Daily mannaWeekly parashahDonationsAudio

Parashah 44 Devarim

Deuteronomy 1:1 - 3:22

By Dr. K. Blad  ©

Second edition 2013-14

Lucrative copying not permitted.  

Torah Readings:

  1. 1:1-11

  2. 1:12-21

  3. 1:22-38

  4. 1:39 – 2:1

  5. 2:2-2:30

  6. 2:31 – 3:14

  7. 3:15-22

  8. Maftir: 3:20-22

Haftarah: Isaiah 1:1-27


means “words” or “things”[1]

The First Aliyah, 1:1-11

This was the fifth book that Moshe wrote, as it is written in Deuteronomy 31:24,

“It happened, when Moshe had made an end of writing the words of this Torah in a scroll, until they were finished”(HNV revised)

Devarim is a confirmation of the Torah that was already given on Mount Sinai and on the plains of Moav. It differs from the other four books in that it is not a collection of the words that the Eternal dictated directly, but the words that were conveyed through the greatest prophet in his category, Moshe Rabbenu. This book, therefore, is a repetition and an explanation by the prophet of the Torah that was dictated and given from heaven once and for all. That is why the book begins with the words, “These are the words that Moshe spoke to all Israel...” This does not mean that the words are not from the Eternal, but that instead of being quoted directly, they are now filtered and conveyed through the human instrument that had reached the highest level of prophecy that there is. They are words coming from the Eternal through Moshe, as it is written in 1:3, “Moshe proclaimed to the Israelites all that HaShem had commanded him concerning them”. But since these words were not directly dictated by HaShem, the foundation for the words in Moshe’s fifth book is already laid in the first four books. Remember that the foundation of a house supports the whole house. In the same way, the first four books of the Torah were dictated to the prophet Moshe, letter by letter, and written down with precision. Thus they became the foundation for the fifth book of Moshe (Deuteronomy). These five books, that are called the Torah of Moshe, are in turn, the foundation for the rest of the Scriptures. The prophetic books that were later added, beginning with Yehoshua (Joshua), doesn't change anything in the foundation, as it is written in Deuteronomy 4:2,

“You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish from it, that you may keep the commandments of HaShem your God which I command you.”(HNV revised)                                      

In Deuteronomy 12:32, it is written,

“Whatever thing I command you, that shall you observe to do: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it.”(HNV)

The early Prophets, from Joshua to 2 Kings, the latter Prophets, from Isaiah to Malachi, the early Writings, from Psalms to 2 Chronicles, and the Messianic Writings, from Matthew to Revelation, can neither add nor take away anything from the words of the Torah that HaShem gave through Moshe Rabbenu. The foundation for the written revelation has been laid once and for all and the other books can neither be a part of the foundation nor take anything away from it. The other Spirit-inspired books give explanations and shed more light on that which is already written in the foundation, compare with Ephesians 3:5. Even if these books are also inspired by the Spirit of HaShem, they do not have the same level of authority as the Torah of Moshe. Therefore one has to be very careful with new ideas that originate from any other portions of Scripture not in the Torah of Moshe, since all revelation that comes after Moshe must be founded on his Writings, as it is written in John 5:46,

“For if you believed Moshe, you would believe me; for he wrote about me.”(HNV)

In Romans 3:21, it is written,

“But now apart from the (written) law, a righteousness of God has been revealed (through the living Torah), being testified of by the law and the prophets”(HNV revised)

In Acts 26:22 it is written,

“Having therefore obtained the help that is from God, I stand to this day testifying both to small and great, saying nothing but what the prophets and Moshe said would happen”(HNV revised)

The book Devarim can be divided into three sections, which correspond with the three books: Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers. Therefore it is also called the Mishneh Torah, "repetition of the Torah", an expression that is found in Deuteronomy 17:18. "Deuteronomium" is the latin form of the Septuagint’s "Deuteronómion", which means "the second law".

These are the three sections:

1:1 – 5:5

Morals and Admonitions


Diverse Laws

27:9 – 34:12

Blessings and Curses    

When you compare Devarim with ancient covenantal documents that archeologists have found from the Hetites and other Oriental peoples of the period 1500 – 1300 BCE, which, among other things, established the relationships between kings and their subjects, you can see a similar structure. They have an introduction, a retrospective look at history, covenant conditions, the covenant document itself, blessings, curses, the conclusion, and duration of document.

According to tradition, it was Yehoshua (Joshua) who wrote chapter 34, which speaks of Moshe’s death.

1:1    “These are the words which Moshe spoke to all Yisra'el beyond the Yarden in the wilderness, in the `Aravah over against Suf, between Paran, and Tofel, and Lavan, and Chatzerot, and Di-Zahav.”(HNV) - According to Rashi, this is referring to the different rebukes they received since the word devarim is used, which is a harsher term compared to the way the Torah is written otherwise. The books Jeremiah and Ecclesiastes, which also are books of admonition, begin with the same word: divrei, "words of...".

The places mentioned here are the places where the children of Israel complained against the Eternal during the journey. Rashi says, “Since this is talking about words of rebuke that mention all the places where they had made the Present One angry, the events have been dissimulated for Israel’s sake in the way that they were only reminded of them in general terms.”

 Onkelos’ Targum translated this verse in this way, “Moshe rebuked them since they sinned in the desert and since they caused the divine wrath to come down in the valley of Moav and (thereafter) before the Reed Sea (Suf); because they grumbled against God in Paran and because they spoke contemptuously (Tofel) of the manna (Lavan); because they, in Chatzerot, criticized the food and earlier erected the ‘golden calf’ (Di-Zahav).”

The children of Israel had sinned in the desert, according to Exodus 16:3; on the plains, according to Numbers 25:1-3; before Suf (the Red Sea), according to Exodus 14:11 and Psalm 106:7; by Paran, according to Numbers 12:6 and chapter 13; they despised the “white” (Lavan) according to Exodus 31:16; they rebelled in Chatzerot, according to Numbers 11:35; and erected the golden calf, according to Exodus 32, compare with Hosea 2:8. The word “Di-Zahav” is understood as meaning “much gold”.

1:2    “It is eleven days’ journey from Chorev by the way of Mount Se`ir to Kadesh-Barnea.”(HNV) - Rashi gives proof that it took only three days for Israel to make this journey. That shows us what an interest HaShem took in bringing them into the Land. Normally the journey from Chorev to Kadesh would take eleven days. This is in contrast to the next verse that speaks of the 40 years that the children of Israel wandered on the plain. It was by Chorev that the Torah was given and Kadesh Barnea is in the vicinity of the southern border to the Promised Land. If the children of Israel had believed the Eternal, they would have entered the land much earlier.

1:3  “It happened in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first day of the month, that Moshe spoke to the children of Yisra'el, according to all that HaShem had given him in commandment to them.”(HNV revised) – Moshe gave his three speeches, which make up the entire book, in 36 days time. Thereafter he died and was buried on the seventh day of the twelfth month, which is called Adar. This text shows us that Moshe did not speak these words from his own mind, but that everything he spoke was well grounded in the revelation that the Eternal gave to the children of Israel. Moshe is a good example for all who expound the teachings of the Torá, as it is written in 1 Peter 4:11a,

 “If any man speaks, let it be as it were oracles of God.”(HNV revised)

1:4    “after he had struck Sichon the king of the Amori, who lived in Cheshbon, and `Og the king of Bashan, who lived in `Ashtarot, at Edre`i.”(HNV) – According to Rashi, Ashtarot was the city and Edrei was the kingdom.

1:5    “Beyond the Yarden, in the land of Mo'av, began Moshe to declare this Torah, saying,”(HNV revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated “declare” is baar,[2] which means “explain”, “elucidate”, “make clear”, “comment”, “disclose”, “clarify”, “write down”, “engrave”. This teaches us that the Torah was already given and that what is presented here is an explanation of it. Strictly speaking then, we can say that the Torah is not anything beyond the first four books of Moshe, and what follows are explanations, applications, and comments to that which had already been given from heaven. As we said earlier, the point of reference for all heavenly revelation that we have in writing is found in the four first books of Moshe, which are the foundation, together with the fifth book, Devarim, which is the capstone and contains 200 of the 613 commandments.

So, what does Yeshua mean when he speaks of a new commandment, according to John 13:34, where it is written,                      “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, just like I have loved you; that you also love one another.”? (HNV revised)

He did not add a new commandment so that there are now 614, for it is already written, “love your neighbor as yourself”, but rather, this is speaking of a renewed commandment. One of the commandments is renewed so that it is as if it was new. The new thing that the Messiah is bringing up is the application of the commandment, “just like I have loved you”. He gives new life to an old commandment, thus giving the perfect application to the commandment in a new way. The same principle is found in 1 John 2:7-8 where it is written:

“Brothers, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word (the Torah), which you heard from the beginning. Again, I write a new commandment to you, which is true in him and in you; because the darkness is passing away, and the true light already shines.”(HNV revised)

This is therefore not speaking of a new Torah or a new commandment, but of that which the children of Israel have had ever since Sinai and that which they have had from the beginning, from Beresheet, Genesis.

When Shaliach Shaul speaks of a revelation that had not been given during past times, it does not mean that this truth is not found in the Torah, but that others had not seen it clearly. This eternal truth is found in the Torah of Moshe, but had not been revealed earlier to the prophets with the same clarity as it was now revealed, as it is written in Ephesians 3:4-6,

“by which, when you read, you can perceive my understanding in the mystery of Messiah; which in other generations was not made known to the children of men, as it has now been revealed to his consecrated messengers and prophets in the Spirit; that the gentiles (who have converted through the Messiah) are fellow heirs (with the Jews), and fellow members of our body (of the heavenly Israel), and fellow partakers in his promise in Messiah Yeshua through (receiving) the Good News”(HNV revised)

In Colossians 1:26-27, it is written,

“the mystery which has been hidden for ages and generations. But now it has been revealed to his consecrated ones, to whom God was pleased to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles (who have converted through the Messiah), which is Messiah in you, the hope of glory”(HNV)

The foundation for these scriptures can be found, among other places, in Genesis 12:2-3, where it is written,

“I will make of you a great nation. I will bless you, and make your name great. You will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you. In you will all of the families of the earth be blessed.”(HNV revised)

As we have said earlier, the word “blessed” here can also mean “grafted in”.

The Torah can be compared to a dark room that holds many pieces of furniture. It is impossible to see what is in the room if one does not light a lamp. The more light there is, the more details are revealed in the room. Revelation is like that lamp. The same thing happens when one develops film from an old camera. Before it is developed one cannot see the pictures that have been there since they were taken. It is the same way with the counsel of the Eternal; it is hidden in the Torah of Moshe, and later revelations have only brought into the light that which was there already. These revelations can only be given through the Spirit of the Eternal.

The Torah of Moshe, therefore, has the highest level of authority among the inspired Scriptures. Not even the Messiah Yeshua himself came to change or add anything to that which Moshe wrote. His words changed nothing of that which was given by the Eternal through Moshe. Yeshua did not come to break, but to give the true meaning and the final explanation to that which his heavenly Father had in his heart when he gave us the commandments through Moshe, as it is written in Matthew 5:17-19,

“Don’t think that I came to destroy the Torah (of Moshe) or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill. 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 law, until all things are accomplished. Whoever, therefore, shall break one of these least commandments, and teach others to do so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but whoever shall do and teach them shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.”(HNV revised)

When Yeshua fought against satan himself, he did not answer with his own words, but with words from the Torah, or more specifically from Devarim, compare with Matthew 4:1-11. If Yeshua, as Mashiach, had more authority than the words that were conveyed through Moshe, why did he not say to satan, “Go satan, because I say so!” Why did our Adon, who is greater than Moshe, not use his own words, but Moshe’s words, in his confrontation with the enemy? This teaches us that our Lord and Savior Yeshua did not cast suspicion on, explained away, or put the Torah on a lower level than the later written revelations. If Yeshua HaMashiach himself answered satan with Deuteronomy and thus won victory over him, then you can do it too!

This means that one who puts the so called “New Testament” above the words of the Torah that was given through Moshe, or considers that it has more authority than the Pentateuch, the five books of Moshe, turns the building upside down and puts the roof as the foundation, creating mental disorder and theological confusion.

1:6    “HaShem our God spoke to us in Chorev, saying, You have stayed long enough in this mountain”(HNV revised) – As Moshe had an opportunity to speak prophetically to all the people before he died, the first thing that he said was the Sacred Name. Moshe was in love with HaShem and this was the first thing that came out of his mouth at this very important occasion for the entire history of Israel. The last word in Devarim is “Israel”. This teaches us that everything begins with HaShem and ends with Israel. If you have begun your spiritual life with the Eternal, you will never be complete until you unite with Israel. Israel is the grand finale of the whole counsel of HaShem. One who does not leave Babylon and Rome to go to Yerushalayim will never reach the full destiny of his faith. Dear Christian friend, if you have been born again through the Spirit of the Messiah, then you do not belong in Christianity, but in Israel. Leave Babylon, which is in Rome, and come home! Because of those pagan roots that are found in Christianity it doesn’t have any future. Flee as fast as you can so that you do not have to partake of its plagues!

In this text there are four foundational pillars:

  1. HaShem

  2. The people of Israel, which is expressed in the words, “our God”.

  3. The Torah, expressed in the words “said to us”.

  4. The Promised Land, expressed in the words, “You have stayed long enough in this mountain... Break camp and advance... I have given you this Land...”, verses 6-8.

If any one of these foundational pillars is done away with, the entire plan of HaShem falls.

  • HaShem cannot fulfill his plan without the people of Israel, without establishing Torah in the world, or without giving the land of Kana’an to Israel.

  • The people of Israel cannot exist without HaShem, without Torah, or without the Promised Land.

  • The Torah cannot exist without HaShem, without Israel, or without the Land.

  • The Land of Israel cannot blossom without HaShem, without the chosen people, or without Torah.

These four foundational pillars hold up the whole counsel of HaShem for world history. The Almighty has his plan and he will fulfill it, as it is written in Isaiah 14:24,

“HaShem of Hosts has sworn, saying, Surely, as I have thought, so shall it happen; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand”(HNV revised)

In Isaiah 46:11b, it is written,

“yes, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it.”(HNV)

The Mashiach Yeshua is the expression of these four foundational pillars. He constitutes the entire revelation which HaShem can give of himself through a human in the created world, as it is written in Colossians 1:15a, 19,

“who is the image of the invisible God… For all the fullness was pleased to dwell in him”(HNV revised)

In Hebrews 1:3, it is written,

 “His Son is the radiance of his glory, the very image of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself made purification for our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high”(HNV)

Yeshua the Messiah is also the embodiment of the people of Israel, as it is written in Exodus 4:22,

“You shall tell Par`oh, ‘Thus says HaShem, Yisra'el is my son, my firstborn,”(HNV revised)

And in Hosea 11:1, it is written,

“When Yisra'el was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”(HNV)

In Matthew 2:14-15, it is written,

“He arose and took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt I called my son.’”(HNV)

Yeshua is also the living Torah, as it is written in John 1:1, 14:

 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … The Word became flesh, and lived among us. We saw his glory, such glory as of the one and only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.”(HNV)

In 1 John 1:1-2, it is written,

“That which was from the beginning, that which we have heard, that which we have seen with our eyes, that which we saw, and our hands touched, concerning the Word of Life and the life was revealed, and we have seen, and testify, and declare to you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father, and was revealed to us”(HNV)

Yeshua is also one with the land of Israel in several ways. Man was formed out of the dust of the land of Israel. This means that all of Adam and Chava's descendants come from that land in a physical sense. In that way, the body of Yeshua, as the son of Adam, is connected to the ground in Israel. Secondly, throughout his time of public ministry that lasted for three and a half years, Yeshuah was never once outside of the nation. The area by Tyrus belongs to the land of Israel as well, compare with Matthew 15:21; Joshua 19:28-29. Thirdly, Yeshua is returning again to the land of Israel and will reign from there over the rest of the world.

1:10 “HaShem your God has multiplied you, and, behold, you are this day as the stars of the sky for multitude.”(HNV revised) - The promise that was given to Avraham in Genesis 15:5 had now been fulfilled. The dust represents the earthly, physical descendants of Avraham and the stars represent his heavenly descendants.

1:11 “HaShem, the God of your fathers, make you a thousand times as many as you are, and bless you, as he has promised you!”(HNV revised) - At this occasion, Israel had approximately 600,000 fighting men, which represents a population of more than two million. A thousand times more makes more than two billion, which represents more than a fourth of the present population of the world. When will this prophecy be fulfilled that speaks of the descendants of Avraham as being so many? NOW is the time. We are not a minority, but the beginnings of a majority!

There are more texts that can be understood as saying that the majority of the world’s population being saved and coming into Israel by being the children of Avraham, as stars, compare with Exodus 1:9; Isaiah 9:3; 45:22; 49:6; 52:10; 53:11; 60:22; Psalm 22:25, 29; 35:18; 40:3, 9, 10; 98:1-3; John 12:24; 15:5, 8, 16; Galatians 4:27; Revelation 7:9.

The Second Aliyah, 1:12-21

1:13 “Take wise men of understanding and well known according to your tribes, and I will make them heads over you.”(HNV) – Moshe required four things of those who were to be judges:

  • He must be a man, in Hebrew ish.[3] Jewish halachah[4] does not permit a woman to act as judge. Devorah was an exception since there was a lack of men, compare with Judges 5:7.

  • He must be wise, in Hebrew chacham.[5] According to Rabbi Hirsch[6], wisdom is related to the word agam[7] – a pool of collected waters. It is the intellectual capacity to grasp, understand and retain given truths. In this case it has to do with knowing the Torah. Chochmah – wisdom – is accumulated knowledge.

  • He must have understanding, from the Hebrew word bein,[8] “between”. Understanding is the ability to differentiate and divide one idea from another, evaluate and think critically. In this case it has to do with drawing the right conclusions from the facts that are before them. Binah – understanding – is theoretical knowledge.

  • He must be known, in Hebrew yadah,[9] within his tribe. The Hebrew concept of knowing has more to do with relationship and experience than with the gathering of facts. One gets knowledge by care, dedication, sympathy, or by liking someone. Daat – knowledge – is experienced knowledge.

Here we see that the judges were chosen by the people and later installed by the leadership. This is the right way to appoint leadership. People see and know by experience who has the ability to be their leader. The main leaders then give their consent to the people’s choice, which we also see in Acts 6:1-7 where it is written,

“Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, a complaint arose from the Greek speaking Jews against the Hebrews because their widows were neglected in the daily service. The twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, ‘It is not appropriate for us to forsake the word of God and serve tables (as cashiers). Therefore select from among you, brothers, seven men of good report, full of the Ruach HaKodesh and of wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will continue steadfastly in prayer and in the ministry of the word.’ These words pleased the whole multitude. They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Ruach HaKodesh, Pilipos, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch; whom they set before the messengers. When they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. The word of God increased and the number of the disciples multiplied in Yerushalayim exceedingly. A great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.”(HNV revised)

In this instance there was a similar need as there had been in the wilderness. The same demands were made of those who were to work with the monetary distribution among the poor of the congregation,

·         Man, (ish).

·         Known (respected), (yadah).

·         Filled with Spirit, which brings understanding and discernment, (bein).

·         Filled with wisdom, (chacham).

Moshe's father-in-law, Yitro, suggested four additional character traits, according to Exodus 18:21, where it is written,

“Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men (1), such as fear God (2): men of truth (3), hating unjust gain (4); and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”(HNV revised)

1:15 “So I took the heads of your tribes, wise men, and known, and made them heads over you, captains of thousands, and captains of hundreds, and captains of fifties, and captains of tens, and officers, according to your tribes.”(HNV) – The Hebrew word that is translated “made them” is natan,[10] which means “give”.  This teaches us that the judges were given as gifts to the people. Leadership is a gift from heaven to the people. This text does not contain the word “understanding” (bein). This shows us that the judges that were appointed had not fully developed the ability to think for themselves and discern one idea from another. In spite of the fact that they did not have all eight of the character traits mentioned they were accepted, because there were no men among the people that were fully equipped for this task.

1:16  “I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brothers, and judge righteously between a man and his brother, and the foreigner who is living with him.”(HNV) – The first thing that a judge must do is to listen. The verb, to hear, in Hebrew shamoa, is in makor-form, which indicates that it is an ongoing action, similar to present progressive, “hearing”. In order for a judge to correctly discern a situation he must hear, listen, comprehend, discern, and try to understand for the whole duration of the trial.

The second thing that a judge must do is to judge rightly, that is to say, according to the truth and righteousness that is in the Torah. If a judge allows lies and twisted righteousness to come in, then he is not fulfilling his task and he is dishonoring the Name of the Heavenly Judge.

The third thing that a judge must do is to listen to all versions of the situation that are presented. If a judge gives a verdict without first hearing from the side of the accused, then he is distorting justice, as it is written in John 7:51,

“Does our Torah judge a man, unless it first hears from him personally and knows what he does?”(HNV revised)

1:17 “You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small and the great alike; you shall not be afraid of the face of man; for the judgment is God’s: and the case that is too hard for you, you shall bring to me, and I will hear it.”(HNV revised) – The fourth thing that a judge must do is to be impartial, not be a respecter of persons, not sympathize with one or the other, and not be considerate of the social status of those being judged, but to be well aware that a righteous judgment does not come from man but from God. He backs up the judge who acts righteously. All who are of age are equal in the eyes of the law. A judge who fears man while judging is unequipped to occupy that position.

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)

In 2 Chronicles 19:5-7, it is written,

“He set judges in the land throughout all the fortified cities of Yehudah, city by city, and said to the judges, Consider what you do: for you don’t judge for man, but for HaShem; and he is with you in the judgment. Now therefore let the fear of HaShem be on you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with HaShem our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of bribes.”(HNV revised)

In Deuteronomy 16:19-20, it is written,

“You shall not wrest justice: you shall not respect persons; neither shall you take a bribe; for a bribe does blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous. That which is altogether just shall you follow, that you may live, and inherit the land which HaShem your God gives you.”(HNV revised)

There are five ways of perverting justice:[11]

  • Listening to the one who is bringing a charge against another before that person has arrived, which is a form of favoritism.

  • Acting with partiality toward the one who is bringing the charge.

  • Adapt the verdict to the advantage of one or the other depending on his status.

  • Not give enough time to a case or treat it carelessly.

  • Declare a verdict when there is a lack of knowledge of the Torah or halachah (practical laws).

1:8, 21 “Behold, I have set the land before you: go in and possess the land which HaShem swore to your fathers, to Avraham, to Yitzchak, and to Ya`akov, to give to them and to their seed after them… Behold, HaShem your God has set the land before you: go up, take possession, as HaShem, the God of your fathers, has spoken to you; don’t be afraid, neither be dismayed.”(HNV revised) – The Hebrew word that is translated “set” is natan,9 which means “give”. Faith speaks of things that do not exist as though they already existed. HaShem had already given the land to the children of Israel, but they needed to respond to this spiritual reality.

They way to miracles almost always has an ingredient of human cooperation and effort. HaShem gives a promise but man must pay a price to be able to see its fulfillment. The majority of HaShem’s promises need human cooperation in order to be fulfilled.

The Third Aliyah, 1:22-38

1:26 “Yet you wouldn’t go up, but rebelled against the command of HaShem your God”(HNV revised) – In this parashah Moshe brings out the importance of trusting HaShem in a special way. At the same time, we see that he is rebuking the people because they did not place their trust in the Eternal in spite of all the evidence of his love and all the goodness that they had received. This text shows us that the people did not want to advance and take the land by faith. It teaches us that faith is a matter of choice. When the revelation of the Eternal comes, we have the freedom to choose to trust him, by believing his word, or to reject him, by not believing his word.

1:27 “and you murmured in your tents, and said, Because HaShem hated us, he has brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amori, to destroy us.”(HNV revised) – How far can one go in blasphemy? The reason that the children of Israel did not trust the Eternal was because they had created a distorted mental image of Him. Their understanding of HaShem did not line up with the revelation that he gave them when he brought them out of Egypt as a father who loves his son and takes him out of slavery in order to bring him to a better place, as it is written in 1:31,

“and in the wilderness, where you have seen how that HaShem your God bore you, as a man does bear his son, in all the way that you went, until you came to this place.”(HNV revised)

The picture that we have of HaShem will determine the choices that we make, and above all, our faith in Him. Eternal life consists of knowing HaShem by experience, and his Son Yeshuah HaMashiach, as it is written in John 17:3,

“This is eternal life, that they should know you, the only true God, and him whom you sent, Yeshua the Messiah.”(HNV revised)

These children of Israel had a totally distorted picture of the Eternal, which they themselves had created since they did not take the revelation that he had given of himself seriously. Therefore they were not able to believe him. On the other hand, it is possible that there was rebellion behind their words. Despite the fact that deep down they knew that HaShem loved them, since he had shown them this from the beginning, they liked to argue, provoke, and speak ill. There are many who are this way. Despite the fact that they know the truth, they gossip by spreading rumors, lies, and misunderstandings for fun and to have something to do. This type of behavior is not for the righteous, as it is written in Exodus 23:7,

 “Keep far from a false charge, and don’t kill the innocent and righteous: for I will not justify the wicked.”(HNV)

In Proverbs 30:8a, it is written,

“Remove far from me falsehood and lies.”(HNV)

1:32 “Yet in this thing you didn’t believe HaShem your God”(HNV revised) – In spite of the fact that the people of Israel have received encouraging words and revelatory experiences about who HaShem is, they chose unbelief. Unbelief is the same thing as lack of trust. The concept of faith in the Hebraic world is very different than what is considered faith in the Greek world. The Hebrew word that is translated “believed” is heemin, which means “believe”, “trust in”, “hope”. The root of this word is aman,[12] which means “carry”, “support”, “nurture”, “confirm”, “establish”. The Hebrew word for faith, emunah,[13] means “straightness”, ”uprightness”, “truth”, “fidelity”, “faithfulness”, “loyalty”, “honor”, “steadfastness”, “perseverance”, “trust”, “confidence”.

The Greek concept of faith, however, has to do with intellectual activity, such as thinking or feeling something specific. Faith for a Hebrew is to place one’s entire trust and to adapt one’s life to the person one puts one’s trust in. The Greek faith is based on certain statements of faith, dogmas, and sentences that have been learned by heart, which do not necessarily affect one’s lifestyle. Faith for a Hebrew is something that can be lived out and experienced every day, a lifestyle in obedience to the commandments and constant communication with the Creator. The Hebrew faith is relational; the Greek faith is rational.

1:34 “HaShem heard the voice of your words, and was angry, and swore, saying”(HNV revised) – The voice of a person’s words have the power to give him a successful or an unsuccessful future. There are few who understand the power of words. Your life and your death hang on your words, as it is written in Proverbs 18:21,

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love it will eat its fruit.”(HNV)

In Matthew 12:37, it is written,

“For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”(HNV)

1:35 “Surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see the good land, which I swore to give to your fathers”(HNV) – What was it that caused HaShem to consider their generation evil? The answer is found in verse 32, where it is written,

“Yet in this thing you didn’t believe HaShem your God”(HNV revised)

They did not trust in him. Lack of trust in HaShem is, therefore, evil, as we see also in Matthew 17:14-21, where it is written,

“When they came to the multitude, a man came to him, kneeling down to him, saying, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is epileptic, and suffers grievously; for he often falls into the fire, and often into the water. So I brought him to your disciples, and they could not cure him.’ Yeshua answered, ‘Faithless and perverse generation! How long will I be with you? How long will I bear with you? Bring him here to me.’ Yeshua rebuked him, the demon went out of him, and the boy was cured from that hour. Then the disciples came to Yeshua privately, and said, ‘Why weren’t we able to cast it out?’ He said to them, ‘Because of your unbelief. For most assuredly I tell you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. But this kind doesn’t go out except by prayer and fasting.’”(HNV revised)

1:36 “save Kalev the son of Yefunneh: he shall see it; and to him will I give the land that he has trodden on, and to his children, because he has wholly followed HaShem.”(HNV revised) – Kalev was lifted up as an example of faithfulness in contrast to the rest of the children of Israel. He followed HaShem wholly and fully. This teaches us that it is possible to follow HaShem wholly and fully. How? By trusting in Him and in what he has said. The reason that the majority did not enter the land was lack of trust, as it is written in Hebrews 3:19,

“We see that they were not able to enter in because of unbelief.”(HNV)

The Fourth Aliyah, 1:39 - 2:1

1:41-42 “Then you answered and said to me, We have sinned against HaShem, we will go up and fight, according to all that HaShem our God commanded us. You girded on every man his weapons of war, and were forward to go up into the hill-country. HaShem said to me, Tell them, Don’t go up, neither fight; for I am not among you; lest you be struck before your enemies.”(HNV revised) – This text teaches us the importance of listening carefully to the prophets. In spite of the fact that it was the will of HaShem that the people of Israel would inherit the Land, the time for it was not then, because of the new situation that had come up by their sin. There are things that are promised in the Scriptures that we cannot apply to every situation. That is why it is important to listen to the voice of the prophets. Prophets can sometimes give messages that seem to contradict the Scriptures. This is one of those instances. Moshe gave an order not to go up and take the land when he had earlier told them that they could do it. How important it is to be dependent on the spirit of prophecy and to listen to the prophets, as it is written in 2 Chronicles 20:20b,

“Hear me, Yehudah, and you inhabitants of Yerushalayim: believe in HaShem your God, so shall you be established; believe his prophets, so shall you prosper.”(HNV revised)

The Fifth Aliyah, 2:2 – 2:30

2:5, 9, 19 “don’t contend with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as for the sole of the foot to tread on; because I have given Mount Se`ir to Esav for a possession… HaShem said to me, Don’t bother Mo'av, neither contend with them in battle; for I will not give you of his land for a possession; because I have given `Ar to the children of Lot for a possession… and when you come near over against the children of `Ammon, don’t bother them, nor contend with them; for I will not give you of the land of the children of `Ammon for a possession; because I have given it to the children of Lot for a possession.”(HNV revised) – According to Genesis 15:19-21, HaShem promised the areas of ten people groups to Avraham’s descendants as it is written,

“the Kinim, the Kenizzi, the Kadmoni, the Chitti, the Perizzi, the Refa'im, the Amori, the Kana`anim, the Girgashi, and the Yevusi.”(HNV revised)           

         According to Rashi, the Kadmonites were conquered by the children of Esav, who are also called Edomites. The land of the Kenizzites was taken over by the children of Moav and the land of the Kenites was taken over by the children of Ammon. The children of Israel were given no order to conquer the three peoples Edom, Moav and Ammon. Therefore they were only to inherit seven areas of the ten that were promised to Avraham. Furthermore, HaShem said very clearly that he has given these areas to these three peoples. According to Rashi, Esav inherited a part of the promised inheritance because he was a descendant of Avraham. And despite the fact that the descendants of Lot were not descendants of Avraham, they inherited these two lands, as a reward for Lot remaining quiet in Egypt when Avraham said that Sarah was his sister. By this merit he was treated as if he were a son of Avraham.

Even so, we find the word ad in the Hebrew text of verse 2:5. It has been translated “not so”, but the main meaning of the word is “until”. Because of this, Rashi mentions an Agadite Midrash, which says that God will not give the children of Israel permission to inherit the area until (ad) HaShem sets his feet on the Mount of Olives, as it is written in Zechariah 14:4,

“His feet will stand in that day on the Mount of Olives, which is before Yerushalayim on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in two, from east to west, making a very great valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and half of it toward the south.”(HNV)

In Isaiah 11:12-14, it is written,

“He will set up an ensign for the nations, and will assemble the outcasts of Yisra'el, and gather together the dispersed of Yehudah from the four corners of the earth. The envy also of Efrayim shall depart, and those who vex Yehudah shall be cut off: Efrayim shall not envy Yehudah, and Yehudah shall not vex Efrayim. They shall fly down on the shoulder of the Pelishtim on the west; together shall they despoil the children of the east: they shall put forth their hand on Edom and Mo'av; and the children of `Ammon shall obey them.”(HNV revised)

Here we see that the ten tribes, together with the Jews, after both houses have been reunited, in the last days will concur these three areas. Personally, I believe that this will happen before the Messiah comes back. These three areas correspond with modern day Jordan.

In Zechariah 10:6-10, it is written,

“I will strengthen the house of Yehudah, and I will save the house of Yosef, and I will bring them back; for I have mercy on them; and they will be as though I had not cast them off: for I am HaShem their God, and I will hear them. Efrayim will be like a mighty man, and their heart will rejoice as through wine; yes, their children will see it, and rejoice. Their heart will be glad in HaShem. I will signal for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them; and they will increase as they have increased. I will sow them among the peoples; and they will remember me in far countries; and they will live with their children, and will return. I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Ashur; and I will bring them into the land of Gil`ad and Levanon; and there won’t be room enough for them.”(HNV revised)

The land of Gil’ad is a part of what is today called Jordan and Levanon is Lebanon. Here is yet another prophecy declaring that the children of Israel will, in the last days, possess the areas on the eastern side of the river Yarden.

2:24 “Rise up, take your journey, and pass over the valley of the Arnon: behold, I have given into your hand Sichon the Amori, king of Cheshbon, and his land; begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.”(HNV) – First it says, “I have given” and then, “begin to possess”. Faith speaks of that which is not as though it already existed, compare with Romans 4:17. That which exists in the heavenly realm can be seen, confessed, and received by a person who believes, so that, with time it can be manifested in the physical world. Faith is the conviction that something which exists in the heavenly realm sooner or later will materialize, even though it cannot be seen with the physical eye at present, as it is written in Hebrews 11:1,

“Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.”(HNV)

The Sixth Aliyah, 2:31 – 3:14

2:31  “HaShem said to me, Behold, I have begun to deliver up Sichon and his land before you: begin to possess, that you may inherit his land.”(HNV revised) – In the spiritual realm, the possession was already an established fact. The secret to prospering in the visible realm is cooperating with what HaShem is doing in the unseen realm. Everything that happens in the material world is a result of that which has already happened in the spiritual world. In order to make a change the material world it is necessary to first change something in the spiritual world. This is done through prayer.

2:34  “We took all his cities at that time, and utterly destroyed every inhabited city, with the women and the little ones; we left none remaining”(HNV) – The Hebrew word for “utterly destroyed” is metim,[14] which means “dead ones”. The word “dead ones” here means those men who were still alive, but were condemned to die.  The same word is found with the same meaning in Job 11:3, were it is written,

“Should your boastings make men (metim) hold their peace? When you mock, shall no man make you ashamed?”(HNV)

The “dead” can, therefore, mean people who are alive physically, as it is written in Ephesians 2:1,

“You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins”(HNV)

In Colossians 2:13, it is written,

“You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses”(HNV)

3:2    “HaShem said to me, Don’t fear him; for I have delivered him, and all his people, and his land, into your hand; and you shall do to him as you did to Sichon king of the Amori, who lived at Cheshbon.”(HNV revised) – HaShem spoke an encouraging word, so that Moshe would not fear the giant Og, king of Bashan. It is very important to the Eternal that his people not fear, for fear shuts off the flow of the Spirit. Fear is the opposite of faith, but it works in the same way. That which you fear enough, you will eventually receive, and that which you believe enough, based on a promise from the Eternal, you will eventually receive. Fear and faith cannot coexist. That is why Yeshua says, “Fear not, only believe”.

In 1 John 4:18-19, it is written,

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love. We love Him, because he first loved us.”(HNV)

To trust in the love of God is the only thing that can completely remove fear from our hearts. He has shown so much of his love that we have no excuse not to trust him.

The Seventh Aliyah, 3:15-22

3:21-22 “I commanded Yehoshua at that time, saying, Your eyes have seen all that HaShem your God has done to these two kings: so shall HaShem do to all the kingdoms where you go over. You shall not fear them; for HaShem your God, he it is who fights for you.”(HNV revised) – Moshe spoke encouraging words to Yehoshua so that he would not fear but believe. In this case we see how faith can be based on an experience and combined with a promise, “your eyes have seen... so shall HaShem do...”

In Romans 10:17, it is written,

“So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”(HNV revised)

The foundation for faith is HaShem’s revelation. Faith can be had when one takes seriously what it is that HaShem is communicating.  There is no excuse for not having faith for there is enough revelation about our heavenly Father in all that surrounds us for us to be able to trust in him. The unbeliever has no excuse for closing his eyes, his ears, and his heart to the revelation that HaShem gives through everything that surrounds him, as it is written in Romans 1:18-20,

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known of God is revealed in them, for God revealed it to them. For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse.”(HNV revised)

Mashiach in this Parashah

1:38 “Yehoshua the son of Nun, who stands before you, he shall go in there: encourage you him; for he shall cause Yisra'el to inherit it.”(HNV)

Yehoshua is the name that was given by Moshe to this man who was previously called Hoshea. Yehoshua is the long version of the name Yeshua. This means that Yehoshua represents the Messiah Yeshua. Therefore we can bring out seven truths about the Messiah, according to the prophetic revelation that this verse gives us:

  1. The Messiah will be called Yehoshua, or Yeshua.

  2. The Messiah is standing before HaShem, who is represented by Moshe.

  3. The Messiah will endure, in Hebrew omed, forever before the Eternal.

  4. Moshe, as a picture of the Messiah, would die, but would later rise again symbolically through his successor Yehoshua, to enter the Promised Land.

  5. The Messiah was strengthened by the Eternal at the resurrection, so that he had all power in heaven and on earth.

  6. The Messiah will cause all the twelve tribes of Israel to finally return to the land of Israel.

  7. The Messiah will cause Israel to inherit both the earthly Israel and the Malchut HaShamayim, the kingdom of heaven, which will come to earth.

May the Messiah Yeshua come soon and in our days!

Amen VeAmen.

This Parashah contains commandments number 414 – 415 of the 613 commandments.

  1. The prohibition of appointing a judge who is not an expert in the Torah, even though he is capable in other fields of knowledge, Deuteronomy 1:17.

  2. The prohibition for a judge to fear an evil man in a trial, Deuteronomy 1:17.


[1]           Strong H1667 dâbâr, daw-bawr', From H1696; a word; by implication a matter (as spoken of) of thing; adverbially a cause: - act, advice, affair, answer, X any such (thing), + because of, book, business, care, case, cause, certain rate, + chronicles, commandment, X commune (-ication), + concern [-ing], + confer, counsel, + dearth, decree, deed, X disease, due, duty, effect, + eloquent, errand, [evil favoured-] ness, + glory, + harm, hurt, + iniquity, + judgment, language, + lying, manner, matter, message, [no] thing, oracle, X ought, X parts, + pertaining, + please, portion, + power, promise, provision, purpose, question, rate, reason, report, request, X (as hast) said, sake, saying, sentence, + sign, + so, some [uncleanness], somewhat to say, + song, speech, X spoken, talk, task, + that, X there done, thing (concerning), thought, + thus, tidings, what [-soever], + wherewith, which, word, work.

[2]       Strong H874 bâ'ar, baw-ar', A primitive root; to dig; by analogy to engrave; figuratively to explain: - declare, (make) plain (-ly).

[3]       Strong H376 'îysh, eesh, Contracted for H582 (or perhaps rather from an unused root meaning to be extant); a man as an individual or a male person; often used as an adjunct to a more definite term (and in such cases frequently not expressed in translation.) : - also, another, any (man), a certain, + champion, consent, each, every (one), fellow, [foot-, husband-] man, (good-, great, mighty) man, he, high (degree), him (that is), husband, man [-kind], + none, one, people, person, + steward, what (man) soever, whoso (-ever), worthy. Compare H802.

[4]       According to Shulchán Aruch, Choshén Mishpat 7:4.

[5]       Strong H2450 châkâm, khaw-kawm', From H2449; wise, (that is, intelligent, skilful or artful): - cunning (man), subtil, ([un-]), wise ([hearted], man).

[6]       The Hirsch Chumash, Bereshis, page 759.

[7]       Strong H98 'ăgam ag-am' From an unused root (meaning to collect as water); a marsh; hence a rush (as growing in swamps); hence a stockade of reeds: - pond, pool, standing [water].

[8]       Strong H995 bîyn, bene, A primitive root; to separate mentally (or distinguish), that is, (generally) understand: - attend, consider, be cunning, diligently, direct, discern, eloquent, feel, inform, instruct, have intelligence, know, look well to, mark, perceive, be prudent, regard, (can) skill (-ful), teach, think, (cause, make to, get, give, have) understand (-ing), view, (deal) wise (-ly, man).

[9]       Strong H3045 yâda‛, yaw-dah', A primitive root; to know (properly to ascertain by seeing); used in a great variety of senses, figuratively, literally, euphemistically and inferentially (including observation, care, recognition; and causatively instruction, designation, punishment, etc.): - acknowledge, acquaintance (-ted with), advise, answer, appoint, assuredly, be aware, [un-] awares, can [-not], certainly, for a certainty, comprehend, consider, X could they, cunning, declare, be diligent, (can, cause to) discern, discover, endued with, familiar friend, famous, feel, can have, be [ig-] norant, instruct, kinsfolk, kinsman, (cause to, let, make) know, (come to give, have, take) knowledge, have [knowledge], (be, make, make to be, make self) known, + be learned, + lie by man, mark, perceive, privy to, X prognosticator, regard, have respect, skilful, shew, can (man of) skill, be sure, of a surety, teach, (can) tell, understand, have [understanding], X will be, wist, wit, wot.

[10]     Strong H5414 nâthan, naw-than', A primitive root; to give, used with great latitude of application (put, make, etc.): - add, apply, appoint, ascribe, assign, X avenge, X be ([healed]), bestow, bring (forth, hither), cast, cause, charge, come, commit consider, count, + cry, deliver (up), direct, distribute do, X doubtless, X without fail, fasten, frame, X get, give (forth, over, up), grant, hang (up), X have, X indeed, lay (unto charge, up), (give) leave, lend, let (out), + lie, lift up, make, + O that, occupy, offer, ordain, pay, perform, place, pour, print, X pull, put (forth), recompense, render, requite, restore, send (out), set (forth), shew, shoot forth (up). + sing, + slander, strike, [sub-] mit, suffer, X surely, X take, thrust, trade, turn, utter, + weep, X willingly, + withdraw, + would (to) God, yield.

[11]     Rashí and Toldot Yitshar.


[12]     Strong H539 'âman, aw-man', A primitive root; properly to build up or support; to foster as a parent or nurse; figuratively to render (or be) firm or faithful, to trust or believe, to be permanent or quiet; morally to be true or certain; once (in Isa 30:21; by interchange for H541) to go to the right hand: - hence assurance, believe, bring up, establish, + fail, be faithful (of long continuance, stedfast, sure, surely, trusty, verified), nurse, (-ing father), (put), trust, turn to the right.

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

[14]     Strong H4962 math, math, From the same as H4970; properly an adult (as of full length); by implication a man (only in the plural): -  + few, X friends, men, persons, X small.