Torah Portion: Devarim
D’varim (Deuteronomy) – WORDS
Scholars believe the book of D’varim (the final book of the Torah) reiterates and summarises legally made covenants and is a legally binding covenant in its own right. Scholar Meredith G. Kline (The Structure of Biblical Authority 149) notes, “It would seem indisputable that the Book of Deuteronomy . . . exhibits the structure of ancient suzerainty treaties in the unity and completeness of their classic pattern.” These parallels to ancient political treaties call us to see that Deuteronomy was YHWH’s covenant renewal document with the “new generations” of Isra’el.
The children of Isra’el à all of those born after the exodus from Egypt or under twenty years of age at that time, are now being prepared to enter the promised land. The book of D’varim gives them their inspiration.
Moshe is about to spend the last 36-days of his epic 120-year long lifetime downloading in our ears a prophetic love song of unparalleled beauty. With what may seem on the surface to be mere words the Prophet will paint a stunning masterpiece - a magnum opus that will portray on one simple canvas all the outworkings – and the ups and downs, past, present and future - that make up the Glorious Divine Romance. It will be in this book that the Holy One will most clearly lay out the details of the rich and glorious destiny and purpose on earth of the Bride the Creator of the Universe has betrothed to Himself. (from the Rabbi’s Son)
Psalm 119: 18 Open my eyes, that I may see wondrous things from Your Torah.
Psalm 43:3 Send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle.
D’varim are words that therefore both carry tangible weight – and bring about tangible reaction in the hearer [which can, of course, be positive or negative]. They not only inspire people to talk the talk but empower them to walk the walk. Moshe is now reiterating the plans of the Father so that the people of Isra’el can enter the Promised Land.
The Rabbi’s Son expresses beautifully below the relationship between Moshe and YHWH our Elohim in such a way that it becomes a complete yearning for us to have a similar relationship.
‘Moshe has drunk long, deep, and often from that fountain. He knows the joyful sound of the Holy One’s Beautiful Voice better than any man alive. He knows the pleasure of the Bridegroom-King’s sweet companionship. He knows the transformative power of the Light of Holy One’s Countenance. He knows the tenderness of the Holy One’s Touch. He knows the infinite, unsearchable wisdom of the Holy One’s Ways. He knows the incredible lightness of being that falls with the Weight of the Holy One’s Glory. And he knows the Deep, Inspiring, Mesmerizing Kindness that infuses even the Holy One’s Rebuke and Discipline. Having experienced all that, Moshe’s joy and delight will never again be invested in the inferior pleasures of the realm of the flesh – it is invested instead in his assigned role in that King’s Grand Redemptive Plan for mankind and Creation. His only objective now is to finish the course designed for him by the Glorious King he knows so well, and to finish it strong.’
We can link this statement to our goals for Hebrew Roots Melbourne.
GOALS FOR HEBREW ROOTS MELBOURNE
Relationship between YHWH and his Beloved
To drink long, deep and often from His Fountain
To know the joyful sound of His beautiful voice better than anyone else’s
To know the pleasure of His sweet companionship
To know the transformative power of the light of His countenance
To know the tenderness of His touch
To know the infinite, unsearchable wisdom of His ways
To know the incredible lightness of being that falls with the weight of His glory
To know the deep, inspiring, mesmerising kindness that infuses even His rebuke and discipline.
Having experienced all that, your joy and delight will NEVER AGAIN be invested in the inferior pleasures of the realm of the flesh.
Instead: Let us all invest in His assigned role in His grand redemptive plan for mankind and Creation.
Our only objectives now are to:
To finish the course designed for us individually (and as a nation) by the glorious King we know so well, and to finish the race strong!
To have the desire to see things as the Father sees them causing changes that are excellent in nature and characteristics after sh’maing and asahing His Word.
To maintain focus of only growing from what the Father’s Word says and not listen to man.
BRIT CHADASHAH 1 Timothy 3:1 – 13
As Jason and Will are sharing the Torah portions this week, we thought we would look at the Brit Chadashah reading from 1 Timothy. The are some interesting differences in translations.
1 Timothy 3:1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires episkopos [literally meaning visitation, investigation, inspection, scrutiny, and/or accountability], he desires a precious/valuable activity.
The NKJ translates the same verse as: à This is a faithful saying: ‘If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.’ Note the difference in meaning.
Episkopos is also used in Luke 19:42 – 44 Yeshua himself uses the word episkopos and it clearly means visitation and not bishop.
"If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your episkopos [i.e. visitation, investigation, inspection, scrutiny, and/or accountability].”
If we look at the modern translation: ‘If a man desire1 the position of a bishop2, he desires3 a good4 work5.’ the Greek meanings are pivotal in our understanding.
1 the word is oregomai, Strong’s Greek word # 3713, pronounced or-eg
'-om-ahee- to stretch one's self out in order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after or desire something.
2The Greek word our English Bibles translate as “overseer”, or “bishop” is episkope, Strong’s Greek word #1984, pronounced ep-is-kop-ay'. This is a word Y’shua used in Luke 19:42 - 44, when He said of the City of Jerusalem: “the days will come on you, when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, surround you, tzitzit you in on every side, and will dash you and your children within you to the ground. They will not leave in you one stone on another, because you didn't know the time of your visitation [episkope].
This Greek word episkope is derived from the verb episkeptomai, Strong’s Greek word #1980, pronounced ep-ee-skep'-tom-ahee, which means to visit, go to see someone, in order to see how he is, or to look upon or after, to inspect, examine with the eyes. This is a verb Y’shua used in Matthew 25:36, when He said: “Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited [episkeptomai] Me: I was in prison, and you came unto me.
3 The word is Strong’s Greek word # 1937 epithumeo, pronounced ep-ee-thoo-meh'-o - to have a desire for, long for, to desire. First usage = Matthew 5:28: But I say unto you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart. See also Matthew 13:17: “many prophets and righteous [men] have desired to see [those things] which ye see .
4 The word is Strong’s Greek word # 2570 kalos, pronounced kal-os' – defined by Strong's as beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable OR good, excellent in its nature and characteristics, and therefore well adapted to its ends. The first Biblical usage of this word is in Matthew 3:10: “And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore, every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”
5 The Greek word is Strong’s Greek word # 2041 ergon, pronounced er'-gon - that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking; an act, deed, thing done: the idea of making something useful out of raw materials, through application of labor and skill Also used in Matthew 5:16, where Y’shua used this word, saying: “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” See also John 11:2, where we are told: “John had heard in the prison the works of Messiah, [so] he sent two of his disciples.” Ergon can thus be seen to be the Greek version of the Hebrew word asah, with all its implications.
It is apparent that the different translations have completely changed the verse from an individual’s desire to stretch one’s self out to touch or grasp something by a visitation of someone to see how they are and to carry them through their trials (meaning a visitation from above, akin to the famous ‘Footprints in the Sand”). The desire is to see things as the Father sees them causing changes that are excellent in nature and characteristics after sh’maing and asahing His word. Nowhere is it meant to infer the desire to be a church leader.
Our challenge is to maintain our focus of only growing from what the Father’s Word says and not listen to man. Whilst as a ‘Fellowship’ we have oversight, à their role is really to ensure we continue to have Yeshua as our first and last focus. This is beautifully summarised in Genesis 18:17 - 19
"Shall I hide from Avraham what I am doing, since Avraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Holy One, to do righteousness and justice, that the Holy One may bring to Avraham what He has spoken to him."
Don and Debbie HRM