“This is the blessing that Moshe, the man of God, spoke over the people of Isra’el before his death” (Deuteronomy 33:1).
This final parashah of the annual Torah cycle is always read on Simchat Torah. The blessing of Moshe was not only for his generation, but for all generations to come.
“Adonai came from Sinai; from Se‘ir he dawned on his people, shone forth from Mount Pa’ran; and with him were myriads of holy ones; at his right hand was a fiery law for them”
The myriads of holy ones at the right hand of Adonai are the saints. These men and women have been justified by the blood of Messiah and have been made holy through the Word of Truth (John 17:17).
‘Saints’ or ‘holy ones’ are living persons, not dead, contrary to some ideologies. Sha’ul writes to the Corinthians calling them ‘saints,’ those “who have been set-apart by Yeshua the Messiah and called to be God’s holy people” (1 Corinthians 1:2). Saints will one day judge the world and receive a glorious inheritance (1 Corinthians 6:2, Ephesians 1:18). Saints are to love one another, and their prayers rise to Elohim like incense (Colossians 1:4, Revelation 5:8, 8:3-4). Yeshua will be glorified through the saints (2 Thessalonians 1:10).
At Adonai’s right hand was a ‘fiery law’ which is Yeshua as the living Torah. ‘Fire’ symbolizes the divinity, the glory, and the holiness of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. His holiness was in the burning bush and his glory was the pillar of fire. Fire as His Ruach came down on the Temple at Solomon’s coronation, and on Shavuot, tongues of fire rested on the heads of Messianic Jews in Jerusalem. Sodom and Gomorrah were judged by fire, and the refiner’s fire melts away dross and leaving the purity of gold (Malachi 3:1-2).
Hebrew Word Pictures
Fiery Law or esh-dath – אש דת – alef, shin –– dalet, tav
– first strength consumes –– pathway sign
“Your word is refined to complete purity, and your servant loves it” (Psalm 119:140).
Being refined by Torah will perfect and leads us into a pure and holy walk with Elohim. Torah is the ‘double-edged sword’ that pierces our heart, transforms us, and guides us in our daily relationship with Adonai.
There is no difference between a holy one from a Tribe of Isra’el and a saint from one of the nations. Torah is an inheritance for the community of Isra’el that includes those who join the community through faith in Yeshua. Moshe’s blessing continues with the holy ones sitting at the feet of ‘I Am’ and receiving His instructions.
“Then a king arose in Yeshurun when the leaders of the people were gathered, all the tribes of Isra’el together” (Deuteronomy 33:5).
Moshe uses the poetic term Yeshurun a second time. In the Septuagint, it is translated ‘the beloved one’ and refers to the people of Isra’el, the land of Isra’el, and the children of Jacob who became Isra’el. There are two different possibilities for the Hebrew root of Yeshurun. One is yashar which means ‘to be upright’. The other is from the word shir or ‘song’ alluding to the great rejoicing that will occur when the Messiah unites the Tribes of Isra’el.
Moshe Blesses the Tribes
“Hear, Adonai, the cry of Y’hudah! Bring him in to his people, let his own hands defend him; but you, help him against his enemies” (Deuteronomy 33:7).
Judah has always fought to stay alive from men like Haman, nations like Syria, and genocides like the Inquisitions, Crusades and Nazis. As the other tribes are scattered throughout the world, Judah remained Judah, the Jews. Though it appears they fight their enemies with their own hands, Adonai always intervenes in order to keep His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In the recent conflicts with Gaza and the Palestinians, many in the Israeli Defense Force spoke of miraculous events that could only be attributed to HaShem.
“Let your tumim and urim be with your pious one, whom you tested at Massah, with whom you struggled at M’rivah Spring. Of his father and mother he said, ‘I don’t know them’; he didn’t acknowledge his brothers or children. For he observed your word, and he kept your covenant. They will teach Ya‘akov your rulings, Isra’el your Torah. They will set incense before you and whole burnt offerings on your altar. Adonai, bless his possessions, accept the work he does; but crush his enemies hip and thigh; may those who hate him rise no more” (Deuteronomy 33:8-11).
The word ‘pious’ in Hebrew is chasid and means ‘godly one.’ The contemporary Orthodox movement known as ‘Hasidic’ came out of Russia in the Eighteenth Century and spread through Europe and into the western nations. Hasidic Jews are recognized by their long beards, dark suits, and payos or side curls that hang down on the sides of their faces. Their lifestyle gives the appearance that they are deeply spiritual because they adhere to strict religious practices and keep themselves separate from the rest of the world.
The Levites are called ‘pious’ because they were willing to keep Adonai’s covenant even when it meant killing members of their own family. Because of the faithfulness of the Levites, they would teach Torah to Isra’el. Though they would have enemies, their enemies would be crushed at the ‘hip and thigh’ and rise no more.
Yeshua brings division into families in Isra’el. There is a cost to following him, just as there was a cost for the Levites. Those Jews who choose to follow him will be and are rejected by their families (Matthew 10:34-38, Luke 14:25-32).
“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father, his mother, his wife, his children, his brothers and his sisters, yes, and his own life besides, he cannot be my talmid [disciple]” (Luke 14:26).
“Adonai’s beloved lives securely. He protects him day after day. He lives between his shoulders”
‘Beloved’ is the endearment that describes the bride in Song of Songs, an allusion to the Bride of Messiah. According to this blessing, the ‘beloved’ is protected day after day and lives securely in Adonai.
Hebrew Word Pictures
Beloved or yadid – ידיד – yod, dalet, yod, dalet
– finished work pathway, finished work pathway
Loved or ahav – אהוב – alef, hey, vav, bet
– first strength revealed binding the family
“May Adonai bless his land with the best from the sky, for the dew, and for what comes from the deep beneath, with the best of what the sun makes grow, with the best of what comes up each month, with the best from the mountains of old, with the best from the eternal hills, with the best from the earth and all that fills it, and the favor of him who lived in the [burning] bush. May blessing come on the head of Yosef, on the brow of the prince among his brothers. His firstborn bull — glory is his; his horns are those of a wild ox; With them he will gore the peoples, all of them, to the ends of the earth. These are the myriads of Efrayim; these are the thousands of M’nasheh” (Deuteronomy 33:13-17).
Joseph is the prince among his brothers. Ephraim and Manasseh have become a multitude of nations and are his glory. He is blessed with the best of everything from the sky, the dew, the deep; the best of what the sun makes grow, the best of the mountains, the earth and the eternal hills. He is blessed with the favor of ‘him who lived in the burning bush’: the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh. Joseph received the favor of personally knowing Yeshua through His character, His presence, and His deliverance.
“Rejoice, Z’vulun, as you go forth, and you, Yissakhar, in your tents. They will summon peoples to the mountain and there offer righteous sacrifices; for they will draw from the abundance of the seas and from the hidden treasures of the sand” (Deuteronomy 33:18-19).
These two tribes rejoice together because they will summon people to the mountain of Adonai to offer righteous sacrifices. They will find their abundance in the seas and hidden treasures of the sand. Zebulun and Issachar will have a significant role in the restoration of Isra’el. From the sea of nations, ‘grains of sand,’ the faithful descendants of Abraham will return to Mount Tziyon and worship Adonai.
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field. A man found it, hid it again, then in great joy went and sold everything he owned, and bought that field” (Matthew 13:44).
“Blessed is he who makes Gad so large; he lies there like a lion, tearing arm and scalp. He chose the best for himself when the princely portion was assigned. When the leaders of the people came, he carried out Adonai’s justice and his rulings concerning Isra’el” (Deuteronomy 33:20-21).
Like a devouring lion, Gad will become a powerful nation. When it is time for Adonai’s justice and His rulings to be carried out concerning Isra’el, Gad will fulfill the call.
“Justice will once again become righteous, and all the upright in heart will follow it” (Psalm 94:15).
“Dan is a lion cub leaping forth from Bashan” (Deuteronomy 33:22).
Og, the giant, was king in Bashan which is located in the Golan Heights. Cattle and a special breed of sheep have been raised in this area since ancient times. Wild animals often attacked the sheep which didn’t fare well for the animals.
Dan was the rear guard as the Israelites traveled through the wilderness. As a lion cub, Dan may become the protector of the sheep. Dan’s land inheritance and the city of Dan are near the borders of Syria and Lebanon. It is important that Dan is a lion cub, for perhaps it will become a military base protecting the sheep of the House of Isra’el.
“You, Naftali, satisfied with favor and full of blessing from Adonai, take possession of the sea and the south” (Deuteronomy 33:23).
Standing on the cliff of Mount Arbel, I was able to see the land inheritance of Nafatli, a beautiful, lush, fertile land. This land lies north of the Sea of Galilee which is not ‘the Sea and the south.’ Perhaps as the end times unfold, it will be the descendants of Nafatli who secure the West Bank from the Arabs which lies west and south of the Sea of Galilee.
“May Asher be most blessed of sons, may he be the favorite among his brothers and bathe his feet in oil. May your bolts be of iron and bronze and your strength last as long as you live”
Asher is to be the most blessed of Jacob’s sons and will the favorite among his brothers. His feet will be bathed in oil and he will have great strength.
Being ‘bathed in oil’ is an allusion to being anointed as king, priest or prophet. Queen Esther ‘bathed in oils’ as she prepared to meet the King. Psalm 104:15 says, “Oil makes the face glow,” however, it is Asher’s feet not his head that will be bathed. This may symbolize prosperity and that wherever his feet are placed, there will be blessing.
“Miryam took a whole pint of pure oil of spikenard, which is very expensive, poured it on Yeshua’s feet and wiped his feet with her hair, so that the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume”
“Yeshurun, there is no one like God, riding through the heavens to help you, riding on the clouds in his majesty. The God of old is a dwelling-place, with everlasting arms beneath. He expelled the enemy before you and he said, ‘Destroy!’” (Deuteronomy 33:26-27)
Yeshua will return ‘riding on the clouds’ so this is prophetic to the return of the majestic King Messiah. At his return, he will destroy Isra’el’s enemies and remove them from the Land.
“Sing to God, sing praises to his name; extol him who rides on the clouds by his name, Yah; and be glad in his presence” (Psalm 68:5).
“So Isra’el lives in security; the fountain of Ya‘akov is alone in a land of grain and new wine, where the skies drip with dew. Happy are you, Isra’el! ‘Who is like you, a people saved by Adonai, your defender helping you and your sword of triumph? Your enemies will cringe before you, but you will trample down their high places’” (Deuteronomy 33:28-29).
‘Fountains’ symbolize spiritual nourishment that comes from the Word of Elohim. When Yeshua reveals himself to Isra’el as Messiah, there will be security and the Land will drip with dew, grain, and new wine. ‘Dew’ symbolizes blessing and Isra’el will finally receive the fulfillment of her blessings: the covenants and the promises given to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Aaron, Phineas, and King David.
Two tribes are not blessed by Moshe: Reuben and Simeon.
Moshe Goes to His Ancestors
“I have let you see it with your eyes, but you will not cross over there” (Deuteronomy 34:4).
From the top of Mount Nebo across from the Jordan River, Moshe was shown all of the Promised Land –– from Gilead as far north as Dan, all of Nafatli and the Galilee, the lands of Ephraim and Manasseh, the land of Judah all the way to the Mediterranean and beyond, the Negev desert and the Aravah including the valley of Jericho and as far away as Tzoar.
Moshe died in the land of Moab at 120 years of age with ‘eyes undimmed and vigor undiminished.’ Though has aged, his eyesight and vigor suggest he still had many years left to live, but because of his unfaithfulness in front of the community of Isra’el, he had to die ‘young.’ He was buried in the valley of Beit-P’or, but to this day no one knows the location of his grave. Isra’el mourned 30 days for Moshe.
“Since that time there has not arisen in Isra’el a prophet like Moshe, whom Adonai knew face to face. What signs and wonders Adonai sent him to perform in the Land of Egypt upon Pharaoh, all his servants and all his land! What might was in his hand! What great terror he evoked before the eyes of all Isra’el!” (Deuteronomy 34:10-12)
Moshe was the greatest prophet who ever lived. He was the most humble man on earth because that is how Adonai knew him. It was not with pride or arrogance that he led Isra’el or wrote down the words of Torah, it was in great humility.
Drawn out of the reeds of the Nile River as an infant and raised in the Egyptian court, Moshe became a simple shepherd. He was called by Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh from a bush that burned, holy ground under his feet, and was transformed into a man who performed signs and wonders –– evidence that Adonai Elohim was with him. He stood before the Egyptian Pharaoh and judged his nation and his gods. He led a group of millions out of slavery through the Red Sea and into a covenant relationship with ‘I am.’ He talked with Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh panim el panim and received hand-written instructions from Him, twice. He stood in the crevice of the ‘Rock,’ protected by His Hand as the glory of Adonai passed by.
He struggled with the quarreling, judgments, and rebellion of the Israelites offering his own life so that they would not be destroyed from the earth. He saw manna come with the dew and water gush from the ‘Rock.’ He instructed Isra’el to build a Mishkan so Adonai could dwell among His people in a cloud of glory. He had to wander in the wilderness 40 years with a faithless generation who whined, groaned, and mixed the holy and profane until he had enough and hit the ‘Rock’ losing the privilege of entering the Promised Land.
From the mouth of Adonai, he received and wrote down the accounts of creation, the flood of Noach, the lives of the patriarchs until the day the Hebrews left Egypt. He was given Adonai’s instructions, mitzvot, regulations, and statutes. He wrote them in a book called Torah, a book that would sit at the right hand of the Ark of the Covenant until the words would be brought to life through the Torah in the flesh –– Yeshua of Nazareth.
Yeshua, a prophet like Moshe, was even greater because he is the visible image of the invisible Elohim. He taught the Torah that was spoken by his Father and written down by Moshe. Through his blood, he instituted the promised new covenant that transformed the rebellious hearts of Isra’el into hearts of flesh. As the living Torah, the instructions of his Father remain a righteous and holy standard for life in this present world and the Messianic Era. Torah will only passing away when there is a new heaven, new earth, a New Jerusalem, and Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh, the ‘I Am’ tabernacles with man once again and for eternity.
“Y’hoshua, the son of Nun was full of the Spirit of wisdom, for Moshe had laid his hands on him, and the people of Isra’el heeded him and did what Adonai had ordered Moshe” (Deuteronomy 34:9).
Yeshua and The Resurrection
“When Yeshua arrived at the official’s house and saw the flute-players, and the crowd in an uproar, he said, ‘Everybody out! The girl isn’t dead, she’s only sleeping!’ And they jeered at him. But after the people had been put outside, he entered and took hold of the girl’s hand, and she got up” (Matthew 9:23-25).
“When he arrived at the house, he didn’t allow anyone to go in with him except Kefa, Yochanan, Ya‘akov and the child’s father and mother All the people were wailing and mourning for her; but he said, ‘Don’t weep; she hasn’t died, she’s sleeping.’ They jeered at him, since they knew she had died. But he took her by the hand, called out, “Little girl, get up!” and her spirit returned. She stood up at once, and he directed that something be given her to eat” (Luke 8:51-55).
“Yes, indeed! I tell you that there is coming a time — in fact, it’s already here — when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who listen will come to life” (John 4:25).
“Yeshua said to her, ‘Your brother will rise again.’ Marta said, ‘I know that he will rise again at the Resurrection on the Last Day.’ Yeshua said to her, “‘I Am the Resurrection and the Life! Whoever puts his trust in me will live, even if he dies; and everyone living and trusting in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ She said to him, ‘Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one coming into the world….’ Yeshua looked upward and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I myself know that you always hear me, but I say this because of the crowd standing around, so that they may believe that you have sent me.’ Having said this, he shouted, ‘El‘azar! Come out!’ The man who had been dead came out, his hands and feet wrapped in strips of linen and his face covered with a cloth. Yeshua said to them, “Unwrap him, and let him go!” (John 11:21-27, 41-44)
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