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Parashah 03 Lech Lecha

Genesis 12:1 – 17:27

By Dr. K. Blad  ©

Second edition 2013-14 (5774)

Lucrative copying not permitted.

Torah Readings:

  1. 12:1-13
  2. 12:14 – 13:4
  3. 13:4-18
  4. 14:1-20
  5. 14:21 – 15:6
  6. 15:7 – 17:6
  7. 17:7-27
  8. Maftir: 17:24-27

Haftarah: Isaiah 40:27 – 41:16

The Messianic Writings: Mark 3:1 – 4:20

Lech Lecha

Means “go” (in an amplified sense), “go to yourself” or “go for your own sake”.

Comments

In spite of the fact that Noach was a righteous man before the Eternal, he was not able to lead his children in the righteousness of God. When he left the ark he became an agricultural expert. It seems as though the dedication to his profession took too great of a place in his life, and thus the training of his children and grandchildren had a lower priority.

Why did Noach drink wine in solitude? Why did he not share the joy of the harvest with his family? It looks like his mind was more focused on his job than on his family. The same temptation exists for the father of every family, the temptation to feel complete because his own professional accomplishments rather than by developing a profound spiritual life together with his wife and educate his children.

Parents, and even grandparents, have the great responsibility of instructing their children and grandchildren in the way of righteousness. Noach had three sons who were now all over the age of 100 and should by this time already have received a good education from their father. But he had a grandson, Kana’an, who needed all the training he could get in order to become a righteous and upright man. But Noach devoted himself more to the increase of the agricultural market than to his descendant’s training in righteousness.

The text that we read in Ezekiel 14 shows us that Noach’s children would not be able to escape certain righteous judgments over different nations and especially Israel. Only Noach would be able to escape them through his righteousness. His children were not as righteous as he was.

Later on we will see the result of his lack of dedication to the Torah in relation to his children. Nearly all of Noach’s descendants rebelled against the Eternal under the reign of Nimrod. Their rebellion was punished with confusion and Noach’s children were scattered over the whole earth.

In spite of this there was, in Shem’s family, a glimmer of the light of righteousness and dedication to the Eternal. Noach had earlier expressed that the Eternal was Shem’s God. Therefore Shem managed to carry over some of the straight ways of the Eternal to his child Arfachshad, to his grandchild Shalach, and to his great grandchild Ever.

But their level righteousness and dedication to the Eternal was not high enough for them to be chosen as forefathers of a consecrated nation. But in the tenth generation after Noach, he created Avram, one who had the capacity to train his children to live righteous lives before the Eternal and to not bend under the pressures of society. Avram was chosen for the very reason that he had the ability to command his children and grandchildren to follow the way of righteousness all their days, as it is written in Genesis 18:19,

“For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of HaShem, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that HaShem may bring upon Avraham that which He hath spoken of him.”(JPS revised)

Avram’s ability to command his children and grandchildren to hold to the way of the Eternal and act righteously was the reason that he was chosen to be the father of a great and righteous nation. And not only that, but also to be the beginning of a nation that would populate the coming world after heaven and earth have gone through the second cleansing process, the cleansing of fire.

Avram, whose name means the father of Aram”, or “exalted father”, was chosen to be heir of the whole world just because he was a father. This fact was later strengthened when the Eternal changed his name to Avraham, “father of the masses”.

How important it is to be a father! How meaningful it is to instruct one’s children in the righteous way of the Eternal!

Noach did not have this ability so HaShem had to chose someone else who did.

The First Aliyah, 12:1-13

12:1-3 “HaShem had said to Avram, ‘Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.’”(NIV revised) – According to Stephen’s speech in Acts 7:2b-4, HaShem had revealed himself to Avram already in Ur-Kasdim, as it is written,

“The God of glory appeared to our father Avraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Charan, and said to him, ‘Come out of your land and your kindred, and come into the land that I will show you.’ Then he came out of the land of the Kasdim and dwelt in Charan. And from thence, after his father died, He migrated him into this land in which you are now dwelling.”(MRC revised)

This shows us that Avram had received his calling already in the land where he was born. The Scriptures do not give the reason that Terach decided to leave Ur with some of his family.

However, the Book of Jasher and some other Midrash literature speak about Terach as a general in King Nimrod’s army when Avram was born. Because of an astrological omen, Nimrod decided to kill all newborn children in his kingdom since he was afraid that a new king had been born that would oust him from his throne. Terach gave Nimrod the newborn child of one of his maidservants and said that it was Avram. By this ruse, Avram was able to survive the first attack on his life and was hidden in a cave for 13 years. This was the first of the ten great trials that our forefather was exposed to.

The second test that the Midrash writings tell us about was when Avram refused to worship his father Terach’s gods of wood and stone. He also challenged King Nimrod’s idolatry and was therefore imprisoned for 10 years and afterward thrown into a burning oven together with his brother Haran. HaShem delivered him from the test by a miracle but his brother was consumed by the flames.

Because of all this Terach decided to leave Ur in an attempt to keep peace in the family. He had planned to travel all the way to the land of Kana’an. He never succeeded in reaching it but stopped halfway in Charan, which is in the southeast part of what is known today as Turkey.

I do not know if HaShem repeated his calling to Avram in Charan or if Avram simply decided to go because of the calling that he had already received when he was in Ur, before his father decided to emigrate.

We see, in any case, how Avram now obeys the calling to leave his land and his family. However, he brings his nephew Lot along, whose name means “veil, covering”. In time, Lot would be the cause of many problems for Avram.

In Isaiah 29:22, it is written,

“Therefore this is what HaShem, who redeemed Avraham, says to the house of Ya’akov: ‘No longer will Ya’akov be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale.’”(NIV revised)

This text says that HaShem redeemed Avraham. The Hebrew word that is translated as “redeemed” is padah,[1] which means “pay a ransom, release, reclaim, rescue”.

“a nation” – The Hebrew word is “goy”, which originally meant nation. Later it also came to mean “gentile nation”, i.e. any nation at all other than Israel. Even later on, this word would also describe a person from these gentile nations, “a gentile”.

“you will be a blessing” – Avraham was chosen with the purpose of becoming a channel of blessing for all people on earth. The Eternal has the same intention for all of Avraham’s descendants. The choosing was not intended to exclude others from the riches that the Eternal gives to Avraham and his descendants, but rather to enable them to partake of them.

“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse” – We see here how Avram is the focal point of all other nations. Their prosperity or fall ultimately depends on how they treat the descendants of Avraham, the Jews.

In spite of the fact that Yishma’el was a physical descendant of Avraham, this promise was not given to his descendants, the Arabs, as it is written in Genesis 21:10,

“Wherefore she said unto Avraham: 'Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.'”(JPS revised)

It is also written in Numbers 24:5, 9b,

“How beautiful are your tents, O Ya’acov, your dwelling places, O Israel!... May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!”(NIV revised)

Here we find the same type of blessing and curse that was spoken over Avraham. It applies, then to the people of Israel, not the people of Yishma’el.

There is, however, a special blessing for the children of Yishma’el, which we see in 17:20,

“And as for Yishma’el, I have heard thee; behold, I have blessed him, and will make him fruitful, and will multiply him exceedingly; twelve princes shall he beget, and I will make him a great nation.”(JPS revised)

“Whoever curses you” – The promise of the blessing to those that bless Israel is in plural form, but the promise of the curse is in singular form. This means that the curse falls on every single person that speaks ill of Israel and the Jewish people. History teaches us that the nations that have treated the Jewish people well are successful, and those nations that have mistreated the Jews have had to suffer serious, negative consequences for their actions.

“All peoples on earth will be blessed through you” – An alternative translation would be “All peoples on earth will be grafted into you”[2]. We can see the fulfillment of this prophecy in Romans 11:17-18 where it is written,

“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them and became a fellow partaker with them in the rich root of the olive tree, do not exalt yourself over the branches; but if you exalt yourself, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.”(MRC)

When a gentile turns from his sin and abandons himself to the God of Israel, in a spiritual sense he is cut off from his original tree, his gentile people, and grafted into the true olive tree, which is the heavenly Israel, and whose root is the Messiah according to Isaiah 11:10; 53:2; Romans 15:12; Revelation 5:5.

“families” – The Hebrew word that is translated “family” is mishpachah. It does not mean immediate family, but rather, large family or relatives. The Hebrew word for immediate family is beit, which is normally translated as house, see 12:1 where “house” is not referring to a building but rather his father’s immediate family.

In Psalm 22:27, there is a prophecy that speaks about the fulfillment of this promise,

“All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to HaShem, and all the families of the nations will bow down before him.”(NIV revised)

12:4a “So Avram went, as HaShem had spoken unto him”(NIV revised) – Leaving Charan was the third great test for our forefather.

Faith is based on the words of the Eternal. Avram believed the promise and went in obedience, as it is written in Hebrews 11:8,

“By faith Avraham, being called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go.”(MRC)

12:5  “And Avram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Charan; and they went forth to go into the land of Kana’an; and into the land of Kana’an they came”(JPS revised) – The phrase, “the souls that they had gotten” speaks about them having won people to their faith. According to Midrash literature, Avram called people together in public meetings in Charan to proclaim the truth about one Creator and to encourage the people to serve Him. After these public meetings he was willing to debate his claims with anyone that questioned them. In this way he won thousands of followers who confessed the existence of HaShem.[3]

12:6-7 “Avram traveled through the land as far as the plain of Moreh at Shekhem. At that time the Kana’anites were in the land. The Eternal appeared to Avram and said, ‘To your offspring I will give this land.’ So he built an altar there to HaShem, who had appeared to him.”(NIV revised) – Shekhem means “shoulder”, neck, in connection with lifting up a burden.[4] Moreh means “teacher”.[5] The first deep spiritual experience that Avram had after having left Mesopotamia in obedience was when the Eternal appeared to him at Shekhem and Moreh. This experience had such a strong impression on him that he decided to build an altar there. That altar represents the first experience on the path of faith that everyone must have in order to one day be counted as a child of God. It’s about dedicating one’s self. An altar is a place of sacrifice. An animal is offered as a representative of the person. The “ascension offering” (the burnt offering) symbolizes complete abandonment. An altar is a place where the will of man submits to the will of the Eternal. “Let not my will be done, but thine!” “Let it not be the way I want it, but the way you want it!”

  • Shekhem became a place where Avraham and his descendants made important decisions, see Genesis 33:18-20, (compare 28:20-21); 37:12-17; Joshua 24;1, 14-27; Judges 21:19; 1 Kings 12:1; 12:25.

  • Shekhem was chosen as a city of refuge[6], see Joshua 20:7.

  • Shekhem is the place for Joseph’s grave and there he waits for the resurrection of the dead. His grave is still there today, see Joshua 24:32.

Shekhem represents the place in Avraham’s life where he converted, the place where he died to himself and confessed HaShem as his only true God. It was in that place where HaShem for the first time promised that Avram’s descendants would receive the land. And in the same way that Avraham had that experience, so must everyone who, on the Day of Judgment will be counted as his true children, have had that same experience. All his children must go through Shekhem, where they confess the Only God and die to their own lives on the first altar.

The word Shekhem means, as mentioned, “neck”, “shoulder” and “back” and it comes from a root that has to do with bending down to pick up a burden on the back. This reminds us of the occasion when the Messiah bent down to lift up, on his shoulders, the wooden beam that he would be sacrificed on to give eternal deliverance to all Avraham’s children. Yeshua’s death and resurrection is HaShem’s foundation for being able to give the land to Avraham’s children.

“The plain of Moreh” – Near Shekhem is the plain of Moreh. Moreh means “teacher” and comes from a root that means “to flow”, “to lay”, “to put”, “to shoot”, “to aim”, “to mark”, “to point out”, “to instruct”.[7] It is the same root that is found in the word Torah. At this point, when Avram had his first deep conversion experience in Shekhem, he also had an experience of what it means to have a Moreh, a teacher that instructs Torah. Torah is something that reveals the difference between the sacred and the common, between truth and lie, between light and darkness, between life and death etc. HaShem taught our father Avraham his commandments, as it is written in Genesis 26:5,

“because that Avraham hearkened to My voice, and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.”(JPS revised)

Once the children of Israel had entered the Promised Land, they had to distinguish the difference between blessing and cursing in that very valley of Moreh. On the north side they had the mountain Eival, which represents the curse that comes as a result of disobedience to the commandments. And to the south they had the mountain Gerizim, which represents the blessings that come as a result of obedience to the commandments, see Deuteronomy 11:26-32; 27:12; Joshua 8:33.

Moreh is a place where one confesses the Torah of the Eternal as a pattern for life. Moreh also represents the Messiah Yeshua as the great Rabbi, our great Teacher, who teaches his Jewish followers to live according to the Torah that was given on Sinai, as he said in Matthew 5:17-20,

“Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. Truly I say to you, until Heaven and Earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Torah, until all is accomplished. Whoever then shall break one of these commandments, the least, and shall teach others to do so, he shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”(MRC)

He also teaches his non-Jewish followers to obey those commandments from the Torah which are for them, especially through his representative for the nations, Paul, see Acts 22:21; Romans 15:16; Galatians 2:7-9.

If we combine the two places, Shekhem and Moreh, we see a connection between accepting the death of the Messiah and accepting him as our Torah Teacher.

Shekhem and Moreh also represent the two steps required in order to be saved, according to Romans 10:9-10,

“that if you confess with your mouth Yeshua as Adon, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness; and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”(MRC revised)

Adon means “lord”, “teacher”, “master”, and “chief”.

12:8 “From there he went on toward the hills east of Beit-El and pitched his tent, with Beit-El on the west and ‘Ai on the east. There he built an altar to HaShem and called on the name of HaShem.”(JPS revised) – Beit-El means “house of God, house of the Mighty One”. The word house can mean two things:

1.      immediate family

2.      dwelling place

In this case Betel symbolizes both God’s family and God’s temple.

We cannot stop merely at the experience of Shekhem and Moreh, which for the gentile represents conversion and for the Jew represents dedication to the God of Israel through Yeshua HaMashiach and the confessing of the Torah that was given through Moshe and was explained for us by Messiah. There is more!

Judaism speaks of the following two yokes: the yoke of the Kingdom and the yoke of the Torah. The yoke of the Kingdom is symbolized by Shekhem and the yoke of the Torah is symbolized by Moreh. These two yokes are also represented in the first texts of the Shema confessions. In the first Shema text, Deuteronomy 6:4-9, it is written,

“HEAR, O ISRAEL: HASHEM OUR GOD, HASHEM IS ONE. And thou shalt love HaShem thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sit in thy house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thy hand, and they shall be for frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy house, and upon thy gates.”(JPS revised)

This text represents the yoke of the Kingdom, which means personally confessing that the Eternal is your only God. That is why this passage is written in the singular form: “thou, thy” and so on. Love for the Eternal is expressed by obedience to his commandments. Shekhem then brings us to Moreh, which represents the Torah.

The second yoke, the yoke of the Torah, is found in Deuteronomy 11:13-21, where it is written,

“And it shall come to pass, if ye (plural) shall hearken diligently unto My commandments which I command you (plural) this day, to love HaShem your (plural) God, and to serve Him with all your (plural) heart and with all your (plural) soul, that I will give the rain of your (plural) land in its season, the former rain and the latter rain, that thou (singular) mayest gather in thy (singular) corn, and thy (singular) wine, and thine (singular) oil. And I will give grass in thy fields for thy (singular) cattle, and thou (singular) shalt eat and be satisfied. Take heed to yourselves (plural), lest your (plural) heart be deceived, and ye (plural) turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and the anger of HaShem be kindled against you (plural), and He shut up the heaven, so that there shall be no rain, and the ground shall not yield her fruit; and ye (plural) perish quickly from off the good land which HaShem giveth you (plural). Therefore shall ye (plural) lay up these My words in your (plural) heart and in your (plural) soul; and ye (plural) shall bind them for a sign upon your (plural) hand, and they shall be for frontlets between your (plural) eyes. And ye (plural) shall teach them your (plural) children, talking of them, when thou (singular) sittest in thy house, and when thou (singular) walkest by the way, and when thou (singular) liest down, and when thou (singular) risest up. And thou (singular) shalt write them upon the door-posts of thy (singular) house, and upon thy (singular) gates; that your (plural) days may be multiplied, and the days of your (plural) children, upon the land which HaShem swore unto your (plural) fathers to give them, as the days of the heavens above the earth.”(JPS revised)

In this text, which speaks of the yoke of the Torah, we see how the pronouns vary from plural to singular, back and forth. The text for the first yoke, the yoke of the Kingdom, is written only in a personal way. But in this text we see how the pronouns have the plural form in the first verses, and then they later take on the singular form in verse 14, and then go back to the plural form in verses 16-19a, they take the singular form in verses 19b-20, and in the end, they go back to the plural form in verse 21.

This means that the yoke of the Torah teaches us to live our personal lives in obedience, in relation to the people of the Eternal. It is, therefore, not enough to live alone before the Eternal. Everyone needs to be a part of a whole and that is exactly what the Torah works into our lives. You cannot love the Eternal and hate your brother. It is impossible, because love for the Eternal forces you to love your neighbor, first and foremost your closest ones and then also those that are beyond the familiar sphere.

In Ephesians 4:1-6, it is written,

“I, therefore, a prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling with which you have been called, with lowliness and gentleness, with patience, forbearing one another in love, making every effort to watch over the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one immersion, one God and Father of all Who is over all and through all in all”(MRC)

In Philippians 2:1-4, it is written,

“If therefore there is any comfort in Messiah, if there is any consolation in love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any inward parts and compassion, fulfill my joy by being of the same understanding, having the same love, of one soul, understanding the one thing. Do nothing from selfishness or vain glory, but in humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not look out for your own interests, but also for those of others.”(MRC)

In Colossians 1:3-4; 3:12-15, it is written,

“We give thanks to God, the Father of our Adon Yeshua the Messiah, always praying for you, having heard of your faith in Messiah Yeshua and the love which you have for all the consecrated… Put on then, as elect ones of God, consecrated and beloved, clothe your inward parts with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another. Whoever has a grievance against anyone, just as Ado-nai forgave you, so also should you. And above all these things, put on love, which the bond of unity that has been brought to the goal. And let the peace of Messiah rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”(MRC)

In 1 Thessalonians 4:9-10, it is written,

“But concerning the love of the brethren, you have no need of my writing to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do love all the brethren who are in all Makedonia. But we exhort you, brethren, to abound still more.”(MRC)

In 1 Peter 4:8, it is written,

“Above all, hold earnestly in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.”(MRC)

In John 15:12-13, it is written,

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: that one lay down his life for his friends.”(MRC)

In 1 John 3:10-18, 22-23, it is written,

“By this the children of God and the children of satan are made manifest: anyone who does not practice righteousness (follows the Torah) is not of God, nor he who does not love his brother. For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another; not as Kayin, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his works were evil, and his brother’s were righteous. Do not wonder, brethren, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates is brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. By this we know love, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoever has the world’s goods, and looks at his brother in need and shuts his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in work and truth… and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments, and do what is pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment, that we believe in the name of His Son Yeshua the Messiah, and love one another, just as He has commanded us.”(MRC)

In 1 John 4:7-12, 19-21; 5:1-2, it is written,

“Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God; for God is love. By this the love of God was made clear in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His son as the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also are obligated to love one another. No one has looked upon God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is brought to the goal in us…  We love, because He first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen does not have the power to love God Whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that he who loves God should love his brother also... Everyone who believes that Yeshua is the Messiah is born of God; and everyone who loves Him Who begat loves those born from Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.”(MRC)

All these texts show us the importance of having a right relationship with the people of God, who are His family and His temple, His dwelling place.

It is wonderful to have a salvation experience where one confesses the yoke of the Kingdom and the yoke of the Torah. That experience changes our personal lives. But there is more. The more we grow in the knowledge of the Eternal through His Torah as it was revealed through Moshe and our Rabbi Yeshua, the more we will enter into a new dimension in our spiritual life. That dimension consists of thinking as a group, collectively, and we move from Shekhem and Moreh to Beit-El, God’s family.

On the one hand it is true that we have a personal responsibility for our own lives before the Eternal. Each one of us will be judged by his own thoughts, words, and deeds. But we were not created to be islands spread out in a lake, but rather members of one body, one whole, one big family, the great family of the children of Avraham with Jews and non-Jews.

12:8 “He left that place, went to the hill east of Beit-El and pitched his tent. With Beit-El to the west and `Ai to the east, he built an altar there and called on the name of HaShem.”(CJB revised) – ‘Ai means a pile of ruins. Beit-El means God’s house. A pile of ruins is not a house! Avram camped between Beit-El and ‘Ai. Each morning when he came out of his tent, he had ‘Ai in front of him and Beit-El behind his back, because the entrance of the tent is always towards the east. To be able to see God’s house – Beit-El he had to turn his back to the pile of stones – ‘Ai. In the same way we must chose between being stones, alone, even though they are in one pile, and a house where there is order. In order to be pieces of a house the stones have to go through a process of correction, to become “living stones”, which means that they are hewn, adjusted, and inserted into certain places in the building. You can then no longer do what seems right to you, or whatever you feel like. There are builders who have been appointed to build the house of the Eternal in different places. They work hard so that every stone is adjusted and placed in the right place.

The time for being a spiritual lone rider is now over! It is time to be part of a house, a body, and to once and for all be united with our brothers and sisters!

In 1 Peter 2:1-10, it is written,

“Therefore put away all wickedness and deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all-slander, like newborn babes, long for the genuine milk of the word, that by it you may grow up to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. Draw near to Him, to that Living Stone, rejected by men, but in God’s sight chosen and precious; you also, as living stones, be yourselves built up as a spiritual house for a consecrated priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Yeshua the Messiah. For this is contained in Scripture: ‘Behold I lay in Tziyon a choice stone, a precious corner stone, and he who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ To you, therefore, who believe, is the preciousness. But for those who do not believe, ‘The stone which the builders rejected, this has become the very corner stone,’ and ‘a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense’; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to which also they were appointed. But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim out the excellencies of Him Who has called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light; for once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not found mercy, but now you have found mercy.”(MRC)

“east of Beit-El” – The entrance of the tabernacle and the temple are always facing the east. Avram placed himself on the side of Beit-El, which symbolizes the entrance to the very presence of the Eternal.

“pitched his tent” – The Torah does not say that Avram pitched his tent when he was in Shekhem. But, here in Beit-El it says that he did. This is a place where you should pitch your tent, a place where you must confirm your presence. Become a member of a community of people who believe as you do, and be faithful to that fellowship!

he built an altar there” – This altar represents complete dedication to the Eternal within a community setting, within a congregation of believers in the house of the Eternal.

This also reminds us of the death of the Messiah, which most certainly took place in front of the entrance into the temple of the Eternal, in one of the trees on the Mount of Olives, east of Yerushalayim.

“called on the Name of HaShem – To call on The Name means not only to utter it with your lips, but also to let the whole world know that he is the Only. After having been in Mesopotamia and then in Egypt, Avraham took the responsibility to let the Name of the Eternal be known to the whole world so that the whole world would know that He is the only true God.

In John 17:3, it is written,

“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah Whom You have sent.”(MRC)

Avram did not make the Name of the Eternal known in Shekhem and Moreh. But here, between Beit-El and ‘Ai, he did. This teaches us that what makes the greatest impression on the world is not our personal experience of having taken up the yoke of the Kingdom and the yoke of the Torah, our personal experience of Yeshua as Savior and Adon (Lord), but rather, our life in the fellowship of love in the congregation of believers, as it is written in John 13:34-35,

“A new command I give you (Moreh): Love one another (Beit-El). As I have loved you (Shekhem), so you must love one another (Beit-El). By this all men will know (the Name will be known) that you are my disciples, if you love one another (if you live in Beit-El).”(NIV)

Don’t live as a lone rock any longer. Don’t be a part of a pile of stones any longer. Let yourself be built up as a part of a spiritual house, and in that way you will proclaim the Name of the Eternal.

There is a very interesting natural phenomenon at the place where Avram called on the Name of the Eternal for the first time in the Promised Land. The Hebrew name YHWH is written in the mountain ridges, with the modern day Hebrew letters on the same place that our father pitched his tent. You can see it on the satellite picture:

Pic%20for%20Parashah

12:10 “And there was a famine in the land; and Avram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was sore in the land.”(JPS revised) – This was the fourth test for our forefather. It was necessary for him to journey down to Egypt in order to possess the land, see Joshua 1:3. All the territory that his feet walked on is given over to his descendants, as it is written in 15:18b,

“from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates”(JPS)

The Second Aliyah, 12:14 – 13:4

12:14 “When Avram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that she was a very beautiful woman.”(NIV revised) – Sarai was a very beautiful woman in spite of the fact that she was over 65 years old. This was Avraham’s fifth great test in life.

13:3-4 “And he went on his journeys from the South even to Beit-El, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Betel and ‘Ai; unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first; and Avram called there on the name of HaShem.”(JPS revised) – After having been in Egypt, Avram comes back to the same place where he had first called on the Name, at the entrance to the house of God. Egypt symbolizes the dark system of this world. This teaches us that if someone goes wrong and lands outside of the place of his calling where he received the promise, he must leave the world and come back to the Eternal’s Family and House. Dear Friend, if you have gone out into the world, come back into fellowship with the faithful!

When Avram left the gods of his forefathers behind in Mesopotamia, he proclaimed the Name of the Eternal in Beit-El. And now, when he comes back from Egypt, he proclaims the Name of the Eternal once again and in the same place. Thus Betel was transformed into a place for monotheism to be declared against the false gods of Babylon and Egypt.

The Third Aliyah, 12:5-18

13:5 “And Lot also, who went with Avram, had flocks, and herds, and tents.”(JPS revised) – Lot did not walk with God. His riches were dependent on a relationship with man. Therefore, in the end, he lost everything.

13:11 “So Lot chose him all the plain of the Yarden; and Lot journeyed east; and they separated themselves the one from the other.”(JPS revised) – It is written that Lot “chose him”, he thought of himself. Now he leaves not only Avraham, but also everything that Avraham represented, something that in the end would lead him to complete ruin. Man can do two things in life, be like Avraham or like Lot, he can serve the Eternal or serve money.

13:14-15 “And HaShem said unto Avram, after that Lot was separated from him: 'Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward and eastward and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.”(JPS revised) – When he finally fulfilled the order and separated himself from his family, there came a great revelation.

13:16 “And I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.”(JPS) – The first type of descendants mentioned is the dust of the earth. That represents Avraham’s natural children who will inhabit the Promised Land.

13:17 “Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for unto thee will I give it.”(JPS) – A heavenly vision that is expressed by a physical action will finally be fulfilled in the physical world. Faith comes by hearing, but it is activated by action.

13:18 “And Avram moved his tent, and came and dwelt by the terebinths of Mamre, which are in Chevron, and built there an altar unto HaShem.”(JPS revised) – According to Rashi, Mamre is the name of a person, see 14:24. The name Mamre means “strength”, “firmness”, and “fatness”. Chevron means “unity”, “unification”. Chevron is the place where, according to tradition[8], Adam and Chava were buried. Here Avraham built his third altar. This altar represents the resurrection power of being united with the Eternal. Here the patriarchs were later buried. And from this place the Eternal will one day resurrect their dead bodies, so that they can be united with the Messiah in the air when he comes back and later moves to Yerushalayim.

The Fourth Aliyah, 14:1-20

14:1a “At this time Amrafel king of Shin’ar,”(NIV revised) – According to Rashi, Amrafel is the same person as Nimrod.

14:18 “And Malki-Tzedek king of Shalem brought forth bread and wine; and he was priest of God the Most High”(JPS) – According to tradition, Malki-Tzedek was Shem,[9] Noach’s son. Malki-Tzedek is a title, not a personal name. It represents the dual ministry of king and priest, which is founded on indestructible life, see Hebrews chapters 5 and 7. Shalem is the only mention of Yerushalayim that is found in the Chumash (the five books of Moshe). In Psalm 76:3 we see that Shalem is the same as Tziyon, as it is written,

“His tent is in Shalem, his dwelling place in Tziyon.”(NIV revised)

In Joshua 10:1 we see that in the city of Yerushalayim there was a king with the title Adoni-Tzedek. (Malki means “my king” and Adoni means “my lord”. Tzedek means righteousness.) At the time of the conquest of Kana’an, about 600 years after Avraham, the king in that city had a similar title.

14:19 “And he blessed him, and said: ‘Blessed be Avram of God Most High, Maker of heaven and earth.’”(JPS revised) – The one with a higher spiritual rank blesses the one with a lower rank. Malki-Tzedek had a higher ministry than Avraham, see Hebrews 7:7. Talmud teaches that since Shem blessed Avram before he blessed the Creator, the Eternal did not bring forth the Levite priesthood from him, but from Avraham.[10]

14:20 “’and blessed be God the Most High, who hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.’ And he gave him a tenth of all.”(JPS) – Avram is the first person that the Torah mentions who tithed. We can, however, find the principle of tithing already from the time of the creation of man. The principle of tithing means that one works part of one’s time without having the right to eat from it. This principle is found in the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam was placed to cultivate even this tree, but he was not allowed to eat from it. So tithing is for all of Adam’s children. Avram did not only give a tithe of the spoils of war, but “of all” that the Eternal had given him. According to the Book of Jasher, Avraham had studied with Shem and Ever for many years. Therefore he now gave to his Torah teacher a tenth of all that he had acquired so far.

The Fifth Aliyah, 14:21 – 15:6

15:4 “Then the word of HaShem came to him: ‘This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.’”(NIV revised) – Here a descendant is mentioned in singular form, which first of all refers to Yitzchak, but in its prophetic implications also refers to the Messiah, as it is written in Galatians 3:16,

“The promises were spoken to Avraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say ‘and to seeds,’ meaning many people, but ‘and to your seed,’ meaning one person, who is Messiah.”(NIV revised)

15:5 “He took him outside and said, ‘Look up at the heavens and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your offspring be.’”(NIV) – Here the heavenly offspring is mentioned. We see, then, that there are three types of descendants of Avraham, the earthly, the only, and the heavenly. The earthly offspring are the physical descendants of Avraham. The only offspring are Yitzchak and Mashiach. The heavenly offspring are the spiritual children of Avraham, those that have the same faith as Avraham, the faith that is mentioned in the next verse:

15:6 “Avram believed HaShem, and He credited it to him as righteousness.”(NIV revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated as believed is heemin which means “believed”, “trusted in”, “hoped in”. This is the first time this word is used in the Torah. It comes from the root aman,[11] which means “to support” or “uphold”. In its nifal-form it means “to be firm”, “persevering”, “faithful”, “trustworthy”, “truthful”, and “true”. From that word comes the term emunah, firmness”; “security”; “fidelity”: “faith” “faithfulness”, ”stability”, “truth”[12].

The well known rabbi Hirsch wrote: “Emunah is the essence of Judaism”[13].

Avram placed his trust in HaShem and therefore he trusted in His word. It is impossible to believe in the Eternal without trusting the revealed and inspired Scriptures. The revealed Word is the foundation for the faith. When the Eternal reveals his Word to us, we can choose either to trust Him or not to trust Him. Faith comes through hearing, Romans 10:17, which means that if we take what has been revealed to us seriously, then we will simultaneously receive the ability to trust the Eternal. Our job is to take in the word. It’s the word’s job to create faith in us.

“He credited it to him as righteousness” – The Hebrew word that is translated as righteousness is tzedakah[14]. It means “righteousness”, “right”, “straightness”, “saving power”, and “generosity”.[15] This is the first time it is used in the Torah.

According to R. Hirsch the term tzedakah has two different meanings.[16] The first has to do with a righteous act in accordance with the strict requirements of the law, with other words to do what is right, correct and accurate, see Genesis 30:33; Deuteronomy 6:25. A tzadik (just) is one who gives everyone and everything their due.

The second meaning is to give to a person what he needs, to be good to him, to seek his welfare and well-being. “When God does tzedakah, he bestows favor on his creatures out of His grace, not on account of their merit.”[17]

In his teaching, Rav Shaul (Paul) develops and amplifies the synthesis of these two senses of the word tzedakah, especially in the letter to the Romans, and gives it the meaning of declaration of innocence of the one who puts his trust on the Eternal and His work of redemption through Yeshua. This way we can highlight three important understandings of the concept “consider (as) justice” – yechashev tzedakah, see Genesis 39:33; Deuteronomy 6:25, and “justify” – matzdik­, see Proverbs 17:15; Isaiah 5:23; 53:11:

  1. Recognize that someone is right, or has acted rightly, see Isaiah 50:8; Psalm 51:4 (v. 6 in Heb.); Romans 3:4; Psalm 106:31; Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:29.

  2. Do good deeds, charity, see Deuteronomy 24:13; Matthew 6:1.

  3. Attribute to someone innocence and declare him innocent through grace, see Genesis 15:6; Romans 3:31 – 4:9.

If we don’t learn to differentiate between these different meanings of the same word, we will never understand what seems to be a contradiction between Romans 2:13b and 3:20a.

In Romans 2:13b it says, “the doers of the Law will be justified” (MKJV)

In Romans 3:20a, it says, “by the works of the Law none of all flesh will be justified in His sight”(MKJV)

In the first text the expression “justified” means that God is giving an acknowledgment that they have acted rightly. In the second text “justified” means that one is declared innocent. The expression “works of the law” does not mean the same thing as “the doers of the law”. “Works of the law” has to do with legalism as a way of attaining salvation through ones own merits. To be “doers of the law” means to obey the Eternal.

The Sixth Aliyah, 15:7 – 17:6

15:7-8 “He also said to him, ‘I am HaShem, who brought you out of Ur of the Kasdim to give you this land to take possession of it.’ But Avram said, ‘O Ado-nai, HaShem, how can I know that I will gain possession of it?’”(NIV revised) – The promise of the land is confirmed here with a covenant so that all doubt would leave Avraham’s soul.

15:9 “And He said unto him: ‘Take Me a heifer of three years old, and a she-goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtle-dove, and a young dove.’”(JPS revised) – The rabbis understand this text in two ways. Rambam says that it is a question of three different animals which are all three years old. Rashi says that it is a question of three of each type of animal. A Midrash[18] says,

“The reason that Avram sought a sign was that he was afraid that his descendants would sin so that HaShem would not allow them to continue to live in the Consecrated Land. HaShem assured Avram – ‘Even if they sin, I have prepared a way for them to be forgiven, through corbanot (sacrifices)’. Then he showed Avraham how the future corbanot would be, by putting in order three heifers, three goats, three rams, one turtle dove and one young dove which would represent the different sacrifices.”

Rashi says,

“Three heifers speak of three young bulls: the young bull that would be sacrificed on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur), the young bull from the congregation on account of some unknown sin that the Sanhedrin had committed (Lev. 4:13f), and the heifer whose neck is crushed (Deut. 21:1ff). Three goats speak of the goat that is used for ministry in the inner place (Lev. 16:9-15), the goats that are used as extra sacrifices (musaf) at the feasts (Num. 28:22), and the goat that was given as a sin offering (chatat) for the individual (Lev. 4:32). Three rams speak of the guilt offering for conscious sin (asham vaday) (Lev. 5:15, 25; 14:12; 19:21 and Num. 6:12), the sacrifice for questionable sin (asham talui) (Lev. 5:17-19), and of the lamb that is sacrificed for individual sin (chatat) (Lev. 4:27-35).”

The young dove (Heb. gozal) is the young of the turtle dove (Heb. tor).

To place animals that have been cut in half opposite each other was the ancient way of entering a covenant. The persons who entered into covenant with each other, walked together between the pieces of the animals in a figure eight formation, which symbolizes eternity. In this way the covenant was confirmed for eternity, see Jeremiah 34:19.

This covenant confirmed the duration of the promise that Avram’s descendants would inherit the land.

15:12 “And it came to pass, that, when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Avram; and, lo, a dread, even a great darkness, fell upon him.”(JPS revised) – This was our forefather Avram’s seventh great test. Through this prophetic experience he saw the whole horrible future that his descendants would experience.

15:13 “And He said unto Avram: ‘Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years.’”(JPS revised) – Here Avram had a revelation of the difficult time that his children would have in Egypt.

15:14 “and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge; and afterward shall they come out with great substance.”(JPS) – The word “also” that is found in the Hebrew text means that it was not only Egypt that would be judged for mistreating Avraham’s descendants but other kingdoms as well. The other kingdoms are the four that are mentioned in the book of Daniel the prophet.

15:17 “And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and there was thick darkness, behold a smoking furnace, and a flaming torch that passed between these pieces.”(JPS) – It is interesting to see that Avram was not able to walk with HaShem between the pieces of flesh and therefore there were two different fires visible between the pieces, one smoking oven and one flaming torch. They were two separate things. It is evident that someone took Avram’s place as his representative in this covenant. Who could it have been?

15:18 “In that day HaShem made a covenant with Avram, saying: ‘Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates’”(JPS revised) – The three different types of descendants of Avram, the earthly, the only, and the heavenly, will inherit the physical land in between these two rivers. The new Yerushalayim that will come down out of heaven will take up this whole area. There is no passage in Scripture that says that man will ever leave earth and go off to heaven. That idea comes from Greek philosophy.

15:19-21 “the Kenite, and the Kenizzite, and the Kadmonite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Rephaim, and the Amorite, and the Kana’anite, and the Girgashite, and the Jebusite”(JPS) – These ten nations represent all the nations of the earth. In Scripture, the number ten represents wholeness. The whole world will be inherited by Avraham and his descendants, as it is written in Romans 4:13,

“It was not through law that Avraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”(NIV revised)

This promise had a partial fulfillment when the children of Israel came back from Egypt. Seven of these nations were turned over to the descendants of Avraham, but they did not receive permission to take over the remaining three. The Kenites, Kenizzites, and Kadmonites’ land had earlier been taken over by the children of Edom, Moav, and Ammon. The children of Israel did not receive permission by the Eternal to take over any of these three nations when they came out of Egypt. Although, in the future they will be added to Israel’s territory, according to Isaiah 11:14 where it is written,

“And they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines on the west; together shall they spoil the children of the east; they shall put forth their hand upon Edom and Moav; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.”(JPS)

The territories that are spoken of here are equivalent to what is today called the Gaza strip, the West bank, and Jordan.

16:1, 3 “a handmaid, an Egyptian…Hagar the Egyptian”(JPS) – Since the word “Egyptian” is repeated twice, this text gives us a hint that this was not just any Egyptian. The rabbis have interpreted this as speaking of Pharaoh’s daughter.

16:11 “And the angel of HaShem said unto her: 'Behold, you will be with child (according to the Hebrew), and shalt bear a son; and thou shalt call his name Yishma’el, because HaShem hath heard thy affliction”(JPS revised) – The Hebrew text does not say that Hagar had become pregnant, but that she would become pregnant in the future. According to Rashi, this shows us that Hagar had lost her first child through miscarriage. Here she is given the promise of a new pregnancy.

17:1 “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, HaShem appeared to Avram, and said unto him: ‘I am God the All Sufficient; walk before Me, and be thou wholehearted.”(JPS revised) – Thirteen years later HaShem revealed himself to Avram as El Shaddai. According to Rashi and Rambam the word shaddai is a conjunction of she (the letter shin) which means “that (is)” and dai, which means “enough”. Shaddai therefore means “that is enough”, i.e. the All Sufficient.

Beer BaSadé writes,

”With this name, God wanted to tell him that he should not fear. Since He is enough and doesn’t require anyone’s help, Avraham’s relationship to him would be enough to live by without the help of others.”

“walk before Me, and be thou wholehearted.” – Targum translates this “to serve me.” The result of walking before the Almighty is that one becomes complete. The Hebrew word for complete, tamim,[19] does not mean that one cannot fall into sin but that one has become mature and “whole”, especially when it comes to being faithful during testing.

17:2 “And I will make My covenant between Me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly”(JPS) – This covenant of circumcision is more focused on the people. The covenant by the pieces of flesh in chapter 15 is more focused on the land.

17:5 “Neither shall thy name any more be called Avram, but thy name shall be Avraham; for the father of a multitude of nations have I made thee.”(JPS revised) – The name Avram means, according to Rashi, Aram’s father. Avraham means “father of multitudes”. In a covenant of old, the parties had their names exchanged and took on a part of each other’s names. In this case Avram got one letter added to his name, the letter he, which is found twice in the name YHWH. Simultaneously the Eternal adds Avraham’s name to His name. From now on he is called “the God of Avraham”, see Exodus 3:15.

17:6 “And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.”(JPS) – This cannot refer to the children of Yishma’el, since he had already been born, he had already come out of Avraham. It refers to Yitzchak and Esav, the two nations Israel and Edom.

The Seventh Aliyah, 17:7-27

17:7 “I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.”(NIV) – This covenant means that the Eternal will be Avraham’s and his descendants’ God for eternity. This teaches us that there has always been and will always continue to be some part of Avraham’s physical descendants who never cease to have a covenant relationship with the Eternal.

17:8 “The whole land of Kana’an, where you are now an alien, I will give as an everlasting possession to you and your descendants after you; and I will be their God.”(NIV revised) – We see here that this covenant has three main pillars:

  1. The People

  2. The Land

  3. God

17:9 “Then God said to Avraham, ‘As for you, you must keep my covenant, you and your descendants after you for the generations to come.’”(NIV revised) – This is the eighth test that our forefather Avraham had to go through: the physical circumcision. He had to convince all his men of the importance of this act and at the same time go through this surgery with the risk of being attacked by his enemies.

17:11 “You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin. It will be a token of a covenant between me and you.”(HNV) – The sign of this covenant is the physical circumcision in the body. Only the men can bear this sign. Therefore it is primarily the men who inherit the physical land of Israel. Only when there is no man available can a woman inherit land, see Numbers 27.

The circumcision is the sign of several things:

  1. The covenant between God and Avraham and his descendants forever.

  2. The justification by faith that Avraham had as uncircumcised, see Romans 4:11.

  3. The Heir, the Messiah, that would be born in this people, see Romans 15:8.

  4. A deeper circumcision in the heart, see Deuteronomy 10:16; 30:6; Colossians 2:11.

  5. A new creation without sin, beginning from the eighth millennia, see Leviticus 12:3; Galatians 6:15.

17:14 “And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant.”(JPS) – The physical descendants of Avraham who do not become circumcised in the flesh will have their souls cut off from the well of life which is found in the relationship with the covenant people. According to Rashi it means that the person in question will not be able to have children and will die prematurely.

The commandment about circumcision in the flesh does not include women who are descendants of Avraham, or gentiles who have converted to the God of Israel through the resurrection power of Messiah, Yeshua, as it is written in 1 Corinthians 7:18,

“Was a man already circumcised when he was called? He should not become uncircumcised. Was a man uncircumcised when he was called? He should not be circumcised.”(NIV)

7:15 “And God said unto Avraham: ‘As for Sarai thy wife, thou shalt not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be.”(JPS revised) – Sarai means “my princess”, which implies a limitation of only being a princess in relation to her husband. Sarah (with the emphasis on the last syllable) means only “princess”, where the limitation is removed so that she is now the princess of the whole world.

17:21 “But My covenant will I establish with Yitzchak, whom Sarah shall bear unto thee at this set time in the next year.”(JPS revised) – The covenant of circumcision was not established with the Arabs, but with the Jewish people. Therefore the land of Kana’an does not belong to the Arabs, but to the Jews. Yishma’el received his blessing and HaShem gave him many other land areas. But the Promised Land does not belong to him.

“at this set time” – The Hebrew text has the word moed[20] here, which speaks of an appointed time. This term is specially used in relation to the feasts of the Eternal, see Leviticus 23. Yitzchak was born during one of these appointed times. In the coming chapters we will see which feast this is referring to.

17:24 “And Avraham was ninety years old and nine, when he was circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin.”(JPS revised) – In Romans 4:11-12 it is written,

“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Avraham had before he was circumcised.”(MRC)

Avraham lived to be 175 years old. Therefore he lived 99 years of his life as uncircumcised, and 76 years of his life as circumcised. This teaches us that in the end the children of Avraham who are uncircumcised will be greater in number than those who are circumcised.


[1]       Strong H6299 pâdâh, paw-daw', A primitive root; to sever, that is, ransom; generally to release, preserve: -  X at all, deliver, X by any means, ransom, (that are to be, let be) redeem (-ed), rescue, X surely.

[2]There is ... an opinion shared by Rashbam [to Genesis 28:14], Chizkuni, Da’as Zekeinum, and quoted by Tur that the verb (ve nivrecu) in Genesis 12:3 is related to the root barak as in the Mishnaic term mavreek meaning to "intermingle or graft." [cf Kelaim 7:1, Sotah 43a.] As Heidenheim explains it, this interpretation is inspired by the fact that nowhere else besides here do we find barak in the sense of blessing in the niphal conjugation, while in the sense of "grafting" it is common in that form.” ArtScroll Tenakh Series, Volume 1, page 432.

 

[3]       Ramban Akum 1:3

[4]       Strong H7927 shekem, shek-em', The same as H7926; ridge; Shekem, a place in Palestine: - Shekhem.

Strong H7926 shekem, shek-em' From H7925; the neck (between the shoulders) as the place of burdens; figuratively the spur of a hill: - back, X consent, portion, shoulder.

Strong H7925 shâkam, shaw-kam' A primitive root; properly to incline (the shoulder to a burden); but used only as denominative from H7926; literally to load up (on the back of man or beast), that is, to start early in the morning: - (arise, be up, get [oneself] up, rise up) early (betimes), morning.

[5]       Strong H4176, môreh  môreh, mo-reh', mo-reh', The same as H4175; Moreh, a Canaanite; also a hill (perhaps named from him): - Moreh.

Strong H4175, môreh, mo-reh', From H3384; an archer; also teacher or teaching; also the early rain (see H3138): - (early) rain.

[6]       When a person kills another by accident he can flee to the closest city of refuge to be protected from the blood avenger of the one who was killed. He must stay there until the High Priest dies, and thereafter he is free to return home. This speaks of the death of Messiah, that sets the repentant sinners free from accusations.

[7]       Strong H4176, môreh  môreh, mo-reh', mo-reh', The same as H4175; Moreh, a Canaanite; also a hill (perhaps named from him): - Moreh.

Strong H4175, môreh, mo-reh', From H3384; an archer; also teacher or teaching; also the early rain (see H3138): - (early) rain.

Strong H3384, yârâh  yârâ', yaw-raw', yaw-raw', A primitive root; properly to flow as water (that is, to rain); transitively to lay or throw (especially an arrow, that is, to shoot); figuratively to point out (as if by aiming the finger), to teach: -  (+) archer, cast, direct, inform, instruct, lay, shew, shoot, teach (-er, -ing), through.

[8]       Zohar, Ruth 96

[9]       Nedarim 32b, Bereshit Rabá 43:6

[10]     Nedarim 32b

[11]     Strong H539 'âman, aw-man', A primitive root; properly to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; figuratively to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; morally to be true or certain; once (in Isa_30:21; by interchange for H541) to go to the right hand: - hence assurance, believe, bring up, establish, + fail, be faithful (of long continuance, steadfast, sure, surely, trusty, verified), nurse, (-ing father), (put), trust, turn to the right.

[12]      Strong H530 'ĕmûnâh  'ĕmûnâh, em-oo-naw', em-oo-naw', Feminine of H529; literally firmness; figuratively security; moral fidelity: - faith (-ful, -ly, -ness, [man]), set office, stability, steady, truly, truth, verily.

[13]     The Hirsch Chumash, Sefer Bereshis page 356.

[14]     Strong H6666 tsedâqâh, tsed-aw-kaw', From H6663; rightness (abstractly), subjectively (rectitude), objectively (justice), morally (virtue) or figuratively (prosperity): - justice, moderately, right (-eous) (act, -ly, -ness).

[15]     Ortiz V., Pedro, Léxico Hebreo-Español y Arameo-Español, (Santa Engracia, Madrid: Sociedad Bíblica) 2000.

[16]     The Hirsch Chumash, Sefer Bereshis Pages 175, 357-359.

[17]     The Hirsch Chumash, Sefer Bereshis, page 357.

[18]     Bereshit Rabbah 44:17.

[19]     Strong H8549 tâmîym, taw-meem', From H8552; entire (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth: - without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright (-ly), whole.

[20]     Strong H4150 mo‛ed  mo‛ed  mo‛adah, mo-ade', mo-ade', mo-aw-daw', From H3259; properly an appointment, that is, a fixed time or season; specifically a festival; conventionally a year; by implication, an assembly (as convened for a definite purpose); technically the congregation; by extension, the place of meeting; also a signal (as appointed beforehand): - appointed (sign, time), (place of, solemn) assembly, congregation, (set, solemn) feast, (appointed, due) season, solemn (-ity), synagogue, (set) time (appointed).