Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parsha #46: Deuteronomy [D’varim] E’kev (Because) 7:12-11:25
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 49:14-51:3
B’rit Chadashah: Ya’akov (James) 5: 7-11
The rewards for obedience out of love for G-d are described in the first section of this parashah. The blessings are abundant, and more than one can imagine. All of nature is involved serving the glory of G-d; not one individual will be sterile, including the livestock. G-d will take all the illnesses from the people and place them on their enemies, for the enemies of G-d’s chosen treasure are also His enemies. (Deut. 7:15). He reminds them they need not be afraid of their enemies although they outnumber the nation of Israel because G-d is with them and will expel them methodically (Deut. 7:22). This is important because we tend to want things right away, all the way, without being patient and allowing G-d to navigate the waters of our lives. Humans also tend to believe that more is better and certainly taking the silver and gold of the enemies’ idols should be part of the blessing. But G-d tells them and us we are not to be greedy of the idols or the material that made them lest we be taken in by them and trapped by materialism. These concepts are addressed by Yahshua in the B’rit Chadashah, true to the consistency of His Word. Deuteronomy 8:11 specifically warns us of the potential snare of prosperity. One of the main tenets of Kabbalah provides a check on this potential. If we share the Light once we receive it and not hoard it, we will not have time to act on any human instinct of the animal soul to hoard the Light/blessings for ourselves. Should we try, there will be no room for more Light and the holy sparks will go out in the stagnant atmosphere of our selfishness. Just as standing water grows algae, unshared blessings will become of no avail. We must perpetuate the process of G-d’s blessings. We must also remember that the destruction of peoples and nations is always due to disobedience to G-d, not a predestined “decision” by G-d to choose some and not others for salvation and an eternal life with Him. G-d knows how people will choose to live their lives, and He allows us freewill. Anything less would make humans robots and there would be no way to show the adversary that there are humans who have chosen and will choose G-d no matter the circumstances. G-d’s Torah is replete with such examples.
The Land Israel is about to take possession of is unique in that the water does not come from a river; it is water from heaven (rain) (Deut. 11:10-11). We shall see this idea addressed again in the B’rit Chadashah. However, staying in the land provided and sustained by the Living Water has conditions. The people must be obedient to G-d’s commands, statutes, and rulings out of love. All true believers must adhere to Deut. 6:4-11 discussed in the last parashah.
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 49:14-51:3
This is the second of the seven “prophecies of comfort” read between the Fast of the Ninth of Av and Rosh Hashanah. Our Haftarah begins with the words, “The prophet guarantees that a new and improved B’nai Yisrael will soon be united in the Land of Yisrael”, and YHVH will “turn her ruins into a paradise and her wilderness into a garden of YHVH.” Exile in any form does not mean divorce or a broken covenant. Israel was divorced at one time by G-d (Israel being the 10 Northern tribes) (Jer. 3:8) and Judah was punished (the Southern kingdom). We also know that a man cannot remarry a divorced wife. But G-d in the role of the Son, Yahshua, will marry a repentant Israel (all true believers) as the Bride of Yahshua mentioned in Revelation. The bride is NOT the Christian Church. Israel has not been replaced by Christianity as taught in that religion. G-d is One, a complex unity and not a Trinity. He manifests Himself in the context of what He wants to do. He is able to express Himself as Father (G-d) and Son (Yahshua) at the same time for He created the universe and can manipulate natural laws any way he wishes.
B’rit Chadasha: Ya’akov (James) 5:7-11
7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the L-rd. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
8 Be ye also patient; establish your hearts: for the coming of the L-rd draweth nigh.
9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.
10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the L-rd, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.
11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the L-rd; that the L-rd is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.
James continues the thought of chapter 4: 13-17. The reference to the early and latter rain is the acharit-hayamim (“the end of days”). The verse refers to the climatic pattern of Israel where the bulk of the rain comes between October and March. The early rain (yoreh) comes in October and the latter rain, which is rare, comes in April (malkosh) A spiritual application of this term is that the early rain (yoreh) came at Shavuot (Acts 2) and the malkosh is coming soon at the L-rd’s return.
Verse 9 repeats the warning of 4:11-12.
Verses 10-11 is an example of suffering and mistreatment and being patient giving us an example of the prophets and the perseverance of Job. Here we encounter the phrase “and you have seen the end of the L-rd.” We should understand that this phrase means “and you know what the purpose of YHVH was.” What is that purpose? To justify the ways of YHVH to man! As Milton wrote in his “paradise Lost,” Job’s trouble began when YHVH chose to answer haSatan’s challenge by permitting him to touch Job’s possessions and person, except that he could not take Job’s life. Job preserved in the face of all his losses and pain. In the end YHVH vindicated Himself and proved to Job and to us that only YHVH has the power and wisdom to deal with HaSatan. We are forever dependent upon YHVH Elohim in our spiritual battles and for our very existence.
“And you will know with your heart that like a man who rebukes his son, so too, YHVH rebukes you.” (8:5)
Rabbi Shimshon Refael Hirsch asks why the verse uses the term “with you heart”, as opposed to the more common term “in your heart?” He explains that there is an important difference between the two, To know “your heart” is to understand something by using your heart as an organ of perception of thought. However, to know “with your heart” is not just to understand, but also to take that understanding with you in whatever you do. An Israelite is meant to take the experiences of reward and punishment that YHVH has given him and carry them forward throughout his life.
Gramatria: V’haysear YHVH mimha kol choly “And YHVH will remove all illness from you.”
The words kol choly, “all illness,” have the numeric value of 98. YHVH is telling B’nai Yisrael that if they listen to Him, He will remove all of the 98 curses that could befall B’nai Yisrael which are mentioned in the Parashah Ke Tavo.
Rabbi Tamah Davis-Hart