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Commentary - Year 3 Sabbath 48

Deuteronomy 31:14-30   -   Judges 2:1-15; Daniel 4:28-37   -   Psalm 145   -   John 12:35 - 14:26

 

Adar 6, 5764 / February 28, 2004

Adar 6, 5767 / February 24, 2007

Adar 6, 5770 / February 20, 2010

Adar 6, 5773 / February 16, 2013

II Adar 2, 5776 / March 12, 2016

 

Note: In today’s news, many Jewish leaders are condemning the movie The Passion of the Christ, even asking the Pope to proclaim that the Jews did not kill Jesus.

 

Now, we believe that Yeshua gave up His life willingly, because of our sins.

 

However, Stephen said that the Jews killed Yeshua (Acts 7:52), and Paul said so (1 Thessalonians 7:52). And, another ancient Jewish writing, the Talmud which these Jews of today claim to accept, says so!

Yeshua the Nazarean . . . was hanged on the eve of Passover” (Sanhedrin 43a).

 

Hen Karvu / They are Drawing Near   SCRIPTURES should be read first

 

We are nearing the end of the Torah cycle, Moses is about to die (though he is not weak or sick) and this is the last of the 613 commandments: (v.19) “Write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on their lips”. This song is to be “a witness” for Yahweh. [Next week’s portion will be the song.]

 

Though the Pharaoh of Egypt had ordered all of the sons of Israel to be killed at birth (Exodus 3:10), Moses was secreted away and grew up in Egypt: he lived to fulfill God’s plan of delivering Israel.

 

Though King Herod had ordered all of the male children around Bethlehem to be killed (Matthew 2:16-18), Yeshua was secreted away to Egypt: He lived to fulfill God’s plan of redemption.

 

As God called Moses out of Egypt, so He also called Yeshua out of Egypt: “Out of Egypt have I called My Son” (Hosea 11:1; Matthew 2:15).

 

Through Moses, God sent plagues upon the Egyptians (hail, water turning to blood, darkness), warning of the imminent judgment, unless they were under the blood of a Passover lamb.

 

Through Yeshua, God will send plagues upon the world (hail, water turning to blood, darkness), warning of imminent judgment, unless they are covered by the blood of Yeshua – the Passover Lamb of God.

 

Moses

In today’s portion, we see that Moses is about to leave the earth. He is foretelling that, after his death, Israel will be disobedient, and will face the curses of the past few chapters. Israel actually was obedient until the death of Joshua, who had been directly instructed by Moses to lead the people.

 

(V.16-17) “Yahweh said to Moses, ‘Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they shall be consumed, and many evils and troubles shall come upon them’. ”

 

In Judges we find that, when Joshua died at one-hundred-ten, the following generation forsook Yahweh and followed the ways of the surrounding people. So Yahweh’s anger burned against them.

 

In a thousand-year period, the Temple of God was destroyed twice. Since then, there have been almost two-thousand years of destruction upon Israel. There have been crusades, holocaust, and pogroms up to the present day.

 

In Daniel we read of King Nebuchadnezzar: he exalted himself as powerful and glorious, until Yahweh suddenly made him mad. He became as an animal in the wild. Then Yahweh gave him a sane mind, and before all the people he exalted the God of Heaven.

 

Yeshua

When Yeshua was about to leave the earth, He foretold that, after His ascension, the people would be disobedient, and face the curses previously pronounced. The disciples were actually relatively obedient until the death of the Apostles, who had been directly instructed by Yeshua.

 

John records Yeshua’s words: while He was with men, they were admonished to follow Him – the Light. Upon His leaving the earth, the Apostles led until their deaths. The disciples then were misled into idolatry.

Paul said, “I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them” (Acts 20:29-30).

 

So today, we are descended from those who went astray. Churches look to “ancient fathers” for truth – fathers of generations after the Apostles, fathers who were already idolatrous.

 

But, God has graciously given some of us a desire to return to Him – to repent (“The goodness of God leads us to repentance” – Romans 2:4). God left us a song for a witness.

 

When we are confessing to God and asking forgiveness, do we realize that we need deliverance from doing those things that caused Yeshua’s suffering? We are not just “pardoned” without consequence to anyone. Even though His suffering may be seen as past, it was for the sins we commit now! Therefore, to love Yahweh with all of our heart means to learn to forsake sin.

 

Yeshua washed His disciples’ feet, because though they were redeemed, they committed daily sins, for which they required daily cleansing. We have been cleansed by Yeshua, but our daily walk in God’s instruction – our halacha – needs daily cleansing and correction.

 

Yeshua said, “Destroy this Temple, and in three days I will raise it up!” (John 2:19-21). While He was speaking of the temple of His own body, we see another fulfillment – the resurrection of the stone Temple that represented the heavenly one. Yeshua was raised three days after His burial (Wednesday afternoon to Sabbath afternoon, not Friday afternoon to Sunday morning); The Temple of the Holy One at Jerusalem will be raised three-thousand years after it was destroyed (We are not trying to predict an exact year, but count roughly full millenniums). There will be a return of Israel to their land, as promised. And there will be a return to God of His people, when He grants our final redemption.

 

While people tend to believe in happenstance, HaAzinu foretells the history of Israel, thereby testifying to God’s providence – the people’s fate is always a consequence of their behavior, the consequence being God’s reward and punishment.

 

“Your days are drawing near (you will not be around to lead); write this prophetic song for a witness, and call upon heaven and earth to comply (with reward and punishment - whether heaven will give rains in due time, or earth will produce bountiful harvest).”

 

(Deuteronomy 31:26) The Torah scroll either lay beside the Stone Tablets within the Ark, or on a board projecting from the side of the Ark.

 

Yeshua engraved the Ten Words in stone, and He is the Living Torah. He said, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him. . . .If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him” (John 14:21-23).

 

I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).

 

He Who has begun a good work in us (repentance), will continue it until the Day of Messiah Yeshua – the day of our final redemption (Philippians 1:6).

Readings:

 

Reader 1* Amen 14 Then Yahweh said to Moses, "Behold, your days (they) are drawing near to die; call Joshua, and present yourselves at the tent of meeting, that I may commission him." So Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves at the tent of meeting. 15 And Yahweh appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud, and the pillar of cloud stood at the doorway of the tent. 16 And Yahweh said to Moses, "Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and will forsake Me and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17 "Then My anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide My face from them, and they shall be consumed, and many evils and troubles shall come upon them; so that they will say in that day, 'Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?' 18 "But I will surely hide My face in that day because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods.

 

Reader 2* Amen 19 "Now therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the sons of Israel; put it on their lips, in order that this song may be a witness for Me against the sons of Israel. 20 "For when I bring them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and are satisfied and become prosperous, then they will turn to other gods and serve them, and spurn Me and break My covenant. 21 "Then it shall come about, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify before them as a witness (for it shall not be forgotten from the lips of their descendants); for I know their intent which they are developing today, before I have brought them into the land which I swore." 22 So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the sons of Israel.

 

Reader 3* Amen 23 Then He commissioned Joshua the son of Nun, and said, "Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the sons of Israel into the land which I swore to them, and I will be with you." 24 And it came about, when Moses finished writing the words of this law in a book until they were complete, 25 that Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of Yahweh, saying, 26 "Take this book of the law and place it beside the ark of the covenant of Yahweh your God, that it may remain there as a witness against you. 27 "For I know your rebellion and your stubbornness; behold, while I am still alive with you today, you have been rebellious against Yahweh; how much more, then, after my death? 28 "Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their hearing and call the heavens and the earth to witness against them. 29 "For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, for you will do that which is evil in the sight of Yahweh, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands." 30 Then Moses spoke in the hearing of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were complete:

 

Judges 2:1-15

1 Now the angel of Yahweh came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, "I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land which I have sworn to your fathers; and I said, 'I will never break My covenant with you, 2 and as for you, you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall tear down their altars.' But you have not obeyed Me; what is this you have done? 3 "Therefore I also said, 'I will not drive them out before you; but they shall become as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.'" 4 And it came about when the angel of Yahweh spoke these words to all the sons of Israel, that the people lifted up their voices and wept. 5 So they named that place Bochim; and there they sacrificed to Yahweh. 6 When Joshua had dismissed the people, the sons of Israel went each to his inheritance to possess the land. 7 And the people served Yahweh all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of Yahweh which He had done for Israel. 8 Then Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Yahweh, died at the age of one hundred and ten. 9 And they buried him in the territory of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash. 10 And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them who did not know Yahweh, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel. 11 Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of Yahweh, and served the Baals, 12 and they forsook Yahweh, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; thus they provoked Yahweh to anger. 13 So they forsook Yahweh and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. 14 And the anger of Yahweh burned against Israel, and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15 Wherever they went, the hand of Yahweh was against them for evil, as Yahweh had spoken and as Yahweh had sworn to them, so that they were severely distressed.

 

Daniel 4:28-37

28 “All this happened to Nebuchadnezzar the king. 29 Twelve months later he was walking on the roof of the royal palace of Babylon. 30 The king reflected and said, 'Is this not Babylon the great, which I myself have built as a royal residence by the might of my power and for the glory of my majesty?' 31 While the word was in the king's mouth, a voice came from heaven, saying, 'King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is declared: sovereignty has been removed from you, 32 and you will be driven away from mankind, and your dwelling place will be with the beasts of the field. You will be given grass to eat like cattle, and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, and bestows it on whomever He wishes.' 33 Immediately the word concerning Nebuchadnezzar was fulfilled; and he was driven away from mankind and began eating grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until his hair had grown like eagles' feathers and his nails like birds' claws. 34 But at the end of that period I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom endures from generation to generation. 35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, but He does according to His will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of earth; and no one can ward off His hand or say to Him, 'What have You done?' 36 At that time my reason returned to me. And my majesty and splendor were restored to me for the glory of my kingdom, and my counselors and my nobles began seeking me out; so I was reestablished in my sovereignty, and surpassing greatness was added to me. 37 Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise, exalt, and honor the King of heaven, for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride.”

 

Psalm 145    A Psalm of Praise, of David.

1 I Will extol You, my God, O King; and I will bless Your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless You, and I will praise Your name forever and ever. 3 Great is Yahweh, and highly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable. 4 One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of Your majesty, and on Your wonderful works, I will meditate. 6 And men shall speak of the power of Your awesome acts; and I will tell of Your greatness. 7 They shall eagerly utter the memory of Your abundant goodness, and shall shout joyfully of Your righteousness. 8 Yahweh is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. 9 Yahweh is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works. 10 All Your works shall give thanks to You, O Yahweh, and Your godly ones shall bless You. 11 They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your power; 12 to make known to the sons of men Your mighty acts, and the glory of the majesty of Your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations. 14 Yahweh sustains all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due time. 16 You open Your hand, and satisfy the desire of every living thing. 17 Yahweh is righteous in all His ways, and kind in all His deeds. 18 Yahweh is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. 19 He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. 20 Yahweh keeps all who love Him; but all the wicked, He will destroy. 21 My mouth will speak the praise of Yahweh; and all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever.

 

John 12:35 – 14:26

35 Yeshua therefore said to them, “For a little while longer the light is among you. Walk while you have the light, that darkness may not overtake you; he who walks in the darkness does not know where he goes. 36 While you have the light, believe in the light, in order that you may become sons of light.” These things Yeshua spoke, and He departed and hid Himself from them. 37 But though He had performed so many signs before them, yet they were not believing in Him; 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke (Isaiah 53:1), “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of Yahweh been revealed?” 39 For this cause they could not believe, for Isaiah said again (Isaiah 6:10), 40 “He has blinded their eyes, and He hardened their heart; lest they see with their eyes, and perceive with their heart, and be converted, and I heal them.” 41 These things Isaiah said, because he saw His glory, and he spoke of Him. 42 Nevertheless many even of the rulers believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they were not confessing Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the approval of men rather than the approval of God. 44 And Yeshua cried out and said, “He who believes in Me does not believe in Me, but in Him who sent Me. 45 And he who beholds Me beholds the One who sent Me. 46 I have come as light into the world, that everyone who believes in Me may not remain in darkness. 47 And if anyone hears My sayings, and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48 He who rejects Me, and does not receive My sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day. 49 For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak. 50 And I know that His commandment is eternal life; therefore the things I speak, I speak just as the Father has told Me.”

13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, Yeshua knowing that His hour had come that He should depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And during supper, the devil having already put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray Him, 3 Yeshua, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God, 4 rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself about. 5 Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 And so He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” 7 Yeshua answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you shall understand hereafter.” 8 Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Yeshua answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” 10 Yeshua said to him, “He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.” 12 And so when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments, and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 For I gave you an example that you also should do as I did to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a slave is not greater than his master; neither is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. 17 If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them. 18 I do not speak of all of you. I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats My bread has lifted up his heel against Me.' 19 From now on I am telling you before it comes to pass, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am He. 20 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” 21 When Yeshua had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, that one of you will betray Me.” 22 The disciples began looking at one another, at a loss to know of which one He was speaking. 23 There was reclining on Yeshua' breast one of His disciples, whom Yeshua loved. 24 Simon Peter therefore gestured to him, and said to him, “Tell us who it is of whom He is speaking.” 25 He, leaning back thus on Yeshua' breast, said to Him, “Lord, who is it?” 26 Yeshua therefore answered, “That is the one for whom I shall dip the morsel and give it to him.” So when He had dipped the morsel, He took and gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 And after the morsel, Satan then entered into him. Yeshua therefore said to him, “What you do, do quickly.” 28 Now no one of those reclining at the table knew for what purpose He had said this to him. 29 For some were supposing, because Judas had the money box, that Yeshua was saying to him, “Buy the things we have need of for the feast”; or else, that he should give something to the poor. 30 And so after receiving the morsel he went out immediately; and it was night. 31 When therefore he had gone out, Yeshua said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him; 32 if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and will glorify Him immediately. 33 Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You shall seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, I now say to you also, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.' 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 36 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, where are You going?” Yeshua answered, “Where I go, you cannot follow Me now; but you shall follow later.” 37 Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” 38 Yeshua answered, “Will you lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a cock shall not crow, until you deny Me three times.

14:1 Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. 7 If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.” 8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Yeshua said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, 'Show us the Father '? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves. 12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. 13 And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. 15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 19 After a little while the world will behold Me no more; but you will behold Me; because I live, you shall live also. 20 In that day you shall know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that You are going to disclose Yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Yeshua answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our abode with him. 24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me. 25 These things I have spoken to you, while abiding with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”


© 2004  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)