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Parashah 54: V’zot (This is the blessing)

Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12

“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”
(Deuteronomy 33:2).

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

Judah (Y’hudah)
“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.

Levi
“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).

Benjamin (Benyamin)
“Adonai’s beloved lives securely. He protects him day after day. He lives between his shoulders”
(Deuteronomy 33:12).

‘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

Joseph (Yosef)
“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. 

Zebulun (Z’vulun)
Issachar (Yissakhar)
“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).

Gad
“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
“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.

Naftali
“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.

Asher
“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”
(Deuteronomy 33:24-25).

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”
(John 12:3).

Jeshurun
“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).

Isra’el
“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.

Selah
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
“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)

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, Study Helps, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Parashah 53: Ha’zainu (Hear)

Deuteronomy 32:1-52

“Hear, oh heavens, as I speak! Listen, earth, to the words from my mouth! May my teaching fall like rain. May my speech condense like dew, like light rain on blades of grass, or showers on growing plants” (Deuteronomy 32:1-2).

Ha’zainu means to ‘hear’ and is directed to a corporate body.  The Song of Moshe recounts Isra’el’s sins and the consequences; he includes hope for the future redemption.  Moshe calls on heaven and earth, the witnesses of Adonai, to hear his words and ask they be like rain and dew –– living water that brings forth life.

“For I will proclaim the name of Adonai. Come, declare the greatness of our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, for all his ways are just. A trustworthy God who does no wrong, he is righteous and straight” (Deuteronomy 32:3-4).

Moshe proclaims the eternal name of the Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh –– yod-hey-vav-hey –– the name given to him on Mount Sinai (Exodus 3:16-17). He calls Him, The Rock! He is referring to the ‘Rock’ that followed the Israelites in the wilderness, the ‘Rock’ from which water flowed, and the ‘Rock’ that Moshe struck with his rod.

“He is not corrupt; the defect is in his children, a crooked and perverted generation. You foolish people, so lacking in wisdom, is this how you repay Adonai? He is your father, who made you his! It was he who formed and prepared you!” (Deuteronomy 32:5-6)

Adonai is perfect in all His ways while sinners stumble (Hosea 14:10). The problem is not with Adonai, but with His children who lack wisdom and act foolishly; they are a crooked and perverted generation. Is this how they treat their ‘father’ who formed them as a nation and has prepared them for the Promised Land?

Hebrew Word Pictures
Defect or moom – מעומ – mem, ayin, vav, mem
– chaos understand binding chaos

Crooked (Twisted) or iqquesh – עקש – ayin, kof, shin
– understand what is behind consumes

Perverted (Overturn) or salaph – סלף – samech, lamed, peh
– support and urge forward the source

“Remember how the old days were; think of the years through all the ages. Ask your father — he will tell you; your leaders too — they will inform you. ‘When ‘Elyon gave each nation its heritage, when he divided the human race, he assigned the boundaries of peoples according to Isra’el’s population; but Adonai’s share was his own people, Ya’akov his allotted heritage” (Deuteronomy 32:7-9).

Moshe tells the children to ask their fathers about the ages of history from the time of Babel and national boundaries to the very day that each Tribe of Isra’el received their land inheritance. It is important to teach history to children so they learn from mistakes and try not to repeat them in their generation. El Elyon was central to each event in history; He gave each nation its land and divided the human race. When it came to Isra’el, they became His allotted share; the heritage of Jacob.

“He found his people in desert country, in a howling, wasted wilderness. He protected him and cared for him, guarded him like the pupil of his eye, like an eagle that stirs up her nest, hovers over her young, spreads out her wings, takes them and carries them as she flies. Adonai alone led his people; no alien god was with him” (Deuteronomy 32:10-12).

Adonai found His people in the desert wasteland. He protected Abraham, Isaac, and Isra’el and guarded ‘him.’ The phrases ‘pupil of His eye’ and ‘apple of His eye’ are interchangeable. Both refer to the eye’s center of vision. Isra’el will always be at the center of Adonai’s vision, the nation He focuses on above all other nations. He will guard them, protect them and lead them (Zechariah 2:8, Psalm 17:8).

“He made them ride on the heights of the earth. They ate the produce of the fields. He had them suck honey from the rocks and olive oil from the crags, curds from the cows and milk from the sheep, with lamb fat, rams from Bashan and goats, with the finest wheat flour; and you drank sparkling wine from the blood of grapes” (Deuteronomy 32:13-14).

These words describe the bounty of blessings upon the nation of Isra’el. With Adonai, they prospered in everything they set out to do. ‘Bashan’ is symbolic of Isra’el’s blatant and brutal strength and reminds them of their victories over giants.

“But Yeshurun grew fat and kicked (you grew fat, thick, gross!). He abandoned God his Maker; he scorned the Rock, his salvation. They roused him to jealousy with alien gods, provoked him with abominations. They sacrificed to demons, non-gods, gods that they had never known, new gods that had come up lately, which your ancestors had not feared. You ignored the Rock who fathered you, you forgot God, who gave you birth” (Deuteronomy 32:15-18).

Yeshurun is a poetic word for Isra’el describing the nation as perfect and ‘righteous’ (Isaiah 44:2).  Because of their wealth (fatness), they became grossly (overweight) and prideful. They believed themselves to be self-sufficient in creating their own blessings and abandoned Adonai; they scorned His salvation, yeshua. They worshiped other gods and ignored their ‘father’ who birthed them.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Yeshurun (Upright) – ישרון – yod, shin, resh, vav, nun
– finished work consumes highest authority, the binding of life

“Adonai saw and was filled with scorn at his sons’ and daughters’ provocation. He said, ‘I will hide my face from them and see what will become of them; for they are a perverse generation, untrustworthy children. They aroused my jealousy with a non-god and provoked me with their vanities; I will arouse their jealousy with a non-people and provoke them with a vile nation’”
(Deuteronomy 32:19-21).

Because the Israelites have contempt for Adonai, He despises them. Because they provoke Him, He hides His face from them. Because they make Him jealous by worshipping non-gods, He will make them jealous through a vile nation.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Scorn or latsats – לצץ – lamed, tzade, tzade
– urge forward pull toward and pull toward

Vile or nabal – נבל – nun, bet, lamed
– life of the house urges forward

“For my anger has been fired up. It burns to the depths of Sh’ol, devouring the earth and its crops, kindling the very roots of the hills. I will heap disasters on them and use up all my arrows against them” (Deuteronomy 32:22-23).

Adonai’s anger burns to the depths of death itself; it devours the earth, kills crops and destroys hills. Because of His anger, disaster will come upon Isra’el, and He will use His arrows of judgement against them.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Arrows or chets – חץ – chet, tzade
– protect and pull toward

“Fatigued by hunger, they will be consumed by fever and bitter defeat; I will send them the fangs of wild beasts, and the poison of reptiles crawling in the dust. Outside, the sword makes parents childless; inside, there is panic, as young men and girls alike are slain, sucklings and graybeards together. I considered putting an end to them, erasing their memory from the human race; but I feared the insolence of their enemy, feared that their foes would mistakenly think, ‘We ourselves accomplished this; Adonai had nothing to do with it’” (Deuteronomy 32:24-27).

The jealousy of Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh is a ‘consuming fire.’ When His disasters strike whether it comes from wild beasts or poisoned reptiles, they will become sick. When the sword strikes, they will become childless. His anger is so fierce that if it weren’t for His enemies thinking they had the power to destroy Isra’el by their human might, He would completely destroy Isra’el and erase their memory from the human race.

“They are a nation without common sense, utterly lacking in discernment. If they were wise they could figure it out and understand their destiny. After all, how can one chase a thousand
and two put ten thousand to rout, unless their Rock sells them to their enemies, unless Adonai hands them over? For our enemies have no rock like our Rock —even they can see that!” (Deuteronomy 32:28-31)

Though Isra’el acts without discernment, and sometimes common sense, they have a ‘Rock,’ that gives them victory over their enemies, and a ‘Rock’ their enemies can actually watch protect them.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Discern or bin – בין – bet, yod, nun
– house, finished work of life

Wisdom or chokmah – חכמה – chet, kaf, mem, hey
– protect and open the mighty, behold

Knowledge or daath  – דעת – dalet, ayin, tav
– pathway to understand the covenant

Understanding or binah – בינה – bet, yod, nun, hey
– house finished work of life, behold

“Rather, their vine is from the vine of S’dom, from the fields of ‘Amora — their grapes are poisonous, their clusters are bitter; their wine is snake poison, the cruel venom of vipers. Isn’t this hidden with me, sealed in my storehouses? Vengeance and payback are mine for the time when their foot slips; for the day of their calamity is coming soon, their doom is rushing upon them” (Deuteronomy 32:32-35).

Vengeance and payback are Adonai’s when Isra’el messes up. He will judge His people for their sin of pride as He did Sodom and Gomorrah. We should not judge Isra’el and her present-day citizens. They are evidence of El Shaddai’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and He will respond to their sins in His justice.

“Yes, Adonai will judge his people, taking pity on his servants, when he sees that their strength is gone, that no one is left, slave or free. Then he will ask, ‘Where are their gods, the rock in whom they trusted? Who ate the fat of their sacrifices and drank the wine of their drink offering? Let him get up and help you, let him protect you! See now that I, yes, I, am he; and there is no god beside me. I put to death, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal; no one saves anyone from my hand!’” (Deuteronomy 32:36-39)

When their strength is gone, and no one is left, slave or free, then ‘I Am’ will take pity on His people. He will ask them about their gods, the ones who ate the fat of the sacrifices and drank the drink offerings. He will mock their faith in false gods and prove to them that He alone is their Elohim.

Hebrew Word Pictures
Pity (Compassion) or chos – חוס – chet, vav, samech
– protect binding and support

“For I lift up my hand to heaven and swear, ‘As surely as I am alive forever, if I sharpen my flashing sword and set my hand to judgment, I will render vengeance to my foes, repay those who hate me. I will make my arrows drunk with blood, my sword will devour flesh — the blood of the slain and the captives, flesh from the wild-haired heads of the enemy’” (Deuteronomy 32:40-42).

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh has a flashing sword which devours the flesh of the nations who hate Isra’el. His arrows are drunk with their blood; He will avenge the blood of the martyrs. When victory over all their enemies finally comes to Isra’el, all the nations will sing and rejoice. When atonement for the Land is complete, the nations will rejoice with Isra’el. In the Messianic Age, Isra’el’s enemies will become Yeshua’s footstool (Psalm 110:1).

“Sing out, you nations, about his people! For he will avenge the blood of his servants. He will render vengeance to his adversaries and make atonement for the land of his people”
(Deuteronomy 32:43).

Moshe proclaimed all the words of his song in the presence of the people of Isra’el and Y’hoshua, their new commissioned leader. He tells the Israelites to take to heart all the words of his testimony so they can teach their children to obey Torah. The words are not trivial and to be disregarded, they contain the words for life. If they obey Torah, they will live long in the Promised Land.

Yeshua and Smyrna
Revelation 2:8-11

Yeshua reveals himself to Smyrna as “the first and the last, who died and came alive again.”  With the ‘first and last’ reference, this congregation would have immediately understood Yeshua as the alef and tav, את, found between the lines in the Torah.  Because those in Smyrna will become martyrs of faith, Yeshua encourages them with the hope that he died and came back to life (John 11:25).

Smyrna was located on the Aegean coast of Anatolia where it could defend itself easily from enemy attack.  It is known today as Izmir in modern-day Turkey.  Smyrna is the ancient Greek word for myrrh meaning ‘bitter’ because of its sharp taste. Myrrh comes from the brown resin of small, thorny trees and has a sweet and calming aroma. It was used for anointing and embalming and was a custom of the Jews to give those who were condemned to death by crucifixion ‘wine mingled with myrrh’ to lessen their pain and render the person unconscious.

The condition of the congregation in Smyrna is one of poverty and suffering.  They are insulted by those who call themselves Jews, but are not.  Yeshua refers to these false Jews as members of the synagogue of the Adversary.

According to bloodline, DNA is what determines true Jewish descent from the Tribe of Judah. However, the word Jew, from Biblical times to our modern era, became the common name for those who follow the Elohim of Isra’el and were circumcised in the flesh. When it comes to the problem in Smyrna, Sha’ul’s definition of the ‘true Jew’ may shed some light.

“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 2:27-29).

In Smyrna, there may be believers who are either not from the Tribe of Judah claiming they are or are insisting that gentile believers must be circumcised and convert to Judaism in order to obey the commandments.  There could even be gentile converts to Judaism insulting gentiles who refuse to convert to Judaism because they have faith in Messiah Yeshua.  Whatever the scenario, Yeshua calls these men liars who belong to the ‘Synagogue of Satan.’

Yeshua has no corrections for Smyrna because he knows their fate.  They are going to suffer at the hands of the Adversary and be tested for ‘ten days.’ The number 10 could be a reference to the Ten Days of Awe following the Feast of Trumpets, days that test the heart and soul of an individual, and in the case of Smyrna, would result in persecution and martyrdom at the hands of false Jews being used by the Adversary. 

The faithful in Smyrna will be resurrected as priests serving the High Priest in the Millennial Kingdom. Smyrna will receive the Crown of Life promised to those who love Elohim and the second death will not hurt them (James 1:10).

“And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for testifying about Yeshua and proclaiming the Word of God, also those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received the mark on their foreheads and on their hands.  They came to life and ruled with the Messiah for a thousand years…. This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is anyone who has a part in the first resurrection; over him the second death has no power.  On the contrary, they will be cohanim   of God and of the Messiah, and they will rule with him for the thousand years” (Revelation 20:4-6).

Yeshua and Philadelphia
Revelation 3:7-13

Yeshua’s reveals himself to the congregation in Philadelphia as the one with “the message of the HaKodesh [the Spirit], the True One, the one who has the key of David.”

Yeshua is the one who holds the key of David because he is the “Root and Offspring of David” (Revelation 22:16). King David, from the Tribe of Judah, was promised an eternal kingdom. Only Yeshua holds the key that opens or closes the door to the kingdom. Yeshua’s message is from the very Ruach Elohim implying the believers in Philadelphia have the Ruach haKodesh, walk in the Ruach haKodesh and have the ‘ears to hear’ what the Ruach haKodesh speaks.

Philadelphia (City of Brotherly Love) was a city in Asia Minor and located in the Aegean region of Turkey, but it seems this congregations has a problem with ‘brotherly love.’ They also have to deal with those who call themselves Jews, but are not. These ‘liars’ must be telling the gentile believers that Yeshua does not love them. Eventually these ‘liars’ will come forward prostrating themselves at the gentiles’ feet acknowledging that Yeshua has loved them.  Whatever the problem in Philadelphia, it seems the mystery of the gospel that the nations are heirs together with Isra’el as promised to Abraham has become twisted (Ephesians 3:6).

The believers in Philadelphia continue to work despite having little power.  They obey the gospel message and have not disowned Yeshua.  Their perseverance through the trials will keep them from the time of trial coming on the whole earth.  How this will come to pass isn’t explained, but this congregation is going to be kept safe either on the earth or be removed from the earth when Yeshua returns (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

They are the only congregation promised to be kept from the time of judgment because they have endured patiently. This endurance is not about merely surviving the days of judgment,  but with their little strength, they keep the Torah commandments as an expression of their faith in Yeshua (Revelation 12:17, 14:12).

They are to hold on to what they have so no one will take away their Crown of Righteousness, a crown for those who long for Yeshua’s appearing (2 Timothy 4:8). These believers will also become a pillar in the Millennial Temple. The Hebrew word for ‘pillar’ is netzab and means ‘to guard or protect.’ These ‘pillars’ will ‘guard’ and ‘protect’ the Millennial Temple; they will be given a prominent place and never leave. They will be the glory of Yeshua in his Kingdom. They will also receive the name of Yeshua’s Elohim, the name of the New Jerusalem, and Yeshua’s own new name.

This is greatest blessing for any congregation.  These believers are not just invited guests to the wedding feast; they are the honored, rewarded Bride of Yeshua.   The Bride receives the family name, the name of Adonai.  She receives a new home, the New Jerusalem, and she receives a new name that her Bridegroom will also receive.
“I will place the key of David’s house on his [Yeshua’s] shoulder; no one will shut what he opens; no one will open what he shuts” (Isaiah 22:22).

Philadelphia represents the followers of the Yeshua who have prepared themselves to be his Bride. They have grown into maturity and have not faltered in their first love. They have not soiled their clothes or forgotten to obey the gospel. They have withstood tests and trials and have not fallen into sexual immorality or eaten foods sacrificed to idols. They have not learned the deep secrets of the Adversary, but have remained faithful and awake with oil in their lamps.  Though it takes almost all of their strength to stand, Yeshua who holds the key to the House of David, gives this congregation the greatest of all rewards, a bridal gown of fine linen.

“Let us rejoice and be glad! Let us give him the glory! For the time has come for the wedding of the Lamb, and his Bride has prepared herself — fine linen, bright and clean has been given her to wear. (“Fine linen” means the righteous deeds of God’s people.)” (Revelation 19:7-8)

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, Study Helps, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Parashah 52: Veyelekh (He went)

Deuteronomy 31:1-30
(In a regular year, read with Parashah 51; in a leap year read separately.)

“Moshe went and spoke the following words to all Isra’el: ‘I am 120 years old today. I can’t get around any longer; moreover, Adonai has said to me, You will not cross this Yarden’” (Deuteronomy 31:1-2).

Moshe is now 120 years old and isn’t as ‘young’ as he used to be. He knows he will not cross the Jordan into the Promised Land. He promises Isra’el that Adonai will go ahead of them and defeat each nation they encounter. He tells them to be bold and not to be afraid because Adonai will never fail or abandon them.

Moshe kept writing the words of Torah in a book until it was completed. He gave it to the cohanim, the descendants of Levi, who carried the Ark of the Covenant.  He told them to put the book next to the Ark as a testimony to the stubbornness of the people. At the end of every seven years, at the sh’mittah, when Isra’el gathered for Sukkot, he told them to read the words of Torah for all Isra’el to hear. Along with all the foreigners in their cities, they were to hear, learn, and fear Adonai. They were to guard all the words of Torah in order that future generations would learn to fear the Elohim of Isra’el.

The sh’mittah was specifically given for the land of Isra’el, but there were foreigners whose sustenance came from the land, too. As followers of Messiah, our sustenance also comes from Adonai and the sh’mittah is the perfect year to be thankful for all the spiritual provisions that we receive from Isra’el. Adonai is our Provider and through Isra’el, we reap the blessings of their labors.

“The people of Isra’el! They were made God’s children, the Sh’khinah has been with them, the covenants are theirs, likewise the giving of the Torah, the Temple service and the promises;  the Patriarchs are theirs; and from them, as far as his physical descent is concerned, came the Messiah, who is over all. Praised be Adonai for ever! Amen… For if the Gentiles have shared with the Jews in spiritual matters, then the Gentiles clearly have a duty to help the Jews in material matters” (Romans 9:4-5, 15:27).

Hear, Fear, Learn, Guard, Obey

These five words outline the teachings of Torah. First, we are to hear them. In order to hear them, they must be spoken as they were in the days of Moshe and read aloud as with the first-century church. Once we hear Torah read, a reverent fear of Adonai should come into our hearts and minds. This being a journey of wisdom that includes learning the commandments, teaching them to our children as we sit at home, walk along the road, lie down or rise up. Guarding Torah means to preserve and protect it. The Jewish people have guarded the Torah with their lives for millennia so that we have the D’var Elohim today. The Dead Sea Scrolls, preserved in clay jars by the Essenes at Qumran, prove the words of Torah and the prophets are the same today as they were 2000 years ago. Finally, obeying Torah should be goal for which we aim. We should allow Torah to convict us of sin, corrected us, train us in righteous living so we are fully equipped for every good work now and in the Messianic Era (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

“But how can they call on someone if they haven’t trusted in him? And how can they trust in someone if they haven’t heard about him? And how can they hear about someone if no one is proclaiming him? And how can people proclaim him unless God sends them? — as the Tanakh puts it, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those announcing good news about good things!’” (Romans 10:14-15)

Hebrew Word Pictures
Hear or shema – שמע – shin, mem, ayin
– consume the mighty, understand

Learn or limod – למוד – lamed, mem, vav, dalet
– urges forward the mighty binding of the pathway

Fear (Revere) or yirah – יראה – yod, resh, alef, hey
– finished work the highest authority, first strength behold

Guard (Preserve) or shomer – שמר – shin, mem, resh
– consume the mighty highest authority

Obey or shama – שמע – shin, mem, ayin
– consume the mighty and understand

Adonai Requests a Song

Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh appears to Moshe in the Mishkan in the column of cloud that stood above the entrance. He tells Moshe that he is about to sleep with his ancestors, but the people of Isra’el will be unfaithful with foreign gods in the land where they are going. They will abandon Him and break covenant. In His anger, He will hide His face from them and they will be devoured. Many troubles will come upon them and they will realize that He has left them.

Adonai asks Moshe to write a song and teach it to the Israelites. They were to memorize the song as a witness against the people of Isra’el. The song would be a testimony to their descendants who would also learn the song. Moshe obeyed, wrote the song, and taught it to the children of Isra’el.

The word song in Hebrew is shir and means ‘sing.’ A derivation of shir is shiron meaning ‘breastplate’ or ‘body armor.’ The Song of Moshe that Isra’el learns and sings will become the armor over their hearts. It will protect them from the fiery arrows of the Adversary and the enemies who attack them in the Land.

The Commission of Y’hoshua

Y’hoshua is called to stand in the presence of all Isra’el. Moshe gives him words of encouragement; Adonai commissions him to lead Isra’el into the Promised Land.

“Be strong, be bold, for you are going with this people into the land Adonai swore to their ancestors he would give them.  You will be the one causing them to inherit it.  But Adonai – it is he who will go ahead of you.  He will be with you.  He will neither fail you nor abandon you; so don’t be afraid or downhearted” (Deuteronomy 31:7-8).

“Adonai also commissioned Y’hoshua the son of Nun with these words: ‘Be strong and full of courage; for you are to bring the people of Isra’el into the land about which I swore to them; and I will be with you’” (Deuteronomy 31:23).

Yeshua, the Commander

“One day, when Y’hoshua was there by Yericho, he raised his eyes and looked; and in front of him stood a man with his drawn sword in his hand. Y’hoshua went over to him and asked him, ‘Are you on our side or on the side of our enemies?’ ‘No,’ he replied, ‘but I am the commander of Adonai’s army; I have come just now.’ Y’hoshua fell down with his face to the ground and worshiped him, then asked, ‘What does my lord have to say to his servant?’ The commander of Adonai’s army answered Y’hoshua, ‘Take your sandals off your feet, because the place where you are standing is holy.’ And Y’hoshua did so” (Joshua 5:13-15).

“As Yeshua entered K’far-Nachum, a Roman army officer came up and pleaded for help. ‘Sir, my orderly is lying at home paralyzed and suffering terribly!’  Yeshua said, ‘I will go and heal him.’  But the officer answered, ‘Sir, I am unfit to have you come into my home. Rather, if you will only give the command, my orderly will recover.  For I too am a man under authority. I have soldiers under me, and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.’  On hearing this Yeshua was amazed and said to the people following him, ‘Yes! I tell you, I have not found anyone in Isra’el with such trust!’”(Matthew 8:5-10)

“Halleluyah! Adonai, God of heaven’s armies, has begun his reign! Next I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. Sitting on it was the one called Faithful and True, and it is in righteousness that he passes judgment and goes to battle. His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on his head were many royal crowns. And he had a name written which no one knew but himself. He was wearing a robe that had been soaked in blood, and the name by which he is called is, “THE WORD OF GOD.” The armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. And out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down nations — “He will rule them with a staff of iron.” It is he who treads the winepress from which flows the wine of the furious rage of Adonai, God of heaven’s armies. And on his robe and on his thigh he has a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:6, 11-16).

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, Study Helps, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.

Parashah 51: Nitzavim (Standing)

Deuteronomy 29:10-30:20
(In a regular year, read with Parashah 52; in a leap year read separately.)

“Today you are standing, all of you, before Adonai your God — your heads, your tribes, your leaders and your officers — all the men of Isra’el, along with your little ones, your wives and your foreigners here with you in your camp, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water” (Deuteronomy 29:9-10).

Nitzavim is the Hebrew word for ‘ones standing’ as the Israelites prepare to enter the Promised Land.  They are the ‘ones left standing’ after the previous generation could not ‘stand’ due to their faithlessness. The Hebrew word for ‘stand’ is natzab and means ‘pillar’ or ‘garrison.’ The Israelites standing at the entrance to the Promised Land are the troops stationed to defend and guard the Land that Elohim will put in their possession.

As the Israelites stand before Adonai from the least of them to the greatest, the leaders, the children, and those who chop wood and draw water are reminded why they are in the presence of Adonai: to enter into a covenant, the covenant promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

“But I am not making this covenant and this oath only with you.  Rather, I am making it both with him who is standing here with us today before Adonai our God and also with him who is not here with us today” (Deuteronomy 29:14-15).

The covenant that Elohim made with the nation of Isra’el was not just for those standing in His presence, but for those in the future who were children of promise to Abraham and would join with Isra’el through adoption or ingrafting.

“Be assured, then, that it is those who live by trusting and being faithful who are really children of Avraham” (Galatians 3:7).

“And the foreigners who join themselves to Adonai to serve him, to love the name of Adonai, and to be his workers, all who keep Shabbat and do not profane it, and hold fast to my covenant, I will bring them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer; their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples” (Isaiah 56:6-7).

Wormwood

“So let there not be among you a man, woman, family or tribe whose heart turns away today from Adonai our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Let there not be among you a root bearing such bitter poison and wormwood. If there is such a person, when he hears the words of this curse, he will bless himself secretly, saying to himself, ‘I will be all right, even though I will stubbornly keep doing whatever I feel like doing; so that I, although ‘dry’ [sinful], will be added to the ‘watered’ [righteous].’ But Adonai will not forgive him. Rather, the anger and jealousy of Adonai will blaze up against that person. Every curse written in this book will be upon him. Adonai will blot out his name from under heaven” (Deuteronomy 29:18-20).

There are three types of wormwood herbs. Artemesia herba-alba which smells like camphor and is extremely bitter. Artemesia absinthium, a perennial herb with silky leaves that has small yellow flowers. The oil from the herb is dark and bitter and is used to make absinthe. Artemisia judaica is a bitter aromatic herb with clusters of small greenish yellow flowers and greenish gray leaves that grows in arid desert areas. Wormwood is used for medicinal purposes: as a tonic for stimulating sweating for a fever, liver disease, worms, and gall bladder issues. Wormwood is also called ‘gall’ in Scripture as when Yeshua was given wine mixed with gall. It was bitter and he refused to drink it (Matthew 27:34).

The danger of turning away from Adonai and serving other gods is to drink the bitter poison of wormwood that results in self-deception.  As a person turns away from Elohim, they secretly bless themselves believing that though they are sinning, they are still righteous. The consequence of living in this deception results in Adonai’s jealousy and anger, and He will blot those names out of His book.

“Don’t deceive yourselves by only hearing what the Word says, but do it!” (James 1:22) 

The Israelites are not the only people guilty of self-deception. With numerous man-made traditions combined with pagan god worship infiltrating the church over the centuries, many who are presented with the ‘other gods’ rooted in their celebrations stubbornly keep doing what they have convinced themselves is right.   Though they willfully sin and are ‘dry’ against obeying the Word, they believe they are ‘watered’ because of their faith in Yeshua.  Allowing self-deception to govern our lives is essentially blaspheming the Ruach haKodesh. There is no forgiveness for that sin (Mark 3:28-30).

“The name of the star is Wormwood. A third of the waters turned bitter, and many people died from the waters that had become bitter” (Revelation 8:11, NIV).

Expelled from the Land

Generations will follow this Israelite generation that enters the Land, and along with foreigners, they will ask why the Land has become sick with plagues and is like Sodom and Gomorrah.  They will wonder why ‘I Am’ became so angry with Isra’el.

“It’s because they abandoned the covenant of Adonai, the God of their fathers. They went and served other gods, prostrating themselves before them, gods they had not known and which he had not assigned them.  For this reason, the anger of Adonai blazed up against this land and brought upon it every curse written in this book; and Adonai, in anger, fury and incensed with indignation, uprooted them from their land and threw them out into another land — as it is today” (Deuteronomy 29:25-27).

‘As it is today,’ Isra’el is returning to the Land from every nation in the world.   Though they are not living in obedience to Torah as they should, Elohim is gathering His people. After 1700 years of allowing Christian theology to flourish, He is restoring the message of the first-century church to the Jewish people. For nearly 80 years, Jews have been returning to their homeland or making aliyah. Messianic Jews, the remnant who trust in Yeshua, are also in the Land shining his light of salvation.

“It’s the same way in the present age: there is a remnant, chosen by grace” (Romans 11:5).

“On that day the remnant of Isra’el, those of the house of Ya‘akov who escaped, will no longer rely on the man who struck them down, but will truly rely on Adonai, the Holy One of Isra’el. A remnant will return, the remnant of Ya’akov, to the mighty God. For, although your people, Isra’el, are like the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will return” (Isaiah 10:20-22).

On the Feast of Tabernacles, the fullness of the ingathering of Isra’el will soon occur.  When that day comes, many Jews will make teshuvah or return to the covenant of Adonai. They will obey Adonai with all their hearts, minds and souls. In that day, their exile to the nations will end, and Adonai will show them mercy.

“It is that stoniness, to a degree, has come upon Isra’el, until the Gentile world enters in its fullness; and that it is in this way that all Isra’el will be saved. As the Tanakh says, ‘Out of Tziyon will come the Redeemer; he will turn away ungodliness from Ya’akov and this will be my covenant with them, …when I take away their sins” (Romans 11:25-27).

The Hebrew word for ‘mercy’ is rachamim and means ‘compassion and tender mercies.’ It comes from the root rechem which means ‘womb.’  ‘Mercy’ means to love as one loves an unborn child. When Isra’el is ‘reborn’ and comes out of the ‘womb,’ Adonai will end the global exile of His people.  The reverse of exile has begun as Jewish people are being birthed from the spiritual womb and acknowledging Yeshua as their Messiah.

“When the time arrives … you will return to Adonai your God and pay attention to what he has said, which will be exactly what I am ordering you to do today – you and your children, with all your heart and all your being…. God will reverse your exile and show you mercy; he will return and gather you from all the peoples to which Adonai your God has scattered you…. Adonai your God will bring you back into the land your ancestors possessed, and you will possess it; he will make you prosper there, and you will become even more numerous than your ancestors.  Then Adonai your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your children, so that you will love Adonai your God with all your heart and all your being, and thus you will live” (Deuteronomy 30:1-6).

Hebrew Word Pictures
Repentance or teshuvah – תשובה – tav, shin, vav, bet, hey
– covenant sign destroys the binding of the house, behold

Compassion or rachamim – רחמים – resh, chet, mem, yod, mem
– highest authority protects mighty, the mighty finished work

Womb or rechem – רחם – resh, chet, mem
– highest authority protects mightily

“For this mitzvah which I am giving you today is not too hard for you, it is not beyond your reach.  It isn’t in the sky, so that you need to ask, ‘Who will go up into the sky for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?’  Likewise, it isn’t beyond the sea, so that you need to ask, ‘Who will cross the sea for us, bring it to us and make us hear it, so that we can obey it?’  On the contrary, the word is very close to you — in your mouth, even in your heart; therefore, you can do it!” (Deuteronomy 30:11-14)

According to Adonai, obeying His commands is not difficult even for those who do not have circumcised hearts. His commands are not burdensome (1 John 5:3). His mitzvot are not far away in the heavens or beyond the seas that the Israelites need someone to bring His words to them. They are with them, in their mouths, and even in their hearts!

Part of the promised new covenant is “no longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, ‘Know Adonai’; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest” (Jeremiah 31:34). The knowledge and understanding of Adonai and His instructions will be known by everyone because He will put them in everyone from the least to the greatest.

“I call on heaven and earth to witness against you today that I have presented you with life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore, choose life, so that you will live, you and your descendants, loving Adonai your God, paying attention to what he says and clinging to him – for that is the purpose of your life!” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Adonai calls on His two witnesses, the heaven and earth, to witness against Isra’el. He presents the Israelites (and us) with a choice between life and death, but in His mercy and favor, He tells them which to choose: LIFE! He doesn’t leave them in the dark eternally wandering in the wilderness, He gives them instructions for life in the Promised Land, for life in His eternal Kingdom.

“So Yeshua said to the Twelve, ‘Don’t you want to leave too?’ Shim‘on Kefa answered him, ‘Lord, to whom would we go? You have the word of eternal life. We have trusted, and we know that you are the Holy One of God’” (John 6:67-68).

The ‘final conclusion’ for our life is to love Adonai, pay attention to His Word, and cling to Him through every sorrow and joy, weakness and strength, provision and loss, restoration and hope. There is an answer for everyone who has ever asked, “Why am I here?”

“Human being, you have already been told what is good, what Adonai demands of you — no more than to act justly, love grace and walk in purity with your God” (Micah 6:8).

“Here is the final conclusion, now that you have heard everything: fear God, and keep his mitzvot; this is what being human is all about” (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Yeshua’s Prays for His Talmidim

“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that the Son may glorify you — just as you gave him authority over all mankind, so that he might give eternal life to all those whom you have given him. And eternal life is this: to know you, the one true God, and him whom you sent, Yeshua the Messiah.”

“I glorified you on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. Now, Father, glorify me alongside yourself. Give me the same glory I had with you before the world existed.”

“I made your name known to the people you gave me out of the world. They were yours, you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you, because the words you gave me I have given to them, and they have received them. They have really come to know that I came from you, and they have come to trust that you sent me.”

“I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given to me, because they are yours. Indeed, all I have is yours, and all you have is mine, and in them I have been glorified. Now I am no longer in the world. They are in the world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, guard them by the power of your name, which you have given to me, so that they may be one, just as we are. When I was with them, I guarded them by the power of your name, which you have given to me; yes, I kept watch over them; and not one of them was destroyed (except the one meant for destruction, so that the Tanakh might be fulfilled). But now, I am coming to you; and I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.”

“I have given them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world — just as I myself do not belong to the world. I don’t ask you to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the Evil One. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Set them apart for holiness by means of the truth — your word is truth. Just as you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. On their behalf I am setting myself apart for holiness, so that they too may be set apart for holiness by means of the truth.”

“I pray not only for these, but also for those who will trust in me because of their word, that they may all be one. Just as you, Father, are united with me and I with you, I pray that they may be united with us, so that the world may believe that you sent me. The glory which you have given to me, I have given to them; so that they may be one, just as we are one — I united with them and you with me, so that they may be completely one, and the world thus realize that you sent me, and that you have loved them just as you have loved me.”

“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am; so that they may see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world. Righteous Father, the world has not known you, but I have known you, and these people have known that you sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will continue to make it known; so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I myself may be united with them” (John 17).

©2018 Tentstake Ministries Publishing, all rights reserved.  No copying or reproducing of this article without crediting the author or Tentstake Ministries Publishing. For a hard copy of this Torah portion, the weekly readings of the Prophets and New Testament, Study Helps, and springboard for midrash, please purchase Open My Eyes: Wonders of Torah.