Ekev (Weekly Portion) Deuteronomy 7:12 to 11:25 (26 July, 2013, Av 19, 5773)
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Duration: 27.41 minutes
The Book of Deuteronomy tells us that if we do good we shall be rewarded and if we act badly then bad things may happen to us. This message is especially pertinent to the Descendants of Israel both from Judah (the Jews) and from Joseph and the Ten Tribes.
The portion this week is Ekev meaning "as a result of" translated in the KJ here as "IT SHALL COME TO PASS". The word "ekev" may also be translated "as a consequence of".
The portion extends from Deuteronomy 7:12 to 11:25
Ekev: Obligations and Potentialities Deuteronomy 7:12 to 11:25
on some points additional details may be available from the above link.
12 Then it shall come to pass, because you listen to these judgments, and keep and do them, that the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers.
This verse may alternately be rendered as:
# AS a consequence of your listening to these judgments, and keeping and doing them, the Lord your God will keep with you the covenant and the mercy which He swore to your fathers. #
There is a double message here.
If you go in the right path God will reward you.
In many cases the reward is an in-built functional outcome of the life-style and mode of thought uncalculated through living according to Scripture.
Here Keeping the Covenant refers to that aspect of the Promised Blessings that was contingent on keeping the Commandments as a result of which they would dwell in the Land. After the Ten Tribes were exiled they were re-defined in a religious sense as "gentiles for all intents and purposes" and henceforth no longer bound by the Law. The Covenant and its conditions no longer applied to them but in the future it will.
13 And He will love you and bless you and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your land, your grain and your new wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flock, in the land of which He swore to your fathers to give you.
Keep the Torah in the land of Israel and a blessing will come unto you.
14 You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be a male or female barren among you or among your livestock.
15 And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you.
The enemies of the Covenant People will be stricken by horrible diseases.
We take this opportunity here to call on all "Israelite" nations in which the Lost Ten Tribes are prominent. Do not be like the Gentiles. Do not hate and persecute and condemn Judah as they do.
Look at them.
Do you want to be like the heathen?
Muslims who behead women for getting themselves raped?
Make your choice.
Chose the God of Israel.
Be loyal to the Jewish People and support the State of Israel.
Also regarding the Torah:
It is true that at present you are not obliged by the Torah but in the future you will be and now you have some obligation to begin to find your way back. This is implied in the Prophets.
16 Also you shall destroy all the peoples whom the Lord your God delivers over to you; your eye shall have no pity on them; nor shall you serve their gods, for that will be a snare to you.
When we are dealing with our enemies we should remember that is what they are.
The Muslims and third world peoples are quite capable of eating you all alive. Have mercy on your own kind and if you have to defend yourselves do so without compunctions.
We are too soft, all of us.
Tolerance of homosexuals, Muslims, and enemies of the Israelite Nations and Israelite Values is a mistake.
17 If you should say in your heart, These nations are greater than I; how can I dispossess them?
Do not be afraid of homosexuals and other evil people. God will help you overcome adversity.
When the Israelites were coming into the Land they were commanded to dispossess the peoples who were already there. So too in our time we are obligated to transfer the Palestinians out of the Holy Land.
18 you shall not be afraid of them, but you shall remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt:
We should not fear the Palestinians despite the fact that all the Arab nations as well as nearly all Africa and Asia and most of Europe support them.
19 the great trials which your eyes saw, the signs and the wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm, by which the Lord your God brought you out. So shall the Lord your God do to all the peoples of whom you are afraid.
20 Moreover the Lord your God will send the hornet among them until those who are left, who hide themselves from you, are destroyed.
HORNET in Hebrew is Tzirah.
Iben Ezra says: Tsirah -sickness of the body from the root Tsaarat (translated as leprosy).
cf. Exodus 23:28 And I will send the hornet before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you.
Iben Ezra on Exodus 23:28. And I will send the hornet [Hebrew: ha-Tsiraah] before you. An affliction of the body. From the root "tsaarat" [leprosy], the shall weaken physical strength. Out of the seven nations [of Canaanite that had to be defeated] only three are mentioned here but the same principle applies to them all. It is also possible that this affliction was to be more virulent against the three who were mentioned than it was for the others.
Cf. God send a "tsirah" (translated as "wasp" but actually connoting "sickness") before them,
12 I sent the hornet before you which drove them out from before you, also the two kings of the Amorites, but not with your sword or with your bow.
It may be that the hornet ["ha-tsiraah"] in this case was some kind of insect that spread disease.
When the British-descended peoples entered North America and Australia the local natives who opposed them were decimated by diseases such as the common cold for which the Europeans had already acquired a relative immunity.
This is partially described and discussed in the work,
Ecological Imperialism. The Biological Expansion of Europe, 900-1900, by Alfred W. Crosby, New Edition, 2004, USA.
21 You shall not be terrified of them; for the Lord your God, the great and awesome God, is among you. 22 And the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you little by little; you will be unable to destroy them at once, lest the beasts of the field become too numerous for you.
The Arab-Palestinians will eventually have to leave the Land of Israel and surrounding regions. In the meantime they have built modern cities and infrastructure that Israelites will benefit from after them.
23 But the Lord your God will deliver them over to you, and will inflict defeat upon them until they are destroyed. 24 And He will deliver their kings into your hand, and you will destroy their name from under heaven; no one shall be able to stand against you until you have destroyed them.
25 You shall burn the carved images of their gods with fire; you shall not covet the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it for yourselves, lest you be snared by it; for it is an abomination to the Lord your God.
Nazi paraphernalia, mementoes, etc are sold for moderately high prices. They also serve to maintain an interest in Nazi ideology and adherence to it.
26 Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing.
Pornography etc is considered by some in some situations to have possible therapeutic value. We doubt this. Our impression is that it causes harm and should be destroyed.
1 Every commandment which I command you today you must be careful to observe, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers.
Living in the Land of Israel is the End Purpose in many respects of the whole Torah.
The Israelites are told they are being brought into a good and fertile land. It is also blessed with mineral resources.
9 a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing; a land whose stones are iron and out of whose hills you can dig copper.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. The word translated here as Brass in Hebrew is "nechoshet" meaning copper or in some contexts bronze which is an alloy of copper and tin.
Iron is found in Kurdistan in the border regions of Syria and in what is now Turkey and Iron was in the past was also found in Lebanon.
Copper is found in the south of Israel near Eilat.
As well as in Cyrpus. Our word in English "copper" comes from Cyprus.
Cyprus is also part of the Promised Land of Israel.
Most copper in the ancient world however probably came from Wales and most of its tin from Cornwall just to the south of Wales. The Phoenicians traded in these commodities. Tin and copper were essential for the manfucature of bronze.
Gold is found in Western Anatolia (Lydia in Turkey).
The State of Israel within its present borders has:
Small quantities of crude oil and hitherto exploited natural gas. The above-mentioned recently discovered gas deposits comprise some of the largest in the world but have yet to be harvested.
In Biblical times the primary metal in use was bronze which was an alloy of copper and tin. The region of the Jordan Valley was a major internationally important center for the processing of bronze. At least some of the tin and copper employed came from Britain but other sources may also have existed. Possibilities for alternate sources of tin include Afghanistan. Some tin was once available in Turkey but had already been worked out before the Biblical period.
10 When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you.
Religious Jews say a very short blessing before eating and a long one after eating a substantial meal. They learn this practice from the above verse where the commandment to bless the Almighty comes after have eaten and been satisfied. The Land of Israel is recalled in this blessing and hold a central place in all Jewish worship.
s.2 Deuteronomy 8:11-9:3
The Israelites are warned that when they will be given prosperity they may be tempted not to keep the commandments and to forget the Almighty.
17 then you say in your heart, My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.
People who are well off , healthy, and wealthy etc are more liable to be lead astray by temptation. Many of us unfortunately know this from our own life experiences. We are warned to fear God at all times, to take nothing for granted, to be thankful for what we have and realize that it can all be taken away from us. If we sin this is what may well happen. It does not happen every time and not to everyone, or so it would seem. This is deceptive. All good deeds are rewarded and all sin punished. We are just not always aware of the how and why and the relative balances and checks that come into play.
18 And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.
WEALTH. In Hebrew Hail (or "chayil").
"Chayil" which may also be transcribed as "hail" for example as pronounced in Yemenite and Eastern Hebrew. This word "hail" in Hebrew means "strength" and it also can mean "soldier". The English word "hale" was also once written as "hail" and connotes "strength" as in the expression "Hale and hearty". In addition in Old English this very same word "hale" or "hail" could too mean "soldier". We thus find the same word pronounced almost the very same way having the very same TWO meanings in both Hebrew and Old English.
This word may be also understood to mean "the ability to do things".
God vies us the ability to do, to work, and to fulfill our potentialities.
19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.
1 Hear, O Israel: You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, 2 a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, Who can stand before the descendants of Anak? 3 Therefore understand today that the Lord your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the Lord has said to you.
s.3 Deuteronomy 9:4-29
4 When the Lord your God thrusts them out before you, do not say to yourself, It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to occupy this land; it is rather because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you.
The peoples the Israelites were driving out were wicked nations.
So too the Amerindians and Aborigines of Australia were not always the most moral of beings. There is tendency to romanticize these "noble savages" but on the whole they were worse than the Anglos who replaced them. What was done to them they would have done to others if they could have and in some cases had already done so. The Maoris in New Zealand came from Polynesia and had completely exterminated another race (the Mori) who had been there before them.
5 It is not because of your righteousness or the uprightness of your heart that you are going in to occupy their land; but because of the wickedness of those nations that the Lord your God is dispossessing them before you, in order to fulfil the promise that the Lord made on oath to your ancestors, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.
God made a Promise to our forefathers. The Almighty has a kind of obligation towards us because of our Israelite ancestors. If we are not worthy this obligation may not be fulfilled in our lifetime but eventually it will be. There is a chance for our descendants.
The Israelites are warned not to worship false gods and reminded of their past sins. After the sin of the gfolden bu;ll-calf God wanted to destroy the whole nation but Moses intervened on their behalf.
Moses recalls how he had smashed the first two tablets of the Ten Commandments. God told him to carve new ones and God wrote once more the commandments upon them.
All the Biblical Laws were encompassed in the Ten Commandments.
One of the commandments was You Shall Not Steal.
This commandment was more precisely applied to the prohibition of kidnapping another Israelite and forcing them to do work against their will.
The principle was also applicable against theft in general.
As a moral exhortation we may also learn from this not to talk rudely to people and not to order them about when they have no obligation towards us. If one is an instructor or employer then that is different but even then in most cases it should be done with sensitivity and consideration.
It is recalled how Aaron died and his son Eleazar succeeded him as High Priest of the Israelite Tribes (10:6).
12 So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13and to keep the commandments of the Lord your God* and his decrees that I am commanding you today, for your own well-being. 14Although heaven and the heaven of heavens belong to the Lord your God, the earth with all that is in it, 15yet the Lord set his heart in love on your ancestors alone and chose you, their descendants after them, out of all the peoples, as it is today. 16 Circumcise, then, the foreskin of your heart, and do not be stubborn any longer. 17For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who is not partial and takes no bribe,
18 who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and who loves the strangers, providing them with food and clothing.
19 You shall also love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Here means the resident alien. Foreigners who come to live amongst us and who respect our laws and values and who wish to identify with us should be respected.
A lot of us at some stage in our lives have suffered. There may have been periods during our school days, or work places, or in any one of other circumstances. This suffering may have taken the form of social isolation or deprivation, marriage difficulties, problems with children, financial stress, economic crises and emotional traumas, etc.
We need to take those experiences we went through and apply them to helping others, to have empathy with others.
20 You shall fear the Lord your God; him alone you shall worship; to him you shall hold fast, and by his name you shall swear. 21 He is your praise; he is your God, who has done for you these great and awesome things that your own eyes have seen. 22 Your ancestors went down to Egypt seventy persons; and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in heaven.
Remember the Israelites were 12 Tribes divided into different clans, altogether 70 divisions. All present-day descendants of Israelites belong to one of these divisions.
See our book, "The Tribes".
We are told to keep the commandments as a result of which we shall be strong, live a long life, possess the Land of our inheritance, and be prosperous.
8 Keep, then, this entire commandment that I am commanding you today, so that you may have strength to go in and occupy the land that you are crossing over to occupy, 9and so that you may live long in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.
The Land of Israel is special. It is a Land where Divine Providence is always apparent.
12 a land that the Lord your God looks after. The eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
The Divine Presence is present everywhere wherever we may be. Nevertheless in the Land of Israel the Divine Presence i.e. Divine Providence (God watching over us) is much more apparent and real than it is elsewhere.
We should be faithful to God for the sake of our children and descendants. God will give us the Land of Israel and numerous other lands for a possession.
22 If you will diligently observe this entire commandment that I am commanding you, loving the Lord your God, walking in all his ways, and holding fast to him,
23 then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and mightier than yourselves.
24 Every place on which you set foot shall be yours; your territory shall extend from the wilderness to the Lebanon and from the River, the river Euphrates, to the Western Sea.
These are the borders of the Promised Land: From the Nile to the Euphrates including parts of what are now Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and Iraq and encompassing all of Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Judah, Samaria, and the present State of Israel.
25 No one will be able to stand against you; the Lord your God will put the fear and dread of you on all the land on which you set foot, as he promised you.
God will give us land and wealth and also spiritual instincts, and natural intelligence along with heroic vigor so that we may be able to defeat our enemies and conquer the regions promised to us.
Haftara - - Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 49:14-51:3
The Isles are called upon to listen to God (49:1). Israel is the servant of God (49:3). Israel will raise up the Tribes of Jacob and restore the preserved of Israel, to be an enlightening influence on the Gentiles unto the geographical extremities of the earth (49:6). God calls to the Jews who were despised ands say HE will save them (49:7). The Ten Tribes will be made into a Brit-Am or covenant of peoples. They will settle and civilize wasted heritages (49:8) and free the prisoners while converging together along their paths of migration (49:9).
Judah will be consoled (49:13-16). Much of the troubles of Judah were cause by her own wayward sons (49:17). Judah will be compensated greatly (49:18-20).
When the Lost Ten Tribes return Judah will be reticent about receiving them. The Jews will ask where were all those now identified as Israel when the Jews needed help and were alone? According to the Midrash (Pesikta Rabati 32;10) this reaction of the Jews will indeed take place WHEN THEY SEE THE THREE EXILES OF THE LOST TEN TRIBES RETURNING! (49:21). Judah will be elevated and her former oppressors will come bowing down to her (49:22-26).
Judah has not been disowned. Judah was not divorced and is still obligated by the Law. Jeremiah spoke of the Lost Ten Tribes being divorced (Jeremiah 3:8). Even so in the Last Days God will say that HE never really divorced either Judah or Israel. They shall always belong to the Almighty and each in their own way had their task to fulfil (50:1). In the same way that God punishes or afflicts so too can He bestow blessings. Do good and ultimately good will come unto you some how or other. The good will come in the form you yourself would prefer if you knew all the options and were aware of all your culpableness (50:2).