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Commentary - Year 3 Sabbath 49

Deuteronomy 32:1-52   -   Ezekiel 17:22-24   -   Psalm 146   -   John 17:1-26

 

Adar 13, 5764 / March 6, 2004

Adar 13, 5767 / March 3, 2007

Adar 13, 5770 / February 27, 2010

Adar 13, 5773 / February 23, 2013

II Adar  9, 5776 / March 16, 2016

 

HaAzinu / Give Ear (a song)   SCRIPTURES should be read first

 

We have many ways of “reaching people”. In the Scriptures, we see different methods employed for people in different positions.

 

Yeshua said to a leader and teacher of the Torah, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). Then He proceeded to explain what the teacher should have already understood.

 

Yeshua said to a Samaritan woman at a well, “If you had asked of Me, I would have given you living water” (John 4:10). Then He proceeded with an explanation where others had left her in confusion.

 

Paul told a gentile prison-master, “Trust in the Master – Messiah Yeshua, and you shall be saved” (Acts 16:31).

 

Now here God is giving us a method in song for future generations. Let us seriously consider the lesson. The song shows that past, present, and future are in total harmony, and clarify one another.

 

Ha-A-zi-nu ha-sha-ma-im v’a-da-be-rah        v’tish-ma cha-a-retz im-rey-fi

Ya-rof cha-ma-tar liq-chiy                              ti-zul cha-tal im-ra-tiy

 

Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak;          and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.

  Let my teaching drop as the rain,                    my speech distill as the dew.”

 

As an introduction: this song shall reach the heavens, and distill upon future generations.

 

We start with recognizing who God is:

(V.3-4) “For I proclaim the name Yahweh; ascribe greatness to our God! The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He.”

God’s name is to be proclaimed, with its great significance. His judgment is exact and fair, even if He sometimes waits to execute it. We should never think that we can disobey Him with impunity.

 

Then we recognize our own position – foolish sinners:

(V.5-6) “They have acted corruptly toward Him, they are not His children, because of their defect; but are a perverse and crooked generation. Do you thus repay Yahweh, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you.”

By acting contrary to His instruction, we proclaim to all that we are not His children. If we have no fruit of faith in our lives, then we are not His children.

Neither are they all children because they are Abraham's descendants, but: ‘through Isaac your descendants will be named.’ That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants” (Romans 9:7-8).

 

Next we are reminded of our history:

(V.7-8) “Remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, your elders, and they will tell you. When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel.” Reflect upon the past; ask of those who know historical truths.

God divided the world from Babel into seventy nations, as seventy members of Jacob’s family would later go down into Egypt – “according to the number of the sons of Israel.”

 

The rest of the song covers historical themes:

God created the world in order for it to glorify Him.

He chose Israel to take His Word to the nations.

He gave Israel a land, from whence they could lead the world, dwelling in peace and prosperity.

Israel rebelled, and was exiled from the land.

Israel will be redeemed.

God’s enemies destroyed.

 

We must understand how this all applies to us: God’s covenant to Abraham applies to all believers, including gentiles who through faith obtain the promises. His final judgment applies to all who are faithless, including those who can trace their genealogy to Abraham.

 

Some of the problem today is misunderstanding that is promoted through popular translations of the Bible. We are not under some “new covenant” that replaces the Torah; we are living under a renewed application of the Abrahamic Covenant – having it applied to hearts by the Holy Spirit. God is granting repentance and faith – repentance means turning from sin to God, and faith gives us the ability to walk with God.

 

(V.21-24) God has promised His bountiful provision for whatever we do in His name – His work (John 14:13). But, if we use God’s provision amiss, He will remove it.

 

(V.26-30) Yahweh would have said that He would destroy Israel, but then their enemies would have claimed triumph over their God. Rather than seeing God using Israel as an example, their enemies would have ascribed their defeat to the lack of a powerful god. Yahweh showed mercy by scattering them among the nations, so that not all would be under attempted annihilation at one time.

 

(V.31-34) God’s enemies should realize that their rock is not like our Rock – Yahweh. But they are proud of their accomplishments and turn their hearts to pleasure. Their ‘grapes’ are unjust gain and haughty rule that harm society, and they are deserving of punishment.

(V.35) “Vengeance is Mine, and retribution; in due time their foot will slip, for the day of their calamity is near, and the impending things are hastening upon them.”

 

(V.36) In the end, it will be as in Egypt: a remnant will be redeemed and will enter the Promised Land. All will see God’s glory, that He accomplishes the work of salvation. There is no merit in us, nothing deserving of the Covenant promises: it is all of grace – unmerited favor.

________________

 

Moses warned (v.46): “This is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life.”

 

Then God told Moses to ascend a mountain, where he could see the Promised Land at a distance, and that he would then die on that mountain. The reason: Moses failed to treat God as holy before the people, at the waters of Meribah.

 

Yeshua likewise ascended a mountain – probably the Mount of Olives, where one would have a straight path of vision to the Holy of Holies. He ascended carrying a cross, and died there. Three-plus-forty days later, He ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives.

 

Psalm 146

The third verse of HaAzinu says, “I proclaim the name Yahweh! In ten verses of the Psalm, the name Yahweh is used eleven times.

 

The Psalm goes on to praise Yahweh as creator of all, the One who executes justice, and the One who reigns forever. It tells how He thwarts the way of the wicked, and raises up His own.

 

This Psalm is like a condensed version of HaAzinu!

 

John 17

In this chapter, Yeshua speaks extensively of glorifying the Holy Father. All that Yeshua did on earth was to glorify the Father.

 

Yeshua says that He was sent to make known the Father’s Name to believers – “His own”. He then asks that they may be made holy (sanctified), and that they may dwell with Him in the Promised Land.

Readings:

 

Reader 1* Amen 1 “Give ear, O heavens, and let me speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth. 2 Let my teaching drop as the rain, my speech distill as the dew, as the droplets on the fresh grass and as the showers on the herb. 3 For I proclaim the name of Yahweh; ascribe greatness to our God! 4 The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just; a God of faithfulness and without injustice, righteous and upright is He. 5 They have acted corruptly toward Him, they are not His children, because of their defect; but are a perverse and crooked generation. 6 Do you thus repay Yahweh, O foolish and unwise people? Is not He your Father who has bought you? He has made you and established you. 7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, your elders, and they will tell you.

 

Reader 2* Amen 8 “When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when He separated the sons of man, He set the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel. 9 For Yahweh's portion is His people; Jacob is the allotment of His inheritance. 10 He found him in a desert land, and in the howling waste of a wilderness; He encircled him, He cared for him, He guarded him as the pupil of His eye. 11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest, that hovers over its young, He spread His wings and caught them, He carried them on His pinions. 12 Yahweh alone guided him, and there was no foreign god with him. 13 He made him ride on the high places of the earth, and he ate the produce of the field; and He made him suck honey from the rock, and oil from the flinty rock, 14 curds of cows, and milk of the flock, with fat of lambs, and rams, the breed of Bashan, and goats, with the finest of the wheat-- and of the blood of grapes you drank wine.

 

Reader 3* Amen 15 “But Jeshurun grew fat and kicked-- you are grown fat, thick, and sleek-- then he forsook God who made him, and scorned the Rock of his salvation. 16 They made Him jealous with strange gods; with abominations they provoked Him to anger. 17 They sacrificed to demons who were not God, to gods whom they have not known, new gods who came lately, whom your fathers did not dread. 18 You neglected the Rock who begot you, and forgot the God who gave you birth. 19 And Yahweh saw this, and spurned them Because of the provocation of His sons and daughters. 20 Then He said, 'I will hide My face from them, I will see what their end shall be; for they are a perverse generation, sons in whom is no faithfulness. 21 They have made Me jealous with what is not God; they have provoked Me to anger with their idols. So I will make them jealous with those who are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation, 22 for a fire is kindled in My anger, and burns to the lowest part of Sheol, and consumes the earth with its yield, and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.

 

Reader 4* Amen 23 'I will heap misfortunes on them; I will use My arrows on them. 24 They shall be wasted by famine, and consumed by plague and bitter destruction; and the teeth of beasts I will send upon them, with the venom of crawling things of the dust. 25 Outside the sword shall bereave, and inside terror-- both young man and virgin, the nursling with the man of gray hair. 26 I would have said, "I will cut them to pieces, I will remove the memory of them from men," 27 had I not feared the provocation by the enemy, lest their adversaries should misjudge, lest they should say, "Our hand is triumphant, and Yahweh has not done all this." ' 28 For they are a nation lacking in counsel, and there is no understanding in them. 29 Would that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would discern their future!

 

Reader 5* Amen 30 "How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, and Yahweh had given them up? 31 Indeed their rock is not like our Rock, even our enemies themselves judge this. 32 For their vine is from the vine of Sodom, and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison, their clusters, bitter. 33 Their wine is the venom of serpents, and the deadly poison of cobras. 34 'Is it not laid up in store with Me, Sealed up in My treasuries? 35 Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, in due time their foot will slip; for the day of their calamity is near, and the impending things are hastening upon them.' 36 For Yahweh will vindicate His people, and will have compassion on His servants; when He sees that their strength is gone, and there is none remaining, bond or free.

 

Reader 6* Amen 37 And He will say, 'Where are their gods, the rock in which they sought refuge? 38 Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their libation? Let them rise up and help you, let them be your hiding place! 39 See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me; it is I who put to death and give life. I have wounded, and it is I who heal; and there is no one who can deliver from My hand. 40 Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven, and say, as I live forever, 41 if I sharpen My flashing sword, and My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, and I will repay those who hate Me. 42 I will make My arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh, with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the long-haired leaders of the enemy.' 43 Rejoice, O nations, with His people; for He will avenge the blood of His servants, and will render vengeance on His adversaries, and will atone for His land and His people."

 

Reader 7* Amen 44 Then Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he, with Joshua the son of Nun. 45 When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, "Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe carefully, even all the words of this law. 47 "For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you shall prolong your days in the land, which you are about to cross the Jordan to possess." 48 And Yahweh spoke to Moses that very same day, saying, 49 "Go up to this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab opposite Jericho, and look at the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel for a possession. 50 Then die on the mountain where you ascend, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, 51 because you broke faith with Me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel. 52 For you shall see the land at a distance, but you shall not go there, into the land which I am giving the sons of Israel."

 

Ezekiel 17:22-24

22 Thus says Yahweh God, "I shall also take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar and set it out; I shall pluck from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I shall plant it on a high and lofty mountain. 23 On the high mountain of Israel I shall plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit, and become a stately cedar. And birds of every kind will nest under it; they will nest in the shade of its branches. 24 And all the trees of the field will know that I am Yahweh; I bring down the high tree, exalt the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I am Yahweh; I have spoken, and I will perform it."

 

Psalm 146

1 Praise Yahweh! Praise Yahweh, O my soul! 2 I will praise Yahweh while I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. 3 Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation. 4 His spirit departs, he returns to the earth; in that very day his thoughts perish. 5 How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in Yahweh his God; 6 Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them; Who keeps faith forever; 7 Who executes justice for the oppressed; Who gives food to the hungry. Yahweh sets the prisoners free. 8 Yahweh opens the eyes of the blind; Yahweh raises up those who are bowed down; Yahweh loves the righteous; 9 Yahweh protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow; but He thwarts the way of the wicked. 10 Yahweh will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise Yahweh!

 

John 17:1-26

1 These things Yeshua spoke; and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify Thy Son, that the Son may glorify Thee, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all mankind, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 "And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Yeshua the Messiah whom You have sent. 4 "I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 "And now, You glorify Me together with Yourself, Father, with the glory which I had with You before the world was. 6 "I manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; Yours they were, and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 "Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You; 8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them, and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me. 9 "I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours; 10 and all things that are Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine; and I have been glorified in them. 11 "And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one, even as We are. 12 "While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them, and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. 13 "But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy made full in themselves. 14 "I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 "I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one. 16 "They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 17 "Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 "As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 "And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth. 20 "I do not ask in behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You, that they also may be in Us; that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 "And the glory which You have given Me I have given to them; that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them, and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You loved Me. 24 "Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, in order that they may behold My glory, which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world. 25 "O righteous Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me; 26 and I have made Your name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith You loved Me may be in them, and I in them."


© 2004  Beikvot HaMashiach
(Followers of the Messiah)