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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

BeHaalotcha 36-3

When you lift up

Numbers 9:1-14

Moses answered them, "Wait until I find out what the LORD commands concerning you."

Num. 9:8 NIV

What does "to stand" mean?

The Hebrew word translated as "wait" is imduעמדו which literally means "stand up!". It comes from the root amadעמד – to stand, which can also mean: to be present, to establish, to arise, to remain, etc. In this text it means to remain still in one's place (until an answer is received).

The fact that this term may be understood as "to be standing, to be still with no movement" can help us understand the text in Daniel 12:1 in which the same term appears. It's written there: “At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people—everyone whose name is found written in the book—will be delivered.” (NIV)

When this angelical prince, Michael, who is the angel protector of Israel, arises, shouldn't it be for the benefit of the Jews? Then, how come it says here that it will be a time of distress like never before for the people of Israel? Wouldn't it be the opposite? When Michael arises, Israel is protected, but when Michael is still the people are in distress, because he isn't defending them against the enemies. This teaches us that this term should be understood as "being still, standing up", not as arise.

That's the way Rashi explains the text in Daniel 12:1. He says that Michael will remain quiet. In this way, we can understand that when the people of Israel are protected against their enemies it is because Michael and the angels under his command are fighting on their behalf.

But there will be a moment in which this powerful angel will remain still and then, the great tribulation will come upon the Jewish people and upon all those who have the Jewish faith, which is also the faith of the Messiah and his emissaries. This time is close.

May the Eternal fill us with His power and wisdom to be able to endure the great tribulation that is coming. The one who perseveres in the faith of the Messiah until the end will be saved.

Kol tuv,


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