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Who is the "Perfect ROCK?" (Deut 32:1-52)

PARASHAH: “HaAzinu” (give ear)

DEUT 32:1-52…………2 SAM 22:1-51………JOHN 20:1-31

Before going into this study, I would like to go back to chapter 30:15; “See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil in that I command you this day to love YHVH thy God to walk in his ways and to keep his commandments…”

It is very interesting to see how Moshe words this. We are used to hearing and reading the words “life and death” associated together, and “good and evil” associated together. We see these word comparisons because they are opposites, yet here we see the words “life and good” associated together, as well as “death and evil” associated together. Is there perhaps a connection?

Perhaps the answer is in that “doing good deeds, “mitzvoth” will produce a prosperous life, a life which is blessed by Adonai be it a short life or a long life. We can also see that living a life doing evil deeds, will produce death, perhaps death very soon. It can also bring spiritual death as well as physical if the person does not repent and turn to Yeshua.

That is why Moshe commands us to “Love” Adonai and walk in his ways and keep his commandments. In this way, we are certain to live a life of meaning and reap the rewards when we appear before the judgment seat of Messiah. Again, keeping the commandments does not bring salvation, salvation is a separate issue based on our faith in our risen Messiah.

“Give ear!” I am sure that we don’t hear that expression very often today, but in the times of Yeshua, it was like saying today; “Yo, listen up dudes!” “Will ya listen t’me already?” or “Hey, listen, I have something important to say!”

This is Moshe’s last speech, and he wants all of Israel to pay attention, He is looking into the future, and sadly, he sees the nation of Israel in apostasy, going against the commandments of YHVH, going after strange gods and heading to corruption. He calls all of Heaven and earth as witnesses. We can be assured that the angels of heaven heard this speech, and “His” people who were on earth also heard, they were right there.

“I will proclaim the name YHVH, and the greatness of Eloheinu” Here Moshe mentions two of the many names of God, the most holy, “Yod Hey Vav Hey” When we look at these letters from the ancient Hebraic aspect we get “behold the hand, behold the nail” this takes us directly to Calvary and imagine Mashiach hanging there by the nails in his hands (wrists). The name “Eloheinu” is the “behold the God who leads (us) and connects (us) to life through his hands” when we go to the ancient Hebraic symbolism of the letters.

“The ROCK, His work is perfect! Here is another name of God, “The ROCK” (HaTzur) from the letter “Tz” which symbolizes “Tzadik” (one who is righteous) and the word “Perfect” (Tamim) from “Tamei” which is “clean and pure” we have heard of God being called the “Rock of Ages” the “Solid Rock” When I went to Liberty University, we had a visiting preacher named B.R. Lakin, who once said; "I may not know much about the age of the rocks, but I do know the ROCK of ages!" (nice saying. The age of the rocks? maybe 7,000 years old, but not much older)

Moshe is saying all of this through the Holy Spirit so that the people can understand that THEY are the problem, not God. In all this song (Shir) he lets Israel know that they will be “doing wrong” and “have been wrong” Moshe is like a father speaking to his children to change their ways, or curses will follow.

It is very interesting the way verse 5 is written. In the original Hebrew, the word “No” is written twice! It is spelled differently both times. In the modern and also ancient Hebrew, the word “No” (Lo) is written with two Hebrew letters, the “Lamed” (L) and “aleph” (silent letter) yet there is a vowel point called a “dagesh” that is written above the “aleph” indicating the vowel “o”. The “dagesh” is just a “dot” or “period”. Yet the word “No” is written a second time, this time with the consonant “Vav” which can also be pronounced as an “o” .

We can ask “why is the word “no” written twice? All we can do is guess. Perhaps as an emphasis as to what Adonai is saying. So, what is He saying in verse 5, of chapter 32? I have read three versions, from three Hebrew-English Bibles. One says; “Children unworthy of Him. That crooked, perverse generation…” Another version states; “They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children; they are a perverse and crooked generation” Yet the third, to me, is better; “Is corruption His? NO! His children’s is the blemish, a generation crooked and perverse” It this version (from the Soncino Press) the word “No” is recognized. But only once, while it is written twice. Perhaps we could see it as; “Is corruption His? NO, NO, (it is NOT) it is that of His children, a corrupt and perverse generation.”

At times, we all say “no” twice, like answering our child when he or she wants some cookies before dinner; “No, No, dear, not before dinner, you’ll spoil your appetite.” But perhaps, we should look beyond the printed words and look deeper into another possible meaning. Now this is just midrash, a commentary, is there perhaps a message behind the two different spellings of “no”? Well, one way we could look at it is; If we combine the two spelling, we will get the word “no” spelled with three letters instead of two; the “Lamed, Vav, and Aleph”

Using ancient Hebrew symbolism, we might understand those three letters together as; “The instruction is that God (aleph) received the nail (vav). His children were corrupt. Israel became corrupt when following false gods later on, as Moshe predicated and foresaw. We are also corrupt with our sin nature, which at times gets out of hand, yet Yeshua, who is God in the flesh took our “corruption” when he received the “nails” on Calvary’s cross.

So, perhaps a better understanding (my opinion only) when we read this verse is; “Is corruption His? No, No, it is that of His children, a corrupt and perverse generation, yet Yeshua will take his children’s corruption on himself by bearing their sins in his own body, suffering the agony of the nails on a rugged cross. He is the ROCK which was stained by blood, His own blood, bearing our iniquities from all generations past, present, and future.” (like I said, commentary only) Adonai loved Israel so much as His children, YHVH is a loving Father and as a loving father, He provided for their needs. How?

He gave them water from the ROCK. According to the ancient rabbis, the “Rock” that provided water for the Israelites and their cattle for 40 years “followed them” wherever they encamped. Of course, this is also just a commentary as scripture does not say that it actually did. Yet we read in 1 Corinthians 10:4 “And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed, and the ROCK was Messiah”

We see that the identity of the ROCK is Yeshua, yet there was a real “rock” there in the wilderness which provided real and physical water for 40 years. Did it really get lifted up by Adonai and deposited to each camp site to provide the Israelites with the necessary water? Only our Heavenly Father knows that answer, and we can ask Him when we get to Heaven.

Physical water is necessary to live our physical life, yet the Word of God is our “Spiritual Water” that is needed to live and grow in our spiritual life.

Now when Israel goes into the promised land, they will “wax fat” they will receive blessings from their cattle and crops, YHVH refers to Israel as “Yeshurun” which is the ancient name for “Yerushalayim” it was the ROCK (YHVH) who begot thee!

This, of course, refers to ELOHIM as their “father” so why go against him? It also says that he will “rouse them to jealousy with a no-people and a vile nation” because they provoked YHVH with a “no-god” the “no-people” and “vile nation” could be the pagan nations outside of Israel. At that time, all the nations outside of Israel were pagan, idolatrous nations, worshiping false gods. Adonai has “called” those nations to worship and recognize HIM as God, in a way, He is saying; “OK, you want to go after false gods, OK, I will look for worshipers in other places, I will accept other “peoples” to become part of my “called out ones”. Not that HE rejected Israel as his people, NEVER! He just “added” more people, (the Gentile nations) to become part of his “called out family”. We must remember that Abraham was from Mesopotamia! which was a pagan nation, yet her responded to the “call” to “Leave his people and follow HIM” and the result would be a “New People” a people of the “Book” of the “Torah” who would be a “light to the pagan world”, a people who would bring forth the Messiah.

“For YHVH will judge his people” (vs 36) and Yes, he DID, and still does. The word “judge” has two meanings, one is “taking counsel to take certain kind of action either for or against” and the other meaning is “condemn, or sentence” Israel sowed corruption and chased after false gods, and reaped the whirlwind! Yet YHVH is a God of forgiveness and love. (43) “Sing aloud all ye nations of His People (Goyim Amo!)

This verse sees the nations as part of HIS PEOPLE, being grafted into the olive tree, peoples outside of Israel, who have accepted the atonement of Yeshua for their sins, become part of “Am Yisrael” and YHVH will avenge the “blood of his servants” We are all part of HIS PEOPLE, He loves us and has blessings in store for us, whether we were born in Israel or not, it doesn’t matter. His people started with 12 tribes and has extended
To the whole world.

2 SAM 22:1-51

YHVH is my ROCK (Tzuri) and my fortress, and my deliverer; “Elohei Tzuri” (My God) in who I will take refuge. My shield and horn of YESHUATI. (2 Sam) The Spirit of God is speaking, again, using the name ROCK and ELOHEI TZURI, (the God who leads who is my righteousness) We see the name YESHUA…my “Hightower” (hey, that’s the name of my high school!) and my refuge. We take refuge in HIM because he has provided us with salvation, eternal life, a “Hightower” is a look-out tower in a fortress where the guards can see the enemy coming. Through Yeshua, the enemy has been beaten. He has been beaten by the “blood”.

Vs 32; “Who is God save YHVH and who is a ROCK save our God?” again, the names TZUR-ELOHEINU
Also, in Hosea 14, the prophet tells Israel “Return to YHVH your Elohim, for you have stumbled by your wickedness… for the ways of YHVH are straight and the righteous walk in them! (vs 9). The Prophet Micah also says; “He shall turn back, and have compassion on us, He shall trample upon our wickedness. And you shall throw all our sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19) It is not surprising that this verse is read just a week before Yom Kippur. A Yom Kippur tradition is taking breadcrumbs and going to a flowing body of water, throwing the bread crumbs into it. This tradition is known as “tashlich” the breadcrumbs symbolize our sins and the body of flowing water, the sea!

The prophet Joel says; “and you shall know that I AM in the midst of Israel and that I AM YHVH your ELOHIM, and there is no one else.” No wonder he speaks through his prophets, over and over again telling his people to “love HIM” and to “Follow HIM” doing and keeping his commandments. Unfortunately, his people forgot all of that and later on, follow pagan gods, thus reaping the whirlwind! But just as a father will punish, but not abandon his son, neither will Adonai abandon HIS people and forget them. A loving father chastises yet continues to love.

JOHN 20:26-21:25

A very interesting reading, as Yeshua appears to his talmidim after his resurrection, and meets them by the Sea of Galilee, or Tiberias, as it is sometimes called. Since he knew that they were fishermen, he decided to help them out again, since they caught no fish during the night.

“Throw your net over the right side of the boat,” Yeshua told them, and the caught 153 fish. It was then that they realized; “It is Mashiach Yeshua!” It is also interesting that the number “153” is symbolic as well. The words, “Ani Elohim” (I am God) sums up in Hebrew gematria to “153” (Ani = 61) (Elohim = 92) 61+92=153.

Yeshua also has a talk with Kefa, “Do you love me?” then…feed my lambs, shepherd my sheep, feed my sheep” three times he asked, “do you love me?” the answer came back, feed and shepherd the lambs and the sheep.

What is the difference between a lamb and a sheep? A lamb is a very young sheep, up to one-year-old. So, what is Yeshua telling us here? If we love the LORD, then, as believers and followers, we are to teach and guide both young and old believers, believers who are at different stages in their spiritual walk.

If you want to be used by the LORD, just ask HIM for opportunities to share the Word and teach the Word, there are believers who are willing to learn and be guided. There are also the “lost” yet have an open mind to listen to the Words of God, the Words of the “Lamb” of God who took the sins of the world upon himself to set us free!

Shabbat Shalom………. Rabbi Ben Avraham