Parashah 13: Sh'mot “names”
Sh'mot “names” (Exodus) 1:1-6:1 Psalm 99
Yesha'yahu (Isaiah) 27:6-28-13, 29:22-23; 1 Corinthians 14:13-25
Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 1:1-2:3
by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley
6 Yosef died, as did all his brothers and all that generation. 7 The descendants of Isra'el were fruitful, increased abundantly, multiplied and grew very powerful; the land became filled with them.
The LORD had said that He would greatly increase their numbers, e.g.
Gen 17:1 When Avram was 99 years old Adonai appeared to Avram and said to him, “I am El Shaddai [God Almighty]. Walk in My presence and be pure-hearted. 2 I will make My covenant between Me and you, and I will increase you numbers greatly.”
Gen 22:17 I will most certainly bless you; and I will most certainly increase your descendants to as many as there are stars or grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will possess the cities of their enemies, 18 and by your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed – because you obeyed My order.
Gen 26:3 Stay in this land, and I will be with you and bless you [Yitz'chak], because I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants. I will fulfill the oath which I swore to Avraham your father – 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, I will give all these lands to your descendants, and by your descendants all the nations of the earth will bless themselves. 5 All this is because Avraham heeded what I said and did what I told him to do – he followed My mitzvot, My regulations and My teachings. (Also Gen 26:24)
Gen 35:11 God further said to him [Ya'akov], “I am El Shaddai. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation, indeed a group of nations, will come from you; kings will be descended from you. 12 Moreover, the land which I gave to Avraham and Yitz'chak I will give to you, and I will give the land to your descendants after you.”
The “how” and “when” of any word or promise is ALWAYS the prerogative of the one making the declaration; according to their means, authority, and specifications: in this case the LORD.
The receiver's part is to live within the parameters set by the promiser and allow them to fulfill their word in their own way(s).
For us, as for our forefathers in the faith, this means if we are expecting to receive any of the good promises of God, we need to wait on the LORD, living according to His ways and His Word while we look forward with patient anticipation the fulfilling of His Word (in our lives; in our families; in our congregations; in our world).
8a Now there arose a new king over Egypt.
“a new king over Egypt”
The word “new” here is the adjective חָדָשׁ [khah-dahsh] (the masculine form) meaning new, a new thing, fresh.
This new king “is a king who follows different principles of government from his predecessors. Cf. chadaashiym 'elohiym, “new gods,” in distinction from the God that their fathers and worshipped, Judg 5:8; Deut 32:17.” (Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament)
In its verb form, חָדַשׁ, this word can mean to be new, to renew, or to repair. This has given rise to some questioning whether the “new covenant” of Jeremiah 31:31 is really “new” or “renewed.”
A computerized search of the Englishman's Hebrew Concordance of the Old Testament shows חָדַשׁ is only found 10 times in the Tanakh, each time referring to renewing or repairing something, e.g.
2 Chr 15:8 When Asa heard these words prophesied … it gave him courage to throw the disgusting things out of the whole land … he also renewed / repaired the altar of Adonai which was in front of the vestibule of Adonai.
2 Chr 24:12 The king and Y'hoyada gave it to those in charge of taking care of the house of Adonai. They, in turn, hired stone-workers and carpenters to restore the house of Adoani ….
Ps 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, God; renew in me a resolute spirit.
A computerized search of the Englishman's Hebrew Concordance of the Old Testament shows חָדָשׁ is found 53 times in the Tanakh, each time referring to something fresh and brand new, e.g.
Lev 23:16 … You are to present a new grain offering to Adonai.
Deut 24:5 If a man has recently married his wife, he is not to be subject to military service; he is to be free of external obligations and left at home for one year to make his new wife happy.
1 Chr 13:7 They set the ark of God on a new cart ….
Isa 65:17 For, look! I create new heavens and a new earth; past things will not be remembered, they will no more come to mind.
Jer 31:31 “Here, the days are coming,” says Adonai, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah.”
בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה [beh-riyt khah-dah-shah] the feminine form of this adjective is used here (חֲדָשָׁה) since בְּרִית is feminine.
Jeremiah 31:31 is the only place in the Tanakh the term “new covenant” is found. Thus it must be what Yeshua was referring to in Luke 22:20 when He said, “This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by My blood, which is being poured out for you.”
The B'rit HaDashah, (also known as the New Covenant writings and the New Testament,) is, as is the Tanakh, part of the uniquely inspired Word of God.
The fact that this is a new covenant is reiterated by the Holy Spirit's choice of words used by Luke to record Yeshua's comment here.
“New” here comes from the Greek word καινός [kai-nos] meaning
Strong's: new (especially in freshness; while NT:3501 [νέος (neh-os)] is properly so with respect to age)
as respects form; recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn Matt 9:11
as respects substance; of a new kind; unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of
The Discovery Bible New Testament's Synonym Glossary compares these two Greek terms:
New kainos new in quality; new and different; [kainos] (καινός) usually involves bringing in a superior innovation or advance and corresponds to ἕτερος [heteros], another of a different kind
neos new in time; recent; young; unlike [kainos], (νέος) neos may have exactly the same ingredients as that which it replaces; corresponds to ἄλλος [allos], “another of the same kind”
Summary: “[καινός] is new in reference to quality; [νέος] is new in reference to time, having recently come into existence” (Green).
8b He knew nothing about Yosef 9 but said to his people, “Look, the descendants of Isra'el have become a people too numerous and powerful for us. 10 Come, let's use wisdom in dealing with them. Otherwise, they'll continue to multiply; and in the event of was they might ally themselves with our enemies, fight against us and leave the land altogether.”
Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament
[לֹא־ יָדַע (lo yah-dah)] signifies here, not to perceive, or acknowledge, in the sense of not wanting to know anything about him as in 1 Sam 2:12, etc. … Such forgetfulness does not usually take place all at once, unless the account handed down has been intentionally obscured or suppressed. If the new king, therefore, did not know Joseph, the reason must simply have been, that he did not trouble himself about the past, and did not want to know anything about the measures of his predecessors and the events of their reigns. … Forgetfulness of Joseph brought the favour shown to the Israelites by the kings of Egypt to a close. As they still continued foreigners both in religion and customs, their rapid increase excited distrust in the mind of the king, and induced him to take steps for staying their increase and reducing their strength.
The perception: the Israelites have become a people too numerous and powerful for us.
The expressed concerns:
they will continue to multiply;
might ally themselves with our enemies and fight against us;
they might leave the land
People do not act or react according to reality, but to their perception of reality.
This king's perceptions were clouded by fear, which does not have to be rational or logical: e.g. we don't like them here and don't want them to leave.
11 So they put slavemasters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built for Pharaoh the storage cities of Pitom and Ra'amses. 12 But the more the Egyptians oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, until the Egyptians came to dread the people of Isra'el 13 and worked them relentlessly, 14 making their lives bitter with hard labor – digging clay, making bricks, all kinds of field work; and in all this toil they were shown no mercy.
No matter what tool the enemy uses, no matter who the enemy enlists, his attempts to beat down, oppress, and annihilate – to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) – are doomed to eventual failure, whereas
the plans of the Almighty, Omnipotent, Omniscience, Eternal Sovereign of the universe are destined for success!
“For I know what plans I have in mind for you,” says Adonai, “plans for well-being, not for bad things; so that you can have hope and a future. 12 When you call to Me and pray to Me, I will listen to you. 13 When you seek Me, you will find Me, provided you seek for Me wholeheartedly; 14 and I will let you find Me,” says Adonai. “Then I will reverse our exile. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have driven you,” says Adonai, “and bring you back to the place from which I exiled you.” (Jer 29:11-14)
Next I saw heaven opened, and there before me was a white horse. Sitting on it was the One called Faithful and True, and it is in righteousness that He passes judgment and goes to battle. 12 His eyes were like a fiery flame, and on His head were many royal crowns. And He had a name written which no one knew but Himself. 13 He was wearing a robe that had been soaked in blood, and the name by which He is called is, “The Word of God.” 14 The armies of heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and pure, were following Him on white horses. 15 And out of His mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down nations – “He will rule them with a staff of iron.” It is He Who treads the winepress from which flows the wine of the furious rage of Adonai, God of heaven's armies. 16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: KING of kings and LORD of lords. (Rev 19:11-16)
15 Moreover, the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was called Shifrah and the other Pu'ah. 16 “When you attend the Hebrew women and see them giving birth,” he said, “if it's a boy, kill him; but if it's a girl, let her live.” 17 However, the midwives were God-fearing women, so they didn't do as the king of Egypt ordered but let the boys live.
Even though Scripture is obviously patriarchal the name of the Pharaoh is never mentioned, but the names of the God-fearing midwives are.
Adam Clarke's Commentary
… Being Hebrews they must have known that God had from the beginning declared, Whosoever sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed, Gen 9:6. Therefore, they saved the male children of all to whose assistance they were called.
18 The king of Egypt summoned the midwives and demanded of them, “Why have you done this and let the boys live?” 19 The midwives answered Pharaoh, “It's because the Hebrew women aren't like the Egyptian women – they go into labor and give birth before the midwife arrives.” 20 Therefore God prospered the midwives, and the people continued to multiply and grow very powerful. 21 Indeed, because the midwives feared God He made them founders of families.
Many look at this passage and conclude that although it is possible that some Hebrew women gave birth before the midwives arrived, it appears to be a purposeful deception, therefore lying to save a life is rewarded by God.
But that does not aline with other Scripture and may only appear to sanction lying from the narrow view of our pampered culture (see e.g. Ex 20:16; Lev 19:11; Deut 5:20):
Adam Clarke's Commentary
[The Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women] This is a simple statement of what general experience shows to be a fact, viz., that women, who during the whole of their pregnancy are accustomed to hard labour, especially in the open air, have comparatively little pain in parturition. At this time the whole Hebrew nation, men and women, were in a state of slavery, and were obliged to work in mortar and brick, and all manner of service in the field, Ex 1:14, and this at once accounts for the ease and speediness of their travail. With the strictest truth the midwives might say, “The Hebrew women are not as the Egyptian women.” The latter fare delicately, are not inured to labour, and are kept shut up at home, therefore they have hard, difficult, and dangerous labours, but the Hebrew women are lively, … are strong, hale, and vigorous and therefore are delivered before the midwives come in unto them. …
… Certain persons have spoken very unguardedly against this inspired record: “The Hebrew midwives told palpable lies, and God commends them for it, thus we may do evil that good may come of it, and sanctify the means by the end.” Now I content that there was neither lie direct nor even prevarication in the case. The midwives boldly state to Pharaoh a fact (had it not been so, he had a thousand means of ascertaining the truth), and they state it in such a way as to bring conviction to his mind on the subject of his oppressive cruelty on the one hand, and the mercy of Yahweh on the other. As if they had said, “The very oppression under which, through thy cruelty, the Israelites groan, their God has turned to their advantage; they are not only fruitful, but they bring forth with comparatively no trouble; we have scarcely any employment among them.” Here then is a fact, boldly announced in the face of danger, and we see that God was pleased with this frankness of the midwives, and he blessed them for it.
I remember reading years ago of a particular tribe in Papua New Guinea where the men did all of the initial child care and took care of the homes. The women worked the fields and provided for the family. After they delivered their babies, the new mothers were normally back in the fields within the hour with no ill affects.
22 Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every boy that is born, throw in the river; but let all the girls live.”
His initial plan thwarted, Pharaoh now implemented a “plan B.”
11 Moshe said to God, “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and lead the people of Isra'el out of Egypt?” 12 He replied, “I will surely be with you. ….”
Who am I, who are any of us, that we should do … whatever the LORD calls us to do (regardless of whether we see it as being “great,” “small,” “insignificant,” or even “stupid”?
HaShem's answer: I will surely be with you.
6 The time is coming when Ya'akov will take root; Isra'el will bud and flower, and fill the whole world with a harvest.
being fulfilled, in at least one sense, in Yeshua and His growing body of believers
7 [Adonai] will not strike Isra'el, as he did others who struck Isra'el; he will not kill them, as he did the others.
Isra'el has been chosen by the LORD
as the only LORD, God, Creator, and Sovereign of all, it is His right and prerogative
as His creation we may wonder and even ask why, but
to second guess His decisions, or to work against them, is tantamount to insubordination and rebellion
Whoever touches Isra'el touches the apple of His eye
Deut. 32:10 He found his people in desert country, in a howling, wasted wilderness. He protected him and cared for him, guarded him like the pupil of his eye [“apple of His eye”]
Zech. 2:12(8) For Adonai-Tzva'ot has sent me on a glorious mission to the nations that plundered you and this is what he says: “Anyone who injures you injures the very pupil of my eye.”
4 Here is the word of Adonai that came to me: “Before I formed you in the worm, I knew you; before you were born, I separated you for myself. ...”
the LORD has known each of us before He formed us in the womb
and calls us to Himself, to recognize Him as LORD, Creator, and Master, but also desires us to know Him as our perfect, loving, heavenly Father
6 I said, “Oh, Adonai ELOHIM, I don't even know how to speak! I'm just a child!”
“I don't know what I am doing!” “I'm not qualified!” “I am not up to the task!” “I'm inadequate!”
7 But Adonai said to me, “Don't say, 'I'm just a child.' For you will go to whomever I send you, and you will speak whatever I order you.”
The LORD knows what He is doing!
The LORD is our qualification and our Qualifier!
The LORD is up to the task!
The LORD is our Adequacy!
8 “Do not be afraid to them, for I am with you, says Adonai, to rescue you.”
A part of the Hebrew liturgy, the Adon Olam (Master of the Universe [or LORD of Eternity] ), says:
Master of the universe Who reigned before any form was created,
When creation came about by His will, then as King was His name proclaimed to be.
And after all has ceased to be, He alone will reign in awesomeness.
And He was, and He is, and shall be in splendor.
And He is first, and there is no second, to compare to Him, to be His equal.
Without beginning and without end, His is the power and dominion.
And He is my G-d, my living Redeemer, and the Rock of my pain in times of trouble.
And He is my Banner and a Refuge for me, the portion of my cup in the day I call.
In His hands I entrust my spirit, in the time I sleep or am awake.
And with my spirit, my body, the LORD is with me, I shall not fear.
the root of the word translated “rescue” here is the Hebrew word נָצַל [na-tzal]:
Strong's: to snatch away, whether in a good or a bad sense; defend, deliver (self), escape, part, pluck, preserve, recover, rescue, rid, save, spoil, strip, take (out)
Owens Analytical Key to the Old Testament points out that in this verse נָצַל is in the Hiphil infinitive construct form. The Hiphil verb form points to causation. An infinitive describes an action without boundaries; without an end.
Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon: (Hiphil) to take away, to snatch away; to rescue, to recover; to deliver (from enemies or troubles or death); to deliver from sin and guilt
cf Rom. 8:31ff
What, then, are we to say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare even his own Son, but gave him up on behalf of us all – is it possible that, having given us his Son, he would not give us everything else too? 33 So who will bring a charge against God's chosen people? Certainly not God – he is the one who causes them to be considered righteous! 34 Who punishes them? Certainly not the Messiah Yeshua, who died and – more than that – has been raised, is at the right hand of God and is actually pleading on our behalf! 35 Who will separate us from the love of the Messiah? Trouble? Hardship? Persecution? Hunger? Poverty? Danger? War? 36 As the Tanakh puts it,
“For your sake we are being put to death all day long, we are considered sheep to be slaughter.” [Ps. 44:23]
37 No, in all these things we are superconquerors, through the one who has loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers, neither what exists nor what is coming, 39 neither powers above nor powers below, not any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which comes to us through the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord.
11 The word of Adonai came to me, asking, “Yirmeyahu, what do you see?” I answered, “I see a branch from an almond tree [Hebrew: sha-ked].” 12 Then Adonai said to me, “You have seen well, because I am watching [Hebrew: sho-ked] to fulfill my word.”
Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament
With the consecration of the prophet to his office are associated two visions, to give him a surety of the divine promise regarding the discharge of the duties imposed on him. First, Jeremiah sees in spirit a rod or twig of an almond tree. God calls his attention to this vision, and interprets it to him as a symbol of the swift fulfillment of His word. The choice of this symbol for the purpose given is suggested by the Hebrew name for the almond tree, shaaqeed [sha-ked], the wakeful, the vigilant; because this tree begins to blossom and expand its leaves in January, when the other trees are still in their winter's sleep … and so of all trees awakes earliest to new life. [The second vision begins in the next verse.]