PARASHAH SH’MOT STUDY NOTES
(Exodus 1:1-6:1) Week 13
SH’MOT: “Names” The first verse includes the names of the 12 Tribes of Isra’el (sons of Jacob)
YHVH: The tetragrammaton is the distinctive, personal name of the God of Israel.
This Parashah is called SH’MOT or NAMES. The irony of this Parashah, called NAMES in the Book of Exodus, is that Adonai reveals to Moses at Mount Horeb, the NAME by which He will be called, when questioned by Moses, ‘what name for you shall I say to Pharaoh that you are?’ The command by the Lord was to be called YHVH; His personal, identifying name as the God of Isra’el; to be interpreted as ‘The Living God’; ‘The God who BREATHES LIFE! YHVH, in complete opposition to the lifeless, powerless gods of the polytheistic culture of that day.
EGYPT: The Hebrew word is MITZRAIM meaning, House of Bondage. (Slavery, Servitude, Shackle) Ancient Egypt was the Near East, but after the exodus of the new nation of Isra’el from Egypt, Babylon and Assyria, the Northern Kingdoms, enslaved the nation of Isra’el.
EXODUS: Going out or to EXIT.
YADA: Hebrew, meaning “To know intimately.”
GER: Hebrew, meaning “Foreigner or Resident Alien.”
HINEINI: Meaning, “I am here!” Moses’ response to Adonai’s calling of his name.
ADMOT KODESH: “Holy Ground”
ZTARA’AT: A disease of the skin (Hansen’s Disease) contracted as punishment for the sin of Lashon Hara which means verbal slander.
BRIT MILAH: “Circumcision” was the sign of God’s covenant promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, for all time. This covenantal sign among the men of Israel was an integral part of Jewish life, faithfully circumcising all male babies on the 8th day after birth. Brit Milah is the physical manifestation of obedience to the Abrahamic Covenant.
MOSHE: “To Pull Out” Named by the Egyptian Princess of adoption; a name having a double meaning: Moses was pulled out of the reeds, to be saved! Moshe was appointed by YHVH to pull Israel OUT of the bondage of Egypt to be redeemed!
MIRIAM: “Bitter”, referencing “Strong, or to be strengthened”. Miriam was the older sister of Aaron and Moshe. She was a strong leader and prophetess of the Nation of Israel.
AARON: Comes from the Hebrew word OR meaning to give light. This light pertains specifically to the light from God. The name Aaron could translate like this: “To give the bright light of God”. “YEHI’OR” from Genesis 1, meaning, “Let there be LIGHT!”
CONSIDER: Egypt is depicted in the Torah as: A place of refuge as well as a place of bondage. This is a contradiction of great proportions, but what ties these two interpretations together is that Egypt was depicted as: A place to depart from or as a ‘temporary state of residency.‘ As a resident alien of the nation, Egypt was a place of bondage to cross over, then out of, to the other side, meaning the side of the Kingdom of God…out of the Kingdom of the World System and into God’s Divine Kingdom of LIGHT.
Hebrews who fled TO EGYPT:
*Abraham and Sarah, during the famine…
*Joseph fled his brothers by being sold by them, into Egyptian slavery…
*Jacob and his sons fled to Egypt to escape a world-wide famine, and became reunited with Joseph…
*Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt in obedience to the Angel’s message, to escape King Herod’s decree to kill all the first-born sons of Israel…
*Joseph died at age 110 in Egypt, and was buried there with the future commitment by the leaders of Isra’el to take his bones into the Promised Land, not leaving his bones in Egypt. Prophetic hope in God’s Covenant promise! All the brothers of Joseph died in Egypt, after him.
*We enter the Book of Exodus after the twelve tribal leaders of Israel are deceased. The Tribes of Israel were prolific and blessed in every way from Adonai. But now under a new Pharaoh who rejects the wise Hebrew standards Joseph had instilled into the governance of Egypt, the Nation of Egypt and their King face judgement.
*Egypt was historically referred to as A Place of Wisdom which proved to be a false wisdom in the Pharaoh of Moses’ time. This new ruler did not “YADA” or KNOW Joseph’s influence upon the historical Egyptian culture. The Hebraic meaning of the word to know, or YADA alludes to the fact that this new Pharaoh was not intimately knowledgeable of Joseph’s wise leadership and influence upon the Pharaoh of Egypt during Joseph’s rise to power. The Pharaoh of Moses’ rise to the role of Deliverer rejects Adonai, and the former influences of Joseph upon his Nation’s history.
*Parashah Sh’mot is ripe with irony! I like to refer to ironies of these proportions as: The Delicious ironies of the Lord. Adonai sees mankind from the inside, out. Adonai is not affected by any physical boundary in His creation. Adonai is not affected by the failures of men, even those whom He appointed to serve in a Kingdom way, or those whom He has appointed as historical Oppressors like Pharaoh, in order for His glory to be made manifest in a dark time in history.
Delicious Ironies to be considered:
- It is ironic that Pharaoh, who claimed to be divine, was simply barbaric at heart! Due to his fear of God’s favor over the Hebrew nation, he chose domination, oppression, intimidation and abuse to control the favor of Adonai over them, and crush their prosperity. Moses’ Pharaoh was the antithesis of Joseph’s Pharaoh, who “rested” in the favor of God over Joseph’s role as Viceroy of Egypt. He placed his entire kingdom under Joseph’s leadership with a Shalom that passed all human understanding.
- Despite Pharaoh’s cruel and abusive regime, the Hebrew nation continued to prosper and grow! Adonai’s favor does not depend on any human circumstance. Be of good courage for there is always HOPE for the children of God!
- Jochebed, (mother of Moses) builds Moses an Ark-of-Life in order to save him from the murderous Pharaoh, which she hides in the river rushes so she might return to it. It is in this plan that seven-year-old sister Miriam faithfully stands to wait and see what would become of her baby brother.
- The story takes on a supernatural twist as Miriam STANDS in her FAITH, and heavenly ironies take up the needle and thread and puncture this historical setting!
- The Egyptian Princess agrees with Miriam’s offer to find a Hebrew wet nurse for the newly adopted infant son. Miriam plans all along to take her baby brother back to their mother’s waiting arms, to be fed and cared for. The Princess then promises to pay a Hebrew wet nurse for all services for her new adopted baby son. This truly was the delicious irony of the Lord!
- Moses was named Moshe by his newly adopted Egyptian mother. His name reflects exactly what he was destined to accomplish by Adonai! Moses was to pull the Hebrew nation OUT of Egypt (Bondage) just as he was pulled OUT of the Nile by his Egyptian mother.
- Moses is nurtured and raised by his biological, Hebrew Mother, until he is of age to become part of the Egyptian court. Only then is he returned to his adoptive Egyptian mother.
- Moses outwardly looks like an Egyptian, but inwardly, has a Hebrew heart for his Hebrew kinsmen and defends the abused, by murdering the abuser. He must flee Egypt because of his retribution!
- Moses fled to Midian as a fugitive, where he was adopted by Jethro, a Midian Priest, and later marries Jethro’s daughter, Tzipporah. They had two sons. Moses spends 40 years perfecting his new identity as a Shepherd! (MORE IRONY: ‘Shepherd’…the most loathed profession to an Egyptian!)
- The ensuing 40 years of service under the mentorship of Jethro, while learning the lessons from his skill as a shepherd proved Moses was ready to be propelled into his destiny by Adonai! He would LEAD the people like a SHEPHERD, out of bondage!
- The burning bush that was not consumed is a lesson in heavenly irony. When God is at work, the results of what He accomplishes will be supernatural; nothing like the results from an earthly, common side of life. When there is HOLY FIRE, the results will project SUPERNATURAL LIGHT, LIFE, and UNITY!
- Horeb means desolate. The Angel of the Lord, always the incarnate Jesus, appears in the form of the burning bush that was not consumed, and speaks to Moses. REMEMBER, out of the most desolate of locations, the Lord may appear! His glory is undeniable and more visible against the backdrop of desolation and hopelessness!
- Moses was a reluctant leader who was given the supernatural tools from Adonai to bolster his lack of faith in himself, and in God. His big brother Aaron would be the appointed spokesperson to Pharaoh and the Israelites, yet Moses appears as an extension of Adonai to Aaron. Aaron will not question Moshe, but will be his mouthpiece.
- Aaron will become the first High Priest…Kohen Gadol, instead of Moses. Aaron’s unwavering obedience and humility were the right combination for this High Priestly assignment.
- Moses’ estimation of the success of the mission to SAVE the nation of Israel from the bondage of Egypt was the opposite of what Adonai saw! Where Moses saw his own personal failures, Adonai saw opportunity to show His Glory! Life is full of supernatural irony when we obediently follow every step laid out before us by the Lord. Only God can see the beginning from the end of all things!
HAFTARAH (Old Covenant) READING: Isaiah 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23
The prophet Isaiah refers to the Alcharit Hayamim or End of Days; “Jacob shall take root (the Tribes of Israel) and Israel shall blossom and put forth shoots (the grafting in of Messianic believers of all nations) and fill the whole world with fruit.” Baruch Hashem!
The sound of the Shofar will be a call of alarm to they who were dispersed in the land of Egypt, (held in bondage and sin) and they shall worship the Lord on the holy mountain in Jerusalem. (Paraphrase of Isaiah 27:13)
But there will be judgement, before the Millennial reign of the Messiah begins, upon Ephraim and Jerusalem; judgement upon those who are drunk with the pride of their own flesh.
BRIT CHADASHAH (New Covenant) READING: Acts 7: 17-35; I Corinthians 14:18-25
In Acts, Stephen’s exacting account of the events of this week’s Parashah validate the words in Torah, along with Moses’ prophecy of the coming of the Messiah as ‘A prophet like unto me.’
“This is the man who was in the assembly in the wilderness, accompanied by the angel that had spoken to him at Mount Sinai and by our fathers, the man who was given living words to pass on to us.”
The verses in I Corinthians clarify that the gift of tongues is for non-believers, so there is understanding for all languages, and that the gift of prophecy is for believers who seek Adonai in spirit and truth.
“By other tongues, by the lips of foreigners I will speak to this people. But even then, they will not listen to me; says Adonai”
“Thus, tongues are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. So, if the whole congregation comes together with everybody speaking in tongues, and uninstructed people or unbelievers come in, won’t they say you’re crazy? But if you prophecy and some unbeliever or uninstructed person enters, he is convicted of sin by all, he is brought under judgement by all, and the secrets of his heart are laid bare; so he falls on his face and worships God, saying, “God is really here among you!”
SEEK, FIND, SHARE!