Parashah Studies

Ha'azinu

Parashah 53: Ha'azinu (Give ear)

D'varim (Deuteronomy) 32: 1-52 Psalm 71 Sh'mu'el Bet (2 Samuel) 22:1-51 Romans 10:17-11:12; 12:19; 15:9-10

Deuteronomy 32 1 Hear, oh heavens, as I speak! Listen, earth, to the words from my mouth! 2 May my teaching fall like rain. May my speech condense like dew, like light rain on blades of grass, or showers on growing plants.

• In speaking the Word of the L-RD what Moshe says ◦ speaks to all of creation ◦ is nourishing and life-giving ◦ is refreshing ◦ is not overwhelming like a flash-flood, but easily taken into our lives ◦ always for our good

• “hear” in this verse comes from the Hebrew אָזַן [ah-zahn] meaning

◦ Strong's: to broaden out the ear (with the hand), i.e. (by implication) to listen

◦ BDB: (in the Hiphil verb form [Hiphil usually has a causative meaning]) to hear, to listen, to give ear; to be obedient, to hearken; to hear or listen to prayers (used of God) • “listen” here comes from שָׁמַע [shah-mah] meaning ◦ Strong's: to hear intelligently (often with the implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively, to tell, etc.) ◦ BDB: (here in the Qal imperfect) to hear (perceive by ear); to hear of or concerning; to hear (have power to hear); to hear with attention or interest, to listen to; to understand (language); to hear (used of judicial cases); to listen, to give heed (to consent, to agree; to grant request); to listen to, to yield to; to obey, to be obedient • “earth” here is הָאָרֶץ [ha-ah-retz] meaning ◦ Strong's: probably meaning to be firm; the earth (at large, or partitively a land) ◦ BDB: ▪ earth: whole earth (as opposed to a part); earth (as opposed to heaven); earth (inhabitants) ▪ land: country, territory; a district, a region; a tribal territory; a piece of ground; the land of Canaan, Israel; the inhabitants of land; Sheol, a land without return, (under) world; city (-state) ▪ the ground, the surface of the earth: the ground; the soil ▪ (in phrases): people of the land; the space or distance of country (in measurements of distance); level country (a plain); the land of the living; end(s) of the earth ▪ (almost wholly late in usage); lands, countries; often in contrast to Canaan 3 For I will proclaim the name of Adonai. Come, declare the greatness of our God.

• Ps. 19:2 The heavens declare the glory of God, the dome of the sky speaks the work of his hands. 3 Every day it utters speech, every night it reveals knowledge. 4 Without speech, without a word, without their voices being heard, 5 their line goes out through all the earth and their words to the end of the world. ...

• Luke 19:36 As He [Yeshua] went along, people carpeted the road with their clothing; 37 and as He came near Yerushalayim, where the road descends from the Mount of Olives, the entire band of talmidim began to sing and praise God at the top of their voices for all the powerful works they had seen: 38 "Blessed is the King who is coming in the name of Adonai!" [Ps. 118:26] "Shalom in heaven!" and "Glory in the highest places!" 39 Some of the P'rushim in the crowd said to Him, "Rabbi! Reprimand your talmidim!" 40 But He answered them, "I tell you that if they keep quiet, the stones will shout!"

◦ as part of an old youth group song says, "... aint no rock gonna take my place!" (no rock is going to take my place)

4 The Rock! His work is perfect, for all His ways are just. A trustworthy God Who does no wrong, He is righteous and straight.

• Our L-RD is a Rock, He is the Rock, as seen in certain aspects of His character, e.g. He is firm, solid, stable, immovable, strong, multi-faceted, dependable, unfailing, unadulterated, unshakable, unfaltering, trustworthy, steadfast, consistent, steady ….

◦ … Adonai is my Rock, my Fortress and Deliverer, 3 the God Who is my Rock, in Whom I find shelter, my shield, the power that saves me, my stronghold and my refuge. My Savior, You have saved me from violence. 4 I call on Adonai, Who is worthy of praise; and I am saved from my enemies. (2 Sam 22:2-4)

◦ For who is God but Adonai, and who is a Rock but our God? 33 God is my strength and protection; He makes my way go straight. 34 He makes me swift and sure-footed as a deer and enables me to stand on my high places. 35 He trains my hands for war until my arms can bend a bow of bronze; 36 You give me your shield, which is salvation; Your answers make me great. 37 You lengthen the steps I can take, yet my ankles do not turn. (2 Sam 22:32-37)

◦ The God is Isra'el spoke; the Rock of Isra'el said to me, “A ruler over people must be upright, ruling in the fear of God; 4 like the morning light at sunrise on a cloudless day that makes the grass on the earth sparkle after a rain.” … 6 But the ungodly are like thorn bushes to be pushed aside, every one of them. They cannot be taken in one's hand; 7 to touch them one uses pitchfork or spear-shaft, and then only to burn them where they lie. (2 Sam 23:4, 6-7)

◦ Adonai is my Rock, my Fortress and Deliver, my God, my Rock, in Whom I find shelter, my Shield, the power that saves me, my stronghold. (Ps 18:2)

◦ For who is God but Adonai? Who is a Rock but our God? (Ps 18:31)

◦ May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be acceptable in Your presence, Adonai, my Rock and Redeemer. (Ps 19:14)

◦ Adonai, I am calling to you; my Rock, don't be deaf to my cry. For if you answer me with silence, I will be like those who fall in a pit. (Ps 28:1)

◦ In You, Adonai, I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in Your justice, save me! 2 Turn Your ear toward me, come quickly to my rescue, be for me a rock of strength, a fortress to keep me safe. 3 Since you are my Rock and Fortress, lead me and guide me for Your name's sake. (Ps 31:1-3)

◦ My soul waits in silence for God alone; my salvation comes from Him. 2 He alone is my Rock and Salvation, my Stronghold; I won't be greatly moved. … 5 My soul, wait in silence for God alone, because my hope comes from Him. 6 He alone is my Rock and Salvation, my Stronghold; I won't be moved. 7 My safety and honor rest on God. My strong rock and refuge are in God. 8 Trust in Him, people, at all times; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah (Ps 62:1-2, 5-8)

◦ My mind and body may fail; but God is the Rock for my mind and my portion forever. (Ps 73:26)

◦ When He brought death among them, they would seek Him; they would repent and seek God eagerly, 35 remembering that God was their Rock, El 'Elyon their Redeemer. (Ps 78:34-35)

◦ He [David] will call to Me, “You are my Father, my God, the Rock of my salvation.” (Ps 89:26)

◦ Even in old age they will be vigorous, still full of sap, still bearing fruit, 15 proclaiming the Adonai is upright, my Rock, in Whom there is no wrong. (Ps 92:14-15)

◦ But Adonai has become my Stronghold, my God is my Rock of Refuge. 23 But He repays them as their guilt deserves; He will cut them off with their own evil; Adonai our God will cut them off. (Ps 94:22-23)

◦ Come, let's sing to Adonai! Let's shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation! (Ps 95:10

◦ Blessed be Adonai, my Rock, Who trains my hands for was and my fingers for battle. 2 He shows me grace; and He is my Fortress, my Stronghold, in Whom I find shelter, my Shield, in Whom I take refuge, Who subdues my people under me. (Ps 144:1-2)

◦ Trust in Adonai forever, because in Yah Adonai, is a Rock of Ages. (Isa 26:4)

◦ Your song will be like one that is sung on a night when a holy feast is kept, and your hearts will be happy, as if walking to the sound of the flute, to the mountain of Adonai, to the Rock of Isra'el. (Isa 30:29)

◦ Don't be frightened, don't be afraid – Didn't I tell you this long ago? I foretold it, and you are My witnesses. Is there any God besides Me? There is no other Rock – I know of none. (Isa 44:8)

5 He is not corrupt; the defect is in His children, a crooked and perverted generation. 6 You foolish people, so lacking in wisdom, is this how you repay Adonai? He is your Father, Who made you His! It was He Who formed and prepared you!

• “He is not corrupt” – a contrast to verse 4, the L-RD is perfect, just, trustworthy, righteous and straight; but

• the people, verse 5, “the defect is in His children” ◦ some other translations render this phrase: ▪ They have acted corruptly toward him; to their shame they are no longer his children (NIV) ▪ They have acted corruptly toward Him, They are not His children, because of their defect (NASU – italicized words are sometimes added by translation teams to increase readability in English) ▪ They have corrupted themselves; They are not His children, Because of their blemish (NKJV) ▪ They have dealt corruptly with him, (they are) not his children, (it is) their blemish (ASV – here the parenthetical words were added) ▪ But they have acted corruptly toward him; when they act so perversely, are they really his children? (NLT)

▪ the Hebrew is: שִׁחֵת לוֹ לֹא בָּנָיו מוּמָם mu-mahm bah-nahv lō lō shē-khāt

• שִׁחֵת is the Piel perfect 3 m.s. (3rd person, masculine, singular) of שָׁחַת which means ◦ Strong's: to decay, i.e. (causatively) ruin (literally or figuratively) ◦ BDB: (Piel) to spoil, to ruin; to pervert, to corrupt, to deal corruptly (morally) • לוֹ is the prefixed (inseparable) preposition -ל with the pronoun ending וֹ- ◦ -ל means: to, toward; at, in; till, until; in order to, for the purpose of; for, belonging to, with respect to, in regard to, according to ◦ וֹ- is the personal pronoun ending for “him” (3 m. s. sf. [sf. = suffix]) • לֹא means ◦ Strong's: not (the simple or abs. negation); by implication, no ◦ BDB: not (with verb, absolute prohibition); not (with modifier, negation); nothing (substantive); without (with particle); before (used of time) • בָּנָיו is the masculine plural of בֵּן [“bān”] with the 3 m. s. sf. ו ◦ בֵּן ▪ Strong's: a son (as a builder of the family name), in the widest sense (of literal and figurative relationship, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition, etc.); from בָּנָה • Strong's: to build (literally and figuratively) • BDB: to build, to rebuild, to establish, to cause to continue ◦ Qal: to build, to rebuild; to build a house (that is, to establish a family) ◦ Niphal: to be built; to be rebuilt; established (used of restored exiles) (figurative); established (made permanent); to be built up (used of a childless wife becoming the mother of a family through the children of a concubine) ▪ BDB: a son, a grandson, a child, a member of a group: a son, a male child; a grandson; children (plural, male and female); youth, young men (plural); the young (of animals); sons (as characterization, that is, sons of injustice [for un- righteous men] or sons of God [for angels]; people (of a nation) (plural); used of lifeless things, that is, sparks, stars, arrows (figurative); a member of guild, order, class • מוּמָם is a m. s. noun (מְאוּם [meh-ūm]) with the 3 m. p. sf. (מָם-) ◦ Strong's: as if passive participle from an unused root probably meaning to stain; a blemish (physically or morally): -blemish, blot, spot ◦ BDB: blemish, spot, defect (used of physical defect; used of moral stain) • Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament Verse 5. His people Israel, on the contrary, had acted corruptly towards Him. The subject of “acted corruptly” is the rebellious generation of the people but before this subject there is introduced parenthetically, and in apposition, “not his children, but their spot.” Spot (mum) is used here in a moral sense, as in Prov 9:7; Job 11:15; 31:7, equivalent to stain. The rebellious and ungodly were not children of the Lord, but a stain upon them. If these words had stood after the actual subject, instead of before them, they would have presented no difficulty. This verse is the original of the expression, “children that are corrupters,” in Isa 1:4. • Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary They have corrupted themselves – i.e., the Israelites, by their frequent lapses and their inveterate attachment it idolatry. Their spot is not the spot of his children. This is an allusion to the marks which idolaters inscribe on their foreheads or their arms, with paint or other substances, in various colours and forms – straight, oval, or circular – according to the favourite idol of their worship. There is no reason to believe that the ancient people of God were ever distinguished by any visible marks on their persons of their devotion to His service. But they had witnessed those outward badges of idolatry on the pagan people with whom they had come in contact: so that the figurative language of the song would be universally understood to mean that their character and conduct were not such that observers would recognize in them any resemblance to the worshippers of the true God. • Adam Clarke's Commentary … Coverdale renders the whole passage thus: “The froward and overthwart generation have marred themselves to himward, and are not his children because of their deformity.” This is the sense of the verse. … He hath corrupted to himself, that they are not his children; that is their blot. And because they had the blot of sin on them because they were spotted with iniquity and marked idolaters, therefore God renounces them. There may be here an alusion to the marks which the worshippers of particular idols had on different parts of their bodies, especially on their foreheads; and as idolatry is the crime with which they are here charges, the spot or mark mentioned may refer to the mark or stigma of their idol. … This very custom is referred to in Rev 20:4, where the beast gives his mark to his followers, and it is very likely that Moses refers to such a custom among the idolatrous of his own day. This removes all the difficulty of the text. God's children have no sinful spots, because Christ saves them from their sins; and their motto or mark is, Holiness to the Lord.

by Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley

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