Ki Tetze: 'When You Go'
Ki Tetze (Deuteronomy 21:10–25:19)
This is just sharing a few thoughts from yet another great Torah portion. I think we really need to look much deeper at the meaning of each instruction and not just take it at ‘face value’.
The Torah portion opens with laws regarding capturing a woman in battle.
The woman who looks good is the beautiful woman who is neshamah – the “soul” or “spirit”.
Throughout History and indeed today, the men are killed and the woman raped seems to be a horrible consequence of war.
V 12 is an instruction that the woman can NOT be raped!
The messiah can be compared to the conquering warrior and the captive becomes a member of the Assembly of the Messiah. He takes her as both His trophy of conquest and His true love.
The Two Wives
The instruction for a man having two wives could allude to Jacob:
Jacob should have given the honour of first born to Reuban, (there is not time to discuss how in the end it was the fourth son – Judah who inherited the birthright) the first born of Leah, however, he wanted to give it to Joseph the first born of his favourite wife Rachel.
Leah represents the Kingdom of Judah under the dynasty of the sons of David and ultimately the Messiah – the son of David.
Rachel represents the kingdom of Israel under the dynasty of the kings of Ephraim and ultimately the Messiah the son of Joseph.
One could therefore expect the Messiah son of David to come from among the children of Leah and the Messiah the son of Joseph to come from the children of Rachel.
From the Brit Chadashah Yeshua inherited both roles.
In His first coming He suffered the sins of Israel and died under the hands of the Romans - the role assigned to the suffering Messiah son of Joseph.
In his second coming He will establish the kingdom and take the throne of David – the role assigned to the triumphant Messiah son of David.
So even though Jacob gave the right of firstborn to his son Joseph, the prestigious state returned to rest upon “the son of the unloved” wife, from the tribe of Leah’s son Judah and from the house of David.
Romans 1:3 “He was born a descendant of David according to the flesh”.
Instructions for the Firstborn
But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of everything he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; to him belongs the right of the firstborn. Yeshua is the firstborn son of the Father.
Colossians 1:15 He is the “firstborn of all creation.”
John 1:14 “the only begotten from the Father”
Romans 8:29 . . . “firstborn among the brethren”
The Messiah is the quintessential Israelite. It appears that passages that speak of Israel speak of the Messiah
Instructions for your Brother’s Sheep
You shall not see your countryman’s ox or his sheep straying away, and pay no attention to them; you shall bring them back to your countryman.
Messianically the term “your brother” refers to the Messiah. Deuteronomy 22:1 – 4 instructs us to return to Yeshua that which is His. Your brother’s “ox or sheep” could allude to the Jewish people who belong to the King of the Jews.
The term “straying away” could refer to someone who violates the Father’s Commandments. The Torah commands that we must bring them back to one’s ‘brother’, i.e. to the Father!
He said, “I was only sent to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.”
The same principle applies to His non-Jewish disciples, who like the straying ox or sheep, have wandered away from the Good Shepherd. When this happens, one is duty-bound to return these people to the Messiah our brother, if it is at all possible.
What’s your opinion? What will someone do who has 100 sheep, and one of them strays away? Won’t he leave the 99 on the hillside and go after the stray?
1 Peter 2:25
For you are continually straying like sheep, but you have returned to the Shepherd and the Guardian of your souls
Instructions after finding the Bird’s Nest
What does Deuteronomy 22:6, 7 really mean? I am going to share some thoughts from ancient sages who may shed some light on the verses.
Sages have called Deuteronomy 22:6 – 7 as the least of these commandments. Rabbi Tanchuma (Deuteronomy Rabbah 6:7) says if you fulfil this commandment you will hasten the coming of the prophet Elijah [who comes to herald the arrival of the Kind Messiah]
In the Zohar, Kabbalah identifies a place in Paradise called the “bird’s nest” where the Messiah abides, hidden away, until His coming. In the analogy, the mother bird is likened to the Shecinah (Divine Presence of God), which rests upon Messiah. The young in the nest are likened to Israel. One passage describes how the Messiah waits for the hour of redemption in the bird’s nest in the Garden of Eden.
The Messiah enters [the bird’s nest], lifts up His eyes and sees the Fathers [Abraham, Isaac and Jacob] coming to the ruins of the House of God, then Her sees Rachel with tears on her face, and the Holy One, blessed is He, comforting her . . . Then the Messiah lifts up His voice and weeps, and the whole Garden of Eden trembles, and all the pious who are there cry and weep with Him. When He cries and weeps the second time, the firmament which is above the Garden shakes.
The Messiah enters the abode [ i.e. the bird’s nest] lifts up His eyes and behold the Fathers (Patriarchs) visiting the ruins of the Father’s Sanctuary. He perceives mother Rachel, with tears upon her face; the Holy One blessed is He, tries to comfort her, but she refuses to be comforted. Then the Messiah lifts up His voice and weeps and the whole Garden of Eden quakes, and all the righteous saints who are there with Him break out in crying and lamentation with him. When the crying and weeping resound for a second time, the whole firmament above the Garden begins to quake, and the cry echoes from the five hundred myriad of supernal (relating to the sky or heavens) hosts until it reaches the highest throne.
This seems to correspond to two laments that Yeshua makes over Jerusalem:
Luke 19:41, 42
41 When Yeshua had come closer and could see the city, He wept over it,
42 saying “If only you knew today what is wanted for shalom! But now it is hidden from your sight.
Luke 13:34, 35
34 “Yerushalayim! Yerushalayim! You kill the prophets! You stone those who are sent to you! How often I have wanted to gather your children, just as a hen gathers her chickens under her wings, but you refused 35 Look! God is abandoning your house to you! I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of Adonai!’”
Yeshua takes the role of the mother bird. The Jewish people are the chicks. The ascension of our master corresponds to the sending away of the mother bird. The mother bird flew away (Yeshua ascended), leaving the nest (Jerusalem)and the chicks (the Jewish people) vulnerable to the plunderer (Rome). Shortly after Yeshua’s departure the Romans destroyed the Holy City and took the Jewish people into exile. This is an interesting way to look at the two Deuteronomy verses
Concerning the Wedding Supper of the Lamb
Deuteronomy 22:13 “If a man takes a wife” when coupled with Genesis 1:28 “to be fruitful and multiply” was comfortably interpreted by Judaism as a mandate for marriage. However, our Messiah taught that certain individuals adopt celibacy for the sake of the kingdom. (Matthew 19:12). These scriptures could therefore be interpreted as Yeshua being the husband of Israel and His followers (both Jewish and Gentile (Ephesians 5:22 – 33) are called the “bride”. (Revelation 19:7, 21). Yeshua refers to himself as the bridegroom (Matthew 9:15, 25:1, 2)
Betrothal assumes anticipation of a future wedding date. At the last seder (supper)Yeshua promised a future reunion with the disciples.
“I will not leave you as orphans, I will come for you”
He also said in;
“A little while and you will not see Me, and again a little while, and you will see Me”.
Yeshua promised His disciples that they would receive the Holy Spirit (John 14:16, 17, 26; 16:7). As a confirmation Paul referred to the Holy Spirit as a pledge given to us as a legal surety of the final redemption (2 Corinthians 1:22, 5:5; Ephesians 1:13 – 14). So, we as the betrothed bride eagerly anticipate our coming wedding day.
A Jewish wedding has a set pattern which reflects the scriptural coming together of the bride and groom:
They do not see each other on the days before the wedding
On the day of the wedding an entourage escorts the bridegroom to the bride prior to the ceremony.
The bridegroom lifts the bride’s wedding veil to ensure she is the correct woman (a lesson learnt from Jacob’s mishap with Leah).
He then delivers a wedding contract (ketubah)to the bride, the contract is signed by two witnesses
The Seven Wedding Blessings
Blessed are you, O Lord our God, King of the universe, for whose glory all things were created.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who created the man
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who created the man in His image, in the image of the likeness of His pattern, and prepared for him from himself a building lasting forever. Blessed are You O Lord, who created the man.
Rejoice greatly and be joyful, O barren one, at the gathering of her children within her with gladness. Blessed are You, O Lord, who gladdens Zion with her children.
Gladden greatly the beloved companions, just as You gladdened the One You formed in the Garden of Eden long ago. Blessed are You, O Lord, who gladdens the groom and bride.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who created joy and gladness, groom and bride, celebration, joyful singing, festivity and merriment, love and brotherhood, peace and companionship. Quickly O Lord our God, let it be heard in the cities of Jerusalem, the sound of joy and the sound of gladness, the sound of the groom and the sound of the bride, the sound of the groom’s cries of joy from their bridal canopies, and young men from music-filled banquets. Blessed are You, O Lord our God who gladdens the groom with the bride.
Blessed are You, O Lord our God, King of the universe, who created the fruit of the vine.
The seven wedding blessings begin with the creation of Adam and Eve and culminate in the Messianic Age to come. They look to the ultimate wedding banquet of the future.
At the great wedding supper in the kingdom, the Bridegroom will keep His promise and again take the fruit of His cup with His disciples. Revelation 19:9 “Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.”
Instructions concerning re-entering the camp after cleansing at sundown
Deuteronomy 23:10 – 12
10 When you are in camp, at war with your enemies, you are to guard yourself against anything bad.
11 If there is a man among you who is unclean because of a nocturnal emission, he is to go outside the camp; he is not to enter the camp.
12 When evening arrives he is to bathe himself in water, and after sunset he may enter the camp.
Sages teach that this alludes to
Isaiah 4:4 – 5
4 When Adonai washes away the filth of the women of Tziyon and cleanses Yerushalayim from the blood shed in it with a blast of searing judgement,
5 Adonai will create over the whole site of Mount Tziyon over those who assemble there a smoking cloud by day and a shining, flaming fir by night; for the Glory will be over everything like a chuppah.
Then at sundown He may enter the camp could point to the time at which the Messiah will come.
The Year of Gladness
Deuteronomy 24:5 When a man takes a new wife, he shall not go out with the army nor be charged with any duty; he shall be free at home one year and shall give happiness to his wife whom he has taken.
This certainly suggests marriage is very important to the Father. The romance of the bridegroom towards His bride is the perfect model for our marriages. How romantic!
You must not forget
Deuteronomy 25:19 Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget
This passage makes me consider what happens in my life. I can give testimonies of how our precious Elohim has always, at the absolutely perfect time, given me safety and serenity in His arms. I love recalling the miracles, the words, the encouragement He has given me. This gives me such confidence and peace and I feel I can withstand the challenges when they arise. It reminds me of the ‘Footprints in the Sand’ type moments in my life where I have been carried through the darkest times.
I encourage everyone to recall your own personal ‘leaving Egypt’ experiences. Do NOT ever forget them!
The ‘you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget’ seems contradictory. The sages explain it this way You shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under the heavens; but regarding the days of the King Messiah you shall not forget. HaSatan is defeated so we must remove the influence from our lives and be that new and living person under the reign of our Messiah.
When the King Messiah returns Israel will enjoy rest from her enemies. The nightmares of anti-Semitism will melt away
What a great inspiration Ki Tetze is!
I hope you find this encouraging.