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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad


Shelach Lecha 37-1

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Numbers 13:1-20

from the tribe of Ephraim, Hoshea son of Nun... Moses gave Hoshea son of Nun the name Joshua.

Num. 13:8, 16b NIV

What is the relation between the Messiah and Ephraim?

Yehoshua (Joshua) is the long form of the name Yeshua. Moshe knew prophetically that the name of the Messiah would be Yehoshua/Yeshua; therefore he named the one who was going to be his successor this name. This Yehoshua son of Nun came from the tribe of Ephraim, son of Yosef. This is a prophetic sign that the Messiah had to be a son of Yosef and fulfill the role of the suffering Messiah to be, afterwards, lifted up just as Yosef was in Egypt.

At the same time, we see an interesting connection between the Messiah and the tribe of Ephraim who represents the lost tribes of Israel. Part of the Messiah´s task is to represent and restore these lost tribes (Isa 49:6).

Since his first coming, the Messiah has been working on the restoration of the lost tribes spiritually. The ten lost tribes are mixed among the gentiles. That's why when a gentile receives salvation and starts being obedient to the seven Noachide commandments they receive heavenly citizenship, and in that way Ephraim is restored in heaven and achieves a very high status.

However, the gentiles that come to the Messiah and represent Ephraim are not grafted in the earthly Israel through this salvation; therefore they cannot call themselves Israelites nor replace the Jewish people. They are a people that belong to the Eternal, composed of righteous men and women from among the nations, but they are not the people of the Eternal in the sense of the covenant (of physical circumcision). And they do not have the obligation to fulfill the commandments that are meant for those of the circumcision.

The physical final and complete restoration of the lost tribes is reserved to the second coming of the Messiah. Then, according to my understanding, Ephraim's physical descendants that are mixed among the nations ­ who won't become immortal by the power of resurrection ­ will be chosen and pointed out by the Messiah and will have to enter the covenant of circumcision to take part in the physical people of Israel. Thus, the tribes will be restored, physically. These Israelites will be mortal.

So we can see that Ephraim's restoration is carried out in two stages: first, in a spiritual manner, in heaven, through the circumcision of the heart of those gentiles who receive the message of the Messiah; and second, with the restoration on earth of the lost tribes with the circumcision on the flesh and their gathering with the physical people of Israel on earth.

The righteous ones from among the nations that are now co-citizens in heaven are not part of those who are physically restored from the tribes, because in the moment of the return of the Messiah they will become immortal and will be the ones who rule over the earth, over the mortal ones.

 This is how I understand the Scriptures.

Shavua tov,

Ketriel


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