Parashah Shelach Securing the Mission; A Love for God’s Promise
Psalm 106; 21 They forgot God, their savior, Who had done great things in Egypt, 22 wondrous works in the land of Ham, awesome things by the Sea of Reeds. 23 He said He would destroy them- had not Moses, His chosen one, stood in the breach before Him to turn away His wrath from destroying. 24 And they despised the desirable land, they had no faith in His Word. 25 They murmured in their tents, they did not heed the voice of HASHEM. 26 Then He lifted up His hand [in an oath] against them, to cast them down in the wilderness, 27 and to cast down their descendants among the nations, and to scatter them among the lands.
Parashah Shelach is the TURNING POINT of the Torah. From this point on, even to this day, everything changes. Shelach- send out. This sedra is so full. The account of the spies in the Land, the transgression of the nation in woe and fear, as they wept against HASHEM. The wrath of HASHEM and intercession of Moshe, the decree against the generation who failed to trust HASHEM and go into the Land of Promise and the recounting of the offerings, encouraging the people once more. The Challah tithe, the Sabbath offender and Tzitzis.
Joshua 1;13 “Remember the matter that Moses, servant of HASHEM, commanded you, saying, ‘HASHEM, your God, gives you rest and He will give you this land.’ 14 Your wives, your children, and your cattle will settle in the land that Moses had given you across the Jordan; then you- all the mighty warriors- will cross over, armed, before your brothers to help them, 15 until HASHEM gives your brothers rest, like you, and they too take possession of the land that HASHEM God gives them. Then you will return to the land of your inheritance and possess it- that which Moses, servant of HASHEM, gave you across the Jordan, toward the rising of the sun.”
Bamidbar 12; 1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 2″Send forth men, if you please, and let them spy out the Land of Canaan that I give to the Children of Israel; one man each from his father’s tribe shall you send, every one a leader among them.” 3 Moses sent them forth from the Wilderness of Paran at HASHEM’s command; they were all distinguished men; head of the Children of Israel were they.
16 These are the names of the men whom Moses sent to spy out the Land. Moses called Hoshea son of Nun, “Joshua.”
–Ragal (raw-gal) =to reconnoiter; to lead about; to be a tale-bearer; search; slander; view; to spy out.
Chaqar (khaw-kar)= to penetrate; examine intimately; find out; search out; investigate.
The Israelites are perched, at a high point after the journey through the desert and all the trials they had experienced (and created) and it is more than evident at this point that to ‘take’ the Land of promise there will be battle to engage in. One purpose of the spies mission was to identify the military advantages the enemy might have and to locate the best possible route to victory with the least danger, casualties, etc.
Another reason seems clear, God wants them to see how very rich and fertile the Land is. The fruit they were to return bearing was intended to be a signal of encouragement and hope…the good fruit of the Land of promise…but the spies bind and twist the description and evidence to promote fear and dismay.
Judges 18;2 The children of Dan sent (Shelach) five men from their families- from among their leaders- men of valor from Zorah and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land and to investigate it. They said to them, “Go, investigate the land.”
7 So the five men went, and they arrived at Laish. They saw that the people who were in it were living securely, after the manner of the Sidonians, complacent and secure. No issue in the land could cause them embarrassment and there was no heir to the dynasty; they were far from the Sidonians and they had no alliance with any person.
9 They said, “Arise, let us advance against them, for we have seen the land. and it is very good- yet you remain still! Do not be too lazy to go, to arrive and inherit the land! 10 When you arrive, you will come upon a trusting people, and the land is expansive, for God has delivered it into your hand. It is a place where there is no shortage of anything that is in the land!”
Bamidbar 13;17 Moses sent them to spy out the Land of Canaan, and he said to them, “Ascend here in the south and climb the mountain. 18 See the Land- how is it? and the people that dwells in it- is it strong or weak? is it few or numerous ? 19 And how is the Land in which it dwells- is it good or is it bad? And how is the land- is it fertile or is it lean? are there trees in it or not? You shall strengthen yourself and take from the fruit of the Land.” The days were the season of the first ripe grapes.
–Nphily (nef-eel)= “distinguished one’s”; bully or tyrant; giant. There is much commentary on who these giants were. Were they fallen angels or actual giant mortal (enowsh= a mortal- more dignified; person; a people) beings, the text in the Hebrew repeats the sons or distinguished ones (nephillim) of Anak- a Canaanite. For a simple reading it would be wise to realize these were strong men of distinction among their vast tribes, rather than towering creations shaking the ground with their every step.
Bamidbar 13;21 They ascended and spied out the Land, from the Wilderness of Zin to the expanse at the approach to Hamath. 22 They ascended in the south and he arrived at Hebron, where there were Ahiman, Sheshai, and Talmai, the offspring of the giant. Hebron had been built seven years before Zoan of Egypt. 23 They arrived at the Valley of Eshcol and cut from there .
–This is a people who have been completely cherished and beloved by their Father. They have been covered by the light and warmth of holy fire by night, shielded and sheltered by a cloud by day. When they hunger, heavenly bread appears before them. When they thirst, water flows. The sages say even their clothes and shoes are intact and clean throughout the journey and when there is war God Most High does battle for them. Entire regimes drown and melt at the breath of HASHEM, the One True God Who travels in their midst. They stand at the peak of their journey and are poised in position to take hold of the promise they have entrusted their hopes upon from Egypt until now…the Land of Israel lies ahead. Yet the report of the spies means a change of mindset, attitude and most difficult…behavior. They will need to build and progress with the strength of their backs, work the Land with the sweat of their brow. These former slaves will have to face great armies of peoples and conquer them. The desert experience was an overall manageable and straightforward period. From here everything changes and this could be one reason the spies bring this report. They were not ready to embrace the promise, they could not yet bring themselves to grasp at the utter and complete submission to the Lord and trust in Him and His word.
Genesis 3;22 And HASHEM God said, “Behold Man has become like the Unique One among us, knowing good and bad; and now, lest he put forth his hand (Shelach) and take also from the Tree of Life, and eat and live forever!” 23 So HASHEM banished him from the Garden of Eden, to work the soil from which He was taken. 24 And having driven out the man, He stationed at the east of the Garden of Eden the Cherubim and the flame of the ever-turning sword. to guard the way to the Tree of Life.
Bamidbar 13;25 They returned from spying out the Land at the end of forty days. 25 They went and came to Moses and to Aaron and to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel, to the Wilderness of Paran at Kasesh, and brought back the report to them and the entire assembly, and they showed them the fruit of the Land. 27 They reported to him and said, “We arrived at the Land to which you sent us, and indeed it flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. 28 But- the people that dwells in the Land is powerful, the cities are fortified and very great, and we also saw there the offspring of the giant. 29 Amalek dwells in the area of the south; the Hittite, the Jebusite, and the Amorite dwell on the mountain; and the Canaanite dwells by the Sea and on the bank of the Jordan.”
–Land flowing with milk: This speaks of the richness in the land, that it is a good land for raising herds and flocks which produce milk.
Honey: speaks of the bees that are needed to pollinate plants and crops.
It is interesting that both the spies and Caleb use terminology referring to consuming ‘food’ in their reports.
The spies contradict themselves when they first bring forth the account of the great strength of the inhabitants whom dwell in the Land and then identify the good Land as that which ‘devours’ (Akal- to eat; burn up; consume) its residents. Caleb uses the vivid picture of the inhabitants being ‘bread’ (Lechem- food; bread or grain; meat; victuals) for Israel and assuring them that the hand of God present in every single thing, and especially so in the Land of Israel has removed His cover, His shade from the tribes in the Land and He has chosen Israel, that He is with the people!
Bamidbar 13;30 Caleb silenced the people toward Moses and said, “We shall surely ascend and conquer it, for we can surely do it!” 31 But the men who had ascended with him said, “We cannot ascend to that people for it is too strong for us!” 32 They brought forth to the Children of Israel an evil report on the Land that they had spied out, saying, “The Land through which we have passed, to spy it out, is a land that devours its inhabitants! All the people that we saw in it were huge! 33 There we saw the Nephilim, the sons of the giant from among the Nephilim; we were like grasshoppers in our eyes, and so we were in their eyes!”
–The Mission Statement God has been cultivating within the people as He walks with them training them as a loving Teacher and Father all this time is the idea that there can be a holy nation, dedicated completely to God. Like His servant Abraham, there can be a people who take up their destiny and God ordained role: to be compassionate teachers, proclaimers of the righteousness of the King, and exemplifiers of moral justice in the world. In their Land Israel can produce an ethical culture, just and flourishing economics, and sociology. In the Land of Israel there can be considerate treatment of the minorities and the poor…not with handouts but by equipping inhabitants with life tools! In the Land of Israel a precedent of ethical warfare can be presented…and for all these reasons and more, the Land of Israel was to be acquired by the people God chose to express this mission for the whole world to see.
Why are Israel God’s Chosen People? These are the people that God knew would believe in His moral and ethical Law. He knew they would never give up even at the point of death and destruction…to loose ‘everything they had’, to preserve His just and eternal Law which is His design for Life. God believes in each one of us, and if we could take the lead and example of His chosen, being grafted in by Yeshua as His chosen…He believes that we are STILL CAPABLE of expressing The Mission, a Mission that will redeem the world through morality.
Psalm 1;1 Praiseworthy is the man who walked not in the counsel of the wicked, and stood not in the path of the sinful, and sat not in the session of scorners. 2 But his desire is in the Torah of HASHEM, and in His Torah he meditated day and night. 3 He shall be like a tree deeply rooted alongside brooks of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf never withers; and everything he does will succeed.
Psalm 119;113 I hate the plotters of evil, but I love Your Torah. 114 You are my concealment and my shield, I put my hope in Your word. 115 Depart from me you evil doers, and I will guard the commandments of my God. 116 Support me according to Your promise that I may live, disgrace me not in my hope. 117 Sustain me that I may be saved, and I will always be engrossed in Your statutes.
–The question today is Will We Step Up? will we stand in the gap, forsaking all our gains in this world, to act with the strength and zealously the Lord has for His Land and His people, in the places He has put us in?
The people came from 210 years of slavery, they had become convinced that they were deserving of subjugation. They forgot their majestic forbearers and they were willing to sacrifice the Mission of becoming priests and teachers of all humanity…they lost faith in themselves.
So too we have forgotten where we have come from, the foundations of our faith. We have forgotten the goal to sanctify the Name of God on earth and to devote our lives to teaching others about living moral lives before the Lord. There is little time, we want things simple, easy, quick and convenient. We want to fit El Elyon (the Most High God) into our allotted compartments, shaping the neat ideas we have about the Word to suit our purposes. We have abandoned the Orignial Mission and the evidence is all around us, the world in in decay…last week the US threatens Israel once more, that “Israel needs to be serious about peace” calling for the return to the 1967 borders again. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2013/05/28/john-kerry-israels-prosperity-may-be-blocking-peace-process-with-palestinians/
Without the Torah without the foundation, without devotion and without trust and bravery, without the willingness to do the work, to fight for the Land and to look at it as precious to our King, therefore precious to us. Without the equipment to strive for holiness as God has presented in His living and eternal word, we will fall into the same path as the spies who brought the bad report, the bad report about the Trustworthy and Unchanging nature of our King….and we too, will plummet with the disintegrating morality of the world around us and fail the mission.
Are we unarmed? Are we without weaponry? Have we not been taught? Has the shofar and trumpet, the alarm of the watchmen not yet been sounded and heard? Certainly not! The Word is our sword, the Righteousness of the Lord our armor, the sound of the Lord calling His people has been heard and we can see it all around us!! Blessed Be the Name of His Glorious Kingdom Forever and for all Eternity!!
Psalm19; 5 Their precision goes forth throughout the earth, and their words reach the end of the inhabited world. In their midst He has set up a tent for the sun, 6 which is like a groom emerging from his bridal chamber, it rejoices like a powerful warrior to run the course. 7 Its source is the end of the heavens and its circuit is to their end; nothing is hidden from its heat. 8 The Torah of HASHEM is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of HASHEM is trustworthy, making the simple one wise; 9 the orders of HASHEM are upright, gladdening the heart; the command of HASHEM is perfect, enduring forever; the judgments of HASHEM are true, altogether righteous.
–The weeping on this night will be remembered to the End. It is said that because the Children of Israel mourned and wept all this night (the 9th of the month of Av) it was to be a day to remember, to mourn and to weep. What else has happened on the 9th of AV:
586 BC — Destruction of the First Temple by the Babylonians
70 AD — Destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans and start of the second Jewish exile
135 — Fall of Betar, last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against Roman occupation
136 — Jerusalem was destroyed and the Roman city of Aelia Capitolina established to replace it
1096 — Pope Urban II declared the First Crusade, murdering masses of Jews
1290 — King Edward I expelled all Jews from England
1306 — Jews expelled from France
1492 — All Jews expelled from Spain
1555 — Pope Paul IV confines the Jews into a walled ghetto in Rome
1648 — Cossacks massacred thousands of East European Jews
1914 — World War I began, culminating in World War II and the Nazi Holocaust
1941 — Plans for the “final solution to the Jewish problem” were laid out by the Nazis.
2005 — Israel planned to forcibly evacuate all Jews from Gaza on the 9th of Av. (The evacuation was rescheduled for Av 10 after it was brought to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s attention he’d “coincidentally” slated his unilateral disengagement on Tisha b’Av.) Zephaniah. 2;1 For Gaza will be deserted; and Ashkelon become a wasteland; they will drive out Ashdod’s residents at noon; and Ekron will be uprooted.
Bamidbar 14;1 The entire assembly raised up and issued its voice; the people wept that night. 2 All the Children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron, and the entire assembly said to them, “If only we have died in the land of Egypt, or if only we had died in this Wilderness! 3 Why is HASHEM bringing us to this Land to die by the sword? Our wives and young children will be taken captive! Is it not better for us to return to Egypt?” 4 So they said to one another, “Let us appoint a leader and let us return to Egypt!”
–Moses and Aaron fall to their faces, what else could be more appropriate, after this reaction and utter lack of trust or faith in the God Who was even yet among them…there would be an answer from on high. They ‘duck’ so to speak. So to Caleb and Joshua rent their garments, they know that there is sure to follow a just punishment that would include pain and suffering and loss. The people have literally doomed themselves by their words! This is the ‘last straw’ for our long suffering King.
Bamidbar 14;5 Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before the entire congregation of the assembly of the Children of Israel. 8 Joshua son of Nun and Caleb, son of Jephunneh, of the spies of the Land, tore their garments. 7 They spoke to the entire assembly of the Children of Israel, saying, “The Land that we passed through, to spy it out- the Land is very, very good! 8 If HASHEM desires us, He will bring us to this Land and give it to us, a Land that flows with milk and honey. 9 But do not rebel against HASHEM! You should not fear the people of the Land, for they are our bread. Their protection had departed from them; HASHEM is with us. Do not fear them!”
–What does rebellion against God consist of? The running ‘theme’ in the texts below is the casting aside of the Torah. Something to think about. The messages of the prophets, of Caleb and Yohoshu, the message of Yeshua…are the same message, the Good News from the beginning….repent and return to the Lord, return to His Torah and trust in Him for all things. All these messengers were treated in kind, threatened, imprisoned, beaten and killed. Yet by His mercy and His abundant love, He gave us forgiveness and a place with Him…through the blood of the Word made flesh, Who dwelt among us…Yeshua Ha Mashiac- Yeshua the Messiah.
Luke 13;34 “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused! 35 Look! God is abandoning your house to you! I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of ADONAI!'”
Nehemiah 9;24 The children came and took possession of the land, and You subdued the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites before them, and delivered them into their hand, along with their kings and the peoples of the land, to do with them as they pleased. 25 They captured fortified cities and a fertile land; they took possession of houses filled with every good thing, chiseled cisterns, vineyards and olive trees, and abundant fruit trees; so they ate and became satiated and fattened and took delight in Your great bounty. 26 Then they became recalcitrant and rebelled against You, casting Your Torah behind their backs. They killed Your prophets who had warned them in order to make them return to You and they committed great provocations.
Jeremiah 26; 4 Thus said HASHEM: If you do not listen to Men to follow My Torah that I have placed before you, 5 to listen to the words of My servants the prophets whom I send to you, sending them from early [morning]-but you did not listen! 6 So I shall make this Temple like Shiloh, and I will make this city [the epitome of] a curse for all the nations of the Land. 7 The priests and the [false] prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the Temple of HASHEM. 8 It happened that as Jeremiah finished speaking everything that HASHEM had commanded him to speak to all the people, the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, “You shall die!”
-Words Have Power.
Acts 7;35 “This Moshe, whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge?’ is the very one whom God sent as both ruler and ransomer by means of the angel that appeared to him in the thorn bush. 36 This man led them out, performing miracles and signs in Egypt, at the Red Sea and in the wilderness for forty years. 37 This is the Moshe who said to the people of Isra’el, ‘God will raise up a prophet like me from among your brothers’ 38 This is the man who was in the assembly in the wilderness, accompanied by the angel that had spoken to him at Mount Sinai and by our fathers, the man who was given living words to pass on to us.
–Once again we see that the precursor to the Messiah, Moshe interceding on behalf of the people before the Lord.(Yeshua, our constant and faithful intercessor at the right Hand of the Father, being the prophet like unto Moses- Deuteronomy 18;15 A prophet from your midst, from your brethren, like me, shall HASHEM, your God, establish for you- to him shall you hearken. )
Bamidbar 14;10 But the entire assembly said to pelt them with stones- and the glory of HASHEM appeared in front of the Tent of Meeting to all the Children of Israel. 11 HASHEM said to Moses, “How long will this people provoke Me, and how long will they not have faith in Me, despite all the signs that I have performed in their midst? 12 I will smite them with the plague and annihilate them, and I shall make you a greater and more powerful nation than they.” 13 Moses said to HASHEM, “Then Egypt- from whose midst You brought up this nation with Your power- will hear, 14 and they will say about the inhabitants of this Land, ‘They have heard that You, HASHEM, are in the midst of this people- that You, HASHEM appeared eye to eye and Your cloud stands over them, and that in a pillar of cloud You go before them by day and in a pillar of fire at night- 15 yet You killed this people like a single man!’ Then the nations that heard of Your fame will say, 16 ‘Because HASHEM lacked the ability to bring this people to the Land that He had sworn to give them, He slaughtered them in the Wilderness.’
–We have been ‘here’ before, and the entreaty was similar, by Moshe’s words…God grants forgiveness. Once again he wields the ineffable attributes that the Lord revealed to Moshe as His glory passed before him and to us, by Moshe’s hand…but here is what is ‘missing’ from the revelation (Exodus 34;6-7) to this reminder in the Wilderness:
HASHEM, God (for the people have removed God from their sights, they have abandoned their faith in Him); Compassionate and Gracious (Moshe skips these attributes for there is no reason that God should be bound to enlist these traits, when the people have cut Him so deeply), Truth (there is no presence of truth upon the lips of the people, who have forgotten their redemption and call to be returned to enslavement and sin), Preserver of Kindness for thousands of generations (there should be no expectation that God would go on for any longer (although He DOES), upholding His covenantal promises when His bride has betrayed Him and continues to bring strife), Error (this is not error, this is rebellion, rebellion against their leaders, rebellion against the promises, rebellion against having to work for their future, rebellion against the Lord).
Proverbs 18; 4 The words of a man’s mouth are deep waters; the source of wisdom is like a flowing stream. 5 To show favor to an evildoer is not good, it turns astray the judgment of a righteous person. 6 The lips of the fool will come forth in contention, and his mouth will invite blows [upon himself]. 7 The mouth of a fool brings destruction to himself, and his lips are a stumbling block to his soul. 8 The words of a complainer are like blows and they descend to the chamber’s of one’s innards. 9 One who grows lax in his work is also a brother to the master of destruction. 10 The Name of HASHEM is a tower of strength; through it a righteous person will race and be strong.
21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue; those who love [to use] it will eat its fruit.
–HERE is something we can not miss the significance of, the Lord forgives the people because of Moshe’s WORD. A man is capable of appealing to the Creator of the universe, his prayers are heard and with the pure heart behind them…answered according to His will for men. The idea of the power of our words to effect not only our lives but the lives of those around us is transcendent, and should give us the feeling of awe and fear…yet strength and encouragement to know WE CAN take up this mission and enlist all the tools with which we have been armed, guarding our tongues and enlisting them as well in constant prayer for the righteous things, ideas and people God will bring across our paths and place over our hearts!
Bamidbar 14;17 And now- may the strength of my Lord be magnified as You have spoken, saying, 18 ‘HASHEM, Slow to Anger, Abundant in Kindness, Forgiver of Iniquity and Willful Sin, and Who cleanses- but does not cleanse completely, recalling the iniquity of parents upon children to the third and fourth generations’- 19 forgive now the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of Your kindness and as You have forgiven this entire people from Egypt until now.” 20 And HASHEM said, “I have forgiven because of your word. 21 But as I live- and the glory of HASHEM shall fill the entire world- 22 that all the men who have seen My glory and My signs that I performed in Egypt and in the Wilderness, and have tested Me these ten times and have not heeded My voice, 23 if they will see the Land that I have sworn to give the forefathers!- and all who anger Me shall not see it.
–There is forgiveness with the Lord, immense mercy and love beyond comprehension…but without justice and consequence He would not be the Almighty King we look to for the reason, impartiality, integrity and Authority that we all, as flesh, lack. There is forgiveness, but a dire consequence. Because of their words, the very things of which they spoke…dangling before God, as if He would treat them in such a manner…their children’s lives and well being, they doom themselves, yet He has mercy on the generation to come. HASHEM single’s out Caleb who’s name means “All Heart”, as the one who has a different spirit (Ruach-wind; breath; life; spirit.) He surely used his words to attentively, actively appeal to the people not to rebel and to save themselves from the pain he knew was to come..Caleb who wholeheartedly (male-mawlaw or malae= full of; confirm; consecrate; furnish; fullness; replenish; satisfy; to have wholly. ) followed after HASHEM and His order. He gives him the gift of the Land because Caleb saw Israel through HASHEM’s eyes and he loved it with his whole heart.
Bamidbar 14;24 But My servant Caleb, because a different spirit was within him and he followed Me wholeheartedly, I shall bring him to the Land to which he came, and his offspring shall possess it. 35 The Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the valley- tomorrow, turn and journey toward the Wilderness in the direction of the Sea of Reeds.”
Matthew 5;39 But I tell you not to stand up against someone who does you wrong. On the contrary, if someone hits you on the right cheek, let him hit you on the left cheek too!
44 I tell you love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 Then you will become children of your Father in heaven.
–Yeshua came teaching of a radical departure from the human nature…to love when we are hurt, and do what is the most difficult to make happen when we feel wronged…to forgive.
He did not come telling us to be doormats to be walked all over, he strengthened us for the times ahead and builds us up to this day to be armed for the battles arising and culminating in these last days before his return to us. The Torah texts to which Yeshua references in the Matthew text are not some primitive form of corporal punishment, where one would literally gouge out an eye if an eye had been damaged. This is a huge misconception and the meaning of the Torah text is just compensation for affliction of suffering. There was to be equally weighed the monetary value of the victim’s suffering and pain and the offender was expected to pay back, whether by property or service this just value.
Leviticus 24;19 And if a man inflicts a wound on a person, so shall be inflicted upon him: 20 a break for a break, an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth; just as he would have inflicted a wound on a person , so shall be inflicted upon him.
Deuteronomy 19;20 And those who remain shall hearken and fear; and they shall not continue again to do such an evil thing in your midst. 21 Your eye shall not pity; life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
God has been abused, He has turned His cheek, He has pardoned and forgiven repeatedly now there must be equal weighing and measuring. I can not help but connect these thoughts to the Bamidbar text. One year for every day the spies reconnoitered the land and brought the evil report which led to the chaos and sin of the people against God. He is just, He is true, He is righteous and there is nothing Yeshua taught while he dwelt among us that is contrary to what He taught man in the garden.
Matthew 5;48 Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Bamidbar 14; 26 HASHEM spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 27 “How long for this evil assembly that provokes complaint against me?! I have heard the complaints of the Children of Israel whom they provoked against Me. 28 Say to them: As I live- the word of HASHEM- if I shall not do to you as you have spoken in My ears. 29 In this Wilderness your carcasses shall drop; all of you who were counted in any of your numberings, from twenty years of age and above, whom you provoked against Me; 30 if you shall come to the Land about which I have raised My hand in an oath to settle you there, except for Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun. 31 And your Children of whom you said they will be taken captive, I shall bring them; they shall know the Land that you have despised. 32 But your carcasses shall drop in this Wilderness. 33 Your children will roam in the Wilderness for forty years and bear your guilt, until the last of your carcasses in the Wilderness. 34 Like the number of days that you spied out the Land, forty days, a year for each day, a day for each year, shall you bear your iniquities- forty years- and you shall comprehend straying from Me. 35 I HASHEM have spoken- if I shall not do this to the entire evil assembly that gathers against Me! In this Wilderness shall they cease to be, and there shall they die!”
–The ‘bad spies’ .
These men who despise the desirable land are not just any chosen of the people, they are great men with titles and power, they are not simple, they are learned men, teachers… they are leaders. It is no wonder that the ear of the people was fixed on them, they trusted these men completely and totally and this is one reason they were so utterly broken by the bad report. These men BROKE the spirit of the people. They are held accountable, as are the people.
Bamidbar 14; 36 But as for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the Land, and who returned and provoked the entire assembly against him by spreading a report against the Land- 37 the people who spread the evil report about the Land died in a plague before HASHEM. 38 But Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh lived from among those men who were going to spy out the Land. 39 Moses spoke these words to all the Children of Israel, and the people mourned exceedingly.
ACTS 5;…38 For if this idea or this movement has a human origin, it will collapse. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them; you might even find yourselves fighting God!”
Bamidbar 14;40 They awoke early in the morning and ascended toward the mountaintop saying, “We are ready, and we shall ascend to the place of which HASHEM has spoken, for we have sinned!” 41 Moses said, “Why do you transgress the word of HASHEM? It will not succeed. 42 Do not ascend, for HASHEM is not in your midst! And do not be smitten before your enemies. 43 For the Amalekite and the Canaanite are there before you, and you will fall by the sword, because you have not turned away from HASHEM, and HASHEM will not be with you.” 44 But they defiantly ascended to the mountaintop, while the Ark of HASHEM’s covenant and Moses did not move from the midst of the camp. 45 The Amalekite and the Canaanite who dwelled on that mountain descended; they struck them and pounded them until Hormah.
–This is a truly heartbreaking picture. The people realize at least in part the weight of their transgression and think as in the past they can just go onward, that God will relent and that they can just go about their way, entering the land, bags packed, lesson learned, right? The people have continually repeated a cycle of failure and disappointment, and this becomes a template for them for long to come. We fail just as mightily if we consider when we look at these souls as just people in the past, simply edifying stories for us to contemplate. The people are US, we are THEM…we do all the same things and experience the same trials and failures only in a different time, with a different backdrop but the essence is a united one. The people still do not heed the warnings and proceed marching onward…if the Lord is not with us in our movements and advances, if we do not pray and ask His counsel and seek out His ways in His word….we will enter alone and we will not find the blessing, protection and cover that we should seek in all things. With every deficit, downfall, deterioration….we have seen, see before us, and will yet see a fullness, a plenty, a redemption and rebuilding, a restoration and hope which springs forth from the nurturing God we serve, and in all the verses of gloom and ordeal there is a vast washing with glimmering light! It shatters the darkness and the darkness can not and will not defeat it. It is the light of Messiah and it is in us, as it was with them.
II Peter 3;9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some people think of slowness; on the contrary, he is patient with you; for it is not his purpose that anyone should be destroyed, but that everyone should turn from his sins.
Joel 2;12 ‘Even now- the word of HASHEM- return to Me with all your heart, with fasting and with weeping, and with lamentation.’ 13 Rend your hearts and not your garments, and return to HASHEM your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and He relents of evil. 14 Whoever knows, let him repent and regret, and it will leave a blessing behind it, for meal-offering and libation to HASHEM your God.
–This is my King! This is the God I serve! Within this incredibly challenging portion we have been journeying this is the light of which I see…although the people will not enter the Land themselves, although there has been consequences brought on by their actions and there are many lofty objectives which lie before them…the Lord immediately inserts His consolation and confidence in them…charging them to continue on in these years, arming and teaching their children how to depart from their waywardness and cling to their God. By grasping with their hearts the Torah of the Lord and His heart within it they will avoid the trauma of their parents and enter the Promised Land equipped with all their needs, including these inspiring reminders that there will be bread, there will be a Mishkan and there will be a way to draw near the Lord. He assured them that with error there will be a path for atonement and all they need to do is sign up for God’s plan, adhere to the order and safeguard the Torah.
Bamidbar 15;1 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: When you will come to the Land of your dwelling places that I give you, 3 and you perform a fire-offering to HASHEM- a burnt-offering or a feast-offering because of an articulated vow or as a free-will offering, or on your festivals, to produce a satisfying aroma to HASHEM, from the cattle or from the flock-
11 So shall be done for each bull or for each ram, or for a lamb or kid among the sheep or goats. 12 According to the number that you prepare, so shall you do for each one, according to their number. 13 Every native shall do so with them, to being a fire offering, a satisfying aroma to HASHEM.
14 When a proselyte sojourns with you or one who is among you throughout your generations and he shall prepare a fire offering, a satisfying aroma to HASHEM- as you do, so shall he do. 15 For the congregation- the same decree shall be for you and for the proselyte who sojourns, an eternal decree for your generations; like you like the proselyte shall it be before HASHEM. 16 One teaching and one judgment shall there be for you and for the proselyte who sojourns among you.”
Zepheniah 2;1 Improve yourselves and improve each other, O nation with out desire: 2 before the decree is born, the day you will become like chaff; before HASHEM’s burning wrath comes upon you; before the day of HASHEM’s anger comes upon you. 3 Seek HASHEM, all you who have fulfilled His law; seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be concealed on the day of HASHEM’s anger.
A subject near and dear to my heart. The Challah separation and preparation of the Challah loaves on the Sabbath has transformed my personal observance of the treasured Sabbath commands. Where there once was flat and lifeless tasteless dough, there is sweet and airy sustenance which causes you to close your eyes and relish the sensation associated with the Lord and His rest. True rest for the soul.
–The Sabbath bread double portion reminds us of the manna that was collected prior to the Sabbath rest. “See HASHEM has given you the Sabbath; that is why He gives you on the sixth day a two-day portion of bread.” Exodus 16;29
The heavenly bread points to Yeshua (Jesus), the Bread of Life, through whom all sustenance comes forth. Yeshua answered, “I am the bread which is life! Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever trusts in me will never be thirsty.” John 6;35 The loaves resemble ladders, Yeshua is our ‘ladder’, our access to the Father. Yeshua said, “I AM the Way- and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me. John 14;6 The twelve strands represent the twelve tribes of Israel, bound together we are reminded that by unity in service of God, abundance outpours.
Always be humble, gentle and patient, bearing with one another in love, and making every effort to preserve the unity the Spirit gives through the binding power of shalom. (Peace) Ephesians 4;2-3
–The ability to keep this commandment of the Torah found in Numbers, is an honor and it weaves life into the home. As a woman and a mother it is extraordinary to me to think that in keeping this remembrance…a small token and gift to my King on the precious day the He gifted us with…to think I can with my whole heart as well as in the dimension of the time it takes and additionally with the physical awareness He has endowed me with…to imagine and realize that He has bestowed this gracious confidence in me as the keeper of the home…to KEEP His portion sacred, and bring blessing into the place He has established for myself, my beloved husband and precious children….I am in awe every single time I am blessed to present this precious blessing over the portion of my King and in turn place it at His table and partake among the treasured souls I am bound to…in His delight, the sign of His perpetual renewal of creation and rest in Him on His set apart, holy and appointed time the Sabbath…
–The beautiful Challah Blessings:
May it be Your will, our G-d, the G-d of our Fathers, that You bless our dough, as You blessed the dough of our Mothers, Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah. And may we be blessed as in the verse: “You shall give the first yield of your dough to the kohen to make a blessing rest upon your home.” (Ezekiel 44:30)
May the pleasantness of the L-rd our G-d be upon us; establish for us the work of our hands; establish the work of our hands (Psalms 90:17).
May it be Your will, our G-d, the G-d of our Fathers, that the mitzvah of separating challah be considered as if I observed every one of its details. May my raising of the challah be considered as the sacrifice that was offered on the altar, which was willingly accepted. Just as giving the challah to the kohen in the past served to atone for sins, so may it atone for my sins and I shall be like a person reborn, free of sin and transgression. May I be able to observe the holy Shabbat and Festivals with my husband (and our children), and be nourished from the holiness of these days. May the influence of the mitzvah of challah enable our children to be always nourished by the hands of the Holy One blessed be He, with His abundant mercy, loving-kindness, and great love; and the mitzvah of challah be accepted as though I have given a tithe. And now, as I am fulfilling the mitzvah of challah with all my heart, so may the compassion of the Holy One Blessed be He be aroused to keep me from sorrow and pain always, in Yeshua’s name Amen.
Bamidbar 15;17 HASHEM spoke to Moses, saying, 18 “Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: When you come to the Land to which I bring you, 19 it shall be that when you will eat of the bread of the Land, you shall set aside a portion for HASHEM. 20 As the first of your kneading you shall set aside a loaf as a portion, like the portion of the threshing-floor, so shall you set it aside. 21 From the first of your kneading shall you give a portion to HASHEM, for your generations.
–The Lord is really bringing the point across here, all this time we see evidence of punishment and death…but if we fail to see the rebellion and high handed willful sinning we will miss the rich lessons here in. The Lord makes it clear, he knows we will err, we will fail and even as a congregation or body be led astray or caused to wander from His will…but there is a path Home and there is One route to redemption, it is in His eternal Word and instructions. This is not a route for the Jews, nor is it a path for those who desire to uphold the Torah of Truth… it is ONE law, for One new man. One who has died to the world and to doctrines and to his flesh…one who will put all else aside to come before the Altar and before the Cross and ask for help. I pray the Lord’s path for His chosen will be confirmed for us all, soon in our days!
Bamidbar 15;22 If you err and do not perform all of these commandments, which HASHEM has spoken to Moses, 23 everything that HASHEM commanded you through Moses, from the day that HASHEM commanded and onward, throughout your generations. 24 If because of the eyes of the assembly it was done unintentionally, the entire assembly shall prepare one young bull as a burnt-offering for a satisfying aroma to HASHEM and its meal offering and its libation according to the rule, and one he-goat as a sin offering. 25 The Kohen shall atone for the entire assembly of the Children of Israel and it shall be forgiven them. for it was unintentional, and they have brought a fire-offering before HASHEM for their unintentional sin. 26 And it shall be forgiven to the entire assembly of Israel and to the proselyte who sojourns among them, for it happened to the entire people unintentionally.
–Shagash (shaw-gaw)= to stray, wander ; to mistake; to transgress; to reel, be enraptured; sin through ignorance ; err.
Shgagah (sheg-aw-gaw)= a mistake or inadvertent transgression; error; ignorance.
Echad (ekh-awd)= united; first; single; altogether; certain; ONE.
Seven times in the Bamidbar text from 15;22-29 the word “unintentional(ally) appears.
Bamidbar 15;27 If one person sins unintentionally, he shall offer a she-goat within its first year as a sin-offering. 28 The Kohen shall atone for the erring person when he sins unintentionally before HASHEM, to atone for him. 29 The native among the Children of Israel and the proselyte who sojourns among them- there shall be a single teaching for them, for one who does unintentionally.
Bamidbar 15;30 “A person who shall act high-handedly, whether native or proselyte, he blasphemed HASHEM! – that person shall be cut off from among his people, 31 for he scorned the word of HASHEM and broke His commandment; that person will surely be cut off, his sin is upon him.”
32 The Children of Israel were in the Wilderness and they found a man gathering wood on the Sabbath day. 33 Those who found him gathering wood brought him to Moses and Aaron, and to the entire assembly. 34 They placed him in custody, for it had not been clarified what should be done with him. 35 HASHEM said to Moses: “The man shall be put to death and the entire assembly shall pelt him with stones outside of the camp.” 36 The entire assembly removed him to the outside of the camp; they pelted him with stones and he died, as HASHEM had commanded Moses.
–Gadaph (gaw-daf)= to hack (with words); revile; blaspheme; reproach.
Bazah (baw-zaw) = to disesteem; despise; disdain; contemn; scorn.
The person who acts with gadaph, a high hand, and who scorns the word of HASHEM, shall be cut off from his people. The Hebrew text explains it as the soul ( nephesh- body, breath and mortality; desire, heart; pleasure.) is cut off (karath- destroy or consume; fail or loose. ) in association with the covenant of his people and his God.
This person has gone out with intention and directly flown in the face of God. God treasures much but let us consider how often the Sabbath is brought out by Him. How to keep it, how to make it holy, how it is the sign of the promises he made to all mankind….sustaining creation each week.
If man could treasure what God values, if we could fall into the appointed times and periods He as ordained for us to speak to our hearts…I believe His path and His Mission would and does become all the more illuminated and clear.
Once again as we read on we realize that with the example that was made, for the benefit of the community, never for the discouragement…the Lord swiftly surrounds us with the recollection that He understands our nature, our needs, and the way that we function in our flesh. We need to be constantly reminded and shaken and convicted…that our lives can more and more, day by day be transformed into a more constant and consistent devotion to adhering to His directives for us and entrusting all we have with all our hearts to His Word and His promises. Thus, the commandment of tzitzis. Precious, worthy, one that can be physically kept for our own benefit, evidence of trust and devotion.
Bamidbar 15;37 HASHEM said to Moses, saying: “Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them that they shall make themselves tzitzits on the corners of their garments, throughout their generations. And they shall place upon the tzitzis of each corner a thread of turquoise wool. 39 It shall constitute tzitzis for you, that you may see it and remember all the commandments of HASHEM and perform them; and not explore after your heart and after your eyes after which you stray. 40 So that you may remember and perform all of My commandments and be holy to your God. 41 I am HASHEM your God, Who has removed you from the land of Egypt to be a God unto you, I am HASHEM your God.
–Gods intention when He allowed that Moshe send forth the spied at the behest of the people was that their eyes would be opened! Open to see clearly the physical abundance there, wide and willing to look with their hearts at the Land of Israel as the Lord does. HASHEM involves Himself with Israel in a different way than any other Land. This is not about you or I, it is not about distractions it is about God’s connection to the Land, our connection is through God’s promises regarding the Land. There is a reason there is a disproportionate amount of attention paid to Israel. The influx of blessing for the whole entire world comes through Israel, and God has made it so…Israel is the soul of the world. He looks to it as a Husband His bedecked bride, and His design is for ALL of us, but ESPECIALLY His chosen people to look at Israel with Passion, with Lust, with a consuming kind of Love. Israel, Yeshua and the Torah all have been likened to the Light of the world by God…their connection is unchangeable, irreplaceable and unbreachable. The commandment of tzitzis is part of the idea that we are to see, to reach out, to touch and hold the fringes…hold the commandments, grasp the promises and gaze upon them longingly, with an intense love and attachment.
Tzitzis are a reminder of the Mission statement of the King, they are a tie to the eternal instruction of our Creator as to how to live before Him, full and to not commit transgressions against Him, that we might be a part of entering the Land. Are we willing to enter and to fight for Israel, Yeshua, the Torah with a great love? To get to know the Land and the commands of the Messiah?
Daniel 9;4 I beg of You, O Lord, the Great and Awesome God, Who keeps the covenant and kindness for those who love Him and for those who keep His commandments: 5 We have sinned; we have been iniquitous; we have done evil; we have rebelled; and we have deviated from Your commandments and Your ordinances. 6 We did not heed Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your Name to our kings, our officers and our forefathers, and to all the populace of the land. 7 To You, O Lord, is the righteousness, and to us is the shamefacedness, as of this very day- to the men of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to all of Israel, those near and those far, in all the lands to which You have driven them, because of their betrayal by which they have betrayed You. 8 HASHEM, to us is the shamefacedness- to out kings, to our officers and to our forefathers- for we have sinned against You. 9 To the Lord our God [belong] compassion and forgiveness, for we have rebelled against Him, 10 and we did not heed the voice of HASHEM our God, to follow His teachings which He put before us through the hand of His servants the prophets. 11 All Israel transgressed Your Torah and has deviated, not heeding Your voice; so the curse and the oath that are written in the Torah of Moses, servant of God, have been poured out upon us, for we have sinned against Him.
13 Just as was written in the Torah of Moses, all this calamity has come upon us; yet we have not entreated the countenance of HASHEM our God, to repent from our iniquities and to comprehend Your truth.
Baruch Attah ADONAI Eloheinu Melech Ha’olam
Blessed are You, LORD our God King of the universe,
You have blessed us with Your Torah of Truth,
You have blessed us with the entire counsel of Your living word,
You alone have planted among us life eternal.
Blessed are You LORD our God, gracious Giver of the Torah.
In Yeshua’s name, amein
–ADONAI, You comfort, ADONAI, You build, ADONAI You create, ADONAI You restore…comfort Your people my Father, may you create within all of us hearts to hear and may You fashion all of our eyes to see the Good Land and the Promise before us…please my King, return all Your people to You, to the Land and to the Torah…Please my King have mercy on us and build our lives and homes into places where You can dwell and rest within us. Thank You My King for ALWAYS hearing our prayers and supplications and may the voice of all creation never cease to praise You. Thank You for Yeshua, may He speak to us…what will you say Master, we want to hear you!
In Yeshua’s precious holy name I ask these things. AMEIN
May you be blessed!!
-The Complete Jewish Bible-David H. Stern
-The Stone Edition Tanach- artscroll
-Interlinear Scripture Analyzer
-Onkelos On the Torah- Understanding the Bible text