Parashah 52: VaYelech “and he went”
[read with parashah 51 in regular years, split in leap years]
D'varim (Deuteronomy) 31:1-30
Hoshea (Hosea) 14:1-9; Mikhah (Micah) 7:18-20; Yo'el (Joel) 2:15-27
Romans 10:1-17 Psalm 23
1 Moshe went and spoke the following words to all Isra'el: 2 “I am 120 years old today. I can't get around any longer; moreover, Adonai has said to me, 'You will not cross this Yarden.' 3 Adonai your God – He will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations ahead of you, and you will dispossess them. Y'hoshua – he will cross over ahead of you, as Adonai has said.
• Adonai has said
◦ Whenever the LORD has said, proclaimed, declared something it will be
▪ Though we must bear in mind that He is not constrained by time and space as we are, and we may not see His hand at work
• If a young child announces to his or her parents that they want to go to college, the child might not ever realize all the planning, praying, and working the parents do in order to make that dream a reality: but they are working on it nonetheless
4 Adonai will do to them what He did to Sichon and 'Og, the kings of the Emori, and to their land – He destroyed them. 5 Adonai will defeat them ahead of you, and you are to do to them just as I have ordered you to do.
• In this fallen world we may face enemies, trials, pain, ordeals, suffering, tribulation, troubles, difficulties, trauma, torments, etc., BUT
◦ the battle is the LORD's
▪ As we are with Him, He is with us – and even more so, so …
• 6 Be strong, be bold, don't be afraid or frightened of them, for Adonai your God is going with you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
7 Next Moshe summoned Y'hoshua and, in the sight of all Isra'el, said to him, “Be strong, be bold, for you are going with this people into the land Adonai swore to their ancestors he would give them. You will be the one causing them to inherit it.
• Ordinations and commissionings that are of God are public
• “You will be the one causing them to inherit it”
◦ You are the tool Adonai uses to accomplish His will in this venture
▪ It is the LORD's prerogative how He chooses to accomplish things, as well as what “tools” He decides to use …
▪ 8 But Adonai – it is He Who will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you, so don't be afraid or downhearted.”
• Now the angel of Adonai came up from Gilgal to Bokhim and said, “I brought you up out of Egypt, led you to the land I swore to you fathers and said, 'I will never break My covenant with you (Judg 2:1)
• Yeshua came and talked with them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 19 Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age.” (Matt 28:18-20)
• Keep your lives free from the love of money; and be satisfied with what you have; for God Himself has said, “I will never fail you or abandon you.” 6 Therefore, we say with confidence, “Adonai is my helper; I will not be afraid – what can a human being do to me?” (Heb 13:5-6)
9 Then Moshe wrote down this Torah and give it to the conhanim, the descendants of Levi who carried the ark with the covenant of Adonai, and to all the leaders of Isra'el. 10 Moshe gave them these orders: “At the end of every seven years, during the festival of Sukkot in the year of sh'mittah, 11 when all Isra'el have come to appear in the presence of Adonai at the place He will choose, you are to read this Torah before all Isra'el, so that they can hear it.
• God's Torah, His law, commandments and instructions, were entrusted to the priests and all the leaders, but it has always been for all the people who want to know and follow Him:
◦ 12 Assemble the people – the men, the woman, the little ones and the foreigners you have in your towns – so that they can hear, learn, fear Adonai your God and take care to obey all the words of this Torah; 13 and so that their children, who have not known, can hear and learn to fear Adonai your God, for as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Yarden to possess.”
▪ “hear” in this verse comes from the Hebrew שָׁמַע [shah-mah] meaning
• Strong's: to hear intelligently (often with implication of attention, obedience, etc.; causatively, to tell, etc.)
• BDB: as a verb: to hear, to listen to, to obey (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 a) to consent, to agree; b) to grant request; to listen to, to yield to; to obey, to be obedient
▪ “learn” comes form the Hebrew לָמַד [lah-mahd] meaning
• Strong's: properly, to goad, i.e. (by implication) to teach (the rod being an Oriental incentive): [un-] accustomed, x diligently, expert, instruct, learn, skilful, teach (-er, -ing)
• BDB: to learn, to teach, to exercise in
▪ “fear” from the Hebrew יָרֵא [yah-rā] meaning
• Strong's: to fear; morally, to revere; caus. to frighten
• BDB: to fear, to revere, to be afraid
▪ “take care” is from the Hebrew שָׁמַר [shah-mahr] meaning
• Strong's: properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc.
• BDB: to keep, to guard, to observe, to give heed
◦ here in the Qal (verb form): to keep, to have charge of; to keep, to guard, to keep watch and ward, to protect, to save life; watch, a watchman (participle); to watch for, to wait for; to watch, to observe; to keep, to retain, to treasure up (in memory); to keep (within bounds), to restrain; to observe, to celebrate, to keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), to perform (a vow); to keep, to preserve, to protect; to keep, to reserve
▪ “to do” is from the Hebrew עָשָׂה [ah-sah] meaning
• Strong's: to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application
• BDB: to do, to fashion, to accomplish, to make
◦ here in the Qal imperfect: to do, to work, to make, to produce (to do; to work; to deal (with); to act, to act with effect, to effect); to make (to make; to produce; to prepare; to make (an offering); to attend to, to put in order; to observe, to celebrate; to acquire (property); to appoint, to ordain, to institute; to bring about; to use; to spend, to pass
▪ and so that their children, who have not known, can hear and learn to fear Adonai your God
• being sure to pass all these things on to the next generation, and the next, and the next ….
▪ for as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Yarden to possess
• “live” here is חַיִּים [khah-yiym], the masculine plural of חַי [khahy] meaning
◦ Strong's: alive; hence, raw (flesh); fresh (plant, water, year), strong; also (as noun, especially in the feminine singular and masculine plural) life (or living thing) whether literally or figuratively
▪ living, alive (green (used of vegetation); flowing, fresh (used of water); lively, active (used of man); reviving (used of the springtime)
▪ as a masculine noun: relatives; life (abstract emphatic) (life; sustenance, maintenance)
▪ as a feminine noun: a living thing, an animal (animal; life; appetite; revival, renewal); community
• “land” here comes from the Hebrew אֲדָמָה [ah-dah-mah] meaning
◦ Strong's: soil
◦ BDB: the ground, land (the ground (as general, tilled, yielding sustenance); a piece of ground, a specific plot of land; earth substance (for building or constructing); the ground as earth's visible surface; land, territory, country; the whole inhabited earth
▪ within אֲדָמָה we can see related words, e.g.:
• אָדַמ [ah-dahm] which is red;
• אָדָמ [ah-dahm] (with the second vowel being very slightly longer) which is Adam, man, mankind;
• אָדֹמ [ah-dōm] which is red, ruddy;
• אֱדֹמ [eh-dōm] which is Edom = “red,” that land, or someone from there (an Edomite, Idumean, descendants of Esau); and
• דָם [dahm] ( ם is the sofit [final] form of מ - the form מ takes at the end of a word) which means blood (also used figuratively of wine)
▪ other possible connections with אֲדָמָה may include:
• דָּמָה [dah-mah] which is to compare, to be like, to resemble; but also (depending on context) to cease, to cause to cease, to cut off, to destroy; and
• דֻּמָּה [dū-mah] which is one silenced, one quieted by destruction, one destroyed
14 Adonai said to Moshe, “The time is coming for you to die. Summon Y'hoshua, and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, so that I can commission him.” Moshe and Y'hoshua went and presented themselves in the tent of meeting.
• With only two noted exceptions from the past (Enoch and Elijah), and one from the future (those alive at Yeshua's return), every person ever born has or will die. It is incumbent upon us to raise up and train the next generation.
• 23 Adonai also commissioned Y'hoshua the son of Nun with these words: “Be strong and full of courage; for you are to bring the people of Isra'el into the land about which I swore to them; and I will be with you.”
◦ a three part commission with a promise:
▪ part 1: be strong
▪ part 2: be full of courage
▪ part 3: you are to bring the people of Isra'el into the land
▪ promise: I will be with you
15 Adonai appeared in the tent in a column of cloud; the column of cloud stood above the entrance to the tent. 16 Adonai said to Moshe, “You are about to sleep with your ancestors. But this people will get up and offer themselves as prostitutes to the foreign gods of the land where they are going. When they are with those gods, they will abandon Me and break My covenant which I have made with them.
• The world says things like, “fake it 'til you make it,” and that “you have to go along to get along,” but the LORD knows the heart of man.
◦ The heart is more deceitful than anything else and mortally sick. Who can fathom it? (Jer 17:9)
◦ This is another evil among all those done under the sun, that the same events can occur to anyone. Truly, the human mind is full of evil; and as long as people live, folly is in their hearts; after which they go to be with the dead. (Eccl 9:3)
◦ For from within, out of a person's heart, come forth wicked thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, indecency, envy, slander, arrogance, foolishness.... (Mark 7:21-22)
▪ our only hope is the LORD Who specializes in “heart surgery”
• and I will give them unity of heart. “I will put a new spirit among you.” I will remove from their bodies the hearts of stone and give them hearts of flesh; 20 so that they will live by My regulations, obey My rulings and act by them. Then they will be My people and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose hearts go after the heart of their loathsome things and disgusting practices, I will bring [the consequences of] their ways on their own heads,' says Adonai ELOHIM.” (Ezek 11:19-21)
• I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit inside you; I will take the stony heart out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit inside you and cause you to live by My laws, respect My rulings and obey them. (Ezek 36:26-27)
• “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. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated My covenant, even though I, for My part, was a husband to them,” says Adonai. 33 “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra'el after those days,” says Adonai: “I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will by My people. 34 No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, 'Know Adonai'; for all will know Me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.” (Jer 31:31-34)
◦ This brings up an interesting question:
▪ The LORD alone is God; He alone is Eternal, Omnipotent (All-Powerful), and Omniscient (All-Knowing) – nothing can ever take Him by surprise
▪ this is the only place in the entire Tanakh that the term “new covenant” (b'rit hadashah) is found
▪ at His last pesach (Passover) with His talmadim (disciples) Yeshua proclaimed “this is the new covenant in My blood,” a direct reference to this Jeremiah 31 passage
▪ it is only through faith in the Jewish Messiah that anyone can into a saving relationship with God the Father
▪ and be grafted into the spiritual commonwealth of Isra'el
▪ where do we the idea that God's plan was somehow thwarted, that He is now finished with Isra'el, and they have been replaced?
By Messianic Teacher Dr. Daniel Boley