“Adonai said to Moshe, “Bring me seventy of the leaders of Israel, people you recognize as leaders of the people and officers of theirs. Bring them to the tent of meeting, and have them stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take some of the Spirit which rests on you and put it on them. Then they will carry the burden of the people along with you, so that you won’t carry it yourself alone.”-Numbers 11:16-17
What exactly does it mean that God drew from the Spirit that was upon Moses and distributed it to the elders?
Well, to put it simply, it means Moses and the 70 representatives of Israel were going to share the same Holy Spirit of God.
This is also a concept that appears in the New Testament as expressed in the following verses for example.
“Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom. There is one body and one Spirit, just as when you were called you were called to one hope. And there is one Lord, one trust, one immersion, and one God, the Father of all, who rules over all, works through all and is in all.”-Ephesians 4:2-6
This is just another example substantiating what I’ve been saying from the beginning: The NT is simply the Torah brought forward.
There is another pattern established here in Numbers that many mistakenly think began in the the New Testament.
Notice that whatever the nature of the Spirit that is going to be given to the 70 men is, it has to be taken from Moses.
The ancient Jewish Sages also recognized this and taught that Moses was the sole repository of God’s Holy Spirit during this period of Biblical history.
In other words, at this point in time, if the Spirit was to be shared it had to be drawn from Moses.
Now interestingly, this very same idea is brought forward in the New Testament in the person of Yeshua.
“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I don’t go away, the comforting Counselor will not come to you. However, if I do go, I will send him to you.”-John 16:7
So Yeshua is saying that until he departs, the Holy Spirit cannot be distributed to his disciples.
Well, any reasonable answer we come up with is going to have to come from Torah.
If God and His Word does NOT change, then we have to accept that just as it was for Moses, so it was for Yeshua.
Here’s the first pattern I’d like to connected from the Torah to the NT.
Just as Moses was the only person upon whom the Holy Spirit rested for a period of time, so was Yeshua the only person who had the Holy Spirit during his earthly ministry.
And by the way, I believe the gentile church teaching that ‘the Spirit used to be upon us but now it is in us” is a bunch of hogwash.
The church will incorrectly teach that in the Old Testament the Spirit only rested UPON men but with the advent of Yeshua, the Spirit now INDWELLS in men.
HOGWASH and the following verses from the “Old” Testament show otherwise.
“And you, speak to all the craftsmen, whom I have filled with a spirit of wisdom, and they shall make the garments of Aharon, to set him apart, for him to serve as priest to Me.-Exodus 28:3
“And Yehoshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom, for Mosheh had laid his hands on him. And the children of Yisra’ĕl listened to him, and did as יהוה had commanded Mosheh.”-Deuteronomy 34:9
“There is a man in your reign in whom is the Spirit of the Set-apart Elah. And in the days of your father, light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the elahin, were found in him. And Sovereign Neḇuḵaḏnetstsar your father, your father the sovereign, made him chief of the magicians, astrologers, Chaldeans, and diviners.”-Dan 5:11
“I have heard of you, that the Spirit of Elah is in you, and that light and understanding and excellent wisdom are found in you.”-Dan 5:14
“And the Spirit of יהוה turned aside from Sha’ul, and an evil spirit from יהוה troubled him.”-1 Samuel 16:14
“Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Set-apart Spirit from me.”-Psalms 51:11
“The Spirit of יהוה has spoken through me, And His word is on my tongue.”-2 Samuel 23:2
The truth is an honest reading of the Bible (both the OT and the NT) will reveal there is absolutely NOTHING stating that the Spirit used to reside UPON men but now it resides IN men.
Let’s get back on track.
Numbers 11 tells us that that the Holy Spirit had to be drawn from Moses.
And the New Testament tells us that unless Yeshua goes away, the Holy Spirit cannot come.
However, in Yeshua’s case, it wasn’t a matter of the Spirit being drawn from him.
Instead, we’re told that at his death he gave up the Spirit.
At the beginning of his ministry, the Holy Spirit, descended on him.
“… and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”-Luke 3:22
And then at the end of his earthly ministry when he died, the Spirit departed from him.
“Yeshua shouted again with a loud voice and gave up His spirit.”-Matthew 27:50
And now, the Spirit that had descended upon Yeshua at the beginning of his ministry dwells within us.
Another important point that needs to be made is that even though the Spirit was given to the 70 elders, it’s not like its substance was divided up and each person was now holding a small piece of the Holy Spirit.
The power and substance of the Holy Spirit is unlimited and it is not diminished or depleted when distributed to others.
To conclude, understand that one of the most fundamental teachings of the Christian church that it wasn’t until Yeshua came and went that the Holy Spirit of God was shared among men is just plain WRONG!!!
Right here in Numbers, a full 1300 years before Yeshua was even born, we see the Spirit of God being shared among 71 people.
The concept of the Holy Spirit being shared among men is a bedrock TORAH principle, not some revolutionary new NT teaching.