Parashah 47: Re’eh (See)

Parashah 47: Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse — the blessing, if you listen to the mitzvot of Adonai your God that I am giving you today;  and the curse, if you don’t listen to the mitzvot of Adonai your God, but turn aside from the way I am ordering you today and follow other gods that you have not known” (Deuteronomy 11:26-28).

In Hebrew ‘see’ is re’eh and is the imperative singular.  In other words, it is like a parent telling a child to ‘see’ something by saying, “Look!”  The singular means that one individual’s response to the commandments will affect the blessing or cursing of the entire nation of Isra’el making each person in the nation accountable to the others.  The words ‘seer’ or ro’eh and ‘shepherd’ or roi are all derived from the same root as ‘see.’

The word ‘blessing’ in Hebrew is barakah and has its root in ‘to kneel.’  In Jewish thought, the purpose of a barakah is to ‘kneel before Elohim’ and bless Him as the source of all blessing in order to increase awareness of Him at all times.  For example, when a barakah is made at a meal, the Creator of the food is blessed, not the food. 

In general Hebrew blessings begin “Blessed are you Adonai our God, King of the Universe who ….”  In the instance of blessing bread, ‘who brings forth bread from the earth.’  If one is blessing wine, ‘who brings forth the fruit of the wine.’  Our family meal time barachah is ‘who creates the various kinds of foods.’ 

One of my favorite Hebrew blessings is called the Shehecheyanu meaning ‘who has given us life.’   While walking down the stairs near the Temple Institute in the Old City of Jerusalem,  a Jewish man stopped me, took my hand and asked if he could bless me.  He blessed me with the Shehecheyanu:

“Blessed are You, Adonai our God, King of the Universe, who has granted us life,

sustained us and enabled us to reach this season.”

Baruch atah Eloheinu melek ha’olam, she-echeyanu, ve’qi’eh’manu ve’higiy’anu lazman hazeh.

It was the perfect blessing for my first visit to Jerusalem and the perfect blessing for Isra’el as they arrive at the place where they will cross the Jordan and enter the Promised Land.  Only because of yod-hey-vav-hey who had given them life, sustained them for forty years in the wilderness and enabled them to reach that season in time, did they reach the land of promise.

The Hebrew word for ‘curse’ is alah.  Like blessings, curses were invoked in the name of Elohim.  This is why Balim wanted Baalak, a prophet of Elohim, to curse the Israelites.  A curse is more than a loss of blessing, it is a powerful use of words or actions to destroy a soul.  When spoken, a curse can actually invite demonic activity into the lives of those being cursed and the cursor.  Curses are so serious that children who curse their parents are to be put to death (Deuteronomy 5:16).  An undeserved curse will return on the one who cursed (Proverbs 26:2). When Yeshua cursed the fig tree it withered up and died (Mark 1:21).  When cursed, speak a blessing in return (Luke 6:28). 

Selah

Alla in Hebrew means ‘curse’ and is similar in root to the Arabic Allah who is the ‘god’ of Islam.

 

Blessings and curses are the result of our faithfulness to Yahweh’s commandments.  When we keep the Sabbath day as commanded by Elohim, we receive the blessing of rest and put aside the slavery to the never-ending cycle of work.  If one chooses not to remember the Sabbath day as Elohim commanded, they lose the blessing or rest and are cursed and enslaved in a never-ending cycle of work. 

Hebrew Word Pictures

See or re’eh ראה – resh, alef, hey

– the authority of the first revealed

Blessing or barakah ברכה – bet, resh, kaf, hey

the family head covers to reveal

Curse or alah אלה – alef, lamed, hey

– strong leader revealed

 

Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal

Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal are mountains west of the Jordan River ‘in the direction of the sunset’ in Canaan near the ‘Pistaschio trees of Moreh.’  These mountains sit in the West Bank near the city of Nablus or the Biblical Shechem.  Mount Ebal is on the northern side of the valley and Mount Gerizim is on the southern side. 

Pistachio trees, like the Almond, blossom and produce early fruit.  These particular Pistachio trees were near Shechem where Abraham had passed and where the sons of Isra’el committed murder to avenge the dignity of their sister.  The specific place was named Moreh meaning ‘to teach.’

When the Israelites crossed the Jordan, between the mountains Gerizim and Ebal where there was a grove of Pistachio trees, they would have a time of teaching.  They were to put blessings on  Mount Gerizim and curses on Mount Ebal as they learned the rules for living in the Promised Land.

The Place with His Name

“You are to come to the place where Adonai your God will put His name.  He will choose it from all your tribes; and you will seek out that place, which is where He will live, and go there” (Deuteronomy 12:4).

Yahweh gave Isra’el a place to go and worship Him so they would not serve the Canaanite gods.  At the place where ‘I AM’ put His name, the Tribes of Isra’el would bring their offerings, sacrifices and tithes.  They would eat in His presence and rejoice because of His blessings.

They were not to offer burnt offerings anywhere else, only in the place where Yahweh put His name.   They could slaughter meat for food whenever  and wherever they lived  according to how they had been blessed.   They were not to eat blood, but pour it out on the ground.

“Just take care not to eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you are not to eat the life with the meat.  Don’t eat it, but pour it out on the ground like water.  Do not eat it, so that all things will go well with you and your children after you as you do what Adonai sees right” (Deuteronomy 11:23).

Book of Second Opinion

“You will not do things the way we do them here today, where everyone does whatever in his own opinion seems right …” (Deuteronomy 12:8).

There is a joke in our family whenever we encounter someone who believes their opinion has far greater weight than the D’var Elohim.  We say they are quoting from the Book of Second Opinion and sometimes we even add a chapter and verse.

The Book of Second Opinion gives everyone the freedom to do what is right in their own eyes rather than lining up their behavior with the commandments of Yahweh. This isn’t freedom in Christ, it is apostasy from Torah. Of course, each person has a different halacha or way of expressing the commandments of Elohim, but halacha is not the same as situational ethics and the Book of Second Opinion 2:18. 

‘Apostasy’ in Greek is apostasia and means ‘to turn away, pervert, and divorce.’

Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines apostasy as ‘a declension from apostolic teachings.’  Declension means ‘a condition of decline or moral deterioration.’ This definition using ‘declension’ is actually found under Sabbath in new testament words.  Accordingly, apostasy is turning way, perverting and divorcing oneself’ from the teachings of the apostles, inclusive of Yeshua.

Sha’ul describes the ‘great apostasy’ to the Thessalonians:

“For the Day [of Adonai] will not come until after the Apostasy has come and the man who separates himself from Torah has been revealed, the one destined for doom. He will oppose himself to everything that people call a god or make an object of worship; he will put himself above them all, so that he will sit in the Temple of God and proclaim that he himself is God” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

Apostasy isn’t just a denial of Jesus or Yeshua, it is a turning away and divorcing oneself from Torah, the one of the foundations of faith.  Without a solid foundation, the whole building will fall and crumble.  Some translations say, ‘man of lawlessness’ because this ‘man’ will deny Torah.  Those who separate themselves from Torah could be likened to this ‘man’ and considered lawless and apostatizing from the faith.  Those who are sanctified, set apart and “Holy to Yahweh” not only remain faithful to Yeshua, but also obey to the commandments of Elohim (Revelations 14:12).

“Many will say to Me [Yeshua] on that day [when I judge them], ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, and driven out demons in Your name, and done many miracles in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them publicly, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]’” (Matthew 7:22,23, Amplified Bible).

The Israelites cannot have a Book of Second Opinion when they enter the Land because ‘they have not yet arrived at the rest and inheritance which Yahweh was giving them’ (Deuteronomy 12:9).  This concurs with Yeshua’s words in Matthew 5:17-20 regarding the duration of the Torah.  Until there is a new heaven and new earth with a New Jerusalem, no one has arrived in the eternal Kingdom with the inheritance promised by ‘I Am.’  All of Torah is still in force and all books of Second Opinion, whether written by  Jewish sages or church fathers, are just only opinions. 

Adding and Subtracting

“Everything I am commanding you, you are to take care to do.  Do not add to it or subtract from it” (Deuteronomy 13:1).

Human nature loves to add to or away from the D’var Elohim because it allows humanity to be ‘god’ and remain sinful, not perfecting holiness out of reverence for the One who called us into His Kingdom.   Re-defining sin from breaking Elohim commandments to whatever we like or don’t like in the behavior of another person has become the modern  standard for righteousness.

There are denominations that don’t allow music or dancing when the Scriptures are clear about these powerful ways to worship the ‘I Am.’  Some denominations consider drinking a sin when Scripture says that getting drunk, not a glass of wine, is a sin.  It seems they forget that Yeshua changed water into wine and blessed cups of wine and at his Pesach seder.

A cautionary statement about adding and subtracting from the D’var Elohim is needed.  Taken literally, adding would mean that the first five books of the Hebrew Scriptures are the only valid Scriptures.  This is not true.  Yeshua read from the Prophets in a synagogue showing validity to their ‘addition.’  He used the Prophets and the Psalms to reveal his suffering, death, and resurrection to his disciples.  He quoted Psalm 22 on the cross.   Some of Yeshua’s teachings came directly from the Talmud or oral teachings.   Peter and Jude quote from the Book of Enoch and Jasher is quoted by Joshua, both books removed from canon though quoted in the Scriptures. Adding and subtracting needs to be discerned righteously and according to the revealed Truth in all of Scripture.

“For Adonai your God is testing you, in order to find out whether you really do love Adonai your God with all your heart and being.  You are to follow Adonai your God, hear him, obey his commandments, listen to what he says, serve him and cling to him; and that prophet or dream is to be put to death, because he urged rebellion against Adonai your God … in order to seduce you away from the path Adonai your God ordered you to follow” (Deuteronomy 13:4-6).  

The False Prophet

Yahweh warns about those who use dreams to cause a rebellion against Him.  John says to ‘test the spirits’ because not every spirit comes from Elohim (1 John 4:1).  Because the D’var Elohim is readily available today to everyone, it should be easy to test the prophet  or the wolf wearing a sheep outfit.   Most believers, however, do not study the Scriptures for themselves – both testaments – and do not have the knowledge to ‘test the spirits.’

The consequence for false prophets was death.  Since there is no longer a governing court to determine whether or not someone is a false prophet or wolf and should be stoned, these rebellious leaders are given a platform, a television show or a youtube channel.  Some have mega churches with bank accounts that make them appear righteous, but their twisted teachings and feel-good doctrines easily deceive (2 Timothy 3:1-8).

“You are the people of Adonai your God.  You are not to gash yourselves or shave the hair above your foreheads in mourning for the dead, because you are a people set apart as holy for Adonai your God.  Adonai your God has chosen you to be his own unique treasure out of all the peoples on the face of the earth” (Deuteronomy 14:1-2).  

This command wasn’t new for Isra’el. It had been given 40 years earlier.  It was a reminder to the Israelites that when they entered the Land they were not to act as those of the nations cutting themselves in the worship of other gods.  Isra’el and those who join with her are Yahweh’s unique treasure in all the earth.  How we treat our bodies, the tabernacle of our souls is of great importance to our Creator. 

Disgusting Foods

“Because you are a holy people to Adonai your God, you are not to eat anything disgusting”  (Deuteronomy 14:1-3).

Because Isra’el is a holy people, set apart for Elohim, they were given dietary regulations.  The regulations did not mention health and wellness because they were faith-based works of obedience.

“We do not abolish Torah  by faith.  Heaven forbid!  On the contrary, we confirm Torah” (Romans 3:31).

The pig is disgusting along with all scavengers whether mammal, bird or fish.  Horses, camels, and possums are also disgusting.   The list of animals not disgusting to Elohim include ox, sheep, goat, deer, gazelle, roebuck, ibex, antelope, oryx, and mountain sheep.  Anything in the water that has fins and scales isn’t disgusting.  All birds were edible except the eagle, vulture, osprey, kite and buzzard, raven, ostriches, screech-owls, seagulls, hawk, little owl, great owl horned owl, pelican, barn owl cormorant, stork heron hoopoes and bat. 

Selah

‘Heaven forbid’ is an idiom for ‘a curse be upon it.’

The Yearly Tithe

“Every year you must take one tenth of everything your seed produces in the field, and eat it in the presence of Adonai your God.  In the place where he chooses, to have his name live you will eat the tenth of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first born of your cattle and sheep, so that you will learn to fear Adonai your God always” (Deuteronomy 14:2-3).

The significance of obeying this command was to learn the fear of Elohim forever.  The tithe consisted 1/10 of the produce, grain, wine, olive oil, cattle and sheep to be eaten in the presence of Yahweh.  It was not given weekly at a church service, but was brought once a year to Jerusalem.  If the distance was too far to travel with the produce and livestock, then it was exchanged for money and used to buy the items necessary to fulfill this command at the Temple.  Remember the moneychangers?  This was their job and they perverted it so badly that Yeshua overturned their tables.

Every three years the tithes were collected in the villages and given to the Levites as they had no land inheritance.  These tithes would be their sustenance and wage for serving at the Altar and teaching the Israelites Torah.

“And Yeshua entered the temple [grounds] and drove out [with force] all who were buying and selling [birds and animals for sacrifice] in the temple area, and He turned over the tables of the moneychangers [who made a profit exchanging foreign money for temple coinage] and the chairs of those who were selling doves [for sacrifice]” (Matthew 21:12, Amplified Bible).

Selah

In Jerusalem, there are still money changer signs.  They exchange currency.

Shemitah

“At the end of every seven years you are to have a sh’mittah” (Deuteronomy 15:1).  

At the shemitah, all debt was abolished whether with a native Israelite or a foreigner. Slavery between brothers was dissolved unless the slave wanted to remain in the house of his owner.  The owner would then take an awl and pierce through his ear and the man would remain his slave forever. 

Selah

Piercing the ear was a sign of permanent slavery (James 4:4).

 

During the shemitah, no planting or harvesting of the land was to be done.  The land was to settle or rest, only bringing forth what naturally grew for food.  If Isra’el obeyed this command,  they would receive a blessing.

“You will lend money to many nations without having to borrow, and you will rule over many nations without their ruling over you” (Deuteronomy 15:6).

“God will bless you in all your work, in everything you undertake–for there will always be poor people in the land.  That is why I am giving you this order. You must open your hand to your poor and needy brother in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:10).

“Guard yourself against allowing your heart to entertain the mean-spirited thought that because the seventh year, the year of sh’mittah is at hand, you would be stingy toward your needy brother and not give him anything …” (Deuteronomy 15:9).

The Mo’edim of Yahweh

Moshe’s last words are about the ‘appointed times’ or mo’edim.  With these final words, he names the place that bears Yahweh’s name – Jerusalem.

Pesach

The Israelites were to keep Passover in the month of Abib.  They were to sacrifice the Passover offering only in the place where Yahweh put His name, not in any other place.

Mazah

They were to eat bread without chametz for seven days for the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  It was to be known as ‘the bread of affliction’ and a reminder to the day the Israelites left Egypt.   

Shavuot

They were to count seven weeks from the day the barley harvest began.   On that day they were to present a voluntary offering and rejoice in the presence of Yahweh celebrating the Feast of Weeks.  

Sukkot

They were to keep the  Feast of Tabernacles for seven days in the fall after they gathered the produce of the threshing floor and winepress. They were to rejoice before Yahweh for seven days.

For each these mo’edim, Pesach, Shavuot and Sukkot,  all Israelite men were to appear in the presence of Yahweh at the place where He put His Name – Jerusalem. 

Yeshua and the Barachah

“Prompted by the Spirit, he went into the Temple courts; and when the parents brought in the child Yeshua to do for him what the Torah required, Shim‘on took him [Yeshua] in his arms, made a b’rakhah to God…” (Luke 2:27-28).

“He asked them, “How many loaves do you have? Go and check.” When they had found out, they said, “Five. And two fish.” Then he ordered all the people to sit down in groups on the green grass. They sat down in groups of fifty or a hundred. Then he took the five loaves and the two fish, and, looking up toward heaven, made a b’rakhah” (Mark 6:37-41).

“Then Yeshua took the loaves of bread, and, after making a b’rakhah, gave to all who were sitting there, and likewise with the fish, as much as they wanted” (John 6:11).

“However, when Yeshua saw it, he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me, don’t stop them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Yes! I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it!” 16 And he took them in his arms, laid his hands on them, and made a b’rakhah over them” (Mark 10:14-16).

“Also he [Yeshua]  took a cup of wine, made the b’rakhah, and gave it to them, saying, “All of you, drink from it! For this is my blood, which ratifies the New Covenant, my blood shed on behalf of many, so that they may have their sins forgiven” (Matthew 26:27-28).

“He led them out toward Beit-Anyah; then, raising his hands, he said a b’rakhah over them; and as he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50-51).

Haftarah (Readings of the Prophets)

Isaiah 54:11-55:5

B’rit Chadashah (New Testament Readings)

1 Corinthians 5:9-13

1 John 4:1-6

Hebrews 4:1-8

Midrash Se’er:  Book of Second Opinion

There are many phrases that believers use that are not Scriptural.  Think of several and discuss how they sound good, but actually nullify the Word of Elohim.

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©2018 Tentstake Ministries

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