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Parashah 43 Massei

Numbers 33:1 – 36:13

By Dr. K. Blad  ©

Second edition 2013-14

Lucrative copying not permitted.  

Torah Readings (when Massei is read separately):

1.      33:1-10

2.      33:11-49

3.      33:50 – 34:15

4.      34:16-29

5.      35:1-8

6.      35:9-34

7.      36:1-13

8.      Maftir: 36:10-13

Haftarah: Jeremiah 2:4 – 2:28; 4:1-2


Massei is the plural possessive of massah, which means “exodus”, “journey”, “march”, “point of reference”, “station”, “camp”. The term refers both to the places where the children of Israel camped and to the journeys between those places.

The First Aliyah, 33:1-10

33:2 “Moshe wrote their goings out according to their journeys by the command of HaShem: and these are their journeys according to their goings out.”(HNV revised) – Moshe wrote down the 42 (7x6) wanderings that the children of Israel did in the plain. There are several reasons as to why these places were written down:

  1. They were written down to show the future generations that the exodus of millions of people out of Egypt is not a myth. Specific facts about places and events prove that they really were there. The majority of the deserts that are in this list were completely uninhabitable since they had neither water nor vegetation. In the natural, it was impossible for such a large amount of men, women, and children to survive there. Only heavenly intervention would be able to provide for them in these uninhabitable places.

  2. They were written down to show the Eternal’s goodness in the midst of a punishment that meant walking around in the wilderness for forty years. Over the course of 40 years, they only moved 42 times. This means that they were not constantly going from one place to the next, but that in many places they stayed for a longer period of time. Rashi mentions that over the course of 38 years, there were only 20 journeys, since 14 journeys took place in the first year and eight took place after Aharon had died, in the 40th year. They were also in Kadesh for 19 years. The rest of the time, 19 years, they camped in 19 places, averaging at one journey per year.

  3. They were written down so that the children of Israel would know that their pilgrim journeys were dictated according to a definite spiritual plan.[1]

  4. They were written down so that we would remember our desert journey. When we are successful, we must remember the hard times because they were the road that HaShem used to lead us to success. That way we remain humble and grateful. If it had not been for the Eternal sustaining us by his grace, we would never have gotten to the place that we are in now.

  5. They were written down to reveal that the end of journey number 33 contains a Messianic secret.

33:3 “They traveled from Ra`meses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the next day after the Pesach the children of Yisra'el went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians”(HNV) – They began the journey on the 15th of Aviv/Nissan. It is written that it was on the day after Pesach. This teaches us that the exodus from Egypt took place early in the morning on the 15th day of the first month, compare with Deuteronomy 16:1.

Here the word Pesach, is referring to the lamb that was sacrificed in the afternoon of the previous day, in other words, on the 14th of Nissan, at approximately three o’clock in the afternoon.

Today in Israel the 15th of Nissan is called the first day of Pesach, but the Torah puts Pesach on the 14th of Nissan, which means that the lamb was offered that day.

33:6 “They traveled from Sukkot, and encamped in Etam, which is in the edge of the wilderness.”(HNV) – Sukkot is the first camping place after the exodus from Ra’meses. This teaches us that the Feast of Sukkot will be celebrated shortly after the second coming of the Messiah when all the children of Israel and righteous among the nations, who belong to Yeshua, will be caught away and transported in the air to the land of Israel. Sukkot will be the wedding celebration of the Lamb, shortly after the second exodus, which is the final redemption.

Salida Mitsrayim33:7 “They traveled from Etam, and turned back to Pi-Hachirot, which is before Ba`al-Tzefon: and they encamped before Migdol.”(HNV) – It seems like Baal-Tzefon was located on the other side of the Reed Sea (Red Sea). When it says that they turned back, it means that they did not continue in the previous direction toward the east, but that they turned south and came to Pi-Hachirot, which was by the Gulf of Aqabah.

The Second Aliyah, 33:11-49

33:13 “They traveled from Dofka, and encamped in Alush.”(HNV) – In Alush they received manna the first time.

33:14 “They traveled from Alush, and encamped in Refidim, where was no water for the people to drink.”(HNV) – In Refidim they were attacked by Amalek.

33:15 “They traveled from Refidim, and encamped in the wilderness of Sinai.”(HNV) – In Sinai they entered the covenant with HaShem and received the Torah.

33:16 “They traveled from the wilderness of Sinai, and encamped in Kivrot-Hatta'avah.”(HNV) – Kivrot-Hatta’avah means “the graves of lust”, for there those who were driven by lust were buried, compare with Numbers 11:34.

33:18 “They traveled from Chatzerot, and encamped in Ritmah.”(HNV) – The twelve spies were sent out from Ritmah.

33:22 “They traveled from Rissah, and encamped in Kehelatah.”(HNV) – Korach’s group rebelled in Kehelatah.

33:23 “They traveled from Kehelatah, and encamped in Mount Shefer.”(HNV) – According to Jonathan’s Targum, Shefer was a mountain with beautiful fruit.

33:36 “They traveled from `Etzyon-Gever, and encamped in the wilderness of Tzin (the same is Kadesh).”(HNV) – They stayed in the wilderness of Tzin, which is Kadesh, for 19 years. Miryam died there. Kadesh means “consecrated”. According to Jonathan’s Targum, the Name of the Eternal was consecrated in that place when Moshe and Aharon received the command that they would not be allowed to enter the land.

33:37-39 “They traveled from Kadesh, and encamped in Mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom. Aharon the priest went up into Mount Hor at the command of HaShem, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Yisra'el were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fifth month, on the first day of the month. Aharon was one hundred twenty-three years old when he died in Mount Hor.”(HNV revised) – Mount Hor is on the east side of the Aravah valley. It is the highest sandstone mountain in Edom and it is close to the ancient city Petra. Hor means “mountain”. There is a place that is traditionally considered to be Aharon’s grave, on a mountain in southern Jordan close to Petra.

33:42 “They traveled from Tzalmonah, and encamped in Punon.”(HNV) – In Punon the children of Israel complained about the manna and therefore the snakes came.

33:49 “They encamped by the Yarden, from Bet-Yeshimoth even to Avel-HaShittim in the plains of Mo'av.”(HNV) – In that place, 2400 Israelites died because of Baal-Pe’or. Here it says that the camp stretched all the way from Bet-Yeshimoth to Avel HaShittim, which gives us a hint of the size of the camp. Talmud[2] tells how Rabbah bar Chanah said that he had seen the place (from Bet Yeshimot to Avel Shittim) and that it measures 3x3 parsaot. One parsah (the singular of parsaot) measures four mill. Rashi says that the camp of the children of Israel measured twelve mill. One mill is the same as 1 080 meters. That means that this is talking about a length of approximately thirteen kilometers and a width of thirteen kilometers, which is 168 square kilometers (41 500 acres).

The Third Aliyah, 33:50 – 34:15

33:52 “then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places”(HNV) – According to Rashi, the Hebrew word that is translated “figured stones”, maskiotam,[3] is referring to pagan temples, which normally had their floors inlaid with marble where they would worship by laying prostrate, stretching out arms and legs. Targum translates this word as “their temples”.

This text teaches us that the Eternal wants there to be only one religion in the land of Israel. Any pagan influence is forbidden. This means today that the Torah does not permit any Catholic churches in the land of Israel. HaShem forbids any mosques to be in His land. The Bahai temple in Haifa is forbidden according to the Torah. All Buddha statues, icons, idols, and all cultic objects from religions other than Judaism, are forbidden in the land of Israel, according to the Torah. HaShem commands all that these things be destroyed. Today however, the land of Israel is full of idolatry. Furthermore, many Jews and Arabs make a lot of money from the tourists who come to visit churches, mosques, and museums that are full of cultic objects. It is not only forbidden to have the temples and cultic objects of other religions in the land, but it is also forbidden to make financial gain through these. According to the Torah, all cultic places and objects that are not dedicated to the only true God, Israel’s God, must be exterminated. All molten images will be destroyed. If the Jews do not do it first, the land will be cleansed of all pagan religion when the Messiah comes back. Then neither Christianity nor Islam will exist in the land of Israel or in the rest of the world. There will only be Biblical Judaism.

33:55 “But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then shall those who you let remain of them be as pricks in your eyes, and as thorns in your sides, and they shall vex you in the land in which you dwell.”(HNV) – The previous inhabitants that were not driven out would become pricks in the eyes and thorns in the sides of the children of Israel, as it also is written in Joshua 23:12-13,

“Else if you do at all go back, and cleave to the remnant of these nations, even these who remain among you, and make marriages with them, and go in to them, and they to you; know for a certainty that HaShem your God will no more drive these nations from out of your sight; but they shall be a snare and a trap to you, and a scourge in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which HaShem your God has given you.”(HNV revised)

In Ezekiel 28:24-26, it is written,

“There shall be no more a pricking brier to the house of Yisra'el, nor a hurting thorn of any that are round about them, that did despite to them; and they shall know that I am the Lord HaShem. Thus says the Lord HaShem: When I shall have gathered the house of Yisra'el from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the nations, then shall they dwell in their own land which I gave to my servant Ya`akov. They shall dwell securely therein; yes, they shall build houses, and plant vineyards, and shall dwell securely, when I have executed judgments on all those who do them despite round about them; and they shall know that I am HaShem their God.”(HNV revised)

When Rabbi Shaul spoke of having a thorn in his flesh that hindered him from becoming too great, he is most likely talking about the persecution from unbelievers that he had to suffer, as it is written in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10,

“By reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted excessively, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of the adversary to buffet me, that I should not be exalted excessively. Concerning this thing, I begged the Lord three times that it might depart from me. He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Most gladly therefore I will rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Messiah may rest on me. Therefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Messiah’s sake. For when I am weak, then am I strong.”(HNV)

Rabbi Shaul is not talking about a physical disease, but rather about those people who were riled up by a demon that constantly followed him wherever he went. There is also a Midrash that is very similar to this text, and which says that Aharon was struck by a messenger of satan every time he was going to minister in the tabernacle that reminded him of the sin with the golden calf. All the persecution and resistance that Rabbi Shaul had to suffer reminded him of the fact that he had caused the death of Jews who believed in Yeshua.

34:3 “then your south quarter shall be from the wilderness of Tzin along by the side of Edom, and your south border shall be from the end of the Salt Sea eastward”(HNV) – The borders of Israel were carefully staked out according to a heavenly order. That way no one can say that Israel has stolen land from the nations. HaShem owns heaven and earth and he has the right to give the land to whomever he wishes. Seen from a judicial standpoint, the land of Kana’an was righteously given to the children of Israel. HaShem cannot steal or commit any unrighteous act, as it is written in Psalm 145:17,

“HaShem is righteous in all his ways, and gracious in all his works.”(HNV revised)

So, the land was not stolen from any nation, for the land belongs to the Eternal and he had sworn by an oath to give it to Avraham, Yitzchak, Yaakov, and their descendants forever. When the sins of the children of Kana’an had reached their full measure, they lost the right to live, as it is written in Genesis 15:16,

“In the fourth generation they will come here again, for the iniquity of the Amori is not yet full.”(HNV)

If the sins of the children of Kana’an had reached their full measure, how could they then have the right to live in HaShem’s land, where only the righteous have the right to live? The destruction of Sedom and Amorah stands as an example to the whole world of the fact that sinners do not have the right to live in HaShem’s land, as it is also written in Matthew 5:5,

“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land.”(HNV revised)

According to Philippians 2:8, to be meek means to do the will of the Father, as it is written,

“he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death on the tree.”(HNV revised)

Meekness, therefore, means obedience. Obedience to what? Obedience to the Eternal’s instruction book, the Torah. So, according to the Messiah’s teaching, it is only the meek, those who obey the Torah, who have the right to live in the land of Israel, and only those who obey the Torah will have the right to live in the land of Israel during the Messianic reign. The children of Israel were driven out of the land at several occasions throughout the course of history because they did not obey the Torah. The only ones who have heavenly permission to settle in the land of Israel are those who fulfill HaShem’s Torah. The Jews who live in idolatry do not have the right in the eyes of heaven to remain in the land of Israel. The land is for the righteous, not for sinners.

In Exodus 23:31-33, it is written,

“I will set your border from the Sea of Suf even to the sea of the Pelishtim, and from the wilderness to the River (Euphrates); for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and you shall drive them out before you. You shall make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they make you sin against me, for if you serve their gods, it will surely be a snare to you.””(HNV)

In Psalm 25:12-13, it is written,

“What man is he who fears HaShem? He shall instruct him in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease. His seed shall inherit the land.”(HNV revised)

In Psalm 37:22, 29, it is written,

“For such as are blessed by him shall inherit the land. Those who are cursed by him shall be cut off…The righteous shall inherit the land, and live in it forever.”(HNV)

Those who do not obey the commandments that HaShem has established will be cursed by him and will lose the right to the land, compare with Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28.

In Psalm 69:35-36, it is written,

“For God will save Tziyon, and build the cities of Yehudah. They shall settle there, and own it. The children also of his servants shall inherit it. Those who love his name shall dwell therein.”(HNV revised)

The children of Israel acted in obedience to a heavenly command when they took the land and wiped out the nations that were in it. All these nations had the same opportunity as the prostitute Rachav in Yericho, to convert from their idols and dedicate themselves to the God of Israel, but they feverishly held on to their sinful lifestyles and resisted the Most High. Therefore they lost the right to HaShem’s land, the land that was chosen by the Eternal in a very special way. He calls it his own land, as it is written in Jeremiah 2:7,

“I brought you into a plentiful land, to eat the fruit of it and the goodness of it; but when you entered, you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination.”(HNV)

In Deuteronomy 11:12, it is written,

“a land which HaShem your God cares for: the eyes of HaShem your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year even to the end of the year.”(HNV revised)

In Jeremiah 16:18, it is written,

“First I will recompense their iniquity and their sin double, because they have polluted my land with the carcasses of their detestable things, and have filled my inheritance with their abominations.”(HNV)

In Ezekiel 36:5, it is written,

“therefore thus says the Lord HaShem: Surely in the fire of my jealousy have I spoken against the residue of the nations, and against all Edom, that have appointed my land to themselves for a possession with the joy of all their heart, with despite of soul, to cast it out for a prey.”(HNV revised)

In Joel 2:18, it is written,

“Then HaShem was jealous for his land, and had pity on his people.”(HNV revised)

In Joel 3:1-2, it is written,

“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I restore the fortunes of Yehudah and Yerushalayim, I will gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Yehoshafat; and I will execute judgment on them there for my people, and for my heritage, Yisra'el, whom they have scattered among the nations. They have divided my land…”(HNV)

This text teaches us that in the last days, HaShem’s judgment will come over all those nations who have divided his land.

34:12 “This shall be your land according to the borders of it round about.”(HNV) – Another reason that the Torah so clearly defines the borders of the land, is so that we can know where the commandments apply that can only be fulfilled in the land of Israel.

Ever since the beginning of creation, HaShem has been putting down borders that define the difference between one thing and another. There were borders between different lands already in the Garden of Eden. HaShem also but a border between what we are permitted to eat and what we are not permitted to eat. These borders existed before sin came into the world. This teaches us that it is not sin that has caused the Torah to define the lines between one thing and another. Borders are a part of creation itself. There are separate rooms and levels, even in the heavenly tabernacle. All creation needs borders within which to exist and function, as it is written in Acts 17:26,

“He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the surface of the earth, having determined appointed seasons, and the boundaries of their dwellings”(HNV revised)

The essence of sin is to go beyond or to change borders, compare with 1 John 3:4.

The Messiah, therefore, did not come to remove the borders, or to change them, but to help man to respect and function within the borders that have been established by HaShem in the Torah. Anyone who preaches a Messiah that came to change or to remove the borders that were set in place by the Eternal is talking about a false messiah. The very essence of the spirit of the anti messiah is to change the borders that HaShem has established in the Torah, as it is written in Daniel 7:25-26,

“He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the consecrated ones of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time. But the judgment shall be set, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it to the end.”(HNV revised)

In 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4, 7-8, it is written,

“Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the departure comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called god or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God… For the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only there is one who restrains now, until he is taken out of the way. Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nothing by the brightness of his coming”(HNV revised)

Here it is talking about the lawless man and the mystery of lawlessness. This is the spirit of the anti-messiah, who stands against the Eternal’s law and tries to change and do away with it and its borders. The man of lawlessness is a man who is completely ruled by the flesh, as it is written in Romans 8:7-8,

“because the mind of the flesh is hostile towards God; for it is not subject to God’s law, neither indeed can it be. Those who are in the flesh can’t please God.”(HNV revised)

The thing that will distinguish the last generation before the Messiah is that it does not know where the borders are. It will not know the difference between man and woman, between youth and elder, between good and evil, between right and wrong, between light and darkness, between truth and a lie, or between what is permitted and what is forbidden. In the Torah, HaShem has established the borders, but a perverted person distorts everything. A perverted person is one who teaches that “Christ” came to do away with the law and to change the borders that have been set up through the law of Moshe. The end of a perverted person is death.

This weeks Parashah teaches us that HaShem establishes very distinct borders for Israel and the nations. Blessed is the man who respects these borders.

34:5 “and the border shall turn about from `Atzmon to the brook of Egypt, and the goings out of it shall be at the sea.”(HNV) – The brook of Egypt is not the Nile, but it is a brook in the Sinai Peninsula. Today it is called Wadi el-Arish. At this time the people of Israel were not given the entire area that the Eternal had promised the forefathers. They will not have the whole Promised Land until the Messiah Yeshua comes back.

34:8 “from Mount Hor you shall mark out to the entrance of Chamat; and the goings out of the border shall be at Tzedad”(HNV) – According to Rashi, the city Chamat is the city that would later become the Syrian city Antioch. The book of Acts refers to two cities called Antioch. One of them was in the Roman province of Syria, by the coast. It is mentioned in 11:19-27 and 13:1. The other one was in Asia Minor, in Pisidia, and it is mentioned in 13:14.

The Fourth Aliyah, 34:15-29

34:15 “the two tribes and the half-tribe have received their inheritance on the other side of the Yarden at Yericho eastward, toward the sunrise.”(HNV revised) – The expression “on the other side of the Yarden” is found many times in the Scriptures, compare with Numbers 22:1; 35:14; Deuteronomy 1:1, 5; 3:8, 20; 4:41, 47, 49; Joshua 1:14, 15 among others. It is nearly always referring to the east side where the two and a half tribes were given an area. It is interesting to note that even though Moshe was not on the west side of the river, inside the land of Kana’an strictly speaking, the Torah still uses this expression. It is as if the Torah came from the west of the river. When HaShem dictated this text to Moshe, the children of Israel had not yet crossed the river Yarden. They were still in the land “on the other side of the Yarden”. Moshe was there together with the people. This teaches us that the Torah comes out from the land of Israel, more specifically from Tziyon, as it is written in Isaiah 2:3b,

“For out of Tziyon the law shall go forth, and the word of HaShem from Yerushalayim.”(HNV revised)

In Amos 1:2, it is written,

“He said: ‘HaShem will roar from Tziyon, and utter his voice from Yerushalayim; and the pastures of the shepherds will mourn, and the top of Karmel will wither.’”(HNV revised)

In Ezekiel 5:5 and 38:12, it says in the Hebrew that Yerushalayim is the navel of the earth, i.e. the center of the earth.

The Fifth Aliyah, 35:1-8

35:7 “All the cities which you shall give to the Levites shall be forty-eight cities; them shall you give with their suburbs.”(HNV) – The Levites were given 48 cities throughout the whole land of Israel. Six of them were cities of refuge. Around each of these cities, there was an area of one thousand cubits in each direction. Verse 4 mentions one thousand cubits and verse 5 speaks of two thousand. The Talmud[4] solves what seems to be a contradiction by saying that the first thousand cubits were left as an open area and the remaining thousand cubits were used as fields and vineyards.

The Sixth Aliyah, 35:9-34

35:11 “then you shall appoint you cities to be cities of refuge for you, that the manslayer who kills any person unwittingly may flee there.”(HNV) – If anyone killed another unintentionally, it was possible for him to flee to one of the six cities of refuge, in Hebrew arei miklat. In the case of a murder, one of the closest relatives had the right to be the “avenger of blood” for the blood of the victim. In Hebrew this is called the goel[5] hadam, “blood redeemer”. By this he carried out HaShem’s vengeance and shed the blood of the person who had killed his relative, in order to fulfill Genesis 9:6, where it is written,

“Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man will his blood be shed, for in the image of God made he man.”(HNV revised)

35:25 “and the congregation shall deliver the manslayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge, where he was fled: and he shall dwell therein until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the consecrated oil.”(HNV revised) – Here the word “congregation” is referring to the court, Beit Din. Talmud[6] teaches that if the victim did not have a relative who could be the goel hadam, the Beit Din would make sure that someone else would take that responsibility. This goel had the authority to kill the murderer wherever he found him. However, if the Beit Din determined that the murderer had acted unintentionally, it was forbidden for the goel to take revenge within the area of a city of refuge. One who had fled to a city of refuge was then condemned to live away from his home for as long as the high priest lived who was in office at the time of the accident. So, even those who accidentally cause the death of another must have a type of prison sentence. This teaches us how highly HaShem values a human life. On the other hand, this type of prison was a spiritual place, where the Levites lived, who spent most of their time studying the Torah. When the high priest died, the murderer would be free to return to his own home and his own land. Then the avenger of blood no longer had the right to execute him.

The Seventh Aliyah, 36:1-13

36:6 “This is the thing which HaShem does command concerning the daughters of Tzelophchad, saying, Let them be married to whom they think best; only into the family of the tribe of their father shall they be married.”(HNV revised) – Primarily it was the sons who inherited land in Israel. When a daughter married, she would have land and a house through her husband’s tribe. This, however, is a case where daughters inherit their father’s land, since they did not have any brothers. Therefore they could not marry anyone from another tribe, so that the land from their father’s tribe would not go to another tribe.

“Let them be married to whom they think best” – This teaches us that HaShem has not predetermined only one person that one could marry. HaShem gives the freedom to marry the one that seems best, on the condition that it is within the tribe. The same thought is found in 1 Corinthians 7:39,

“A wife is bound by law for as long as her husband lives; but if the husband is dead, she is free to be married to whoever she desires, only in the Lord.”(HNV)

This text says that a widow has the right to marry anyone she wishes, as long as it is in the Lord, i.e. one who has faith in Yeshua. Naturally, she does not have the right to desire one who is already in a covenant of marriage with someone else; she cannot desire her neighbor’s husband. A divorced woman has the same status as a widow, since she no longer has a husband. Through divorce, she is free from the man who was previously her husband. So, this text cannot be used in order to stop divorced people from remarrying. If, however, the husband is a believer, she does not have the right to remarry, according to 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, but she ought to seek reconciliation with him. If, in spite of everything, the believing former husband enters a new marriage covenant with another, then the divorced woman is free to marry whomever she wishes, just like a widow.

One who is an believer does not have the right to marry one who does not believe in Yeshua, as it is written in 2 Corinthians 6:14-18,

“Don’t be unequally yoked with unbelievers (those who do not believe in Yeshua), for what fellowship have righteousness and iniquity? Or what communion has light with darkness? What agreement has Messiah with Beliya`al? Or what portion has a believer with an unbeliever? What agreement has a temple of God with idols? For you are a temple of the living God. Even as God said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they will be my people.’ Therefore, ‘Come out from among them, And be separate,’ says the Lord, ‘Touch no unclean thing. I will receive you. I will be to you a Father. You will be to me sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’”(HNV revised)

The Mashiach in this Parashah

33:37-39 “They traveled from Kadesh, and encamped in Mount Hor, in the edge of the land of Edom. Aharon the Priest went up into Mount Hor at the command of HaShem, and died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Yisra'el were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fifth month, on the first day of the month. Aharon was one hundred twenty-three years old when he died in Mount Hor.”(HNV revised) – The High Priest Aharon died at the 33rd camp from the exodus out of Egypt, on a mountain called Hor, which means “mountain”. He was a mashiach, an anointed one, the first one in the Scriptures to be called mashiach, compare with Leviticus 4:3, 5, 16. This event is a prophetic picture of Yeshua HaMashiach, who also died on a mountain at age 33, which lines up with Israel’s 33rd camp starting from the Exodus.

“Aharon… died there, in the fortieth year after the children of Yisra'el were come out of the land of Egypt” – This is a reference to the Mashiach’s death and resurrection 4,000 years after the creation of Adam. In Genesis 13:10, Egypt is compared to the Garden of Eden. There is also a connection between Adam and Chavah being driven out of paradise and the children of Israel leaving Egypt. In the same way that Aharon, the anointed, died forty years after the exodus from Egypt, Yeshua the Messiah died 4,000 (100x40) years after the exodus of the first man and woman from the Garden of Eden.

Furthermore, Aharon died the first day of the fifth month, exactly three and a half months after the date of the exodus, which was the 15th day of the first month. The three and a half months refer to the Messiah’s ministry, which lasted for three and a half years. Similarly to the way that Aharon died three and a half months after the date of the exodus, Yeshua died three and a half years after beginning his public ministry.

Aharon lived to be three years older than his brother, Moshe, who was 120 years old when he died. These three years also speak of the Messiah, his three plus years of ministry, his 30 plus years of life until death, and the three days that he was in the innermost part of the earth before he was resurrected. The mountain Hor, is mentioned three times in this text.

35:19 “The avenger of blood (goel hadam) shall himself put the murderer to death: when he meets him, he shall put him to death.”(HNV) – This teaches us that there is one called “goel hadam”, “blood redeemer” or “avenger of blood”, who has the responsibility of finding and executing the murderer. Who was it that killed the first man and is therefore called “murderer” by our Rabbi in John 8:44 and 10:10? It is the adversary.

Who is the closest relative of Adam and Chavah? He is the Messiah ben Adam, the Son of Man, who was the prototype for Adam’s creation.

Who has the responsibility to find and execute the murderer of mankind? It is Yeshua HaMashiach, as it is written in John 12:31,

“Now is the judgment of this world. Now the prince of this world will be cast out.”(HNV)

In John 16:11, it is written,

“about judgment, because the prince of this world has been judged.”(HNV)

In 1 John 3:8b, it is written,

“To this end the Son of God was revealed, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”(HNV revised)

35:25, 28 “and the congregation shall deliver the manslayer out of the hand of the avenger of blood, and the congregation shall restore him to his city of refuge, where he was fled: and he shall dwell therein until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the consecrated oil… because he should have remained in his city of refuge until the death of the high priest: but after the death of the high priest the manslayer shall return into the land of his possession.”(HNV revised) – The death of the high priest is mentioned three times here. Once again we see have the number three as a reference to the death of the Messiah in the context of the high priest’s death. The only thing that could deliver one who had killed a person by accident from his “prison” was the death of the high priest, he “who was anointed with the consecrated oil”. The Torah points out that the high priest was anointed in order to point to Yeshua the Anointed, in Hebrew HaMashiach. Through his death, we have been set free from the consequences of the sins we have committed by accident. Dear Reader, if you are suffering in a “prison” because of terrible mistakes that you have made, you need to know that Yeshua’s death has also paid for you to be set free from the consequences of your sins so that they are not brought up against you at the final judgment.

35:33 “So you shall not pollute the land in which you are: for blood, it pollutes the land; and no expiation can be made for the land for the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him who shed it.”(HNV) – Here we see how serious murder is. A murderer must be judged by the authorities of every nation in order for the righteousness of the Eternal to be established in the world. According to Jewish law, no one can be condemned to death if he was not warned by two or three witnesses before he committed murder. The Torah brings out the importance of not allowing a murderer to live once he has been condemned to death, so that the land of Israel would not be polluted. The shedding of innocent blood is one of the things that causes wrath to come over Israel and the nations. One way to stop the wrath is to execute the murderers. If the murderers are not sentenced properly, the whole people will partake of the judgment for the innocent blood that was shed in the land, compare with 2 Kings 24:4.

However, if the murderer repents, then the full weight of the law does not fall upon him, and he is released from his death sentence and is given a lesser punishment. On the other hand, if there is no repentance, the full strictness of the law must be applied so that the land will not be polluted and cursed.

How can the Eternal forgive a sinner who repents if, according to this text, the only way to atone for murder is when the guilty person pays with his own blood? How can the Eternal forgive and set free the guilty person and at the same time remain righteous?

In Proverbs 17:15, it is written,

“He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to HaShem.”(HNV revised)

If a judge releases a criminal, he is committing an abominable act in the eyes of the Eternal. So, how can the righteous heavenly Judge remain righteous when he releases a repentant criminal? The only answer is: through a substitute.

The animals that were slaughtered in the temple could not fully represent man. They were not true substitutes. They were only a shadow of the only true sacrifice for all the sins of mankind throughout all of history, the sacrifice of God’s Lamb who takes away the sins of the world. Yeshua HaMashiach’s death is the only lawful foundation that the Eternal has upon which to forgive and release a sinner who repents of his sin, and still be righteous, as it is written in Romans 3:25-26,

“whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance; to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Yeshua.”(HNV revised)

The only way that the Eternal can show the world that he is completely righteous when he forgives repentant sinners, is through a public display of the bloody death of a man who died in mankind’s place, as it is written in 2 Corinthians 5:21,

“For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”(HNV revised)

So, as you feel accused by your conscience that has been awakened by the message of the Torah and has been convicted by the Spirit of Sanctity who was sent to convicted the world of righteousness and judgment, you must know, dear reader, that there is a substitute who died in your place so that the fatal consequences of all your sins would not come over you. Through your repentance, HaShem transfers the most extreme consequences of your sin to the Substitute so that you do not have to die for your sins but can be forgiven and released. Being made righteous by faith in the blood of Yeshua will place you in a position of innocence before the Heavenly Court, and so you can have peace with God, as it is written in Romans 5:1-2,

“Being therefore justified by faith, we have shalom with God through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah; through whom we also have our access by faith into this grace in which we stand. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”(HNV revised)

Blessed be the Eternal for this wonderful Substitute!

This Parashah contains commandments number 408 – 413 of the 613 commandments:

408. The command to give the Levites cities to dwell in as well as cities of refuge, Numbers 35:2

409. The prohibition of executing one who is guilty before he has been sentenced in court, Numbers 35:12.

410. The command for the court to make sure that the murderer makes it to a city of refuge, and the command for the murderer to go there, Numbers 35:25.

411. The prohibition for a witness in a murder trial to participate in the trial, in any other function than as witness, Numbers 35:30.

412. The prohibition of taking ransom money for a murderer, Numbers 35:31.

413. The prohibition of taking ransom money for one who has killed another unintentionally and thus allowing him to dwell outside of the city of refuge, Numbers 35:32.


[1]       Bamidbar Rabbah 23:3.

[2]       Erubín 55b.

[3]       Strong H4906 masìkîyth, mas-keeth', From the same as H7906; a figure (carved on stone, the wall, or any object); figuratively imagination: -  conceit, image (-ry), picture, X wish.

[4]       Sotah 27b.

[5]       Strong H1350 gâ'al, gaw-al', A primitive root, to redeem (according to the Oriental law of kinship), that is, to be the next of kin (and as such to buy back a relative’s property, marry his widow, etc.): -  X in any wise, X at all, avenger, deliver, (do, perform the part of near, next) kinsfolk (-man), purchase, ransom, redeem (-er), revenger.

[6]       Sanhedrin 45b.