This week’s Torah portion is called וַיֵּלֶךְ – ‘wayyeleḵ’ – which means, ‘and he went’ – and this comes from the primitive root verb הָלַךְ halaḵ – Strong’s H1980 which means, ‘to walk, to go, to live, manner of life, cause to live’ and this word literally speaks of how one lives.
It is used as a verb indicating that it is an active expression of one’s life.
This is verb is written in the ‘qal active’ tense and therefore renders the meaning, ‘to go, to walk, come, proceed, depart, move, go away, to die, live, manner of life (figuratively)’.
So, what we see from this is that Mosheh was urgent in going to speak all the words of יהוה to all Yisra’ĕl.
This word is related to the other primitive root verb that is used for ‘walk’, which is the word יָלַךְ yalaḵ – Strong’s H3212 which also means, ‘to go, walk, come, depart, proceed, move, go away’, and can also have the meaning to ‘carry (as in a burden)’; and so, we can clearly see from Mosheh’s action of going to speak the words of Elohim to all Yisra’ĕl, that he carried this ‘burden’ of the Truth that he had on his heart, in regards to Yisra’ĕl’s continued need to walk in the ways of יהוה after his death!
Mosheh was not ill or weak – in fact, he was still very strong and vibrant, yet he knew that he was not going across the Yarděn and so, he urgently goes to all Yisra’ĕl to speak some very critical words that this new generation needed to take heed of.
In verse 1. the term “these words”, are referring to the words that he had already spoken to the nation, and so he was giving them a ‘pep talk’, so to speak, in order to make them realise just how serious the words that he had spoken to them were, and how they were to ‘get serious’ about listening to them and guarding to walk in them, for many of these people that were about to cross over were possibly not fully prepared for what lay ahead and they needed to listen carefully!
This Torah portion begins the ‘last words of Mosheh to the children of Yisra’ĕl’ – and this may have certainly been a very sobering occasion, for the nation that had followed him all this way, were about to go on ahead without their ‘leader’; and for Mosheh we can also see how he made full use of the time that he had left to speak to them, in order to further equip them with the Words of Elohim.
What would you say to your family if you knew that it would be the last time that you would speak to them?
Would you ‘get serious’ and speak Truth or would you, like so many in the world today, just try to ‘live it up and party’, with no concern of what happens when you are not around!
Mosheh cared a great deal and didn’t waste time in idle chatter – he earnestly spoke to all with intensity, hoping to get them to realise just how awake and diligent they must be, in order to properly guard the commands!
As we near the ‘end days’, we also realise just how crucial these words are for us today too; and for those who are not listening, they risk being cast out where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!
In Mosheh’s words we see a blend of very comforting and encouraging words, as well as stern words of rebuke and warning – and we must recognise that this is exactly what the Word of Elohim is useful for.
And for this ‘new generation’ that had mostly been born in, and grown up in, the Wilderness, and had learnt from the time of being a child, the Words of Mosheh, here Mosheh was telling them to stay in what they have heard and learned.
We see this same exhortation that Sha’ul gives to Timotiyos in:
Timotiyos Bět/2 Timothy 3:14-17 “But you, stay in what you have learned and trusted, having known from whom you have learned, 15 and that from a babe you have known the Set-apart Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for deliverance through belief in Messiah יהושע. 16 All Scripture is breathed by Elohim and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for setting straight, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of Elohim might be fitted, equipped for every good work.”
What is worth taking note of, in terms of the root verb הָלַךְ halaḵ – Strong’s H1980 and Mosheh’s words of instruction being given before his death to a nation that needed to guard the call to walk in obedience to the commands of Elohim, is that when one looks at this root word, in the ancient pictographic text, we are able to get a clearer understanding of how we are able to walk in complete obedience!
In the ancient pictographic script, the root word for walk – הָלַךְ halaḵ – Strong’s H1980 which means, ‘to walk, to go, to live, manner of life, cause to live’, looks like this:
Hey – הָ:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The meaning of the letter is “behold, look, breath, sigh and reveal or revelation”, from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
Lamed – לַ:
The ancient script has this letter as , and is pictured as a ‘shepherd’s staff’, can give the meaning of ‘to or toward’ and can represent that which pushes or pulls a flock in a direction, and can speak of authority or a yoke that is used to lead and guide, as well as the ability to bring back by Authority.
Kaph – ךְ:
The ancient form of this letter is – meaning ‘the open palm of a hand’. The meaning behind this letter is ‘to bend and curve’ from the shape of a palm as well as ‘to tame or subdue’ as one has been bent to another’s will (under their hand), as an open hand symbolises submission. This also can picture for us a palm or palm branch from the curved palm shape. The hand also speaks of one’s work, or under whose hand you submit and obey!
When we look at the letters that spell out the root word that for ‘walk’ we are able to see a great declaration:
BEHOLD THE STAFF IN THE PALM!
With the picture of the shepherd’s staff and the open palm of the hand we are able to see the concept of ‘staff in the palm’ and we take note that a nomad that travelled on foot would have a staff in his hand in order to provide proper support in walking, as well as having a weapon in his hand to defend against predators and thieves!
Mosheh went and spoke these words to all Yisra’ĕl!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘words’ is דְּבָרִים Deḇarim, which is the plural of the root word דָּבָר daḇar – Strong’s H1697 which means, ‘speech, word, commandment, chronicles, message’; and this comes from the primitive root verb that is translated as ‘spoke’ here in verse 1, which is דָּבַר daḇar – Strong’s H1696 which means, ‘to speak, command, counsel, declare, proclaimed, converse, warn, threaten, promise’.
The reason for me mentioning this is to simply highlight the importance of the ‘words of Mosheh’ and how we are able to learn how we are to ‘walk’ in and stay in our Master, יהושע Messiah, by hearing, guarding and doing these words which Mosheh spoke to all Yisra’ĕl!
Deḇarim (Deuteronomy) is often understood as the ‘powerhouse’ that holds the vision and the mandate we have in יהושע Messiah.
We who choose to ‘walk in and obey’ the ‘Words’ of יהוה that we ‘hear, guard and do’, find that it becomes a place of anointing, righteousness and empowerment, and it is like the mantle of anointing and responsibility the Ěliyahu passed on to Elisha.
The Word of Elohim (includes the collection of all His instructions contained throughout the Scriptures) is that which washes us, teaches us, and trains us in righteousness – and by the life, death and resurrection has been poured out for us so that we may have abundant life in Him!
As we consider this word – דְּבָרִים Deḇarim– plural of the word דָּבָר daḇar – Strong’s H1697, in the ancient pictographic script, we are able to recognise the importance of the Word of Elohim, and how it is His Word that prepares us as His ready Bride!
In the ancient pictographic script, the word דְּבָרִים Deḇarim, looks like this:
Dalet – דְּ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of a back and forth movement, as one goes back and forth through a tent door; and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or hanging, as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access, showing us the importance of the Appointed Times/Feasts of יהוה. Therefore our need to gather as we are commanded to, is the starting point for us to embrace, learn and understand what His Word teaches and instructs us to do.
Beyt – בָ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself. We also recognise that the House/Dwelling Place of Elohim is the body of Elohim that is built up as living stones in our Master, יהושע Messiah. A house/tent speaks of your family and to whom you belong and under whom you submit and adhere to, as the House of Elohim has clear instructions for those in the House! The Light (that is His Word) is for those in the House!
Resh – רִ:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘the head of a man’ and has the meaning ‘chief, top, beginning or first’. Top, as in: the top or head of a body, and chief, as in: a head of a tribe or people; as well as the one who rules the people. Every House has a head of the home, and all in the House submit to the instructions of the One who is head of the home, listening to and obeying the words that the Head speaks!
Yod – י:
The ancient script has this letter as which is ‘an arm and hand’, and carries the meaning of ‘work, make, throw’, from the primary functions of the arm and hand, and it also represents worship or giving thanks in the extending of hands as a gesture of this. The work of one’s hands is the basic meaning of this letter! And this letter also pictures for us the outstretched Arm and working Hand of Elohim, which is not too short to save!
Mem – ם:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as ‘water’, and also carries the meaning of ‘chaos’ (from the storms of the sea) and can also picture that which is mighty or massive as well as the unknown. We are also able to understand this letter as representing the nations, for the nations are often likened to the seas in Scripture.
Water is also a very clear picture for us of that which washes or cleanses us, as we understand from the picture of the bronze laver in the Tabernacle that was used to clean the priests, and was made from the bronze mirrors that was used by the women who worshipped at the Door of the Tabernacle. As we look into the mirror of the Word of Elohim, we are to allow it to cleanse us and cause us to remember how we are to look, speak and act, in complete adherence to His clear words of instructions contained therein!
As we consider the very powerful word – דְּבָרִים Deḇarim – in the ancient pictographic text, we are able to grasp a fuller understanding of the importance of the Words of Elohim, and we are able to see from the collection of these letters the following:
AS WE COME TO THE DOOR (MESSIAH), AND GUARD HIS APPOINTED TIMES/FEASTS THAT ARE COMMANDED FOR THE HOUSE/DWELLING PLACE OF ELOHIM, WE SUBMIT UNDER THE HEAD OF THE HOUSE/BODY, FOR IT IS BY HIS OUTSTRETCHED ARM AND HAND THAT WE ARE DELIVERED OUT OF THE NATIONS AND CLEANSED TO BE A SET-APART BRIDE, THAT SUBMITS TO THE COMPLETE AUTHORITY OF THE WORDS OF OUR MASTER AND KING!
120 years old!
Mosheh was telling them that he was now 120 years old, yet he was not ‘aged and weak’, as he still referred to himself as being a ‘son’, as he basically says that he is a son of 120 years old, as he recognises that was still a ‘son’ who continually learnt from the Father.
He was not telling Yisra’ĕl that he was too old for this journey that lay ahead for Yisra’ĕl!
In fact, he did not regard himself as being too old; but rather he tells them that the reason he is not going is because יהוה had said so – and that was that!!!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘son’ is בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 which means, ‘son, grandson, child, member of a group, children (plural for both male and female)’.
In the ancient pictographic Hebrew alphabet, the word בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 looks like this:
Beyt – בֵּ:
This is the letter ‘beyt’ (בֵּ), which in the ancient script has this letter as , which pictures a tent floor plan and means, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself, and is the Dwelling Place of the Most High, which we are, as we are as living stones being built up in Messiah.
Nun – ן:
This is the letter ‘nun’ (ן), which in the ancient text is pictured as a , which is a ‘spouting seed’, and gives the idea of ‘continuation or an offspring or an heir’, speaking of that which sprouts forth will be the heir of the promise of continuation, and represents one’s life expectancy.
The combined meaning of these two letters means:
THE CONTINUING OF THE HOUSE
When I refer to son or son-ship, in reference to our relationship toward Elohim, I am collectively speaking of both male and female children (or sons and daughters) of the Most-High, as the Hebrew word for son – בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121, which is used over 5000 times, is not exclusively used as a reference to the male offspring of human parents.
It is also used idiomatically for children in general, as well as for descendants, i.e. grandsons; and for people or items belonging in a category or group, e.g. sons of prophets.
And we also recognise that in Scripture the term בֵּן ben often specifies an intimate relationship between a father and his children. We see the plural of this word – בָּנִים – baniym being translated as ‘children’ in:
Tehillah/Psalm 103:13 “As a father has compassion for his children, so יהוה has compassion for those who fear Him.”
The Hebrew word בֵּן ben – Strong’s H1121 comes from the root verb בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 meaning, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild, establish a family, build up’.
Another word that is derived from this root word, through the meaning to build, is אֶבֶן eḇen – Strong’s H68 meaning, ‘stone, corner stone, differing weights, plumb line’.
We are therefore able to see how it is יהוה who builds us up as living stones; and being built up in Him, we are able to stand strong and stand firm in any circumstance, with the full assurance that the Rock upon which we stand will stand firm and not be moved or shaken! We are built up as living stones in Messiah, as Kěpha describes in:
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 2:4-5 “Drawing near to Him, a living Stone – rejected indeed by men, but chosen by Elohim and precious – 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up, a spiritual house, a set-apart priesthood, to offer up spiritual slaughter offerings acceptable to Elohim through יהושע Messiah.”
Son-ship, in Scripture, is not always regarded to being a natural position based on physical bloodline, but rather, son-ship of Elohim, is that which is conferred to us by an act of Elohim.
Son-ship should not be understood as an assured son-ship based on natural descent or merit; but rather it is based on Elohim’s extended favour and mercy that is received by faith in Messiah; and He extended His great loving-commitment toward His Covenants of Promise by coming in the flesh in order to redeem us, and to restore to favour all unto Himself – so that we, who were once estranged and enemies in the mind by wicked works, could be completely restored to favour in the body of His flesh through death, and be presented set-apart and blameless before Him, having received an adoption, as sons of the Living Elohim – if indeed we continue in the belief, not being moved in our fully committed loving obedience to His commands as faithful sons!
When we consider how we are being built up as living stones in our Master, and are the Dwelling Place of Elohim, we see that we can only be built up in the One who is to be praised, and can only be built up according to His wisdom – the wisdom that He has already made clear and by which all is made, for wisdom has already ‘built Her house’.
In other words, the design and pattern and function has been given and the continuing of the House of Wisdom can only be done according to Her standards as set forth in the Word of Elohim!
This gives fuller meaning and clarity to us when we look at the word for built in the ancient text:
בָּנָה banah – Strong’s H1129 meaning, ‘to build, besieged, construct, fortify, rebuild, establish a family, build up’, therefore, in the ancient pictographic script, it looks like this:
You will notice that there is one additional letter that is added here to this word that differs from the word for ‘son’.
This additional letter is the letter:
Hey – ה:
The ancient script has this letter pictured as , which is ‘a man standing with his arms raised out’. The Hebrew word letter “hey” means “behold, breath, sigh”, as when looking at a great sight, and can also give the understanding of ‘reveal or revelation’; from the idea of revealing a great sight by pointing it out. It also carries for us the meaning of surrender, as we lift up our hands and submit to יהוה as we lift our hands in praise, declaring His authority under which we humbly submit!
Recognising the clear pictures of this word we can see that the continuing of the House of Elohim, that He has built by His wisdom, is only made possible by the One who is to be praised – that is: our Head, יהושע Messiah!!!
As a faithful ‘son’, Mosheh had, in essence, lived 3 cycles of transition – each being 40 years:
1) 40 years in Mitsrayim in the courts of Pharaoh –
2) 40 years in the land of Miḏyan tending sheep and learning to be a true Shepherd – and then
3) 40 years of leading a nation to its inheritance; and now it was time for this called out, set-apart nation to enter in and take the Promised Land, and live according to all that יהוה had commanded through Mosheh.
I find this a very powerful truth that so many miss today; for just as Mosheh (Torah) had brought Yisra’ĕl this far and Yehoshua (Picture of Messiah) would lead them into the Promised Land; we are also told in Scripture:
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:24-25 “Therefore the Torah became our trainer unto Messiah, in order to be declared right by belief. 25 And after belief has come, we are no longer under a trainer.”
Many erroneously use this verse to think that since Messiah came that there was no more a need for the Torah – yet this is a twisted lie of the enemy that has caused many to fall into this poisoned delusion.
Let us look at the verses that follow:
Galatiyim/Galatians 3:26-29 “For you are all sons of Elohim through belief in Messiah יהושע. 27 For as many of you as were immersed into Messiah have put on Messiah. 28 There is not Yehuḏite nor Greek, there is not slave nor free, there is not male and female, for you are all one in Messiah יהושע. 29 And if you are of Messiah, then you are seed of Aḇraham, and heirs according to promise.”
What Sha’ul is clearly telling us here is that through belief in Messiah we are sons of Elohim – just as Mosheh was a ‘son’; and therefore, in Messiah we are the seed of Aḇraham and heirs to the promise.
Just as Mosheh had led Yisra’ĕl to the point of entrance and Yehoshua would lead them in – so too do we recognize how the Torah is our ‘trainer’ unto Messiah – in other words the Torah teaches us and causes us to live and walk in obedience that Messiah came to reveal by His life, death and resurrection. Just because Mosheh was not going with the nation into the Promised Land did not mean that Yisra’ĕl did not have to keep the Torah any longer, on the contrary there was a higher standard expected of them now that they had been trained to the point of entry – having been trained they were to continue in it and guard what they had learnt from Mosheh (Torah) under the leadership of Yehoshua (picture of Messiah).
Yoḥanan/John 1:17 “for the Torah was given through Mosheh – the favour and the truth came through יהושע Messiah.”
Many translations have added the word ‘but’ between ‘Mosheh’ and ‘the favour’, in an attempt at trying to show that the Torah is no longer applicable; however, that is wrong and a fault of translators who incorrectly translated or deliberately mistranslated this verse as a means of trying to force their theological view based on the dogmas of man.
What this verse is actually saying in a simpler form is this:
“THE INSTRUCTIONS OF ELOHIM (TORAH) WAS GIVEN THROUGH MOSHEH AND REVEALED BY THE LIFE, DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF MESSIAH”
The Torah is ‘Truth”:
Tehillah/Psalm 119:142 “Your righteousness is righteousness forever, and Your Torah is truth.”
The Torah is not opposed to the Truth – it is truth and we see how ‘truth’ came through Mosheh and favour and truth through Messiah!
We have not yet ‘arrived’ and entered into the Promised Land and we need the Torah of Elohim to equip us in Messiah to ready and able as an equipped Bride to be taken into the Promised Land, when our Husband returns.
We are told in:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 2:6 “The one who says he stays in Him ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.”
To ‘stay in Messiah’ calls for an obedient response – and that is to walk as Messiah walked – and we know in Hebrew that the term used for ‘walk’, as already discussed, speaks about our lives and the manner by which we live.
To walk as Messiah walked, we need to learn how to do that as taught through the Torah (instructions) of Elohim; guarding His commands in our love response for His favour extended to us on the basis of His Covenants of promise that we are brought near to by the Blood of Messiah!
The reason for me mentioning this here, in light of this Torah portion, is to show how clear it is for us to be a people who heed the words of Mosheh; and therefore ensure that we recognize that Messiah did not come to destroy the Torah but fully met its requirements and this show us how we too can walk as He walked; yet by His favour we do not need to offer up bulls and goats for our sins, for the sacrifice of Messiah has paid that price once for all; however we still have to walk as He walked – and He walked according to the Torah!
Most Christians churches today, will promote a lawless response to the favour/gift of salvation and often, when they do their so called ‘altar calls’, and lead people in a man-constructed ‘sinners’ prayer’, they will proceed to tell their new convert to start reading the Book of John (Yoḥanan).
This in itself is a huge error – for how does one, who claims to call on the Saviour, begin to learn to walk as He walked if the Torah does not train them to Messiah – that is – to train them to be ‘in’ and stay ‘in’ Messiah!!!
Clearly then, we can see that when the church promotes that the Torah is no longer needed to teach and train us unto righteousness, they are, by default, being trained in works of lawlessness!
Yisra’ĕl was about to enter into the Promised land and they needed to hear the Words of Mosheh loud and clear and guard his words carefully if they were to inherit the Land and not be thrown out for disobedience.
When Messiah comes to rule and reign on earth in the 7th Millennium, He is going to establish His Kingdom and rule by His clear rules, as prescribed in the Torah; and so now we have a huge responsibility to listen carefully to the Torah and learn to do what it says here and now, so that we are equipped to enter in with Messiah and rule and reign with Him, teaching the nations His perfect Torah (instructions) for living.
In Mattithyahu/Matthew 5 we see by the teachings of Messiah that he not only came to firmly establish the Torah, but He also raised the standard so to speak, and in verse 16 it says:
“Let your light so shine before men, so that they see your good works and praise your Father who is in the heavens.”
We are to let our light shine, as we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth; and we are to guard His Word by doing it and not trampling it under foot; and we are to shine the Light of His Word before men – and while many may have thought to ask the question of how they are supposed to do that, יהושע answers this before it is even asked or considered, by saying in verse 17:
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Torah or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to complete.”
He further states that until heaven and earth shall pass away nothing of His Torah shall pass away; and any who break the least of the commands will become least in the reign, with the possible prospect of not even entering in if they do not let their righteousness shine in this dark world by guarding His commands!
We cannot shine as lights if we are not walking in the Torah – and when Messiah came to ‘raise the standard’ so to speak – it is because He came to show us ‘how’ and we have more than what Yisra’ĕl did before they went into the Promised Land – for we not only have the Torah, but we also have the Prophets and writings and the Besorah – therefore there is absolutely no excuse for anyone to not be equipped through the Torah to become a apart of the Bride that makes herself ready!
The stripping away of the traditions and theologies of man that run contrary to the Torah is vital for us to do in order to take up the easy yoke of Messiah and walk in His Torah, so that we can be the generation that enters in, and not be like the generation who was kept out for disobedience and rebellion.
יהוה your Elohim Himself is passing over before you!!!
This was a clear and sure promise that יהוה would not only be with them, but that he would go before them and pave the way by destroying the nations before them in order for Yisra’ĕl to possess the promise.
Mosheh then tells them that it would be Yehoshua that would be passing over before them – as יהוה had spoken.
This is a clear shadow picture of יהושע Messiah, who is the ‘first’.
The Hebrew root verb that is translated as ‘passing over’ is עָבַר aḇar – Strong’s H5674 which means, ‘to pass over, pass through, cross over’, and it is from this word that we get the word – עִבְרִי Iḇri – Strong’s H5680 which in English is ‘Hebrew’ and means, ‘the one from beyond, the one who crossed over’.
So, in effect, we can see here that they were being told that יהוה would be the first to ‘cross over’; and while we know that in Scripture we see that Aḇraham was the first man to be called a ‘Hebrew’, as he has crossed over the Euphrates River and entered into the Land of Promise; we see here the direct statement that would show to Yisra’ĕl, who the One it was that caused Aḇraham to cross over – making it clear that יהוה, in a sense, was the first ‘Hebrew’.
In fact, this is a clear shadow picture of the promise of Messiah who goes before us and is the ‘first’ and the last – He even told the Yehuḏim in:
Yoḥanan/John 8:58 “יהושע said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Aḇraham came to be, I am.”
Mosheh was telling Yisra’ĕl that יהוה was going before them, as well as telling them that Yehoshua was going before them – the same claim is made for both – and here we see a powerful and clear prophetic statement of how יהושע Messiah, who passes over before us and destroys the enemy so that we can inherit His Promises, is the very same יהוה of Hosts who fights for us!
In one sense, it sounds like Mosheh is saying that Yehoshua is יהוה; and while we know that Yehoshua, the son of Nun, was certainly not יהוה, we do recognise the prophetic shadow picture of Messiah who is יהוה, as He clearly tells us in Yoḥanan/John 14:9 that whoever has seen Him has seen the Father!!!
The name of Yehoshua – יְהוֹשֻׁעַ – Strong’s H3091 means, ‘יהוה is deliverance, יהוה is our deliverer’ – this is the same Name used for יהושע, only with different vowel pointings that were not in the text at the time of these writings of Mosheh!
I am of the belief that Yehoshua’s name may have even been pronounced the same as our Saviour, as he is the shadow picture of our Deliver and Redeemer – and here in these closing events of Deḇarim/Deuteronomy we can see a very powerful message of Deliverance in Messiah – The Word made flesh. Mosheh is also a type of Messiah and so by Mosheh’s ‘death’ we see how Messiah had to come in the flesh and die for our sins and be raised up as King, bringing us deliverance, so that He may come and lead us into our inheritance with Him.
Our Deliverer shall ‘destroy’ our enemies – and all the ‘lawless’ or transgressors of the Torah shall be destroyed!!
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘destroy’ comes from the root word שָׁמַד shamaḏ – Strong’s H8045 which means ‘to be exterminated or destroyed, eradicate, annihilate, decimate, overthrow and get rid of’.
Tehillah/Psalm 145:20 “יהוה preserves all those loving Him, but all the wrong ones He destroys.”
Tehillah/Psalm 37:38-39 “But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the latter end of the wrong shall be cut off. 39 But the deliverance of the righteous is from יהוה, their strength in time of distress.”
Yisra’ĕl needed both the words of Mosheh (Torah) and the leadership and witness of Yehoshua to see them enter in, and so too do we see the need to have both:
Ḥazon/Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to fight with the remnant of her seed, those guarding the commands of Elohim and possessing the witness of יהושע Messiah.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 14:12 “Here is the endurance of the set-apart ones, here are those guarding the commands of Elohim and the belief of יהושע.”
Ḥazon/Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are those doing His commands, so that the authority shall be theirs unto the tree of life, and to enter through the gates into the city.”
Only those who possess the witness of יהושע Messiah and guard the commands of Elohim shall be able to ‘enter in’!!! Having the ‘witness’ alone will not give you access – in fact the true witness of יהושע Messiah can only be true when coupled with obedience to the guarding of the commands of Elohim, which are not heavy and the guarding of them (that is do diligently hear and do them) reveals that we love Elohim:
Yoḥanan Aleph/1 John 5:3 “For this is the love for Elohim, that we guard His commands, and His commands are not heavy”
יהוה destroyed Siḥon and Oḡ, the sovereigns of the Amorites, when He gave them into the hands of the Yisra’ĕlites, which you can read about in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy Chapter 2-3. Siḥon was destroyed because he would not let Yisra’ĕl pass through his land and hardened his heart towards Yisra’ĕl, and he and his armies were given into the hands of Yisra’ĕl who fought them and overcame them by destroying them.
We must be ready to ‘overthrow’ anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim – and this we do through our pure and uncompromised obedience:
Qorintiyim Bet/2 Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not fight according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons we fight with are not fleshly but mighty in Elohim for overthrowing strongholds, 5 overthrowing reasonings and every high matter that exalts itself against the knowledge of Elohim, taking captive every thought to make it obedient to the Messiah, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is complete.”
We “fight” by being obedient, for then we will exercise control over those things that try to enslave or trap us, as they are given into our hand in order to subject them to the working of obedience.
So therefore, when we are obedient, we can say ‘no’ with confidence, when asked to work on Shabbat, or when offered things to eat that are not clean for food, and by doing so we, by our obedience ‘punish’ all disobedience and every matter that exalts itself above the pure and true knowledge of Elohim!
Verse 5 clearly tells us that we shall destroy the enemy the way יהוה has commanded – and so to have a complete disregard for His commands will disarm you in your ability to fight the Good Fight of Faithfulness.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘be strong’ comes from the root word חָזַק ḥazaq – Strong’s H2388 and carries the meaning, ‘to grow firm, fasten upon, strengthen, take hold of’ and can have the concept of ‘grasp between your ears’.
When we grasp between our ears what we ought to, then יהוה will strengthen us to be ‘courageous’, which is the root word – אָמֵץ amats H553 – means ‘to be alert both physically and mentally, be fully alert – awake and not asleep, be steadfast’.
To ‘be strong and courageous’, is a term that we have come to know, especially when we reflect on the book of Yehoshua – well, it is these two words that are being used each time – חָזַק ḥazaq and אָמֵץ amats
In the Hebrew text, the phrase, ‘be strong and courageous’, is written here in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 31:6 as follows:
חִזְק֣וּ וְאִמְצ֔וּ – ḥizqu ve’imetzu
We see this similar construct of these two root words, ḥizqu ve’imetzu, in:
Yehoshua/Joshua 10:25 “Then Yehoshua said to them, “Do not be afraid nor be discouraged, be strong and courageous, for this is what יהוה is going to do to all your enemies whom you are fighting.”
These were the words that Yehoshua spoke to the chiefs of the men of battle, after they had defeated the 5 kings who came out to battle against Giḇ’on and Yehoshua had covenanted to protects the Giḇ’onites.
It was on this day that Yehoshua spoke to יהוה in the day when יהוה gave the Amorites over to the children of Yisra’ěl, and he said before the eyes of Yisra’ěl, “Sun, stand still over Giḇ‛on; and moon, in the Valley of Ayalon.”
So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself upon their enemies. After having captured the 5 kings, he spoke these words of encouragement to his fighting men and then struck the enemy kings and killed them.
We again see the construct of this phrase, ḥizqu ve’imetzu, in:
Diḇre haYamim Bet/2 Chronicles 32:7-8 “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid nor be cast down before the sovereign of Ashshur, nor before all the army that is with him. For with us there are more than with him. 8 “With him is an arm of flesh, but with us is יהוה our Elohim, to help us and to fight our battles.” And the people leaned on the words of Ḥizqiyahu sovereign of Yehuḏah.”
These were the encouraging words that king Ḥizqiyahu spoke to Yisra’ěl when they were being surrounded and threatened by their enemies!
What we can learn from this is that for us to be ‘strong and courageous’, in Messiah, we need to ‘grow firm’ in the Torah and have the commands of Elohim fastened upon our hearts, as we take hold of the Truth and walk in it with boldness, being fully alert and steadfast in walking in the Truth. And it is through the ‘command/s’ of the Torah (Mosheh) that we are commissioned, appointed and strengthened ‘in’ Messiah!
Yehoshua, and the whole of Yisra’ĕl, needed to be made brave and assured by Mosheh, and what we must recognise is that bravery comes from an awareness of who one is, what is expected of you and what is at stake; whereas any uncertainty will breed fear, and so it is critical for us to know our identity in the Living Torah – יהושע Messiah!
The Torah alone cannot take you in to the Promised Land – it is The Torah with the Spirit – that which יהושע came to reveal and show us through His life, death and resurrection.
With Elohim being with us, we see how in Messiah we walk in both Spirit and Truth, worshipping יהוה through diligent loving obedience in every step we take.
Eph’siyim/Ephesians 6:10 “For the rest, my brothers, be strong in the Master and in the mightiness of His strength.”
Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 16:13-14 “Watch, stand fast in the belief, be men, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done in love.”
Be strong in love – love for Elohim is obedience to His commands, and in the guarding of them we are to be strong and courageous, standing firm on the Truth in Messiah.
We need not fear the enemy (Satan), nor the lawless who follow the enemy’s delusion!
Tehillah/Psalm 27:1-3 “יהוה is my light and my deliverance; whom should I fear? יהוה is the refuge of my life; whom should I dread? 2 When evil-doers come against me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they shall stumble and fall. 3 Though an army encamps against me, my heart does not fear; though battle comes up against me, even then I would be trusting.”
In verse 1 we see straight up Dawiḏ’s bold statement of faith in יהוה, in recognition of who יהוה is to him on a very personal level. Dawiḏ says that יהוה is his light and his deliverance and that יהוה is his refuge.
Having said that, let me show you the essence of what he is expressing here as a very bold statement at a very testing time of his life.
The Hebrew word for ‘my light’ is אוֹרִי – ôri – which, at its root is the word אוֹר or – Strong’s H215 meaning, ‘to be or become light, give light, shine’ and this infinitely profound Name of Elohim, as his light, is only found here in this passage, of which there is only one other expression in the Scriptures that can be compared to it, which is found in Yeshayahu/Isaiah 60:1 in the phrase “… your light has come…”, which in the Hebrew is בָא אוֹרֵךְ – ḇa ôrekha – and is a clear reference to Messiah – the Light of the world!
Yoḥanan/John 12:46 “I have come as a light into the world, so that no one who believes in Me should stay in darkness.”
His confidence in perilous times was as a result of walking in the fear of יהוה.
Dawiḏ also declares that יהוה is his deliverance, which is expressed as וְיִשְׁעִי – v’ yish’iy – which literally translated means, ‘and He saves me’ – Strong’s H3469, which comes from the root יָשַׁע yasha – Strong’s H3467 which means, ‘deliver, brought salvation, saviour, saves’.
When I saw this, I saw exactly what Dawiḏ was declaring – that it was יהוה who saves him, and is his deliverer – not an agent of יהוה – but the Light Himself, with the emphasis being placed on who it is that saves – ‘He’ – ‘the Light’ – יהוה Himself is He that saves!!!
Furthermore, Dawiḏ declares that יהוה is ‘the refuge of my life’ – מָעוֹז־חַיַּי – ma’oz ḥay’iy, and the word מָעוֹז ma’oz – Strong’s H4581 means, ‘a place or means of safety, protection, defence, fortress, helmet’.
Why am I stressing the obvious here?
Well, because I want us to understand the clear declaration Dawiḏ is making here – he is openly acknowledging that יהוה is a personal Elohim, He is not just the Light and Deliverer and Refuge, but Dawiḏ proclaims – He is my Light, and my Light saves me and My light who saves me is my protector and in Him I am safe!
Within this declaration of the first verse Dawiḏ asks 2 questions – firstly,
“whom should I fear?” and secondly,
“whom should I dread?”
There are two different words used here in the Hebrew for ‘fear’ and ‘dread’.
The Hebrew root word used here for ‘fear’ is יָרֵא yare – Strong’s H3372 which means, ‘to fear, be afraid, reverence, respect’ and in the tense that this is written in (qal active), it actually carries the meaning of, ‘to stand in awe of, be awed, to reverence, honour, respect’.
The Hebrew root word for ‘I dread’ is אֶפְחָד – ephḥaḏ – and comes from the root verb פָּחַד paḥaḏ – Strong’s H6342 which means, “to dread, to shake or be in dread or terror” and can mean to “have an attitude or emotion of severe distress over impending danger or trouble, with a focus that it can be so intense that it will cause physical trembling and shaking”.
It can also mean “to be in a state of profound awe and respect, so intense the body may react with trembling and shaking”.
What Dawiḏ is declaring here could be best expressed as follows:
“יהוה is my light, and He saves me – now whom should I fear or whom should I stand in awe of or show respect and have reverence for?” – the answer is obvious – יהוה – our Light and Salvation!!!
Then he asks the second question which in essence is saying, “because יהוה is my strong tower and refuge for my soul, whom shall I be afraid of or who should cause me to be in distress or terror?” – again, the answer is obvious – no one!!!
Romiyim/Romans 8:31 “What then shall we say to this? If Elohim is for us, who is against us?”
In verse 3 of Tehillah/Psalm 27 we see that he says that no matter what comes against him he would not be afraid, and even in the toughest battles he would be trusting! The Hebrew root word used for trusting is בָּטַח bataḥ – Strong’s H982 which carries the meaning, ‘to trust, be bold, confident, be secure, courageous’, and it is written in the tense that carries the meaning of saying, “I will be a truster” – something that he would continue to be.
In other words, it is as though he is saying, “my trusting will be thing that I am, not just what I do”; and I see this as something very powerful indeed and therefore to trust in יהוה is not just something that we do as an active response to a particular circumstance, but rather it is who we are – we are ‘trusters’, so to speak, who are continually trusting יהוה in all things, aměn!
It is this kind of confident declaration that can dispel any fears or worries we may face and the more we meditate on the power of these words we cannot help but get encouraged by the reality of declaring such truths over our lives!
Mosheh then calls Yehoshua and expresses the same command to him in front of all – BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS!
יהוה shall never forsake you:
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 13:5 “Let your way of life be without the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For He Himself has said, “I shall never leave you nor forsake you,”
We have this sure promise that יהוה shall never forsake us; and we must guard ourselves at all costs to ensure that we stay in Messiah and not forsake Him!!!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 4:2 “For I gave you good instruction: do not forsake my Torah.”
FORSAKE – עָזַב azaḇ – Strong’s H5800 and here it means, ‘to leave, forsake, loose, loosen, abandon, leave behind, neglect’.
This is a word I would like to look at a little closer, as we can learn a lot from this little word, which I would like us to look at in terms of the ancient script, which is as follows:
Three letters – עָ ‘ayin’ – זַ ‘zayin’ and ב ‘beyt’ and in the ancient script as depicted above each letter carries a unique meaning according to its picture:
עָ ‘ayin’ – – pictured as an eye and carries the meaning of ‘insight and understanding’
זַ ‘zayin’ – – a mattock (sharp digging tool – axe/pick) with the meaning of ‘a weapon/tool that cuts’
ב ‘beyt’ – – a tent floor plan and carries the meaning of a ‘dwelling’.
In the context of understanding what we are discussing here we see a negative aspect of this word that with these three letters together we see the meaning, ‘to leave, depart from or leave behind’ – in other words to ‘FORSAKE’!
This is why I say this:
Have you ever felt like you have been forsaken or abandoned? How many times have you ever felt as if you are own your own and it feels as though you cannot find the presence of Elohim? Well when we look at these letters and their pictures we can see clearly that when one feels ‘forsaken’ in any way, they often feel:
1 – – that they have no insight or understanding and cannot make head or tails of what they are facing? Why?
2 – – it feels like they have been cut deeply!!!
And without knowledge and understanding and insight of the Word, a person in pain or a state of panic will find that:
3 – – they have no dwelling place to truly rest in, as they feel like they are in a dark place in their lives.
As a result of this the tendency is to forsake what really matters – and that is to be seeking יהוה.
We are urged not to forsake the gathering of the set-apart ones as some are in the habit of doing, and this we must recognise as a very serious instruction to guard, lest we find ourselves in a place of feeling forsaken and without any insight or understanding; and to be in this kind of place will only weaken a person more and more, leaving them without the strength needed to hold on to or cling to the Truth with strong hands! This is clearly a danger that is a real threat to anyone who is not seeking יהוה with their all!
Now when you take the first two letters of this word – עַז az – Strong’s H5794 which means, ‘strong, mighty, fierce, power’ as well as meaning, ‘raging, insolent, greedy’.
Feeling ‘forsaken’ can be a very ugly but strong place to ‘dwell’ in or rather it can be a very crippling stronghold over a person. Have any of you ever felt yourself dwelling in the house of the forsaken? When it feels like you are all alone and there is no way out and no one to help you?
Have you ever had those terrible pity parties for one and no one else is invited?
It is often hard to leave that ‘space’ or place of weakness, even though you desperately want to! Often the fear of possible failure or further failure can cause a person to stay dwelling in a stronghold of shame and guilt and abandonment; feeling all alone and not loved; and unable to find the strength needed to change – can you identify with this in any way?
Perhaps some of you cannot, but there are many out there who get into this bad space and hide away!
The antidote is found in the very same word, believe it or not!
We have just looked at the ‘dark’ aspect of this word עָזַב azaḇ – Strong’s H5800, and we are warned of the result of being in this place; however, this same word is used in another passage of Scripture, where we find that the very same root letters having another meaning! It is used during the rebuilding of the Temple walls in:
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 3:8 “Next to him Uzzi’ĕl son of Ḥarhayah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs. And next to him Ḥananyah, one of the perfumers, made repairs. And they restored Yerushalayim as far as the Broad Wall.”
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘restored’, is in fact the root word עָזַב azaḇ – Strong’s H5800, and here we see the meaning of ‘restoring, repair or being fortified’.
As odd as this may seem, what we can see from this is that while what we are feeling may seem like we are forsaken; יהוה could be actually restoring and repairing us.
We see two aspects to this word that ought to both warn us and also encourage us.
While being told to be strong and courageous, we see in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 31:8 how Yehoshua is told NOT to be ‘discouraged’, which is the Hebrew root word חָתַת ḥathath – Strong’s H2865 which means, ‘to be shattered, dismayed, broken into pieces, abolished, afraid, break down or be scared’.
It can also carry the meaning, ‘to be prostrate or lie down’; and so what we can see and learn here in this instruction given to Yehoshua, which carries extreme importance for us to heed, is that we are not to fall on our faces when our enemies (even loved ones – family members who do not walk Torah) come against us!
When most are unable to see a ‘way out’ or when the whole world is bowing down to the ways of the world, or even to the stubbornness and wickedness of their own hearts in following what seems to make sense to them, we must not bow down and follow in bowing to their demands for lawlessness; and we must not give in to ‘cuteness or crying’ as a means to manipulate us into falling for their ways and bowing to their requests that lead away from obedience to the Torah.
Do not be afraid of being ‘broken down’ or ‘shattered into pieces’ by those who speak a false accusation and slander against you for doing the Truth – stand firm – for Elohim is with you!
NO ORAL TORAH!!!!
Mosheh wrote this Torah –
Shemoth/Exodus 24:4 “And Mosheh wrote down all the Words of יהוה, and rose up early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve standing columns for the twelve tribes of Yisra’ĕl.”
Bemiḏbar/Numbers 33:2 “And Mosheh wrote down the starting points of their departures at the command of יהוה, and these are their departures according to their starting points”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 31:9 “And Mosheh wrote this Torah and gave it to the priests, the sons of Lĕwi, who bore the ark of the covenant of יהוה, and to all the elders of Yisra’ĕl.”
Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 31:22 “And Mosheh wrote this song the same day, and taught it to the children of Yisra’ĕl.”
Whatever Mosheh was instructed by יהוה he wrote down and taught it!!!
At Sukkot every 7th year the entire Torah was to be read in the hearing of all of Yisra’ĕl – young and old!!!
The 7th year was the year of release of debts and in Hebrew the number “7” is associated with the understanding of completion, especially with regards to fulfilling an oath, as the word for “7” in Hebrew is שֶׁבַע sheḇa – Strong’s H7651. It is from this word שֶׁבַע sheḇa – Strong’s H7651 that we get the word for ‘oath’, which is the root word שָׁבַע shaḇa – Strong’s H7650 meaning, ‘to swear, exchange oaths, take an oath, vow’.
An ‘oath’ is typically an obligation taken upon yourself rather than that which is imposed upon you.
To “swear” in Scripture (which is also the root word שָׁבַע shaḇa) was to give one’s sure and promised unbreakable word in testimony, that the one swearing would faithfully perform some promised deed, or that he would faithfully refrain from some evil act. Occasionally we see in Scripture that one ‘swore’ that he freely acknowledged a truth and would continue to acknowledge it in the future by sticking to what he has heard.
In Hebrew, when one promises to complete something, it is considered ‘done’ and the word could be depended upon, meaning that what was said would be accomplished.
Understanding that ‘7’ speaks of completion, we can recognise our need to release the debts of others because of the complete work and forgiveness that has been given us a release from our transgression or debts!
The Hebrew word that is translated as release is שְׁמִטָּה shemittah – Strong’s H8059 which means, ‘release, a letting drop, remission’ and comes from the primitive root verb שָׁמַט shamat – Strong’s H8058 which means, ‘to let go, release, throw down’.
What we can learn here is how we are to not hold on to debts; in other words we are to let go of our debtors, and we can do that immediately because of the complete life, death and resurrection of Messiah – and as He taught us to pray, we see that our ability to release is of great importance!
Mattithyahu/Matthew 6:12 “And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
With this instruction to read the whole Torah at Sukkot on the year of release further confirms our need to know and walk in the Torah today!
Ultimately, the year of release points to the release that Messiah came to proclaim:
יהושע came to proclaim ‘release’ to captives and therefore we have no excuse not to release, as we have been released!
Luqas/Luke 4 18-19 “The Spirit of יהוה is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to bring the Good News to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send away crushed ones with a release, 19 to proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה.”
While this was certainly a word brought in a Yoḇel year which also speaks of ‘release’ in terms of being able to return to one’s own land, we can also see how that a Yoḇel year comes at the end of 7 cycles of 7 years and therefore the 50th year is at the end of a 7th year and Messiah therefore fully meets the requirements of this Torah by releasing our debts through His offering up of His own life, and we who now live in Him must forgive and release our debtors immediately!
Now understanding that in the proclaiming of release the Torah was to be read and heard by all makes it very clear that His Torah is here to stay!!!
The Torah was to be read in their ‘hearing’ which is the word אֹזֶן ozen – Strong’s H238 which means, ‘an ear, hear, attentive, closely, recite, reveal’ and comes from the root verb אָזַן azan – Strong’s H241 which means, ‘to give, ear, listen, pay attention, perceived by ear’, and while this also carries the meaning to listen and listen attentively, it literally means to ‘cup the ear’ – in other words give your complete attention and be obedient to take it all in.
In other words, the Torah was not just to be read as a mere duty to get through, but it was to be heard attentively by all – each one had the responsibility to ‘cup the ear’, so to speak, and focus on the hearing of the Torah – for ultimately with this hearing of the Torah every 7 years at Sukkot would clearly speak of the coming Messiah King who would bring about a complete deliverance; and so our hearing of the Torah must echo this same expectation as we listen carefully to what is written in order to be faithful in guarding what has been commanded.
The hearing of the Torah was for all – and with the first coming of Messiah, who proclaimed release, we recognise that we must not only hear the whole Torah every 7 years but hear it continuously as we each have in our hands that which they did not have back then. Meditating on the Torah day and night is critical to living the true life of freedom – hence Sha’ul calling it the Torah of Freedom – for Messiah has proclaimed release and we can hear that sound very clearly in the hearing of the Torah, the Prophets and the Writings! While not mandated by Scripture I firmly believe that each believer is more than able and capable of reading the entire Scriptures each year, I simply wonder how many actually do!
The Scriptures are our manual for living righteously before our Master – so hearing it with stir our faith to fight the daily fight and stand firm – so that we learn to ‘hear and fear’ and guard to do all the words of the Torah!
Torah becomes understood in the hearing, guarding and doing – hearing alone will not help – and to be a doer of the Word, one has to be a hearer of the Word, for then we will learn the fear of יהוה.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘hear’ in verse 12-13 comes from the root word שָׁמַע shama – Strong’s H8085, which carries the meaning not just simply to hear, but rather to ‘listen with attention, comprehend and discern, give heed to what is being spoken’.
Understanding our need to be a people who are listening attentively and giving heed to His Word in a time when most are not let us recognise that this is certainly the time to now be a hearing and discerning and obeying people!
With Messiah having proclaimed the release further stresses for us to be a hearing people – NOW – and not wait for 7 years!!!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 44:1 “But now hear, O Ya’aqoḇ My servant, and Yisra’ĕl whom I have chosen.”
BUT NOW HEAR – וְעַתָּה שְׁמַע – ‘v’attah shama’ – עַתָּה attah – Strong’s H6258 means ‘now, at this time’ and with the conjunction of the letter – וְ – ‘waw’ in renders ‘and now’ or ‘but now’, and here the emphasis on the call to ‘hear now’ is very clear and the word in Hebrew for ‘Hear’ is the root word שָׁמַע ‘shama’ – Strong’s H8085.
Understanding our need to be a people who are listening attentively and giving heed to His Word in a time when most are not let us recognise that this is certainly the time to now be a hearing and discerning and obeying people!
The call to hear is to His called out and chosen servants.
The word used here, in the Hebrew, for servant comes from the root word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 which means, ‘servant, slave, bondservant’, and as a child of Yisra’ĕl, which we have become by the Blood of Messiah, we are servants of יהוה:
Wayyiqra/Leviticus 25:55 “Because the children of Yisra’ĕl are servants to Me, they are My servants whom I brought out of the land of Mitsrayim. I am יהוה your Elohim.”
The equivalent Greek word for servant is δοῦλος doulos – Strong’s G1401 and is translated as, ‘slave, servant, bondservant, bondslaves – both men and women’, and is used repeatedly throughout the renewed Writings.
The Hebrew root word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ – Strong’s H5650 is used 800 times in the Tanak (O.T.) and is used as a noun and comes from the primitive root verb עָבַד aḇaḏ – Strong’s H5647 meaning, ‘to work, serve, observe, do the work, cultivate, worship’ and carries the understanding of ‘expending considerable energy and intensity in performing a task or function’ – in other words – ‘giving it your all’!
In the ancient pictographic script, the word עֶבֶד eḇeḏ is pictured as:
Ayin – עֶ:
The original pictograph for this letter is and is pictured as ‘an eye’ and represents the idea of ‘seeing and watching’, as well as ‘knowledge’, as the eye is the window of knowledge
Beyt – בֶ:
The ancient script has this letter as , which is a picture of ‘a tent floor plan’ and carries the meaning of, ‘house’ or ‘tent’. It represents family and the importance of those who are inside the tent as opposed to the tent structure itself.
Dalet – ד:
The ancient script has this letter as and is pictured as a ‘tent door’. It can also have the meaning of ‘a back and forth movement’ as one goes back and forth through a tent door and so speaks of an access point. It can also carry the meaning of ‘dangle’ or ‘hanging’ as the tent door would hang from the roof pole of the tent. It speaks a great deal in terms of understanding the door of the tent of appointment as the only means of access.
When we look at this word in the ancient script for a servant, we can see that it speaks of:
ONE WHO WATCHES AT THE DOOR OF THE HOUSE!
And this is what our Master calls us to do!!! And when we consider that יהושע Messiah is The Door, then we further see our need to continually be looking at Him, and praising Him as we diligently are serving in spirit and truth, guarding to do all His commands – and this is how we too keep watch over the House/Body of Messiah with true joy!
So here, we are seeing that this ‘call to hear’ is being given to a people who ought to be giving it their all – are you giving your all, in worship and praise of יהוה?
Are you ‘hearing NOW’?
True servants have ears that hear and therefore hear, guard and do the Torah of Elohim!
Mosheh was about to die and so he was told to call Yehoshua and both of them were to present themselves before יהוה in the Tent of Appointment. With both Mosheh and Yehoshua standing before Elohim in the Tent of Appointment, we see a full picture of Messiah as represented by both of them – for Messiah is the Word AND He is our deliverer and High Priest, and we only have access to the throne of favour through His Blood, and our ability to come boldly to the throne of favour must still be done in the manner prescribed in the Torah – if we do not guard to keep the ‘Appointments’ of יהוה – His Sabbaths and His Feasts – then we are unable to draw near by the way made possible for us through the Blood of Messiah.
Here יהוה basically tells them – “Mosheh, you are going to die and then these people that are going in to the Promised Land are going to whore after foreign mighty ones and forsake my Covenant!”
What these words picture for us, is a clear and sobering reality that when the Torah is ‘asleep’ or dead to the people, they will whore!!!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘whore’ comes from the root word זָנָה zanah – Strong’s H2181 which means, ‘to commit fornication, to be a harlot, commit adultery, play the harlot’.
‘Playing the harlot’ can also be a term used to render being ‘spiritually unfaithful’ to יהוה, which is exactly what יהוה says they will do – when Mosheh ‘sleeps’!
The Hebrew phrase that is translated as ‘and break’ is – וְהֵפֵר – ‘v’hepher’ and comes from the root word פָּרַר parar – Strong’s H6565 which means, ‘to break, frustrate, annul, nullify, make ineffectual, split, divide’.
This is exactly what so many have done today – the break the Covenant with Elohim as they nullify His commands and make the Torah ineffectual by attempting to change the Times and Laws of Elohim, causing people to follow vain traditions of man, which is blatant whoring against the Creator – why? Because they have put Mosheh ‘to sleep’ and cast the words of Mosheh (Torah) behind them:
Tehillah/Psalm 50:16-17 “But to the wrong Elohim said, “What right have you to recite My laws, or take My covenant in your mouth, 17 “While you hated instruction and cast My Words behind you?”
יהוה tells them further that His displeasure will burn and He will forsake them and they will be consumed – and evil will be in their midst because יהוה will not be with them!!! Harsh warnings and prophecy – hearing these words should have cut the people hearts and caused them to remain steadfast – yet they did exactly what was said; and we know that יהוה does nothing before He reveals it to His prophets – and here Mosheh was being told what would happen when they whore, so nobody could ever say that He did not warn them. The same is true for us today – the day of His great wrath is coming upon the earth – and we better be a hearing people who do not whore – or else!!!!
Here, this ‘day’ that is spoken of, can clearly give reference to the DAY of יהוה and the day of Ya’aqoḇ’s trouble, when His wrath is poured out as described in Ḥazon/Revelation; and while He says that He will hide His face, we see the promise in Yeshayahu that this will be for but a brief moment:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 54:8 “In an overflow of wrath I hid My face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I shall have compassion on you,” said יהוה, your Redeemer.”
What we must always remember is the sure promise and Truth of His Word that says His eyes are always on the righteous – therefore we need not fear as we stand firm in Messiah and guard His commands!
Tehillah/Psalm 34:15 “The eyes of יהוה are on the righteous, and His ears unto their cry.”
Kěpha Aleph/1 Peter 3:12 “Because the eyes of יהוה are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers, but the face of יהוה is against those who do evil.”
Write down this song and teach it to Yisra’ĕl!
This song (which is recorded in chapter 32) was to be remembered by all and when they follow their own ways then this song would be a witness before them – it will serve as evidence before their face and it will not be forgotten in their descendant’s mouths!
Songs have a way of causing us to remember things more and this song starts out nicely yet turns into how they turned away when all went well with them and grew fat and kicked against being obedient!
Verse 21 is very clear – יהוה knows our thoughts and the intentions of our hearts!!!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘thoughts’ comes from the root word יֵצֶר yetser – Strong’s H3336 which means, ‘imagination, a form, fashioned, framing, purpose’!
What is made very clear here, is that יהוה understands, and knows exactly, the forming of our thoughts and the fashioning of our thinking in our life.
This Hebrew root word יֵצֶר yetser – Strong’s H3336 is translated as ‘inclination’ in:
Berěshith/Genesis 6:5 “And יהוה saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
At the time of Noaḥ, יהוה said that every inclination of the thoughts of man was only evil continually!!!
In other words, we must recognise that יהוה understands and knows exactly the forming of our thoughts and the fashioning of our thinking in our life.
He knows what shapes our thinking and the warning here is clear – if you depart from His Word that ought to shape our thoughts and direct our lives then we risk the end result of being rejected by Him forever!
We also must take note that יהוה searches the hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts!
The Hebrew root word that is translated as ‘thoughts’ in Berěshith/Genesis 6:5 is מַחֲשֶׁבֶת maḥasheḇeth – Strong’s H4284 which means, ‘thoughts, devise, scheme, plan, purpose’.
Our thoughts are to be pure and not wicked, as we consider again the words of Sha’ul that tells us, in:
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:8 “For the rest, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is righteous, whatever is clean, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there is any uprightness and if there is any praise – think on these.”
As we think on and meditate on that which is good and true – that is to think upon and mediate upon the Torah of Elohim day and night, we will find our hearts being filled with the good treasure of The Word of Elohim, a sure treasure that will come forth from, or be brought out of, a pure heart!
The Greek word that is translated as ‘think on’ comes from the root word λογίζομαι logizomai – Strong’s G3049 which means, ‘an account or reckoning, to consider, take count, think, occupy oneself with calculations’.
This root word is translated as ‘reckons’, in Qorintiyim Aleph/1 Corinthians 13, where we are told that love ‘reckons not the evil’! This teaches us that we are not to sit and recount, in our mind, all the bad and wicked thing that are going on, or that have been done to us, for this will only stir up bitterness, fear and resentment and render one unable to bear the true fruit of righteousness expressed in loving-commitment toward Elohim!
This also teaches us that when we walk in true love, we do not sit and recount everyone’s wicked past and occupy ourselves with past failings! Often people relate their past wickedness and laugh and joke at the things they did, when we ought to be ashamed of our past sins, reckoning our lives as having been plucked from the fire, giving esteem and thanks to our Redeemer and King, יהושע Messiah! Our thoughts and speech must not be riddled with the past reckoning and gloating of a lawless life, but rather be esteeming the good way and walk in it with joy!
What things do you consider and recount in your mind – the good and functional way of Elohim, as given through the Torah, or on the wicked and destructive patterns of a lawless world!
People may try to say the right things, and act in a certain way, to look the part, yet יהוה can quickly see through their smokescreen of hypocrisy, that tries to hide any deep-rooted deceit and pride!
Yirmeyahu was clearly shown the state of the hearts of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah, and under the influence of inherited lies and vain traditions, the hearts of a called-out nation had become desperately sick, and we see a call to get cleaned up in:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4:14 “O Yerushalayim, wash your heart from evil, and be saved. Till when would your wicked thoughts remain within you?”
The Truth was no longer in their hearts, even though they boasted in the Hěḵal of יהוה, and all that was in their hearts was wicked thoughts.
The Hebrew word translated as ‘your wicked’ is אוֹנֵךְ – owneyḵ, which comes from the root word אָוֶן aven – Strong’s H202 which means, ‘trouble, sorrow, wickedness, iniquity, emptiness’.
The primary meaning of this word seems to have two facets:
1) a stress on trouble which moves on to wickedness, and
2) an emphasis on emptiness which moves on to idolatry.
In terms of deception, we see in Mishlĕ/Proverbs 17:4 how the word אָוֶן aven is tied to the thoughts and words of falsehood that the unrighteous give heed to:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 17:4 “An evil-doer gives heed to wicked lips; a liar gives ear to a tongue of desire.”
In Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 4:14 the Hebrew root word for ‘thoughts’ is מַחֲשֶׁבֶת maḥasheḇeth – Strong’s H4284 which means, ‘thoughts, devise, plan, purpose’.
Messiah clearly warned us that the last days will be as the days of Noaḥ, and we are certainly able to see how the inclinations of the thoughts of most are only evil continually!
The Hebrew root word for ‘good’, as we have discussed before, is טוֹב toḇ – Strong’s H2896 and carries the meaning, ‘pleasant, good, agreeable, beautiful, to be pleasing, done well’.
In the true understanding of this word טוֹב toḇ, we can see that it may best be translated, in most cases, as ‘functional’, for when יהוה said in Berěshith/Genesis 1:31, when He saw all that He had made, that it was very good.
What He saw was His creation functioning properly and working the way it should and this is why it was ‘good’.
The opposite to טוֹב toḇ (good) is evil which is Hebrew is רַע ra – Strong’s H7451 meaning, ‘bad, evil, wicked, harmful’. Just as we understand that טוֹב toḇ represents that which is ‘functional’, we can then see that רַע ra represents that which is ‘dysfunctional’, which simply put speaks of that which reveals and abnormal and unhealthy lifestyle that is not functioning as it should.
We may often think something is good, yet if it is not ‘functional’ according to the plumb line of the Torah of יהוה, then we had best be careful to consider our steps!
In other words, we can see today, by the lawlessness of many, that the inclinations of their thoughts of their heart is only dysfunction, as the refusal to submit to the perfect Torah and function according to it through complete obedience is seen by the fruit of lawlessness! In a song of praise for Elohim who heard the psalmist prayer, we see in:
Tehillah/Psalm 66:18 “If I have seen wickedness in my heart, יהוה would not hear.”
This was the song and praise of a fearing servant of Elohim, a servant that looked intently into the Torah and walked accordingly. He knew that if he had seen wickedness in his heart that Elohim would not hear his prayer!
The way we can see if their wickedness in our heart or not is by looking into the mirror of the Word and allowing the Word to wash away any dust of the world that we make pick up on our journey!
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 28:9 “He who turns away his ear from hearing the Torah, even his prayer is an abomination.”
While this is not a truth that many want to hear today, we see it made clear in the Renewed Writings:
Yoḥanan/John 9:31 “And we know that Elohim does not hear sinners. But if anyone fears Elohim and does His desire, He hears him.”
Sinners are lawless, in that the Truth is not in them and they have not the Torah on their hearts, which have become hardened by the deceit of unrighteousness, because they did not receive a love for the Truth in order to be saved!
It is a heart thing – and while we may at times think that our hearts are perfect, we must be careful to not fall into the trap of so many delusional and lawless people who use words such as, “He knows my heart”, as a vain reason to not submit and obey to the Torah!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is crooked above all, and desperately sick – who shall know it?”
The Hebrew word that is translated here as ‘desperately sick’ comes from the root word אָנַשׁ anash – Strong’s H605 which means, ‘to be weak, sick, desperately sick’ and pictures being in a state of being incurable and is a word that is also used for a wound or grief, sickness or wickedness.
A derivative of this root is אֱנוֹשׁ Enosh – Strong’s H583 and means ‘mortal man, mankind’.
The root word translated as ‘crooked’ is עָקֹב aqoḇ – Strong’s H6121 which means, ‘insidious (that is ‘harmful and enticing’), deceitful, polluted, sly’.
In other words, the heart of mortal man is harmful and enticing, and it will often draw one away to things that can pollute one’s life!
And being deceitful – well, deceit would not be deceit if it was known at the time!
Yirmeyahu goes on and writes in the next verse:
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 7:20 “I, יהוה, search the heart, I try the kidneys, and give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
When people say that commonly used expression, ‘He knows my heart’, what they do not realise is that what they are saying is 100% correct – יהוה does know their heart!
The problem is that mortal man does not always know the state of his own heart!
Dawiḏ understood that it is יהוה who searches the heart!
Tehillah/Psalm 139:1-4 “O יהוה, You have searched me and know me. 2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought from afar. 3 You sift my path and my lying down, and know well all my ways. 4 For there is not a word on my tongue, but see, O יהוה, You know it all!”
Dawiḏ reminded Shelomoh of this fact:
Diḇre haYamim Aleph/1 Chronicles 28:9 “As for you, my son Shelomoh, know the Elohim of your father, and serve Him with a perfect heart and with a pleasing life, for יהוה searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts. If you do seek Him, He is found by you; but if you forsake Him, He rejects you forever.”
Yeshayahu gave the clear call for us to forsake unrighteous thoughts and wrong ways:
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 55:7 “Let the wrong forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts. Let him return to יהוה, who has compassion on him, and to our Elohim, for He pardons much.”
Elohim knows the thoughts of our hearts
Mattithyahu/Matthew 9:4 “And יהושע, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think wicked thoughts in your hearts?”
Iḇ’rim/Hebrews 4:12 “For the Word of Elohim is living, and working, and sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting through even to the dividing of being and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
When the Pharisees accused the taught ones of our Master that they were breaking the traditions of the elders by not washing their hands before eating, he made it clear to them how they break the commands of Elohim by holding fast to their traditions and then proceeds to tell them how their traditions have caused them to neglect the called for obedience of honouring their parents and that they nullified the Truth by their traditions, and He then says in:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:8-9 “This people draw near to Me with their mouth, and respect Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. 9 ‘But in vain do they worship Me, teaching as teachings the commands of men.’”
When His talmidim (disciples) came and asked Him to explain these words to them, He made it clear that it was not the eating with unwashed hands that defiled a man, but that it was what came out from the heart of man that defiles him:
Mattithyahu/Matthew 15:18-19 “But what comes out of the mouth comes from the heart, and these defile the man. 19 “For out of the heart come forth wicked reasonings, murders, adulteries, whorings, thefts, false witnessings, slanders.”
Once again, we are able to see the clear truth of how that which is your heart will come out and identify you as a servant of the Master or not!
One of the things that יהוה hates is a heart that devises ‘wicked’ (אָוֶן aven) ‘schemes’ (מַחֲשֶׁבֶת maḥasheḇeth):
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:18 “A heart devising wicked schemes, feet quick to run to evil”
As already mentioned, our thoughts are to be pure and not wicked… I will quote Sha’ul again:
Pilipiyim/Philippians 4:8 “For the rest, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is righteous, whatever is clean, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good report, if there is any uprightness and if there is any praise – think on these.”
Learn from these words and make sure that you are forming good thoughts before our Master, especially as we know that יהוה knows the thoughts we are forming in our hearts and minds!!!
Verse 23 once again we see the command given to Yehoshua to be strong and courageous, despite the fact that he knew that this people would end up rebelling!!!
We too need to be strong and courageous today and must not allow the rebellion of others, who easily fall away, affect our obedience, strength and courage in the Master!
In Hebrew, modern soldiers are often told: ‘חֲזַק וֶאֱמָץ – ‘ḥazaq veematz’ which means, ‘be strong and courageous’, and is a phrase we see being used a number of times in Scripture.
We must remember to put on the armour of Elohim and fight the good fight of belief; and therefore, as soldiers of Messiah, we need the encouragement ‘to be strong and courageous’ and we are also to be reminded that we are equally responsible in encouraging each other in this regard too. As the faithful remnant Bride of Messiah, we must be strengthened in His Word and stand courageously firm in the belief as we remain steadfast in the prescribed set-apartness that we are called to walk in!
Have the courageous belief that is called for and, like Yehoshua, have the courage to put complete trust and belief in יהוה, no matter the resistance or opposition you may face, for doing so!
Once again, we see how Mosheh had completed writing the Word of this Torah and then commanded the Lěwites to place it beside the ark of the Covenant of יהוה, which shall be as a witness against them!
This placing of the Torah next to the Ark of the Covenant is a very powerful picture of יהושע Messiah taking His rightful place as Judge at the right hand of Elohim.
In Scripture, we see this metaphoric picture being used specifically in relation to Messiah, who is the Judge, yet is also our intercessor; and we see, in prophetic pictures, the visions of יהושע either standing or sitting at the right hand of Elohim – both of these are pictures of the role of one who sits in the Judgement seat as well as the one who stands to Judge!
And while the 10 Words were placed inside the Ark, as being a remembrance of the physical Words that all Yisra’ĕl heard יהוה speak, the rest of His Torah, as given through Mosheh, was now written down and placed next to the Ark, as a witness against anyone who would break the Words of the Torah of Elohim!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘beside’ in verse 26 is צַד tsaḏ – Strong’s H6654 which means, ‘a side, arms, hip, beside’.
What I find interesting, is that this word צַד tsaḏ – Strong’s H6654 is used in reference to the placement of the ‘door’ in the Ark of Noaḥ, in:
Berěshith/Genesis 6:16 “Make a window for the ark, and complete it to a cubit from above. And set the door of the ark in its side. Make it with lower, second, and third decks.”
We also know that יהושע Messiah tells us that He is the “door”:
Yoḥanan/John 10:9 “I am the door. Whoever enters through Me, he shall be saved, and shall go in and shall go out and find pasture.”
Therefore, in the clear shadow picture of the ark having the ‘door’ in its side, we are also able to see the clear picture of the Torah being set ‘beside’ the Ark of the Covenant – ultimately pointing toward יהושע Messiah, who is the Door, that is ‘seated at the right hand of Elohim’, highlighting the establishment of Him being our King and Judge!
In other words, this is a further confirmation for us of how important Torah obedience is – or else it will witness against us and judge us, as the Torah is opened and laid down to bring right-ruling and justice – the very foundations of His Throne!
Timotiyos Aleph/1 Timothy 1:19 “knowing this: that Torah is not laid down for a righteous being, but for the lawless and unruly, for the wicked and for sinners, for the wrong-doers and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers”
Many have erroneously interpreted this verse as saying that the Torah is no longer needed for the righteous – how sad and twisted is that assumption!
What Sha’ul is clearly saying here, is that the Torah is not laid down for a righteous being – and by saying this, he was expressing it in legal terms – for when the Torah/law is laid down, it means that it is used as a witness against the crime or act of lawlessness.
If you walk in the righteousness of His Torah then it is not laid down for you – yet if you break His Torah then it is laid down and you will receive the punishment prescribed therein!
Here is a simple example, yet one which all ought to be able to grasp:
IF I DRIVE ACCORDING THE LEGAL SPEED LIMIT OF THE ROAD AND DO NOT EXCEED IT AND I ADHERE TO ALL THE RULES OF THE ROAD, THEN THE LAW OF THE LAND IS NOT LAID DOWN FOR ME, WHICH MEANS I CANNOT BE PUNISHED FOR THERE IS NOTHING THAT I HAVE DONE WRONG; YET IF I BREAK THE SPEED LIMIT OR GO THROUGH A RED LIGHT OR BREAK ANY OTHER RULES OF THE ROAD, THEN I HAVE BROKEN THE LAW AND AM CERTAINLY GUILTY AND THE FULLNESS OF THE LAW IS LAID DOWN FOR ME AND I AM LIABLE TO RECEIVE THE JUST AND DUE PUNISHMENT FOR WHAT I DID WRONG AS REQUIRED BY LAW!
While this is certainly a very simple and practical example, we know that many might say that you will only get punished if you’re caught – yet while many know that this is true, we must recognize the clear fact that if I break the laws of the road, caught or not, I am in the wrong and the laws of the road witness that against me.
You might be able to ‘get away’ from road rules that are broken because you ‘do not get caught’; however, with יהוה we cannot assume to not get caught, and think that we can escape the actions of lawlessness!!!
We do have One who intercedes for us – our High Priest and Redeemer – יהושע Messiah – and when we come and confess our lawlessness to Him, He is just to forgive all our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!
This does not give me a free ticket to continue in lawlessness/sin!!!
Those that continue in sin shall face the fullness of the Torah being laid down for them; if they do not ‘enter in through the door’, so to speak, and repent and get immersed in Messiah and guard His commands!!!
Mosheh makes it clear that he had already seen the rebellion and stiff neck of these people, and that he saw, while he was with them, how much they continued in rebellion, so how much more would they grow in rebellion when he was gone?
When the Torah is cast aside as being no longer applicable for setting the standards of righteous living then people who think that will become more and more rebellious and will harden their necks even more in refusing to submit to the clear instructions of a pure Marriage Covenant between יהוה and Yisra’ĕl (collectively being both Houses of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah).
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘rebellion’ is מְרִי meriy – Strong’s H4805 meaning, ‘rebellious, rebels, bitter’ and comes from the primitive root verb מָרָה marah – Strong’s H4784 meaning, ‘to be contentious, disobedient, hostile, provoke, openly defiant of authority’.
Collectively, these two root words, מְרִי meriy – Strong’s H4805 and מָרָה marah – Strong’s H4784, are used 68 times in 65 verses, and the primary use of these words are in specific reference to the rebellion of Yisra’ĕl and Yehuḏah against יהוה, both during the Wilderness wanderings and during their exile.
The noun מְרִי meriy – Strong’s H4805 is used 23 times, and of those 23 times we see it being used 16 times in the book of Yeḥezqěl, with 14 of those being used in the phrase, “rebellious house”:
Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 2:3-8 “And He said to me, “Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Yisra’ĕl, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against Me. They and their fathers have transgressed against Me, until this day. 4 “And the children are stiff of face and hard of heart to whom I am sending you, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus said the Master יהוה.’ 5 “And they – whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are a rebellious house – shall know that a prophet has been in their midst. 6 “And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though thistles and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions. Do not be afraid of their words or discouraged by their looks, for they are a rebellious house. 7 “And you shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. 8 And you, son of man, hear what I am speaking to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house, open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.”
So, what made Yisra’ĕl a rebellious house?
Well, it is pretty clear from these words we see in Yeḥezqěl/Ezekiel 2:
They transgressed, stiffened their hearts and refused to hear and obey the clear commands of Elohim!
The sin of rebellion may be in both word and deed!
In what one speaks and in what one does. Rebellion, in word, can be seen in the examples we have of all the complaining, murmuring, grumbling and speaking against the Word of Elohim and against His appointed ones, as many rebel, in word, when challenging or defying Elohim and in the process of refusing to obey, they resort to doing what is abnormal, in order to cater for their own covetous desires.
Rebellion, in deed, can be seen in how many will rather obey man over Elohim, and act contrary to the commands of Elohim, instead of guarding to do them, in order to please man rather than Elohim.
What people say and what they do, can either reflect pure and set-apart obedience or, it can reflect outright rebellion, which, even the slightest compromise, can be classed as!!!
Yeshayahu/Isaiah 3:8 “For Yerushalayim has stumbled, and Yehuḏah has fallen, because their tongue and their doings are against יהוה, to provoke the eyes of His esteem.”
Their tongues and their doings are against יהוה!!!
In Word and deed, they rebelled against Him.
Sha’ul reminds us in:
Qolasim/Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the Name of the Master יהושע, giving thanks to Elohim the Father through Him.”
Do all in the Name of our Master!!!
I often think that many do not realise that every word and action of our lives matters, and if not done in the Name of our Master, meaning, that if it is not said or done in complete adherence to the plumb-line of the Truth, then that word or action that is done contrary to the Truth is rebellion!
The Hebrew phrase that are translated as ‘stiff-necked’ in Deḇarim/Deuteronomy 31:27 comes from the two root words:
1) קָשֶׁה qasheh – Strong’s H7186 and means ‘hard, harsh, cruel, obstinate, stiff necked and stubborn’ and
2) עֹרֶף oreph – Strong’s H6203 which means, ‘back, neck’, and is often translated as ‘stiff-necked’, which also has the figurative meaning of ‘apostasy, unyielding’, which is often the result of the pride of traditions that many are refusing to let go of!
The Greek word that is used in the LXX (Septuagint – Greek translation of the Tanak (O.T.)) for ‘stiff-necked’ is σκληροτράχηλος sklērotrachēlos – Strong’s G4644 which comes from the two Greek words:
1) σκληρός sklēros – Strong’s G4642 and means, ‘hard, rough, difficult, harsh things’ and
2) τράχηλος trachēlos – Strong’s G5137 which means, ‘neck’.
The Greek word σκληροτράχηλος sklērotrachēlos – Strong’s G4644 is used in the bold speech that Stephanos gave before the council of the elders and scribes when he was accused of blaspheming against the set-apart place and the Torah, and we see how he called these religious hypocrites stiff-necked:
Ma’asei/Acts 7:51 “You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Set-apart Spirit, as your fathers did, you also do.”
Stiff-necked people resist the Set-Apart and refuse to submit to walking in Messiah!
Those who continue to be stiff-necked will be broken with no one to heal, as we are told in:
Mishlĕ/Proverbs 29:1 “One often reproved, hardening his neck, is suddenly broken, and there is no healing.”
What Shelomoh is teaching us here is that if one stiffens their neck when being reproved then they will be quickly broken!
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘broken’ comes from the root word שָׁבַר shaḇar – Strong’s H7665 which means, ‘break in pieces, crush, shatter’.
The Hebrew word that is translated as ‘healing’ comes from the root word מַרְפֵּא marpe – Strong’s H4832 which means, ‘a healing, cure, health, remedy’, and comes from the root verb רָפָא rapha – Strong’s H7495 which means, ‘to heal, repaired, become fresh, purified, cure’.
יהוה is our Healer, and in Tehillah/Psalm 103 we are told to not forget His dealing with us; and in verse 3 Dawiḏ tells us that as part of His dealing with us, he heals our diseases!
When one hardens their neck and refuses the reproof of the Word of Elohim then they have no Healer but will face the destructive force of His wrath and are broken into pieces.
In Mishlĕ/Proverbs 6:15 Shelomoh highlights for us how the calamity of the man of beliya’al comes suddenly and he is instantly broken and there is no healing!
Those who do not know the times and seasons of Elohim, due to their continued wilful neglect of seeking and understanding the Truth, will find that their calamity will come swift and unexpected, without any means of escape, due to their continued rebellion and hardening of their necks:
Tas’loniqim Aleph/1 Thessalonians 5:3 “For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then suddenly destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman, and they shall not escape.”
Continually, we see how Yisra’ěl made their neck stiff and refused to hear the Word of Elohim!
Yirmeyahu/Jeremiah 17:21-23 “Thus said יהוה, “Guard yourselves, and bear no burden on the Sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Yerushalayim, 22 nor take a burden out of your houses on the Sabbath day, nor do any work. And you shall set apart the Sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. 23 “But they did not obey, or incline their ear, and they made their neck stiff not to hear and not to receive instruction.”
Neḥemyah/Nehemiah 9:16-17 “But they and our fathers acted proudly, and hardened their necks, and did not obey Your commands. 17 “And they refused to obey, and they remembered not Your wonders that You did among them, and hardened their necks, and in their rebellion they appointed a leader to return to their bondage. But You are a forgiving Eloah, showing favour, and compassionate, patient, and of great kindness, and did not forsake them.”
Zeḵaryah/Zechariah 7:11-12 “But they refused to listen, and they shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears from hearing. 12 “And they made their hearts like flint against hearing the Torah, and the words, which יהוה of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from יהוה of hosts.”
Yisra’ĕl walked in obedience under the leadership of Yehoshua and the elders of his generation:
Shophetim/Judges 2:7 “And the people served יהוה all the days of Yehoshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Yehoshua, who had seen all the great works of יהוה which He had done for Yisra’ĕl.”
After Yehoshua, and the elders who had outlived Yehoshua, had died, Yisra’ĕl fell backwards into rebellion!
This is a wakeup call for us – we have יהושע Messiah who died, and rose on the third day and lives forever as High Priest and King, according to the order of Malkitseḏeq – and therefore, because our deliverer lives, we must not be rebellious and stiff-necked against His commands.
Without the hearing, guarding and doing of the Torah, whatever one does often seems logical and in no way evil; however, that does not make what one does logical or right in the eyes of Elohim.
We cannot base our standard for living on the customs, traditions and dogmas of man, when they have clearly neglected the Torah.
For many of us, worshipping on a sun-day under a phallic symbol/steeple and facing the insignia of Tammuz (cross), most certainly became the standard by which we assumed, in error, to be an act of righteousness to us. What we did not realise, for lack of knowledge that was supressed and cast down under false teachings, was that it was abominable worship in the eyes of יהוה.
No matter how man claims to ‘see’ and regulate their worship unto Elohim, what is of utmost importance, is how יהוה sees it and has commanded it under the clear instruction in His Torah.
So, we, as a called out and set-apart people, a people for a possession and a royal priesthood, must heed the Words of our High Priest and King and serve יהוה forever – according to His Torah!
Just as Mosheh ‘went’ and spoke all the words to the people – we too must be bold and courageous to speak these words and make sure that our actions line up with the pure plumb line of His Word, as we shine our lights before men, resulting in the praise of our Father who is in the heavens!