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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

HaAzinu 53-2


Deuteronomy 32:7-12

Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you. When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel.

Deut. 32:7-8 NIV

What are the similarities between the creation of the world and the creation of the peoples?

The days of old, in Hebrew ימות עולם, yemot olam, “the eternal days” or “the days of the world”, and the years of all generations – in Hebrew שנות דור ודור, shenot dor va-dor, “the years of a generation and another generation” – are not the same thing. On the one hand it speaks about days, and on the other hand about years. The days of old may refer to the six days of creation of the world and the years of the generations refer to the history of mankind. The Torah says that one has to remember the six days of creation and also to understand the years of generations. One's father and the elderly are those who keep the memories of this. This teaches us that it is important to know, not only the narration of the creation but also the history of humankind. Even though these things are written in the Torah, this text says that it's not enough to know what's written, as the ancestors' oral tradition must be studied as well.

Moshe rabbenu urged us to remember and understand these two periods in relation to the formation of the people of Israel. Then, what is the relationship between the days of the world's creation and the formation of the people of Israel?

Let's highlight some details from the narration of the creation of the heavens and earth that match the creation of the sacred people and its relation to the nations.

On the first day, the world was in chaos until the Almighty made light come forth. That light is the light of the Messiah that was then hidden for a time until being revealed later on. Then, there was a separation made between light and darkness, which represents the separation between those of the Messiah and those who are not of him.

Then the Eternal goes on creating separations in the world, he separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse, which may represent that among the nations there are those who are from heaven and those who are only of this world.

In today's text, the Torah says that the Eternal first divided the nations, and then set a limit between the nations and the sons of Israel according to the amount of the latter. This matches what the Eternal did in the creation when He set a limit between the oceans and the dry land. The seas represent the nations and the dry land, Israel. The limit between the nations and Israel is the limit that the Torah establishes between the chosen people and the rest of the world's nations. The Almighty saw that this was good.

Today's text also teaches us that the nations depend on the sons of Israel. We see, on the one hand that the Eternal created seventy nations according to the amount of the sons and daughters of Israel who went down to Egypt, seventy people. (Gen. 46:27). And on the other hand, we learn that the Eternal will allow the land of Israel to be expanded with the return of the Jews and the restoration of the twelve tribes in the Land. In that way, the borders between Israel and the nations will depend on the amount of the sons of Israel who will come back to the land in the last times. The Prophets say that not one of them will remain among the nations. (Ez. 39:28).

Everything that happens with Israel and the Jewish people has a great influence on the world. The Scriptures show that this influence determines the destiny of every nation. Not only history shows that what happens with the sons and daughters of Israel affects the nations directly, both positively and negatively, but you can also see that the spiritual life of the world depends on the priestly nation. Salvation is from the Jews. (John 4:22)

“I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you... May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you. May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.” (Gen. 12:3; 27:29 NIV)

“He crouched, he lay down like a lion and like a lioness; who will rouse him up? Blessed are those who bless you, and cursed are those who curse you.” (Num. 24:9 ESV)

Then the worst thing the nations can do is to make war against Israel and the Jewish people. The best thing they can do though is to cooperate with the Eternal in the reestablishment of the sacred people so it can be that priestly nation that it is intended to be and from which everyone will benefit.



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