‘EKEV STUDY NOTES

PARASHAH EKEV

(Deuteronomy 7:12-11:25) Week 46

 EKEV:  ROOT word akav: “To take by the heel” (The name of Jacob who grabbed the heel of Esau during the birth process of the twins)

Jacob was renamed, after the wrestling with the Angel of the Lord, Isra’el meaning ‘Contender with God’.

AKAV: From the root word DUST

To take by the heel, used first in Genesis 3:15 where Adonai prophesied that the Messiah’s heel would be bruised, but the head of the serpent would be crushed.

To become dusty in the process of contending, wrestling…or in the Hebrew:  EMBRACING!

SHAMAR:  To Guard or to keep…as in the call to keep and guard the TORAH!

BRIT:  Covenant…To Cut a Covenant means to SHED BLOOD as a sign of the serious intent of keeping the Covenant agreement.  Adonai “cut Covenant” with Abraham, and the circumcision custom was established with Israel as the SIGN of the Covenant between ADONAI and His nation.

MASHECA / IDOL:  In Hebrew…meaning mask or disguise. You can tell the word-sound similarity between the Hebrew and the English words.  In biblical Hebrew, this word means IDOL.  Interestingly, most Bibles translate it as molten gods.

B’RACHAH:  Blessing, such as the pre and post meal blessings and the Priestly Blessing.

BIRKAT HA-MAZON:  The after-meal thanksgiving blessing.

MANNA:  Exodus states raw manna tasted like wafers that had been made with honey. The Israelites were instructed to eat only the manna they had gathered for each day. Stored manna “bred worms and stank”, the exception being that stored the day before the Sabbath (Preparation Day) when twice the amount of manna was gathered.

This planned excess of manna did not spoil overnight.

The 7 Species of Canaan: The specimens brought by the Spies:

Wheat, Barley, Figs, Pomegranates, Olives, Dates and Grapes

“For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land. . . a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig trees and pomegranates; a land of olive trees and honey.” (Deut. 8:7-8).

T’fillin:  From the Hebrew word T’fillah meaning prayer. This word means the reminders of prayer, worn on the arm or on the forehead. Likened to the Tzizit, or fringes on the garments, as daily reminders to pray!  The Mezuzah is also used as a reminder on the doorpost of a home, to remind all going in or going out, to pray the SHEMA!

The Shabbat Table:

The Sabbath table should be set with two candles representing the two commandments to:

  • Remember and Observe the Sabbath.  A glass of wine and two loaves of challah bread represents the double portion of manna that God provided for the Israelites in preparation for Shabbat, in the desert.  The challah loaves should be whole and covered with a bread cover, towel or napkin.

Hear and Obey:  The Sabbath is an extension of the SHEMA!

Lighting of the Candles:

Candles should be lit no later than 18 minutes before sundown. For the precise time when Shabbat begins in your area, consult the list of candle lighting times provided by the Orthodox Union or any Jewish calendar.  The candles are lit by the woman of the household.  After lighting, she waves her hands over the candles, welcoming in the sabbath.  Then she covers her eyes, so as not to see the candles before reciting the blessing, and recites the blessing below. The hands are then removed from the eyes, and she looks at the candles, completing the Mitzvah of lighting the candles.

The Blessing over Candles:
Barukh atah Adonai, Eloheinu, melekh ha’olam asher kidishanu b’mitz/votav v’tzivanu l’had’lik neir shel Shabbat.  Amein
Blessed are you, Lord our God, sovereign of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments and commanded us to light the lights of Shabbat. Amen
 
The Blessing AFTER the Meal: “When you eat and are satisfied you must bless the Lord your God”. (Deut. 8;10)

It is AFTER the satisfaction from a meal, in Hebraic thought, that we once again turn to the Spiritual for our NOURISHMENT! 

Thanking the God of Creation for His bounty AFTER consuming it allows us to turn to the matters of the HEART for Adonai!

PRIDE: Ga’own…meaning arrogancy.

“Do not say in your heart, after the LORD your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the LORD has brought me in to possess this land’”.  (Deut. 9:4-5)

 The List of 5 Sins of Israel as recited by Moses:

1)     The Sin of the Golden Calf at the base of Mt. Sinai

2)      Complaining, for lack of meat, just out of Taberah

3)      Complaining, for lack of water at Meribah

4)      The LUSTING for meat at Kivrot

5)      The Sin of the Spies at Kadesh Barnea

“You have been rebellious against the LORD from the day that I knew you.” (Deut. 9:24)

The NEW Tablets of Stone:

The new tablets for the 10 Commands were carved out of solid sapphire plates by Moses’ own hands, as an act of contrition for Israel’s sin with the Golden Calf.

ADONAI’S finger etched the 10 Words upon the sapphire plates which Moses had prepared.

This was accomplished during the month of Elul, during Moses’ second 40-day trek up Mt. Sinai, descending with the new tablets on the New Moon of Elul, the 10th of Tishri, at the END of Yom Kippur when the restoration of Israel was complete, through their SHUV or TURNING FROM SIN AND TURNING TO ADONAI!

YIRAT ADONAI: The Fear of the Lord…

Practicing the presence of the Lord means to believe and live according to this:  “There is an eye that sees and an ear that hears and all our deeds are written in a book”.

We are called to circumcise our hearts;  to remove the thick outer layer of hard-heartedness and no longer remain stubborn or stiff necked.

After a circumcision of the heart, we will delight in doing good and have no desire to do the opposite of what is good, in the eyes of  ADONAI.

Paul stressed that one can be physically circumcised and not have a circumcised HEART!  One can have a circumcised HEART but not be physically circumcised!

His argument, for not insisting Gentile believers must be circumcised!

WHICH CIRCUMCISION IS THE LORD MOST CONCERNED ABOUT IN US?

The SHEMA:  Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is one. (Deut. 6:4)

What is the PARADIGM of Pride and physical Circumcision of the Covenant?  Our prideful heart seeks its own REFLECTION.  Our prideful heart seeks its own WORDS.  Our prideful heart seeks its own COVENANTS, made with gods of cultural acceptance!

The physical circumcision was to REMIND Israel of this:  “You have been set apart for Adonai”. 

This was to remind Israel of the prevailing love of Adonai: HIS reflection, HIS words, and HIS Covenant love for them!

The deeper message in this Paradigm is the essence of Moshe’s admonishments to the Nation of Israel!  The nation must remember their sin and need of Adonai for forgiveness and restoration! 

They must remember, in totality, their Covenant with their Creator, and all they committed to do. “We will accomplish all you have said!” 

And so must WE, Wild Olive Branch!

 

The Haftarah (Old Covenant) Reading:  Is 48: 14-51:3

“The Second Haftarah of Consolation” begins with a cry from Jerusalem:  “The Lord has forsaken me; my Lord has forgotten me.”

Adonai responds to this cry with metaphors of the unconditional love, like a mother for her child, if that should SOMEHOW fail…Adonai’s love for the Jewish people will NEVER fail!

“THE LORD HAS ENGRAVED JERUSALEM UPON HIS PALMS”

A Midrash states that Adonai wears the Tefillin, with promises to Israel inscribed upon them!

The promise of Adonai’s unfailing commitment and love and care for Israel will be fully seen by the world, as His promises are fulfilled in the Millennial Reign of Jesus the Messiah!

“The whole world will know the Lord is the Savior and Redeemer of Israel, the Mighty One of Jacob!”

Adonai responds to the lament of abandonment of Israel with the question:  “Where is the divorce document?”  In other words, where has there been any action by the Lord of a breaking of His Covenant with Israel?

There is such beauty in the prophetic descriptions of Yeshua Ha Mashiach, who gave his back to those who strike, his cheeks to those who pull out the beard; and did not hide his face from disgrace and spitting, but set his face like flint, in order to be the Redeemer of Israel!

Isra’el is reminded of the faithfulness of Adonai, in the lives of Abraham and Sarah, and the realization of a child in Isaac, as promised and fulfilled!  This reminder is to comfort and give hope that the redemption of Israel will be fulfilled, just as Isaac was born as promised!

 

 The Brit Chadashah (Old Covenant) Reading:  Rom 8:31-39, Heb 11: 8-13

The Passage in Romans 8 exhorts the faithfulness of the Lord to keep his promises…

Nothing, including all of hell, all of earth, and all of heaven can separate us from the love of God. 

We, whom HE has named AM SEGULAH or TREASURED PEOPLE, can trust that the Lord will work everything together for our good!

Baruch Ha Shem! 

 

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