Yeshayahu (Isaiah)4:3: “It will happen, that he who is left in Tziyon, and he who remains in Yerushalayim, shall be called kodesh (set-apart/holy) even everyone who is written among the living in Yerushalayim…”
When beginning to do my annual preparation for the upcoming Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread, I began to study the Hebrew word behind the word “leaven.” What I found was the primitive root for that word is the Hebrew word “sha’ar” (H7604 – shä·ar’) which means “to remain, be left over, be left behind, be left alive, survive, and remnant.”
The picture of the word, based on the pictographical meanings listed, could possibly mean “the consuming of the beginning/majority of power/strength.” Think of a crowd of people or a herd of animals, if the majority is consumed, you are left with a remainder or remnant. You can also think of the word sha’ar in terms of performing a task – you may begin by exert the most of your effort, strength, and mind and are left with little energy or mental capacity (depending on the task). How this relates to leaven, as related to initial reason for the study, is based on the baking process – when making bread the early Hebrew people would have used environmental leaven (naturally existing mold, yeast, or bacteria) to make their first breads rise, and then would have reserved a portion of the dough to help the next bread to be able to rise, hence the connection to a remainder or something left for a purpose.
First Instance of the Word Sha’ar
Beresheit (Genesis) 7:23: “Every living thing was destroyed that was on the surface of the ground, including man, cattle, creeping things, and birds of the sky. They were destroyed from the eretz (Earth). Only Noach (Noah) was left, and those who were with him in the ark.”
– This passage really outlines the fullness of the word sha’ar – all of creation was destroyed except for Noah, his family, and the animals on the ark. They were the “first remnant,” those chosen to survive for the purpose of repopulating the earth with the “seed of Elohim.”
Other Instances of Sha’ar
Beresheit (Genesis) 42:38: He said, “My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he only is left. If harm happens to him by the way in which you go, then you will bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to She’ol.”
– This passage referred to the request of the disguised Yoseph (Joseph – serving as Overseer of Egypt) to present their youngest brother in order to release Shim’on (Simeon) from prison and give them grain. At that time, unbeknownst to Ya’aqov (Jacob), it was thought that Binyamin (Benjamin) was the only son remaining of Rachel, the one he loved most. Hence the statement to Reuven (Reuben), regarding the loss yet another son.
Shemoth (Exodus) 10:26: Our cattle also shall go with us. There shall not a hoof remain, for of it we must take to serve Yahweh our Elohim; and we don’t know with what we must serve Elohim, until we come there.”
– This passage refers to Mosheh’s (Moses) words to Pharaoh concerning the Children of Yisra’el and the instruction to leave Mitsrayim (Egypt). Not one of their possessions, family, nor animals were to stay behind – no remnant of Yisra’el was to remain in the desolation that was Egypt. This is particularly important to us today, in the second Exodus there is to be no remnant of Yahweh’s people left in “Spiritual Egypt” – Chazon/Hittgalut (Revelation) 18:4: And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.”
Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:36: As for those who are left of you, I will send a faintness into their heart in the lands of their enemies: and the sound of a driven leaf shall chase them; and they shall flee, as one flees from the sword; and they shall fall when none pursues.
– This passage is a strong warning to those who disobey the Torah of Yahweh, the commands and the right-rulings – the Torah was given for life and a blessing, but for those that disregard the words it is a curse and death. So to those that do not die, that remnant will perpetually live in fear for their very lives.
Bemidbar (Numbers) 9:12: They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the Pesach (Passover) they shall keep it.
– This concerns the command to celebrate the Pesach (Passover) that none of the Passover lamb was to remain into the morning nor were they supposed to break a single bone of it. This standard was important in the handling of the body of the Messiah upon His death – not one bone was broken, though it was custom to break the knees of those being impaled so that they could bury them before the dawning of Passover, nor was any left of Him – He was put into the tomb prior to sunset.
All told, there are over 100 references to the word sha’ar in the Scripture, all relating to the remnant of the Father’s people. Seek His paths of righteousness as you study out His word, which is life for His beloved remnant – the Body of Messiah. Shalom Aleichem!