If I have done my job as a parent and taught them the things they need and should do, when he/she matures, they will come to value and appreciate their upbringing and not depart from their teachings. We chastise our children out of love, not vindictiveness, and our arms are always outstretched to them if they have need of our help; this is all part of being a parent. The objective is to correct, not destroy.
"17 'Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their way and by their doings; their way before Me was as the uncleanness of a woman in her impurity.
18 Wherefore I poured out My fury upon them for the blood which they had shed upon the land, and because they had defiled it with their idols;
19 and I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries; according to their way and according to their doings I judged them.
20 And when they came unto the nations, whither they came, they profaned My holy name; in that men said of them: These are the people of YHWH, and are gone forth out of His land.
21 But I had pity for My holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations, whither they came.
22 Therefore say unto the house of Israel: Thus, saith YHWH GOD: I do not this for your sake, O house of Israel, but for My holy name, which ye have profaned among the nations, whither ye came.
23 And I will sanctify My great name, which hath been profaned among the nations, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the nations shall know that I am YHWH, saith YHWH GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.
24 For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.
25 And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh.
27 And I will put My spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and ye shall keep Mine ordinances, and do them.
28 And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be My people, and I will be your God.
Despite all the wickedness of our fathers and the lives we led in the lands of the great captivity, Yah allowed us to once again walk this Holy land as His people; this is the example of a true parent. This is the example I follow when dealing with my own children. No one has ever been put out of the Family of Israel; they either died because of serious iniquity or were given things to do to make atonement for minor infractions. Even today, if you spend time in jail in a country for crimes committed, they don't revoke your citizenship if you are native born.
This brings me to the role of the Priests. The Priests were removed from all of the other entities because they are to function as an unbiased body dedicated to the upholding of Yah YAHWHA'S truth and instructions. When we were anointed as Priests, Abba Ben Ammi told us that the anointing did not mean we were now Priests, but rather that we were being placed in a position to function in that capacity, and that by so doing we would begin to take on the 'spirit' of a Priest.
So, what is the 'spirit' of a Priest?
"3 And Israel joined himself unto the Baal of Peor; and the anger of YHWH was kindled against Israel.
4 And YHWH said unto Moses: 'Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up unto YHWH in face of the sun, that the fierce anger of YHWH may turn away from Israel.'
5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel: 'Slay ye everyone his men that have joined themselves unto the Baal of Peor.'
6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the tent of meeting.
7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the midst of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand.
8 And he went after the man of Israel into the chamber, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.
10 And YHWH spoke unto Moses, saying:
11 'Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, hath turned My wrath away from the children of Israel, in that he was very jealous for My sake among them, so that I consumed not the children of Israel in My jealousy.
12 Wherefore say: Behold, I give unto him My covenant of peace;
13 and it shall be unto him, and to his seed after him, the covenant of an everlasting priesthood; because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the children of Israel.'
14 Now the name of the man of Israel that was slain, who was slain with the Midianitish woman, was Zimri, the son of Salu, a prince of a fathers' house among the Simeonites.
6 and ye shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.'
A Priest of Yah YAHWAH must stand for truth and on behalf of the people. A Priest does more than hold Shabbat service or lead the people in prayer; the Priest goes before the people and stands as the first line of defense against unrighteousness. He/she is not a yes man, i.e. one who simply goes along with whatever is presented.
"1 And now, this commandment is for you, O ye priests.
4 Know then that I have sent this commandment unto you, that My covenant might be with Levi, saith YHWH of hosts.
5 My covenant was with him of life and peace, and I gave them to him, and of fear, and he feared Me, and was afraid of My name.
6 The law of truth was in his mouth, and unrighteousness was not found in his lips; he walked with Me in peace and uprightness, and did turn many away from iniquity.
7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of YHWH of hosts."
The Prophetic Priesthood was raised up by the Elder Priest and Nasi Ehlihoo and anointed by Abba Ben Ammi, the Anointed. This is why we are called "Sons of Eleazer", liken onto Phinehas. It was not, or was it ever intended to be, Abba Ben Ammi's priesthood; Priests are dedicated to Yah YAHWAH, and are ultimately accountable to Him. Just as the instructions of Abba Ben Ammi taught that there is a higher order than the one written on the stone tablets given to Moses, so too is there a higher order than his teachings; therefore, he admonished the people to continue to study, for without Yah knowledge you will surely perish!
Our discernment of truth must continually evolve to meet the new challenges we are/will face; we were unbounded from one letter of the law, let us not become shackled to another. We must grow into a kingdom of Priests, then we will be a holy nation.