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Parashah 47 Re’eh

Deuteronomy 11:26 – 16:17

By Dr. K. Blad  ©

Second edition 2013-14

Lucrative copying not permitted.   

Torah Readings:

1.      11:26 – 12:10

2.      12:11 – 12:28

3.      12:29 – 13:18 (19 Heb.)

4.      14:1-21

5.      14:22-29

6.      15:1-18

7.      15:19 – 16:17

8.      Maftir: 16:13-17

Haftarah: Isaiah 54:11 – 55:5

The Messianic Writings: Revelation 7:9 – 9:21

Re’eh

Means “observe!”. The word is stronger than shema, which speaks of listening and obeying. Re’eh has to do with a deeper awareness, an inner seeing, with the eyes of the heart.

Comments

The First Aliyah, 11:26 – 12:10

11:26-28 “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you shall listen to the commandments of HaShem your God, which I command you this day; and the curse, if you shall not listen to the commandments of HaShem your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known.”(HNV revised) – HaShem gives man two ways to choose between. This is clear evidence that man was created with a free will. That is why this Parashah begins with the word re’eh, “observe”. We must therefore observe these two choices, and then we must choose the right one. If man were created like a machine, he would not have been able to choose. Everyone is free to choose. No one is forced to obey or to sin. You are free to choose sin, but that freedom does not acquit you of the responsibility and consequences of your choice. We can choose between the blessing and the curse, which are the results of obedience and disobedience. The blessing comes over one who obeys and the curse comes over one who disobeys. Blessing and curse are two supernatural powers that are at work in the invisible world and are revealed in the visible world.

With this verse as the point of reference, the wise men have said, “Each one who believes in idolatry is as though he has denied the whole Torah.”

11:29 “It shall happen, when HaShem your God shall bring you into the land where you go to possess it, that you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim, and the curse on Mount `Eval.”(HNV revised) – The rabbis discuss whether or not we can really refer to a mountain of blessing and a mountain of cursing. According to Rashi, this verse is saying that the blessing and the curse are spoken over these two mountains. Targum translates, “You shall place those who bless…” Nachmanides writes that the blessing and the curse are not attached to any certain mountain. We cannot believe that the curse comes from a mountain, but that this has to do with an educational way of illustrating two realities. The people were to utter the blessing in the direction of one mountain and the curse toward the other.

11:30 “Aren’t they beyond the Yarden, behind the way of the going down of the sun, in the land of the Kana`anim who dwell in the `Aravah, over against Gilgal, beside the oaks of Moreh?”(HNV) – The two mountains, Gerizim and Eval, are probably the mountains which today still have those names, although there are rabbis, for example Eliezer, who say that they are two hills just on the other side of the Yarden. According to Rashi, when the word acharei occurs, which is translated “beyond” and “behind the way”, it is always referring to something that is far away.

The mountain Eval, 940 meters above sea level, faces the north, and Gerizim, 880 meters above sea level, faces the south. In the valley between the two mountains is the city of Shechem. There was an important road that led through that valley. It was Israel’s line of contact with the rest of the world. It was a meeting place for travelers who came from the north, south, east, and west. This was the place where Avraham built his first altar, see Genesis 12:6-7, and where Yosef was buried, see Joshua 24:32.

If you are in Shechem and look to the north, at the mountain Eval, toward which the curses were uttered, your back will be toward Yerushalayim. If you turn toward the south, you will face the mountain of blessing and beyond it the mountain that HaShem has chosen, Mount Tziyon.

In John 4, there is a religious discussion recorded, between Yeshua and a Samaritan woman, about which place one ought to worship. The word “worship” in this discussion has to do with the ministry of sacrifices. The Samaritans still hold to the idea that Gerizim was chosen as the place where the Eternal would set his Name, and they continue to sacrifice animals there, even to this day.

12:2-3 “You shall surely destroy all the places in which the nations that you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains, and on the hills, and under every green tree: and you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their cult trees with fire; and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods; and you shall destroy their name out of that place.”(HNV) – The commandment that urges us to destroy all pagan cultic places and to destroy the names of the false gods, stands in contrast to the following verse which says, “You shall not do so to HaShem your God”. This means, primarily, that one may not serve HaShem in the same way as the idols are worshipped or on just any place, but only on the places He has chosen. According to the rabbis, this text also forbids the destruction of objects and places that have been used to serve HaShem.

We do not have the right to destroy idol worship in places that do not belong to us. The commandment applies to the land of Israel, which was given to the children of Israel. We have authority to destroy idol worship in the places that have been given to us, not in other places.

12:4 “You shall not do so to HaShem your God.”(HNV revised) – If we compare the previous verse, which says, “destroy their name”, with this verse, we can come to the conclusion that we cannot erase HaShem’s Name from any place. This is where the commandment number 453 – in the list we are using – comes from, which forbids us to destroy things that have the Name of HaShem written on them.

12:5 “But to the place which HaShem your God shall choose out of all your tribes, to put his name there, even to his habitation shall you seek, and there you shall come”(HNV revised) – HaShem has chosen a special place, where his Name is set. Offering sacrifices on any other place is forbidden. According to Mishna,[1] the Tabernacle was in the following places:

Gilgal      14 years

Shiloh    369 years

Nov         13 years

Givon      44 years

===============

Together                      440 years

Sacrificing on the high places was permitted until the Tabernacle was made in the desert, but not during the 39 years in the desert. During the 14 years of conquest, when the Tabernacle was in Gilgal, it was permitted to sacrifice on the heights. During the 369 years when the Tabernacle stood in Shiloh, it was forbidden, but during the 57 years when it was in Nov and Givon, it was permitted. After the temple was built in Yerushalayim, it was strictly forbidden to sacrifice on any other place from that time forward. One exception is the altar that the prophet Eliyahu built on Mount Carmel, when he had special permission from HaShem to do so, in order to bring the people back to Him.

Shlomo’s temple lasted for 410 years. This means that the Tabernacle lasted longer than the temple.

Since the prophets could not add anything new to the revelation, but only develop what was already given through Moshe, we must ask ourselves where in the Torah of Moshe there is a reference to the place on which the Eternal chose to put his Name forever. There are two testimonies about the city of Yerushalayim in the Chumash. The first is in Genesis 14:18, where it speaks about Malki-Tzedek who was king and priest of Shalem. Shalem is the same place as Tziyon, i.e. Yerushalayim, according to Psalm 76:2, where it is written,

“His tent is also in Shalem; his dwelling place in Tziyon.”(HNV)

The Messiah will have Malki-Tzedek’s ministry forever, which entails being King and Priest in the same city, Yerushalayim, as it is written in Psalm 110:4,

“HaShem has sworn, and will not change his mind: ‘You are a priest forever in the order of Malki-Tzedek.”(HNV revised)

The second testimony in the Chumash about the place on which HaShem has chosen to set his Name forever is in Genesis 22, where it talks about Yitzchak being bound on the altar on one of the mountains in the land of Moriah.

In Genesis 22:14, it is written,

“Avraham called the name of that place HaShem will show (Yireh). As it is said to this day, ‘In HaShem’s mountain it will be shown (Yiraeh).”(HNV revised)

The Aramaic translation of Genesis 22:13, by Onkelos, says,

“Avraham worshipped and prayed on this place and said before the Eternal, ‘Here the future generations will worship…’”

The place where Avraham offered his son Yitzchak was chosen by HaShem. This truth was revealed to Avraham and his descendants, so that still “today” they acknowledge that HaShem will show it. Show what? He will show the central axel of the entire plan of redemption, the death of the Lamb in the place where Yeshua died as a substitute for all men! In this manner, HaShem shows the whole world his perfect righteousness when he forgives the sins of the people.

Midrash literature[2] speaks of a connection between the names that were given to this place by Avraham and Malki-Tzedek. Avraham called the place Yireh, and Malki-Tzedek called it Shalem, which means “complete”, “perfect”, “whole”, “finished”. If we put these two words together, we will have the word “Yeru-Shalam”. In the ancient Hebrew texts, the last yod in the name of the city does not appear, see Joshua 10:1 where the name Yerushalam occurs for the first time. Later we see how the name of the place is changed to Yerushalayim, as if in dual form. Could this be HaShem’s way of showing us that there are two cities called Yerushalayim, one earthly and one heavenly? See Revelation 3:12; 21:2.

On the place where Avraham acknowledged Malki-Tzedek’s superior ministry and saw the death and resurrection of the Son, Shlomo’s temple was later built, as well as the second temple, which existed when Yeshua was sent to the world. On that same place, the third temple will soon be built.

In Psalm 132:1-2, it is written,

“A song of ascents. HaShem remember David and all his affliction, how he swore to HaShem, and vowed to the Mighty One of Ya`akov: ‘Surely I will not come into the structure of my house, nor go up into my bed; I will not give sleep to my eyes, or slumber to my eyelids; until I find out a place for HaShem, dwelling for the Mighty One of Ya`akov.’”(HNV revised)

David became the tool that the Eternal finally used to determine the exact place where HaShem was to be worshipped.

In Psalm 132:13-14, it is written,

“For HaShem has chosen Tziyon. He has desired it for his habitation. ‘This is my resting place forever. Here I will live, for I have desired it.’”

Mount Tziyon was chosen forever to be the place where HaShem’s Name would be set.

In Yerushalayim there is an indent in the mountains in the shape of the Hebrew letter “shin”ש   the first letter of the name Shaddai, which means All Sufficient and All Mighty. Thus HaShem set one of his Names physically on that place.

12:7 “and there you shall eat before HaShem your God, and you shall rejoice in all that you put your hand to, you and your households, in which HaShem your God has blessed you.”(HNV revised) – The Eternal created the fellowship around the table in order for us to be in His presence. In Yerushalayim, the people learned how they were to sit and eat before the Eternal. This is why the table in a Jewish home is a consecrated place and considered to be an altar. This is the reason a Jew doesn’t sit on a table. The table is a meeting place for the Eternal and the whole family. This is why it is important for the whole family to eat together so they can meet with HaShem in family fellowship.

12:9 “for you haven’t yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which HaShem your God gives you.”(HNV revised) – According to Rashi, the rest is referring to Shiloh and the inheritance to Yerushalayim.

12:10-11a “But when you go over the Yarden, and dwell in the land which HaShem your God causes you to inherit, and he gives you rest from all your enemies round about, so that you dwell in safety; then it shall happen that to the place which HaShem your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there… “(HNV revised) – The Torah prophetically determines the point in time when a permanent place would be established for the Eternal’s Name. In this text, we see that it did not happen after the 14 years of conquest under Yehoshua, but after the people of Israel had peace with their surrounding neighbors. This did not happen until the time of King David. King David fought many battles and defeated all the nations who were enemies of Israel, see 1 Chornicles 18-20.

In 2 Samuel 7:1-2, it is written,

“It happened, when the king lived in his house, and HaShem had given him rest from all his enemies round about, that the king said to Natan the prophet, See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within a tent.”(HNV revised)

In 1 Chronicles 21-22, it talks about how the field was bought upon which the temple would be built, north of David’s citadel. However, even though David had a deep longing to build the temple, he could not because he had shed so much blood. His son, Shlomo, was chosen to complete this great work, as it is written in 1 Chronicles 22:8-10,

“But the word of HaShem came to me, saying, You have shed blood abundantly, and have made great wars: you shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. Behold, a son shall be born to you, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Shelomoh, and I will give shalom and quietness to Yisra'el in his days: he shall build a house for my name; and he shall be my son, and I will be his father; and I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Yisra'el for ever.”(HNV revised)

Ever since that time, Yerushalayim has been the place where the Eternal’s Name is established for eternity. It is in that place that the Son of David, Yeshua HaMashiach, very soon will sit on the throne of David to rule over the twelve tribes of Israel and the rest of the world, as it is written in Luke 1:32-33,

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father, David, and he will reign over the house of Ya`akov forever. There will be no end to his kingdom.”(HNV revised)

The Second Aliyah, 12:11 – 12:28

12:12 “You shall rejoice before HaShem your God, you, and your sons, and your daughters, and your men-servants, and your maid-servants, and the Levite who is within your gates, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you.”(HNV revised) – There is much joy in the presence of the Eternal. If you do not experience joy in your prayers, or when you gather with your congregation, something is wrong. Then you are not very close to the Eternal. You might be focusing on the external rather than the spiritual. When you make contact with HaShem in the spirit, you will have much joy. If you do not have this joy, it is because your spirit is not connected to Him, as it is written in Galatians 5:22a,

“But the fruit of the Spirit is… joy…”(HNV)

12:15 “Notwithstanding, you may kill and eat flesh within all your gates, after all the desire of your soul, according to the blessing of HaShem your God which he has given you: the unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle, and as of the hart.”(HNV revised) – When you compare this text with the passage in Leviticus 17:1-10, it seems as if there is a difference between the commandments that applied in the wilderness and those that would later apply in the land of Israel, concerning the eating of meat.

According to Rashi, who follows the interpretation of Rabbi Akiva, Leviticus 17:3 is giving a commandment which only has to do with animals consecrated for sacrifice, and this passage is about consecrated animals that have been wounded. According to him, this passage is saying that they can be redeemed and eaten in any place.

On the other hand, there is a quote in Talmud[3] by Rabbi Ishmael, which claims that there was a change in the standards from the time they were in the desert to when they came into the land. According to him, they could not slaughter animals and eat meat during the mishkan time in the desert, but they had to slaughter them in the tabernacle and present them as offerings on the altar. From the time they entered the land, permission was given to slaughter animals outside the tabernacle and the temple.

According to a Midrash,[4] this is one of eight things that the Torah allows that had previously been forbidden.

12:16, 23 “Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it out on the earth as water… Only be sure that you don’t eat the blood: for the blood is the life; and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.”(HNV revised) – This prohibition is given ten times to the children of Israel in the Torah, see Leviticus 3:17; 7:26; 17:10-12, 14; 19:26; Deuteronomy 12:16; 23, 24, 25; 15:23. There are three main things that must be considered when it comes to the slaughter of a clean animal in order for it to be eatable for Jews:

1.      It cannot be a sick animal.

2.      It must not have been suffering at the moment of death.

3.      The blood must have been drained from it immediately after the throat was slit.

12:17-18 “You may not eat within your gates the tithe of your grain, or of your new wine, or of your oil, or the firstborn of your herd or of your flock, nor any of your vows which you vow, nor your freewill-offerings, nor the heave-offering of your hand; but you shall eat them before HaShem your God in the place which HaShem your God shall choose, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your man-servant, and your maid-servant, and the Levite who is within your gates: and you shall rejoice before HaShem your God in all that you put your hand to.”(HNV revised) – This is referring to the second tithe and other things that may only be eaten in the place HaShem has chosen.

12:19 “Take heed to yourself that you don’t forsake the Levite as long as you live in your land.”(HNV) – If one did not have anything to give the Levite of the first tithe, one could give him the second tithe, which is for the poor. However, if one did not have any of the tithe for the poor, one must give him of the fellowship offering. The commandment to help the Levite, only applies within the land of Israel, where the Levite does not have an inheritance. In the diaspora it is not only the Levite who is without inheritance in the land, but everyone.

12:20 “When HaShem your God shall enlarge your border, as he has promised you, and you shall say, I will eat flesh, because your soul desires to eat flesh; you may eat flesh, after all the desire of your soul.”(HNV revised) – This teaches us that one ought only to eat meat when one has abundance and financial expansion, not when there is lack.

12:21 “If the place which HaShem your God shall choose, to put his name there, be too far from you, then you shall kill of your herd and of your flock, which HaShem has given you, as I have commanded you; and you may eat within your gates, after all the desire of your soul.”(HNV revised) – This is mainly speaking about the inability for everyone to live near the tabernacle and be able to offer their fellowship offerings and eat them in the presence of the Eternal. It is therefore permitted to eat meat in the land outside of the tabernacle and the temple.

The words, “within your gates” have also been interpreted to mean that one must submit to the kashrut standards that are established by the authorities in Israel, who gathered at the gates of the cities. One must ask the elders for counsel before slaughtering an animal, in order for it to be done properly.

There is no prohibition in the Torah against eating meat. One may eat as much meat as one wants, as long as it is kasher (suitable).

12:23 “Only be sure that you don’t eat the blood: for the blood is the life; and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.”(HNV) – The second part of this verse means, according to Rashi, that one may not eat a part of an animal that is still alive. In other words, one may not eat meat as long as its soul, in Hebrew nefesh, is still in it. This commandment is also one of the seven commandments which were given to Noach and therefore apply to all mankind, see Genesis 9:4.

12:24 “You shall not eat it; you shall pour it out on the earth as water.”(HNV revised) – According to Rashi, this means not eating coagulated blood.

12:25 “You shall not eat it; that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, when you shall do that which is right in the eyes of HaShem.”(HNV revised) – According to Rashi, this is talking about not eating blood from an organ. The expression, “that it may go well with you” occurs, apart from this verse, in relation to the commandment about honoring one’s parents, see Deuteronomy 5:16, the commandment about executing a murderer, see Deuteronomy 19:13, and the commandment about not taking a mother bird together with her egg or young, see Deuteronomy 22:6-7.

 “you shall do that which is right in the eyes of HaShem” – This is the opposite of what is written in verse 8b, where it is written, “every man does whatever is right in his own eyes”. In these verses, we see the difference between life and death!

The Third Aliyah, 12:29 – 13:18 (19 Heb.)

12:30 “take heed to yourself that you not be ensnared to follow them, after that they are destroyed from before you; and that you not inquire after their gods, saying, How do these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.”(HNV) – This text teaches us the importance of being very radical when it comes to idolatry and anything that has to do with pagan cults, so radical that we even become willing to hand over our closest family members to the court for execution, so radical that we are prepared to exterminate all the inhabitants of a city and burn the city as a sacrifice to the Eternal so that it never can be rebuilt again. Idolatry is so evil and so contagious that the Torah establishes a very ruthless treatment of it, in order to destroy it from Israel. This is the attitude that HaShem wants us to always have. We must ask ourselves the question, “Do I have anything in my life that is connected to idolatry? Do I watch, or allow my children to watch television programs that have anything to do with sorcery?” If we see anything in our lives that can give room for idolatry, we must be ruthless with ourselves, as our Rabbi said in Matthew 5:29a,

“If your right eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it away from you.”(HNV)

We ought to have a very radical attitude toward deception, even in our own lives. Today, people seek spiritual experiences. They seek wonders, signs, and prophecies. They are not so particular about whether the source of these manifestations is in line with the Torah or not. They are more interested in the feeling that these experiences produce in their souls and bodies than they are in the pure revelation of the Eternal’s Word. Yeshua spoke of these movements that would come in the end times. He said that there would come false prophets who would do great signs and wonders, as it is written in Matthew 24:4-5, 11, 24,

“Yeshua answered them, ‘Be careful that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Messiah (“anointed”),’ and will lead many astray… Many false prophets will arise, and will lead many astray… For there will arise false messiahs, and false prophets, and they will show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the chosen ones.’”(HNV)

Today, much is said of “anointed” preachers. Be careful! All that glitters isn’t gold! Moshe, the Prophets, the Scriptures, and the Messiah all gave very clear warnings about false prophets. It is easy to be deceived. Looks can be deceiving. Our emotions can cause us to believe the false prophets and be led into deceptive movements.

The Torah of Moshe tells us how we can know whether a prophet is true or false. Someone who says that the law of Moshe is out of date, or has been done away with by “Jesus Christ”, is a false prophet, no matter how many signs and wonders he performs. The rule that we have for judging the prophets says that the important thing is not whether they have power or not, but whether their message, and above all their personal lifestyles, are in line with the Torah of Moshe and with the Messianic Writings. One who teaches others that Yeshua is not the Messiah of Israel is a false teacher, for he has strayed from the Torah of Moshe, which speaks about Yeshua in so many places.

The false image, which has unfortunately been spread out widely in the world, and which presents a Jesus who has founded a new religion, does not have much in common with the true Yeshua HaMashiach. The Torah of Moshe, the Prophets, the Scriptures – Tanach – and the Messianic Writings, teach that:

·         Yeshua did not taught his disciples to fall away from Moshe or the customs of Israel.

·         Yeshua did not founded a new religion or encouraged his disciples to do so.

·         Yeshua did not mixed in pagan concepts in his teaching or lifestyle.

A religion which has done all of these, is thus not a product of the Messiah of Israel or his followers, but the result of a great apostasy, which is mentioned in the writings of Rabbi Yeshua’s disciples in the Messianic Writings, see 2 Peter 2, Jude, Acts 20:29-30. If Yeshua had done any of these things, then he would not have been Israel’s promised Messiah, according to the Scriptures that are inspired by the Spirit. The time has now come to expose this lie that has been spread about the Righteous and Consecrated One, so that the eyes of the Jewish and Christian world can be opened to see that he really is the one whom the Scriptures say he is. The time has now come to stop drawing caricatures of the true Messiah and to reveal his Jewish face and his faithfulness to the Torah and the Jewish customs that existed during his time. Before he was handed over to be killed, everyone was in agreement that there was no guilt in him. It was impossible to find any disobedience to the commandments in this man, for he neither broke the Sabbath, the Torah of Moshe, nor the established rules of the Judaism of his time!

13:4(5) “You shall walk after HaShem your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and you shall serve him, and cleave to him.”(HNV revised) – This teaches us that the Eternal is always moving. If we do not keep following him, we will fall behind. We do not have a religion that is static or monotone, but living, expansive, developing, and which, in spite of this, never looses its foundation, its point of reference, which are the written Torah, the oral Torah and the Living Torah. We ought to ask the question, “What is our heavenly Father doing at this time?” and then we ought to join in that project and cooperate with Him in order to fulfill his plans. We were created to fulfill the plans of the Eternal. We cannot stay in something that is static, but we must be moving forward, always looking for the presence of the Eternal and being sensitive so we can know where He is going and follow Him, clinging to Him at all times.

In John 5:19-20, it is written,

“Yeshua therefore answered them, ‘Most assuredly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father doing. For whatever things he does, these the Son also does likewise. For the Father has affection for the Son, and shows him all things that he himself does. He will show him greater works than these, that you may marvel.’”(HNV)

13:11(12) “All Yisra'el shall hear, and fear, and shall not do any more such wickedness as this is in the midst of you.”(HNV) – When a person who was condemned to death was executed, it, among other things, caused the people to fear sin and keep away from idolatry.

According to Talmud,[5] there are two of the 613 commandments that have never been fulfilled throughout the course of history. That is the commandment number 443 in our list – which speaks about burning a city that has gone astray by practicing idolatry together with its inhabitants, and the commandment number 474 in our list – which speaks about not rebuilding the city of those who fell away, see Deuteronomy 13:16 (Heb 17). The question is if these two commandments will be fulfilled when the Messiah comes back. According to Matthew 5:18, the Messiah said,

“For most assuredly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the Torah, until all things are accomplished.”(HNV revised)

These commandments must also be fulfilled before heaven and earth pass away.

The Fourth Aliyah, 14:1-21

14:1 “You are the children of HaShem your God: you shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.”(HNV revised) – Here the children of Israel are called the children of the Eternal.

In Isaiah 1:2, it is written,

“Hear, heavens, and listen, earth; for HaShem has spoken: I have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me.”(HNV revised)

In John 11:51-52, it is written,

“Now he didn’t say this of himself, but being High Priest that year, he prophesied that Yeshua would die for the (Jewish) nation, and not for the nation only, but that he might also gather together into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.”(HNV revised)

The Scriptures teach us, on the one hand, that the children of Israel are the children of God, but on the other hand, that they have to fulfill certain requirements to be able to be His children.

In Matthew 5:9, 44-45, it is written,

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God… But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”(HNV revised)

It is interesting to see the relationship between the phrases, “that you may be” and “your heavenly Father”. If God already was their Father, why must they love their enemies in order to be his children? By this we see that the word “children” and what it entails to have God as Father has different meanings.

In Luke 6:35-36, it is written,

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing back; and your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil. Therefore be merciful, even as your Father is also merciful.”(HNV revised)

Here we see the same thing. The Master said “your Father” to those who must love, do good, and lend out money without hope of having it returned, in order to be children of the Most High. On the one hand, they were already children, but on the other hand, they had to fulfill the commandments in order to be his children. We will now compare this with texts that were written after the resurrection of the Messiah,

In Ephesians 5:1, it is written,

“Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children.”(HNV revised)

In Philippians 2:15a, it is written,

that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation…”(HNV revised)

A very similar thought to the one that was presented by Yeshua, is presented here also.

There is a radical conversation recorded that Yeshua had with some of the children of Israel, in John 8:31a, 37, 42a, 44a, 47, where it is written,

“Yeshua therefore said to those Jews who had believed him… ‘I know that you are Avraham’s children, yet you seek to kill me, because you do not understand my word…’ Therefore Yeshua said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came out and have come from God… You are of your father, satan… He who is of God hears the words of God. For this cause you don’t hear, because you are not of God.’”(HNV revised)

This text teaches us that being a physical child of Avraham is not enough in order to be counted as a child of God. These Jews were physical descendants of Avraham, circumcised in the body, but they were not acknowledged as God’s children by Yeshua, but rather the opposite, as children of the adversary, satan.

Being a child, or son, in Hebrew thinking, has to do both with being born physically i.e. being a genetic heir of the one called father, but also with being someone’s representative and a follower. To have satan as one’s father does not mean that satan can bear children. In the same way, when the Scriptures speak about being a son, or child, of God, it does not mean that God can bear children; but that he is your origin and that you are his representative and follower. Having this in mind, you can easily understand why the Messiah and Shaul are teaching that you have to act according to the commandments of God in order to become a child of your heavenly Father. In that way you are acting as a good follower and your behavior is representing your heavenly Father’s behavior, and in that way you become his son, or child.

Please note that we are not speaking of the salvation here, but of being a good representative of God.

In the Scriptures there is also another aspect of being a child, or son, of God – the adoption.

In Romans 9:8, 26, it is written,

“That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as a seed… ‘It will be that in the place where it was said to them, “You are not my people,” there they will be called “children of the living God.”’”(HNV revised)

In Romans 9:3-4, it is written,

“For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Messiah for my brothers’ sake, my relatives according to the flesh, who are Yisra'elites; whose is the adoption as sons, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Torah, the service, and the promises”(HNV revised)

According to this text, the physical descendants of Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, have the right to be children of God. The adoption as sons belongs to the Jews, who were Shaliach Shaul’s relatives according to the flesh. This text teaches us that the right to be the children of God is something that belongs to the children of Israel. However, it also teaches us that many of the children of Israel, in some way, loose this right on account of their unfaithfulness toward HaShem, see Luke 15.

In Hosea 1:10, it is written,

“Yet the number of the children of Yisra'el will be as the sand of the sea, which can’t be measured nor numbered; and it will come to pass that, in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”(HNV revised)

These children of Israel, from the ten tribes, lost the right to be God’s people. Therefore they were no longer considered children. This text teaches us the same thing that we saw earlier; that the Israelites can loose what belongs to them because of unfaithfulness to the covenant with HaShem. But the prophet speaks of a restored right. Through the redemption of the Messiah, the descendants of the house of Israel, whom have been lost among the gentiles, can have back their right to be called God’s children.

In John 1:12-13, it is written,

“But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become God’s children, to those who believe in his name: who were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”(HNV revised)

According to this text, all those who receive Yeshua and believe in his name have the power to become a child, or son, of God. Thus one is born of God as his child. This text speaks both to Jews and non-Jews. This way of becoming God’s child cannot be had by being a physical blood descendant of Israel, by the will of the flesh, or by the will of any man, but only through a supernatural work that God himself does. In this context, those who claim to be children of God only on the grounds of being physical descendants of Israel, are obviously excluded as children of God. They need a heavenly experience, activated by the Messiah, in order to have power to become God’s children.

In Galatians 4:5-6, it is written,

“that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children. And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, ‘Abba, Father!’”(HNV revised)

According to this text, those who are “under the law” must be redeemed in order to receive the adoption as children. (The expression “under the law” means legalism, referring to the legalistic faction of Judaism of that time.) This adoption actually belongs to the children of Israel, who are members of the covenant. The same thought is also found in Ephesians 1:4-5, 12-14, where it is written,

“even as he chose us (Jews) in him (the Messiah) before the foundation of the world, that we would be consecrated and without blemish before him in love; having predestined us for adoption as children through Yeshua the Messiah to himself, according to the good pleasure of his desire… to the end that we (Jews) should be to the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Messiah: in whom you (gentiles) also, having heard the word of the truth, the good news of your salvation,—in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the Ruach HaKodesh of promise, who is a pledge of our (Jews and non-Jews who have received the message of the truth) inheritance, to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of his glory.”(HNV revised)

Now we can ask this question, "Were not Moshe and David, who lived before Yeshua, true children of God?" In verse 12, we find the answer,

“to the end that we (Jews) should be to the praise of his glory, we (Jews and our forefathers) who had before hoped in Messiah”(HNV)

This is speaking of those who first hoped for the Messiah. Those who hoped for the Messiah were those who lived before Yeshua. According to this text, those Jews who first hoped for the Messiah, were therefore, counted among those who were predestined before the foundation of the world to receive the adoption as children of God through Yeshua the Messiah. Through him, they have redemption in his blood and forgiveness for their sins according to the rich mercy of the Father, see verses 1-7. Those who earlier had placed their hope in the Messiah and their trust in what the Eternal was going to do through him, were counted as God’s children.

In the same way that we now look back at an eternal and finished work of redemption through the Messiah’s death and resurrection, they looked forward and hoped in the same work of salvation even though they did not have the clarity in many of the details that we now have. Those who lived before Yeshua were saved through faith in HaShem’s redeeming power in the same way as we are, who live after Yeshua’s first coming. It is the same faith in the same redemptive work through the blood of the Messiah, which the Scriptures testify of from beginning to end.

In John 5:39, 46, it is written,

“You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and these are they which testify about me… For if you believed Moshe, you would believe me; for he wrote about me.”(HNV)

In 1 Peter 1:10-11, it is written,

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets sought and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching for who or what kind of time the Spirit of Messiah, which was in them, pointed to, when he predicted the sufferings of Messiah, and the glories that would follow them.”(HNV)

According to this passage, the Spirit of the Messiah pointed to things for the prophets who lived before the Messiah. They knew that the Messiah would come to suffer for the sins of the people, die, and then be resurrected. Those who believed the prophets’ message received salvation through faith in HaShem who would send a Redeemer, so that they could be delivered from sin and death, see Genesis 3:15.

We can now ask ourselves if these prophets really had the Messiah’s Spirit living within them at all times, or if it only came over them and revealed certain things within them. It is obvious that Moshe and David has the Messiah’s Spirit over them, but I do not know if they really had the Messiah’s Spirit dwelling within them in the way that we now experience, see John 14:17; Acts 5:32; 19:2; Romans 5:5; 8:9, 11, 15-16; 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 5:5; Galatians 3:2, 14; 4:5; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:23, 30; 5:18; 2 Timothy 1:14; Hebrews 6:4b; James 4:5; 1 John 1:27; 3:24; 4:13.

In Romans 8:16, it is written,

“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.”(HNV revised)

It seems as though those who lived and died before the resurrection of the Messiah could not experience within them the new birth of their spirits. They had the potential of it, but not the experience. Through hope they had it, but not in experience.

As far as I understand, no one could experience the result of the Messiah’s resurrection within them until after the event, see 1 Peter 1:3. It seems as though that is what happened to Yeshua’s disciples when he breathed on them after his resurrection, see John 20:22. They experienced the new creation through the breath of God’s Son, in the same way that Adam experienced life for the first time through the Eternal’s breath. The experience of the new life in the Messiah is a result of his resurrection. The disciples had this supernatural experience when Yeshua breathed on them after he was resurrected. This means that those who lived before Yeshua’s resurrection could not have experienced the new birth of their spirits. They could not receive of the Spirit of Sanctity as an inner well, see John 4:14, or as rivers of living water within them, see John 7:37-39; 2 Corinthians 3.

In John 14:16-17, it is written,

“I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever, - the Spirit of truth, whom the world can’t receive; for it doesn’t see him, neither knows him. You know him, for he lives with you, and will be in you.”(HNV)

As far as I understand, the well that is within man, and that is mentioned in John 4:14, is a result of having experienced the new birth of one’s spirit. Then the Father’s Spirit comes to make his dwelling within the spirit of the believer. The streams of living water, mentioned in John 7:37-39, are the experience of being immersed in the Spirit of Sanctity, which was not possible before Yeshua was glorified. We see how Yeshua’s disciples, for the first time, experienced this spiritual immersion on the day of Shavuot (Pentecost), as it is written in Acts 2.

In Galatians 3:26, it is written,

“For you are all children of God, through faith in Messiah Yeshua.”(HNV revised)

In Romans 8:14-15, it is written

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are children of God. For you didn’t receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’”(HNV revised)

In 1 John 3:1-2, 10; 5:2, it is written,

“Behold, how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! For this cause the world doesn’t know us, because it didn’t know him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is… In this the children of God are revealed, and the children of the satan. Whoever doesn’t do the righteousness (expressed by the Torah) is not of God, neither is he who doesn’t love his brother… By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments.”(HNV revised)

The Messianic Writings teaches that those who have faith in Yeshua are adopted as God’s children. At the moment we receive Yeshua, our spirits are born again and God’s Spirit takes up his dwelling in our bodies, which become consecrated temples.

We can also see that the spirit of adoption by God has a future fulfillment. We have not yet totally become God’s children, since our bodies have still not been changed, according to Romans 8:19, 21, 23b, where it is written,

“For the creation waits with eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed… that the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of decay into the liberty of the glory of the children of God… we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for adoption, the redemption of our body.”(HNV revised)

Summary:

  • The children of Israel are God’s children since they partake of the covenants.

  • Being a child, or son, means on the one hand being a part of the family covenant and on the other hand being a faithful imitator and representative of the father.

  • Only those children of Israel who believe in a redeeming Messiah will finally be acknowledged as God’s children.

  • One can be God’s child to one extent, without being it on a higher level.

  • The consecrated ones who lived before Yeshua were saved through faith in Him who had promised that the suffering Messiah would come, but they could not experience the new birth of their spirits for the Messiah had not yet been resurrected.

  • In order to be God’s child through the new birth of the spirit, one must receive Yeshua HaMashiach.

  • We will not be complete as children of God until the Messiah comes again.

As we said before, being a son does not necessarily mean that one is born biologically as a son, but it can mean that one is a follower, an imitator, a disciple, and a representative. The judges are also called “sons of God” because they hold positions of authority as His representatives in society, see Psalm 82. The word for “child” and “son” is the same in Hebrew.

In the Talmud we can read, [6]

Rabbi Yehudah said, “When you act as children you are called children; if you do not, you are called the slaves of the Eternal”. Rabbi Meir said, “You are still ‘children’, for it is written, ‘They are foolish children’”, see Jeremiah 4:22; Deuteronomy 32:20.

14:2 “For you are a consecrated people to HaShem your God, and HaShem has chosen you to be a people for his own possession, above all peoples who are on the face of the earth.”(HNV revised) – Consecration has a lot to do with what we eat. There is a difference between what the people of Israel are allowed to eat and what other people may eat. This difference of food intake is because of the difference in the levels of consecration that the people of Israel and other nations are on.

14:8 “The pig, because it has a split hoof but doesn’t chew the cud, is unclean to you: of their flesh you shall not eat, and their carcasses you shall not touch.”(HNV) – Here it is written that the pig is unclean “to you”, in other words, to the children of HaShem, the children of Israel, see 14:1-2, not to others. According to Rashi, the prohibition of touching the carcasses of these animals only applies during the feasts.

14:10 “and whatever doesn’t have fins and scales you shall not eat; it is unclean to you.”(HNV) – Water animals that do not have fins or scales are unclean to the Jews, not to others. This passage teaches us that these animals are only forbidden for the children of the Eternal, the people of Israel. However, since a gentile who has repented and turned to Israel’s God through Yeshua HaMashiach is no longer outside of the spiritual realm of Israel, as the Scriptures say in Romans 11:17, 24; Ephesians 2:11-19; 3:1-7, will do well if he follows these commandments, for he has been consecrated from other people to be different. This difference can be noted by his way of eating, among other things. Jews are obligated to live by these kashrut rules in order to be consecrated, and the righteous among the nations do well by following these rules in order to live on a higher level of sanctity. On the other hand, those who are not Jews, either by birth or conversion, cannot be forced to follow these rules.

14:21 “You shall not eat of anything that dies of itself: you may give it to the foreigner living among you who is within your gates, that he may eat it; or you may sell it to a foreigner: for you are a consecrated people to HaShem your God. You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.”(HNV revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated as “dies of itself” is nevelah.[7] Encyclopedia Judaica[8] writes,

NEVELAH (Heb. "carcass"), descriptive noun for any animal, bird, or creature which has died as a result of any process other than valid ritual slaughter (shehitah). The Pentateuch forbids the consumption of such meat, which can be given to a resident alien, or sold to a non-Jew (Deut. 14:21; see also Pes. 21b). Punishment for eating nevelah applies only to "clean" animals (Meil. 16a; Maim. Yad, Ma'akhalot Asurot, 4:17) and is not added to the normal punishment for eating "unclean" animals.  The nevelah is also one of the principal categories of ritual impurity (tumah), and touching or carrying it causes ritual impurity (Lev. 11:39–40; Maim. Yad, She'ar Avot ha-Tumah, 1–3).

A gentile who lives in Israel and who has agreed to not practice idolatry, can eat clean animals that have not been slaughtered according to the halachah.

Some people think that this is only referring to not boiling a kid in its mother’s milk, but the question arises whether this commandment shouldn’t be understood as an example for a general principle about not cooking or eating meat together with milk. That’s the way these words have been understood in traditional Judaism for thousands of years.

The Fifth Aliyah, 14:22-29

14:22 “You shall surely tithe all the increase of your seed, that which comes forth from the field year by year.”(HNV) – This is speaking of the first tithe, in Hebrew maaser rishon, which is given to the Levites who may eat it in any place, see Numbers 18:26.

14:23 “You shall eat before HaShem your God, in the place which he shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, the tithe of your grain, of your new wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and of your flock; that you may learn to fear HaShem your God always.”(HNV revised) – This is speaking of the second tithe, in Hebrew maaser sheni, which is to be eaten in Yerushalayim during the first, second, fourth, and fifth year of the week of years.

14:26 “and you shall bestow the money for whatever your soul desires, for oxen, or for sheep, or for wine, or for strong drink, or for whatever your soul asks of you; and you shall eat there before HaShem your God, and you shall rejoice, you and your household.”(HNV revised) – The Torah does not forbid alcoholic drinks. Here two different kinds of alcoholic drinks are mentioned. The first is wine, in Hebrew yain,[9] which comes from a root that means “ferment”. Therefore it cannot mean grape juice, which is called tirosh[10] in Hebrew. Then the word shechar[11] is mentioned, which is translated as “strong drink”. This is an intoxicating drink that is stronger than regular wine. It is therefore permissible to drink these two types of drink before the Eternal in the most sacred city, together with food, in order to rejoice before HaShem. On the other hand, the Scripture prohibit drinking unto drunkenness. A good rule for an adult is to not drink more than one glass of wine with 12 percent alcohol, or two glasses of wine with six percent alcohol. However, one who is affected by less than that ought to be more careful.

If you study this subject carefully, you will notice that the lines that the Scriptures draw concerning alcohol are not all-conclusive, but it is the misuse of alcohol that is prohibited, see Leviticus 10:9; Deuteronomy 14:26; 21:20; Psalm 104:15; Proverbs 20:1; 21:17; 23:20, 29:35; 31:4, 6; Isaiah 5:11; 28:7; Jeremiah 35; Daniel 5:21; Hosea 4:11; John 2:10; Ephesians 5:18; 1 Timothy 3:3, 8; 5:23; Titus 1:7; 2:3. A Jew does not drink the wine of the gentiles, see Daniel 1:5, 8.

14:28-29 “At the end of every three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your increase in the same year, and shall lay it up within your gates: and the Levite, because he has no portion nor inheritance with you, and the foreigner living among you, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that HaShem your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.”(HNV revised) – This is speaking about the tithe for the poor, in Hebrew maaser ani. The Levite receives the first tithe and the poor receive the second tithe during the third and sixth year of the shmitah cycle. In the book “Torá con Rashi”,[12] it says,

The tithe (maaser) is a part of the agricultural produce that is to be separated and given to its respective destinations. The tithe is separated into three parts, the first tithe (maaser rishon), the second tithe (maaser sheni), and the tithe for the poor (maaser ani). They are separated in the following order: First the trumah (“the separated part”) is taken out and is given directly to the kohen (the priest). Thereafter the maaser rishon is taken out, which is given to the Levi, out of which the Levi takes out the part that is called trumat maaser and it is given to the kohen (see Numbers 18:26). Thirdly, the maaser sheni is taken out and brought to Yerushalayim where it is eaten; this is done during the first, second, fifth, and sixth years of the seven year agricultural cycle (see Deuteronomy 14:22-26). The third and sixth years, the maaser ani is taken out instead of the maaser sheni and is given to the poor (Deuteronomy 14:28-29). Tithes are not taken out during the seventh year.”

The Sixth Aliyah, 15:1-18

15:1  “You shall let every seventh year be a free year.” – The free year was created in order to help even out the social divisions within the large family of Israel. Here the Torah speaks of three different cases of poverty:

  1. 15:4-6 “there shall be no poor with you… if only you diligently listen to the voice of HaShem your God…” – Complete obedience to the commandments creates a high level of wellbeing among all the people of Israel so that no one needs to take a loan. On the contrary, they will be able to lend out to many nations.

  2. 15:7-10 “If there be with you a poor man…” – On this lower level of obedience, there can possibly be one who is poor among the Israelites. In that case the people are commanded to give or lend enough to him to cover his need, but not his fancy. If the poor man cannot return the loan, the debt is canceled on the free year.

There are several texts that speak of being generous to the poor, see Psalm 37:25-26; 41:1-3; 112:5; Proverbs 14:31; 17:5; 19:17; 21:13; 22:9; 28:27; 31:20; Matthew 5:42; Mark 10:21; Luke 6:35; 18:22; Romans 12:13; Ephesians 4:28; Hebrews 13:16. Social help is an important issue among the saints.

  1. 15:11-18 “For the poor will never cease out of the land…” – On this level, where there is a lack of obedience, the Torah shows that there will never be a lack of poor people among us. We are therefore obligated to help them. There can even be so much poverty that some are sold as slaves. In that case they must be set free during the seventh year with a generous parting gift. The result of this generosity is that God blesses everything we do.

The Seventh Aliyah, 15:19 – 16:17

15:19-23 “All the firstborn males…You shall eat… in the place which HaShem shall choose.”(HNV revised) – The firstborn of the herds and flocks may not be used for anything other than food for the family of the priest in the temple, or in the cities if they should have a blemish, see Numbers 18:8-19. Since there is no temple in Israel today, the firstborn of these animals are marked and left to be with the rest of the herd until they die a natural death. No gain is made from them.

16:1 “Observe the month of the Aviv, and keep the Pesach to HaShem your God; for in the month of the Aviv HaShem your God brought you forth out of Egypt by night.”(HNV revised) – The feasts are mentioned three times in the Torah: in Leviticus 23 in order to be listed in their proper order, in Numbers 28 in order to give instruction about the offerings that must be given, and in Deuteronomy 16 in order to emphasize Israel’s obligation to make pilgrimage to Yerushalayim.

“by night” – In Numbers 33:3, it is written that they went out on the day after the Pesach offering before the eyes of all the Egyptians. Rashi solves this conflict by interpreting this text to speak about them going out by night, since it was then that Paroh gave them permission to leave, see Exodus 12:31.

16:2 “You shall sacrifice the Pesach to HaShem your God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which HaShem shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there.”(HNV revised) – The Pesach lamb may not be slaughtered in any place outside Yerushalayim.

16:7 “You shall roast and eat it in the place which HaShem your God shall choose: and you shall turn in the morning, and go to your tents.”(HNV revised) – According to Rashi, “in the morning” means the morning of the second day of the feast, in other words, the morning on the 16th of Nissan. During the festival Shabbat, the 15th of Nissan, it is forbidden to leave the area of the city. Furthermore, all men had to be present at the ascension offering on the morning of the 15th of Nissan.

16:8 “Six days you shall eat unleavened bread; and on the seventh day shall be a solemn assembly to HaShem your God; you shall do no work therein.”(HNV revised) – This seems to be a contradiction to the text in Exodus 12:15, where it says that one is to eat unleavened bread for seven days. In order to solve this conflict, Rashi gives two possible interpretations. On the one hand he says that unleavened bread from the old harvest could be eaten for seven days and for six days from the new harvest. The new harvest could not be used until after the offering of an omer of barley flour was made in the temple. Thus there were only six days left during which one could eat unleavened bread from that year’s new harvest.

The second interpretation that Rashi gives is based on Rabbi Ishmael’s eighth rule of interpretation which says, “All that is included in a general rule and which later is specified in order to make an example, is not just specified to teach something concerning that specific example, but also concerning everything that is included in the general rule”. This interpretation teaches that one does not have to eat unleavened bread on the seventh day, and thus not during the rest of the week either, except for on the first night as it was specifically commanded in the Scriptures, see Exodus 12:18.

16:9 “Seven weeks shall you number to you: from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain shall you begin to number seven weeks.”(HNV) – The celebration of Shavuot, the feast of weeks, is connected to the Pesach. Shavuot is the conclusion of Pesach. Pesach and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are celebrated in memory of the deliverance of the firstborn from death and the deliverance from slavery in Egypt. This freedom, however, is not complete without the Torah that was given seven weeks later.

16:11 “and you shall rejoice before HaShem your God, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your man-servant, and your maid-servant, and the Levite who is within your gates, and the foreigner, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are in the midst of you, in the place which HaShem your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there.”(HNV revised) – There is no specific commandment that urges the people to rejoice during Pesach, only during Shavuot and Sukkot. This teaches us that the joy of freedom is not complete until standards are given from heaven that truly set us free to know what is permitted and what is forbidden. These boundaries create freedom because by them we know within what area we may move freely and without danger, as it is written in James 1:25 and 2:12,

“But he who looks into the perfect Torah, the Torah of freedom, and continues, not being a hearer who forgets but a doer of the work, this man will be blessed in what he does… So speak, and so do, as men who are to be judged by a Torah of freedom.”(HNV revised)

6:14 “and you shall rejoice in your feast, you, and your son, and your daughter, and your man-servant, and your maid-servant, and the Levite, and the foreigner, and the fatherless, and the widow, who are within your gates.”(HNV) – Pesach is not for those on the outside, only for Israelites. Sukkot is for everyone, even for those outside of Israel. During the Messianic reign, all nations will therefore have to come up to Yerushalayim to celebrate Sukkot once a year, as it is written in Zechariah 14:16-19,

“It will happen that everyone who is left of all the nations that came against Yerushalayim will go up from year to year to worship the King, HaShem of Hosts, and to keep the feast of booths. It will be, that whoever of all the families of the earth doesn’t go up to Yerushalayim to worship the King, HaShem of Hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt doesn’t go up, and doesn’t come, neither will it rain on them. This will be the plague with which HaShem will strike the nations that don’t go up to keep the feast of booths. This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations that don’t go up to keep the feast of booths.”(HNV revised)

16:15 “Seven days shall you keep a feast to HaShem your God in the place which HaShem shall choose; because HaShem your God will bless you in all your increase, and in all the work of your hands, and you shall be altogether joyful.”(HNV revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated as “feast” is chag.[13] It comes from a root that means to move around in a circle. It speaks of the joyful dancing during the Eternal’s feasts. There is much joy during the Sukkot celebration. According to this text, the reason for the joy is the great material blessing that has been received during the harvests of the summer. It also teaches us that during the thousand-year Sukkot feast we will rejoice over the great harvest of men that has been brought into the Kingdom of Heaven from all the nations of the earth.

16:17 “every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of HaShem your God which he has given you.”(HNV revised) – All men were obligated to bring an offering into the temple during the first day of each feast. Joy cannot be complete without generosity, as it is written in Acts 20:35b,

“It is more blessed to give than to receive.”(HNV)

The Mashiach in this Parashah

11:28 “and the curse, if you shall not listen to the commandments of HaShem your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which you have not known.”(HNV revised) – Yeshua said, “I am the way”, see John 14:6. The way that Moshe is talking about does not only speak of obedience to the commandments, but also of the character, life, and lifestyle of the Messiah Yeshua. Whoever leaves Yeshua, the Way, after having known him, will be under a curse and will finally loose his salvation.

12:23b “for the blood is the life; and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.”(HNV) – It is forbidden to eat the blood of animals for the life is in the blood. And in an opposite way, everyone who receives the Messiah’s blood, which is his life, will have eternal life. To receive his blood has to do with partaking of the result of his sacrifice. It also has to do with the spiritual life of the Torah, for Yeshua is the living Torah.

15:2 “This is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release that which he has lent to his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother; because HaShem’s free year has been proclaimed.”(HNV revised) – During the seventh year the poor man will be released from debt and slavery. In the same way, when the Messiah returns in the seventh millennium from Adam, all those who have placed their hope in him will experience complete freedom from the debt of their sins and eternal freedom from the slavery of sin and death.

15:19, 21 “All the firstborn males… you shall consecrate to HaShem… you shall eat it”(HNV revised) – Yeshua was the firstborn son of his mother Miriyam. Therefore he was consecrated unto the Eternal. He was predestined to be “eaten” by all his followers so that his life would become a part of us.

16:2 “You shall sacrifice the Pesach to HaShem your God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which HaShem shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there.”(HNV revised) – Yeshua is the Lamb of God, see John 1:29, 36, and therefore he had to be offered in Yerushalayim, in the place the Eternal had chosen, see Genesis 22.

16:4 “neither shall any of the flesh, which you sacrifice the first day at even, remain all night until the morning.”(HNV) – Yeshua had to die at the same time as the Pesach offering was slaughtered. When the night came, he was already dead and then the children of Israel gathered to eat the Pesach lamb. They could not leave any until the following morning. This teaches us that we must take advantage of everything that Yeshua’s death gives us and eat and be satisfied with its results, as it is written in John 6:54-57,

“He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father; so he who feeds on me, he will also live because of me.”(HNV)

“neither shall any remain” – This text gives a hint about the elimination of the first man through Yeshua’s death.

16:9b “from the time you begin to put the sickle to the standing grain”(HNV) – The day of resurrection came, which is symbolized by the first barley harvest that was offered in the temple the day after the Shabbat after Pesach. Through this, there is new life for man.

The second man was raised from the dead. All those who belong to the Messiah have already now become partakers of the privileges that come from his death and resurrection, but at his return they will partake of the complete results of this wonderful work of redemption.

16:9c “seven weeks”(HNV) – There were seven weeks between the exodus out of Egypt and when the Torah was given on Sinai. Egypt symbolizes the Garden of Eden, according to Genesis 13:10. In the same way, there will be 7,000 years, one thousand years per week, from the time that the first humans left the Garden of Eden until the new Torah is given. Almost 6,000 thousand years have now passed since the time of Adam and Chavah. After this, there will be a thousand year Shabbat before heaven and earth pass away, see Revelation 20-21. The new Torah will be given after heaven and earth have been destroyed, because the Torah we have now will only apply for as long as heaven and earth remain, see Matthew 5:18. The new Torah will be given to a world in which will be only righteousness.

Baruch HaShem!

This Parashah contains commandments number 436 – 490 of the 613 commandments.

  1. The command to destroy all images of idols and all those who serve them, Deuteronomy 12:2.

  2. The command to give a compulsory offering or a free will offering during the first coming feast at which one can be present, Deuteronomy 12:5-6.

  3. The command to present all offerings in the sanctuary and in no other place, Deuteronomy 12:14.

  4. The command to redeem consecrated animals that have been hurt in any way, Deuteronomy 12:15.

  5. The command to cut the throat of the animals, Deuteronomy 12:21.

  6. The command to bring offerings from the land of Israel to the temple, Deuteronomy 12:26.

  7. The command to carefully question witnesses, Deuteronomy 13:15.

  8. The command to burn with fire a city that practices idolatry, Deuteronomy 13:17.

  9. The command to inspect a bird so that it can be eaten, Deuteronomy 14:11.

  10. The command to give the second tithe (maaser sheni), Deuteronomy 14.22.

  11. The command to give the tithe to the poor instead of the second tithe during the third year, Deuteronomy 14:28.

  12. The command to put pressure on a gentile so that he pays his debt, Deuteronomy 15:3.

  13. The command to cancel a debt when the seventh year has come (shmitah), Deuteronomy 15:3.

  14. The command to give alms (tzedakah), Deuteronomy 15:8.

  15. The command to give extra compensation to a Jewish servant when he is released, Deuteronomy 15:14.

  16. The command to rejoice during the feasts, Deuteronomy 16:14.

  17. The command to come to the sanctuary during the feasts, Deuteronomy 16:16.

  18. The prohibition of erasing sacred books or God’s Name, as well as destroying consecrated places, Deuteronomy 12:4.

  19. The prohibition of offering outside of the temple, Deuteronomy 12:13.

  20. The prohibition of eating the second tithe (maaser sheni) of grain outside Yerushalayim, Deuteronomy 12:17.

  21. The prohibition of drinking the second tithe of wine outside Yerushalayim, Deuteronomy 12:17.

  22. The prohibition of consuming the second tithe of oil outside Yerushalayim, Deuteronomy 12:17.

  23. The prohibition of eating a firstborn flawless animal outside Yerushalayim, Deuteronomy 12:17.

  24. The prohibition of eating a sin offering (chatat) or a guilt offering (asham) outside the temple, Deuteronomy 12:17.

  25. The prohibition of eating the meat of an ascension offering (olah), Deuteronomy 12:17.

  26. The prohibition of eating the meat of an offering that is on a lower level of consecration (kodashim kalim) before its blood has been sprinkled, Deuteronomy 12:17.

  27. The prohibition for the priests to eat of the firstfruits (bikurim) before they have been presented in the court of the temple (azarah), Deuteronomy 12:17.

  28. The prohibition of deserting the priests, by not giving them gifts, Deuteronomy 12:19.

  29. The prohibition of eating a limb of an animal that is alive, Deuteronomy 12:23.

  30. The prohibition of adding anything to the commandments of the Torah, Deuteronomy 12:32 (Heb 13:1).

  31. The prohibition of removing anything from the commandments of the Torah, Deuteronomy 12:32 (13:1).

  32. The prohibition of listening to those who prophecy in the name of idolatry, Deuteronomy 13:3 (4).

  33. The prohibition of loving one who encourages idolatry, Deuteronomy 13:8 (9).

  34. The prohibition of not hating one who encourages idolatry, Deuteronomy 13:8 (9).

  35. The prohibition of rescuing one who encourages idolatry, Deuteronomy 13:8 (9).

  36. The prohibition for one who has been encouraged to idolatry to speak to the advantage of one who has encouraged idolatry, Deuteronomy 13:8 (9).

  37. The prohibition for one who has been encouraged to idolatry to not speak against the person who has encouraged idolatry, Deuteronomy 13:8 (9).

  38. The prohibition of encouraging anyone to idolatry, Deuteronomy 13:11 (12).

  39. The prohibition of rebuilding a city that has practiced idolatry, Deuteronomy 13:16 (17).

  40. The prohibition of taking advantage of the wellbeing of a city that has practiced idolatry, 13:17 (18).

  41. The prohibition of making cuts in one’s body like an idol worshipper, Deuteronomy 14:1.

  42. The prohibition of tearing out one’s hair as a sign of mourning, Deuteronomy 14:1.

  43. The prohibition of eating an offering animal that has been declared unacceptable, Deuteronomy 14:3.

  44. The prohibition of eating grasshoppers that are not kasher and other winged insects, Deuteronomy 14:19.

  45. The prohibition of eating any animal that died of itself, Deuteronomy 14:21.

  46. The prohibition of asking for the return of a loan when the seventh year (shmitah) has come, Deuteronomy 15:3.

  47. The prohibition of not giving a poor man what he needs, Deuteronomy 15:7.

  48. The prohibition of not lending out money because of the seventh year (shmitah), Deuteronomy 15:9.

  49. The prohibition of allowing a Jewish servant to go empty handed when he is released, Deuteronomy 15:14.

  50. The prohibition of allowing consecrated animals to work, Deuteronomy 15:19.

  51. The prohibition of shearing consecrated animals, Deuteronomy 15:19.

  52. The prohibition of eating fermented substances (chametz) after midday on Pesach eve, Deuteronomy 16:3.

  53. The prohibition of leaving any of the feast offering (chagigah) during the Pesach until the third day, Deuteronomy 16:4.

  54. The prohibition of offering the Pesach offering on one’s personal altar, Deuteronomy 16:5.

  55. The prohibition of traveling to Yerushalayim during a feast without bringing an offering animal, Deuteronomy 16:16.

 


[1]       Megillah 9a.

[2]       Midrash HaGadol 22:15; Bereshit Rabbah 56:16.

[3]       Chulín 17a.

[4]       Vajikrá Rabbah 22:7.

[5]       R. Eliezer i Sanhedrin 71.

[6]       Kiddushin 36a.

[7]       Strong H5038 nebêlâh, neb-ay-law', From H5034; a flabby thing, that is, a carcase or carrion (human or bestial, often collective); figuratively an idol: -  (dead) body, (dead) carcase, dead of itself, which died, (beast) that (which) dieth of itself.

Strong H5034 nâbêl, naw-bale', A primitive root; to wilt; generally to fall away, fail, faint; figuratively to be foolish or (morally) wicked; causatively to despise, disgrace: - disgrace, dishonour, lightly esteem, fade (away, -ing), fall (down, -ling, off), do foolishly, come to nought, X surely, make vile, wither.

[8]       Encyclopedia Judaica, CD Rom Edition.

[9]       Strong H3196 yayin, yah'-yin, From an unused root meaning to effervesce; wine (as fermented); by implication intoxication: - banqueting, wine, wine [-bibber].

[10]     Strong H8492 tîyrôsh  tîyrôsh, tee-roshe', tee-roshe', From H3423 in the sense of expulsion; must or fresh grape juice (as just squeezed out); by implication (rarely) fermented wine: - (new, sweet) wine.

[11]     Strong H7941 shekar, shay-kawr', From H7937; an intoxicant, that is, intensely alcoholic liquor: - strong drink, + drunkard, strong wine.

Strong H7936 shakar, shaw-kar', A primitive root; to become tipsy; in a qualified sense, to satiate with a stimulating drink or (figuratively) influence. (Superlative of H8248.): - (be filled with) drink (abundantly), (be, make) drunk (-en), be merry. [Superlative of H8248.]

[12]     La Torá con Rashí Bamidbar/Números. Edición Bilingüe, Editorial Jerusalem, Ejercito Nacional 700, México, D.F. 11560, Tel (52) 55-5203-0909, e-mail jerusalemmex@netservice.com.mx page 252, note 227. Translated from Spanish by the author of the article.

[13]     Strong H2287 châgag, khaw-gag', A primitive root (compare H2283, H2328); properly to move in a circle, that is, (specifically) to march in a sacred procession, to observe a festival; by implication to be giddy: - celebrate, dance, (keep, hold) a (solemn) feast (holiday), reel to and fro.