Parashah 46: ‘Ekev (Because)

Parashah 46: Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25

“Because you are listening to these rulings, keeping and obeying them, Adonai your God will keep with you the covenant and mercy that he swore to your ancestors” (Deuteronomy 7:12). 

Covenant of Mercy

The covenant of mercy is the eighth covenant given in Torah, a covenant Yahweh made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  The word for ‘mercy’ in Hebrew is rachum and means ‘compassionate.’   Listening to Elohim’s rulings, keeping and obeying His mitzvot brings forth His compassionate merciful covenant.

Yahweh’s covenant of mercy will bring more blessing on Isra’el than any other nation. He will love them and increase their numbers, blessing the fruit of their bodies.  He will bless their grain, wine, olive oil, cattle and sheep. 

All illness will be kept from them, but be put on their enemies.  They will have victory over the nations Yahweh brings to them and show them no pity.  They are to burn up the carved statues of the foreign gods so they don’t become ensnared by idolatrous worship.     They are not to become greedy for silver or gold and take it with them or they will be consumed by it. 

They are not to be afraid of the vastness of the enemy armies, but remember what ‘I AM’  did to Pharaoh and all of Egypt – all of the signs and wonders –  and the strong hand and outstretched arm by which He delivered them.  He will send the hornet among their enemies until those who are left and hide will perish because Yahweh is a fearsome Elohim.  They will expel the nations of the Land, little by little so wild animals do not become too numerous.  Kings will be handed over to them and Isra’el will wipe out the names of their enemies from under heaven. 

“Think deeply about it: Adonai was disciplining you, just as a man disciplines his child” (Deuteronomy 8:5).

They are to take care to obey all the commands ‘I AM’ gave them remembering how for forty years He tested them in the desert, humbling them to know what was in their heart (Deuteronomy 8:2).  For forty years they ate manna so they would understand “man does not live on bread alone, but on every thing that comes from the mouth of Adonai” (Deuteronomy 8:4). For forty years their clothes didn’t grow old, their shoes didn’t wear out nor did their feet swell up from the years of travel.

Yahweh disciplined them to draw their hearts towards Him and prepare them to possess the Land of milk and honey.   He warns them not to become prideful and forget who gives the power to get wealth, to build fine houses and eat until they are satisfied.  If they forget the ‘I Am,’ they will perish like the nations He causes to perish in front of them (Deuteronomy 8:18).

“For Adonai corrects those he loves like a father who delights in his son” (Proverbs 3:12).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Humble or anav   ענו – ayin, noon, vav

– understand life binding

Test or nasah – נסה – noon, samech, hey

life support revealed

 

More Hornets

The hornet was mentioned in Exodus, now in Deuteronomy and will be again in Joshua 24:12.  Each time the hornet will drive away Isra’el’s enemies.  The Hebrew word for ‘hornet’ is tzirah and means ‘stinging’.  The hornet is a medium-sized insect that has a terrible sting.  It flies fast and fights hard making it quite the opponent when faced with a swarm.

Hornets may be a metaphor for ‘terror of Elohim’ or there may actually have been hornets.  Yahweh has a combative character especially against the wicked or lawless.   He is aggressive and, when filled with righteous anger or jealousy, He will defend His Name and His people.   The hornet is going to be evidence of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh in the conquest of Canaan.  Everyone needed to be courageous.  Though they would be using their swords, Yahweh Tz’vaot would fight the battle (2 Chronicles 20:15).  Through His direct intervention, Isra’el would have the victory over nations.  The hornet would put the fear of Isra’el’s ‘I AM’ into the hearts of their enemies.  With each conquest, the nations would see Yahweh’s power and fear Him.

“Listen, Isra’el! You are to cross the Yarden today, to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, great cities fortified up to the sky; a people great and tall, the ‘Anakim, whom you know about and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the descendants of ‘Anak?’Therefore understand today that Adonai your God will himself cross ahead of you as a devouring fire; he will destroy them and bring them down before you. Thus will you drive them out and cause them to perish quickly, as Adonai has said to you” (Deuteronomy 9:2).

Yahweh will cross the Jordan ahead of the Israelites as a devouring fire and will destroy their enemies.  This is not because of Isra’el’s righteousness, but because of the wickedness of the nations.  Elohim cannot allow wickedness to continue and therefore, through Isra’el, He judges “a people great and tall.”

“Wherever the sole of your foot steps will be yours; your territory will extend from the desert to the Lebanon and from the River, the Euphrates River, to the Western Sea” (Deuteronomy 11:24).

The history lesson continues ….

“Then Adonai gave me [Moshe] the two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God; and on them was written every word Adonai had said to you from the fire on the mountain the day of the assembly.  Yes, after forty days and nights Adonai gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant” (Deuteronomy 9:10-11). 

For forty days and nights Moshe stayed on the mountain at Horev receiving the covenant for Isra’el written by Yahweh’s own hand.  Moshe destroyed the first two stone tablets because of the rebellion with the golden calf.  He went up the mountain for another forty days and nights while ‘I AM’ inscribed another set of stones with the Ten Words that were kept in the Ark of the Covenant.

“So now, Isra’el, all that Adonai your God asks from you is to fear Adonai your God, follow all his ways, love him and serve Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being;  to obey, for your own good, the mitzvot and regulations of Adonai which I am giving you today” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).

Hebrew Word Pictures

Love or ahavah – אהבהalef, hey, bet, heh

the first revealing of the family, behold

Serve or abad – עבדayin, bet, dalet

understand the family pathway

Heart or lev – לב – lamed, bet

– shepherd of the family

“See, the sky, the heaven beyond the sky, the earth and everything on it all belong to Adonai your God.  Only Adonai took enough pleasure in your ancestors to love them and choose their descendants after them — yourselves — above all peoples, as he still does today” (Deuteronomy 10:14).

Again, the witness of two for ‘I AM’ is the heaven beyond the sky, the earth and everything on it.  Everything belongs to the Creator.  El Shaddai took pleasure in Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that He chose their descendants to be His people then, and they remain so today.

Therefore …

“Therefore, you are to store up these words of mine in your heart and in all your being; tie them on your hand as a sign; put them at the front of a headband around your forehead;  teach them carefully to your children, talking about them when you sit at home, when you are traveling on the road, when you lie down and when you get up;  and write them on the door-frames of your house and on your gates —  so that you and your children will live long on the land Adonai swore to your ancestors that he would give them for as long as there is sky above the earth” (Deuteronomy 11:18-20).

Circumcision of the Heart

“Therefore, circumcise the foreskin of your heart; and don’t be stiffnecked any longer!

The Israelites were commanded to ‘circumcise the foreskin of their heart.’  This is an impossible task for any human being, even for the chosen people.  Yahweh finds fault with the people and had to ‘renew’ His covenant.  The problem wasn’t with His Torah, His mitzvot and regulations, but with the hearts of human beings.  There had to be a change, not the removal of His divine order, but a transformation of the heart and how it received His Torah.

“For God does find fault with the people when he says, “‘See! The days are coming,’ says Adonai, ‘when I will establish  over the house of Isra’el and over the house of Y’hudah a new [a renewal of the] covenant…. For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Isra’el after those days,’ says Adonai: ‘I will put my Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts(Hebrews 8:8-12).

The prophet Ezekiel explains the Torah will be put in the minds and hearts of Elohim’s people through the Ruach HaKodesh.  The firstfruits of this promise happened at Shavuot in in Jerusalem, its complete fulfillment won’t happen until Messiah returns (Acts 2).  Everyone who wants to be part of the renewed covenant must enter by faith, receive the Ruach HaKodesh as a seal and a circumcision of heart.  Obedience to Yahweh’s instructions will then be written line by line, precept by precept on the new heart of flesh.   No two people will have the same precepts written on their hearts at the same time which it why it is important to encourage and sharpen one another as ‘iron sharpens iron’ (Proverbs 27:17).

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you; I will take the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my Spirit inside you and cause you to live by my laws, respect my rulings and obey them” (Ezekiel 36:26-27).

Selah

“What is a b’rit milah? If b’rit means ‘covenant,’  what is a milah?   A b’rit milah is the terminology used for ‘circumcision of the flesh,’ but it has a much deeper meaning.

The circumcision of the flesh or the cutting away of the foreskin on a male baby is considered the ‘unveiling’ of the covenant G-d made with Abraham in Genesis 17.  It was part of the firstborn redemption in Exodus 12-13 and was one of the covenants G-d gave to His people, Isra’el (Leviticus 12:3).  Circumcision of the flesh was always to be in unity with the circumcision of the heart, a symbol of faith in the flesh of all males of Isra’el.

The Torah is divided into ‘to do’ and ‘not to do’ commands.  Circumcision is one of the ‘to do’ commandments and is an act of faith and keeping covenant with G-d.  It is connected to the ‘blood covenant’ as circumcision is the act of cutting the flesh.  Symbolically, it is the same as killing an animal to prepare it for sacrifice by the priests.

Yeshua never spoke against circumcision nor did his disciples even though there are many Christian teachers who do.   Satan perverts everything G-d commanded as he’s a liar and murderer since the day of creation, as he tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden with lies.  Yeshua said the same thing of him, ‘he is the father of lies’ (John 8:44).

Circumcision is done by a mohel (special man who does circumcisions).  First, he makes the area numb, not to make the baby suffer in pain, then he cuts off the foreskin with special sterilized knife.  During the ‘cutting’  he blesses the child:

“Baruch atah Adonai Elohenu melech ha’olam she’tzivnu al hamila, omein.”

‘Blessed are you, Adonai, king of the universe, who commanded the circumcision, amen.’

A b’rit milah  is a holy and a happy event in the Jewish family. Once done it means the child has entered into the covenant with YHA [Yahweh].  In heaven it is also a very happy event since one more neshsma (spirit/soul) entered into the covenant of Isra’el with YHA. 

The Messiah is also in the b’rit milah.  In the Hebrew language milah also means ‘Word.’   Thus, a b’rit milah can also mean “Covenant of the Word.”  Who is the Word in the flesh?  Yeshua! (John 1:1, John 1:14)

Christians believe by this verse that Yeshua became the Father, the Creator.  This is not the case in Hebrew understanding. ‘G-d’ in Hebrew is Elohim, and Yeshua is Elohim indeed,  but not the Creator Himself!  Moses was also Elohim to Aaron and the Israelites meaning he was given authority by G-d, YHA Elohim, the only Creator, the ultimate Elohim!”

When G-d created the world in speech, by the words, ‘Let there be light [or],’ Yeshua was made in the Spirit of YHA Elohim.  On the sixth day, Adam and Eve were also created in light. That was their b’rit milah byYHA Elohim.  Then they sinned and He gave them garments of ‘or’ (leather or skin) to cover their shame which also covered the cut foreskin of Adam.  Removing the foreskin brings a man back as a first step of repentance to YHA.  Of course this has to be done freely and willingly with a heart filled with spirit of true repentance.

Ultimately, a b’rit milah is a circumcision of the flesh and heart through the Word of Elohim, who is Yeshua.  When Moshe tells the Israelites to ‘circumcise the foreskin of their hearts’, he is directing them back to the Garden, back to Abraham, back to their faith in the coming seed of woman, the Word in the flesh, the blood sacrifice, Yeshua.” (Quote  native Hebrew speaker and Israeli, Sarit Nachman)

“For Adonai your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty and awesome God, who has no favorites and accepts no bribes.  He secures justice for the orphan and the widow; he loves the foreigner, giving him food and clothing.  Therefore you are to love the foreigner, since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:17-19).

Yahweh secures justice for the widow and orphan and He loves the foreigner.  Foreigners to the covenant have a place in Yahweh’s plan of redemption because of His promise to Abraham that he would bless all nations. 

“You are to fear Adonai your God, serve him, cling to him and swear by his name.  He is your praise, and he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things, which you have seen with your own eyes” (Deuteronomy 10:20-21).

Yahweh is to be our praise.  In Hebrew the word for ‘praise’ is y’hudah or Judah.  Yeshua, our salvation, is from the Tribe of Judah, the brother of the Jewish people.  Many people call themselves Israelites, but according to Sha’ul, those who have circumcision of heart and whose praise comes from Elohim, they are the true Jew, and Jewish like their Messiah.

“For the real Jew is not merely Jewish outwardly: true circumcision is not only external and physical. On the contrary, the real Jew is one inwardly; and true circumcision is of the heart, spiritual not literal; so that his praise comes not from other people but from God” (Romans 2:28-29).

The Early and Latter Rains

Yahweh is bringing the Israelites into a good land, not like Egypt where they had to irrigate their fields.  It is a land with streams and springs that come up from the valleys on the hillsides.  It is a land where they will grow wheat and barley, have grapevines, fig trees and pomegranates, olive oil and honey.  It is a land where the stones contain iron and they can mine copper.  It is the Land that Yahweh cares for and, His eyes will always be on it from the beginning of the year to the end.  Obedience to His Torah will bring the rains in the spring and the rains in the fall and the Land will soak up the water and produce fruit.

“Be glad, people of Tziyon! rejoice in Adonai your God! For he is giving you the right amount of rain in the fall, he makes the rain come down for you, the fall and spring rains — this is what he does first. Then the floors will be full of grain and the vats overflow with wine and olive oil” (Joel 2:23-24).

The early rains or the rains in the spring symbolize the spring mo’edim.  With the first coming of Messiah Yeshua, the early rains of Pesach, Matzah, and Firstfruits were fulfilled.  The Ruach HaKodesh was poured out in the early rains on Jewish believers from all over the known world.  As they heard the message of salvation in their own languages, they returned to their homes as the first missionaries to the world of Yeshua’s life, death and resurrection.  They were the firstfruits of the early rains.

After this, I will pour out my Spirit on all humanity. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions; and also on male and female slaves in those days I will pour out my Spirit. I will show wonders in the sky and on earth — blood, fire and columns of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and terrible Day of Adonai. At that time, whoever calls on the name of Adonai will be saved. For in Mount Tziyon and Yerushalayim there will be those who escape, as Adonai has promised; among the survivors will be those whom Adonai has called” (Joel 3:1-5).

The latter rains symbolize the fall moed’im.  They will be fulfilled when Yeshua returns as the reality in Yom Teruah, Yom Kippur and Sukkot.  A second time Yahweh will pour out His Ruach HaKodesh on the land and the people of Isra’el and there will be a harvest or ‘ingathering’ of souls.  They will recognize Yeshua as their Messiah and the fullness of the renewed covenant will become reality in the Millennial reign of King Yeshua.

“When that day comes, I will seek to destroy all nations attacking Yerushalayim; and I will pour out on the house of David and on those living in Yerushalayim a spirit of grace and prayer; and they will look to me, whom they pierced” (Zechariah 12:9-10).

Yeshua and Mercy

“How blessed are those who show mercy! for they will be shown mercy” (Matthew 5:7).

“As they came up to the crowd, a man approached Yeshua, kneeled down in front of him, and said, “Sir, have mercy on my son, because he is an epileptic and has such terrible fits that he often falls into the fire or into the water…. Yeshua rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, so that from that moment he was healed” (Matthew 17:14-18).

“Woe to you hypocritical Torah-teachers and P’rushim! You pay your tithes of mint, dill and cumin; but you have neglected the weightier matters of the Torah — justice, mercy, trust. These are the things you should have attended to — without neglecting the others!” (Matthew 23:23).

“As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been demonized begged him to be allowed to go with him. But Yeshua would not permit it. Instead, he said to him, “Go home to your people, and tell them how much Adonai in his mercy has done for you.”  He went off and began proclaiming in the Ten Towns how much Yeshua had done for him, and everyone was amazed” (Matthew 5:18-20)

“Yeshua said: “A man was going down from Yerushalayim to Yericho [Jericho] when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him naked and beat him up, then went off, leaving him half dead.  By coincidence, a cohen was going down on that road; but when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.  Likewise a Levi who reached the place and saw him also passed by on the other side.  But a man from Shomron [Samaria] who was traveling came upon him; and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion. So he went up to him, put oil and wine on his wounds and bandaged them. Then he set him on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day, he took out two days’ wages, gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Look after him; and if you spend more than this, I’ll pay you back when I return.’ Of these three, which one seems to you to have become the ‘neighbor’ of the man who fell among robbers?”  He answered, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Yeshua said to him, “You go and do as he did” (Luke 10:30-37).

“But the tax-collector, standing far off, would not even raise his eyes toward heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God! Have mercy on me, sinner that I am!’  I tell you, this man went down to his home right with God rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but everyone who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 18:13-14).

Haftarah (Readings of the Prophets)

Isaiah 49:14-51:3

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

James 5:7-11

Midrash ‘Ekev: Forty Days and Nights

Compare the two gospel accounts of Yeshua’s 40 days and nights in the wilderness with  Moshe’s time on the mountain with Elohim.

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