In today's reading YHWH prophetically declares the borders of Israel! As the Book of Numbers nears the end, we find YHWH's people anxiously waiting on the east side of the Yarden (Jordan) as they prepare to leave the Wilderness to enter the Land that he promised their forefathers many years before.
The beginning of this parashah, Numbers 33, is a recap, a summarization of the last 40 years before YHWH's people finally get to possess the Land of Israel! Today, we get to see Moshe taking the opportunity to recount each significant encampment their long and arduous journey toward the Promised Land.
This summarization must have been important to YHWH, who had His people move camps a total of 42 times (starting the count when they left Sukkot, Numbers 33:5, to when they reached the plains of Mo'av across from Yericho, Numbers 33:48). And, by the way, nothing in the Torah is mentioned in vain, and therefore we must pay special attention to those things that are mentioned more than once....
An interesting note: The 42 stations in the Exodus may have deeper meaning. 42 is six times seven. Seven is one of the "perfect" numbers, signifying fullness and perfection, especially spiritual perfection. However, six is the number of man. 42 is the total of the knobs, flowers, and branches in the Menorah. In the Geneology of Yeshua in Matthew, it lists 42 names to Yeshua. 42 is the number of months in 3 1/2 years. So 42 seems to be associated with YHWH's Divine plan.
An important detail to grasp in these particular parashahs is that YHWH gave the Land to the Israelites (the offspring of Isaac); not to the Arabs (the offspring of Ishmael who ultimately became the enemy of YHWH: Muslims)! Watch how YHWH tells His people to not only kill or drive out the people living in the Land, but also their idols and "high places" (places of worship), lest they become infected with false gods. He did not do this because He was a mean God; He did it because (1) He intended for HIS people to inhabit the Land; and (2) He did not want them to fall prey to pagan ways:
Numbers 33: 50 ADONAI spoke to Moshe in the plains of Mo'av by the Yarden, across from Yericho. He said 51 to tell the people of Isra'el, "When you cross the Yarden into the land of Kena'an, 52 you are to expel all the people living in the land from in front of you. Destroy all their stone figures, destroy all their metal statues and demolish all their high places. 53 Drive out the inhabitants of the land, and live in it, for I have given the land to you to possess.
Quick question: Is there anything in your home, heart, or life that offends YHWH? If so, please be honest with yourself and make the attempt to rid yourself of anything that needs to be changed, destroyed or removed. Y'shua said He would spit/vomit out all those who were "lukewarm" toward Him (Revelation 3:16). If we know something is not quite right in our lives, we must get rid of it and conform our life to His will because, if we don't, whom are we really serving?
Numbers 33:54 You will inherit the land by lot according to your families. You are to give more land to the larger families and less to the smaller ones. Wherever the lot falls to any particular person, that will be his property. You will inherit according to the tribes of your ancestors. 55 But if you don't drive out the inhabitants of the land from in front of you, then those you allow to remain will become like thorns in your eyes and stings in your sides - they will harass you in the land where you are living. 56 And in this event, I will do to you what I intended to do to them."
Numbers 34 reveals the birth of Israel: YHWH's "forever" promise to the Israelites concerning the Land, and instructions as to how to KEEP their inheritance:
Numbers 34: 1 ADONAI told Moshe 2 to give this order to the people of Isra'el: "When you enter the land of Kena'an, it will become your land to pass on as an inheritance, the land of Kena'an as defined by these borders. 3 "Your southern portion will extend from the Tzin Desert close to the border of Edom. The eastern terminus of your southern border is at the end of the Dead Sea. 4 From there your border turns, goes south of the 'Akrabbim Ascent and passes on to Tzin. From there it goes south of Kadesh-Barnea, on to Hatzar-Adar, and on to 'Atzmon. 5 Then the border turns and goes from 'Atzmon to the Vadi of Egypt and along it to the Sea. 6 "Your western border will be the Great Sea. 7 "Your northern border will be as follows: from the Great Sea mark a line to Mount Hor, 8 and from Mount Hor mark a line to the entrance of Hamat. The border goes out to Tz'dad. 9 Then the border goes to Zifron and finally to Hatzar-'Einan; this is your northern border.
10 "For the eastern border mark your line from Hatzar-'Enan to Sh'fam. 11 Then the border goes down from Sh'fam to Rivlah, on the east side of 'Ayin, then down until it hits the slope east of Lake Kinneret. 12 From there it goes down the Yarden River till it flows into the Dead Sea. These will be the borders of your land." 13 Moshe gave this order to the people of Isra'el: "This is the land in which you will receive inheritances by lot, which ADONAI has ordered to give to the nine tribes and the half-tribe. 14 The tribe of the descendants of Re'uven have already received their land for inheritance according to their clans, and so have the descendants of Gad and the half-tribe of M'nasheh. 15 These two-and-a-half tribes have received their inheritance on this side of the Yarden, across from Yericho and eastward, toward the sunrise." 16 ADONAI said to Moshe, 17 "These are the names of the men who will take possession of the land for you: El'azar the cohen and Y'hoshua the son of Nun.
18 Also appoint one leader from each tribe to take possession of the land. 19 The names of these men are: from the tribe of Y'hudah, Kalev the son of Y'funeh; 20 from the tribe of the descendants of Shim'on, Sh'mu'el the son of 'Ammihud; 21 from the tribe of Binyamin, Elidad the son of Kislon; 22 from the tribe of the descendants of Dan, a leader, Buki the son of Yogli; 23 from the descendants of Yosef: from the tribe of the descendants of M'nasheh, a leader, Hani'el the son of Efod; 24 from the tribe of the descendants of Efrayim, a leader, K'mu'el the son of Shiftan; 25 from the tribe of the descendants of Z'vulun, a leader, Elitzafan the son of Parnakh; 26 from the tribe of the descendants of Yissakhar, a leader, Palti'el the son of 'Azan; 27 from the tribe of the descendants of Asher, a leader, Achihud the son of Shlomi; 28 from the tribe of the descendants of Naftali, a leader, P'dah'el the son of 'Ammihud." 29 These are the ones whom ADONAI ordered to divide the inheritance among the people of Isra'el in the land of Kena'an.
As you know, it seems EVERYBODY wants a piece of Israel these days. The thing is, YHWH gave it to the Israelites and NOBODY else has a right to it, nor does anyone have the right to help "divide" Israel! Not the Muslims, not Torah-less people of any self-serving country or from any walk of life; only YHWH's Torah observant believers including the foreigners who joined them in the Exodus from Egypt and accepted the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob! YHWH obviously loves the Land and His people among whom He lives!
Numbers 35: 34 No, you are not to defile the land in which you live and in which I live; for I, ADONAI, live among the people of Isra'el.'"
Since we've come to the end of another Book of the Torah, we say: Hazak, hazak, v'nit'chazek! (Be strong, be strong and let us be strengthened!)
This Haftara portion is absolutely gut-wrenching in that we see YHWH almost pleading with His people to stop the nonsense and turn to Him, because He is their God who has always had their best interests at heart.
Jeremiah 2: 4 Hear the word of ADONAI, house of Ya'akov and all families in the house of Isra'el; 5 here is what ADONAI says: "What did your ancestors find wrong with me to make them go so far away from me, to make them go after nothings and become themselves nothings? 6 They didn't ask, 'Where is ADONAI, who brought us out of the land of Egypt, who led us through the desert, through a land of wastes and ravines, through a land of drought and death-dark shadows, through a land where no one travels and where no one ever lived?' 7 I brought you into a fertile land to enjoy its fruit and all its good things; but when you entered, you defiled my land and made my heritage loathsome.
8 The cohanim didn't ask, 'Where is ADONAI?' Those who deal with the Torah did not know me, the people's shepherds rebelled against me; the prophets prophesied by Ba'al and went after things of no value. 9 "So again I state my case against you," says ADONAI, "and state it against your grandchildren too. 10 Cross to the coasts of the Kitti'im and look; send to Kedar and observe closely; see if anything like this has happened before: 11 has a nation ever exchanged its gods (and theirs are not gods at all!)? Yet my people have exchanged their Glory for something without value. 12 Be aghast at this, you heavens! Shudder in absolute horror!" says ADONAI.
13 "For my people have committed two evils: they have abandoned me, the fountain of living water, and dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water! 14 "Is Isra'el a slave, born into serfdom? If not, why has he become plunder? 15 The young lions are roaring at him - how loudly they are roaring! They desolate his country, demolishing and depopulating his cities. 16 The people of Nof and Tachpanches feed on the crown of your head. 17 "Haven't you brought this on yourself by abandoning ADONAI your God when he led you along the way? 18 If you go to Egypt, what's in it for you? Drinking water from the Nile? If you go to Ashur, what's in it for you? Drinking water from the [Euphrates] River?
19 Your own wickedness will correct you, your own backslidings will convict you; you will know and see how bad and bitter it was to abandon ADONAI your God, and how fear of me is not in you," says Adonai ELOHIM-Tzva'ot. 20 "For long ago I broke your yoke; when I snapped your chains, you said, 'I won't sin.' Yet on every high hill, under every green tree, you sprawled and prostituted yourself. 21 But I planted you as a choice vine of seed fully tested and true. How did you degenerate into a wild vine for me? 22 Even if you scrub yourself with soda and plenty of soap, the stain of your guilt is still there before me," says Adonai ELOHIM. 23 "How can you say, 'I am not defiled, I have not pursued the ba'alim'? Look at your conduct in the valley, understand what you have done. You are a restive young female camel, running here and there, 24 wild, accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her lust - who can control her when she's in heat? Males seeking her need not weary themselves, for at mating season they will find her.
25 "Stop before your shoes wear out, and your throat is dry from thirst! But you say, 'No, it's hopeless! I love these strangers, and I'm going after them.' 26 Just as a thief is ashamed when caught, so is the house of Isra'el ashamed - they, their kings, their leaders, their cohanim and their prophets, 27 who say to a log, 'You are my father,' and to a stone, 'You gave us birth.' For they have turned their backs to me instead of their faces. But when trouble comes, they will plead, 'Rouse yourself and save us!' 28 Where are your gods that you made for yourselves? Let them rouse themselves, if they can save you when trouble comes. Y'hudah, you have as many gods as you have cities!
Brit Chadasha portion:
There was a really powerful message in today's Brit Chadasha portion in which we see another stern warning that YHWH's people must stay on track and stop straying because the enemy is out there constantly, ready to strike at a moment's notice. Throughout the ages, we have over and over again seen YHWH warning His people to humble themselves before YHWH, to remain clean in thought and deed:
James 4: 1. From where is it, that there are among you arguments and conflicts? Is it not from the lusts which war in your members? 2. You covet but do not possess; and you kill and envy, and effect nothing: and you fight and make attacks; and you do not have, because you do not ask. 3. You ask, and do not receive because you ask wickedly, that you may feed your lusts. 4. You adulterers, don't you know that the love of the world is hatred towards Elohim? He therefore who chooses to be a lover of this world is the enemy of Elohim. 5. Or do you think that the Scripture has vainly said: The spirit dwelling in us lusts with envy?
6. But our Master (Y'shua) has given us more grace. Therefore he said: Master YHWH brings low the arrogant, and gives grace to the humble. 7. Subject yourselves therefore to Elohim; and stand firm against the Accuser and he will flee from you. 8. Draw near to Elohim and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners: sanctify your hearts, you who are divided in mind. 9. Humble yourselves and mourn: let your laughter be turned into mourning, and your joy into grief. 10. Humble yourselves before Master YHWH and He will exalt you. 11. Speak not against each other, my Brothers; for he that speaks against his brother, or judges his brother speaks against Torah and judges Torah. And if you judge Torah, you are not a doer of Torah, but its judge. 12. There is one Torah-giver and Judge who can make alive and (can) destroy: but who are you that you judge your neighbor?
 Torah is our judge! If you add your own judgments to those already established in the Torah of YHWH, then you have judged Torah as insufficient, and are not allowing it to be your judge.
 One Torah Giver who gives One Torah. The halacha (way to observe Torah) is revealed by the Ruach haKodesh, and demonstrated in Mashiyach. The concept of "two torahs" one oral and one written is the basis of authority on which the Rabbinate operates. "The Rabbis" wrote their own "oral Torah" and give themselves the authority to interpret it; unfortunately, their oral Torah often speaks against both the Written Torah and haMashiyach. On the other hand, Christian theologians have made up their own "New Testament" based on their own non-Torah cultural value systems which makes void Torah and diminishes the true goal of Mashiyach.