We start the final book of the original 5 books of the Torah, in which Moshe wrote down all the statutes, commandments, precepts, details, etc. that Adonai dictated to him to write. We must remember that Am Israel received the first 10 commandments directly from the mouth of Adonai, written down in stone, and given to the people, as a form of “Ketubah” or “marriage contract. Later, Adonai called Moshe back up to the mountain and there, dictated the rest of Torah, the rest of the 603 commandments which he wrote down on the scrolls.
603 were written down by Moshe, yet dictated by Adonai, and 10 dictated and written by YHVH himself. All in all, we must conclude that ALL the TORAH comes from YHVH, whether directly or indirectly written. This book of Deuteronomy is the last. Moshe began writing it, and it was probably finished by Yehoshuah (Joshua) or another leader.
A Hebrew rendition of this book is “Mishna Torah” or “A repetition of the Torah” can one say a “Second Torah?” Well, no, it is the same Torah, but Moshe is repeating it to Am Israel, to remind them. Perhaps like a father will repeat lessons and advice to his son before leaving home. Many of the same commandments are mentioned, but also, some new ones, including the most famous one, the “Shema”
The book relates the travels and experiences that “Am Yisrael” took and went through in 40 years’ time. Moshe retells the experience somewhat like a father would relate to his son. Let’s say that father and son travel across the USA for 6 months, then, perhaps 10 years later, the father would remind the son of their trip by remembering their “experiences” “Remember son, the time when we were traveling through Texas and, well, you insisted on exploring that abandoned house, even when I said it would NOT be a good idea…….”
The father tells both the good experiences and the bad experiences, the times when the son obeyed and the times when the son disobeyed. Moshe is doing the same thing. This is similar to last week’s parashah “Masei” (journeys) in which Moshe relates the journeys of Israel. We must remember that the old generation is now dead and buried, the sons and daughters of that generation are going into the promised land. They need some good advice, and they need to be reminded of past failures, the failures of their fathers and of their own.
An interesting Midrash is the difference and similarity between two words; “D’varim” (words) and “D’vorim”
(bees) One could say that the words that Moshe spoke to the Israelites were like the “stings of bees” and after giving this message, a little later on, Moshe went up Mt. Pisgah a died, just like when a bee stings, it leaves the stinger in the victim and dies.
What can we learn from the beginning of D’varim? Are we mature enough to receive rebuke? From elders? From others who are in authority? When a believer or even a non-believer is rebuked, it is for his or her own good, either to bring that person to the knowledge of Messiah Yeshua or to turn that person from error to walk in harmony with the Torah.
Moshe tells the people the words of Adonai: “You have dwelt long enough in this mountain…turn you and take your journey…. (1:6) they were right at the border of Moab and Canaan; the Jordan River separated the two nations. It was time to leave their “comfort zone” and “cross over” and conquer the pagan peoples, and lay claim to the land! They had fought giants before, you know, the bigger they are, the harder they fall, especially if Adonai “falls” them.
Remember that it all starts in Egypt (Mitzraim) the land of “restriction”, Moshe leads them out, symbolizing a sort of Messiah, leading them to Mt Sinai, they receive the Torah, for 40 years they undergo instruction, go through both “good times” and “bad times” sometimes, “very bad times” when YHVH chastised and killed many of them for disobedience and rebellion. Yet now, it is time for the promise to be fulfilled, the “Promised Land”
We go through the same thing in our lives. We start out being liberated from our “Egypt” we are liberated from the “lost world and the ways of the lost” by accepting Yeshua as our Messiah and LORD. We grow in faith, in spiritual maturity, or…perhaps fail in our relationship with YHVH, going through valleys and dark places, yet always emerging into the light of Torah again. Sometimes we get comfortable in one place, or doing one thing, yet, God is saying…” turn now and take your journey” or “continue your journey and continue to grow in faith, expose yourself to different “stuff” “situations” yet always trusting in HaShem.
The prophet has a difficult calling, he tells Israel of their unfaithfulness, sinfulness, how they wander away from God, and Adonai has to put up with the sacrifices, celebration of “new Moons” the High Holy Days. Etc. not that there is anything bad in celebrating them, BUT…. when these are done in the “flesh” and not with the heart, and because these are “things that you just have to do” then, God wants NONE OF THESE! Many people that adhere to “religion” go through “rites and traditions” just because they are used to “doing them” this in no way pleases Adonai, HOWEVER…when we do things with a pure heart, and with a spirit of “worship and praise” then…Adonai welcomes it. The LORD says through the prophet;
Come now, let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow, though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool… IF…ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land” It is all CONDITIONAL!
We have the same choice IF we choose to love and follow the LORD, by accepting HIM as LORD and Savior, then follow and do his commandments, following in his footsteps, THEN… we will reap the rewards first is eternal life in Heaven, second will be spiritual blessings and perhaps even physical blessings while we are on earth, and even more, in Heaven. Again, the choice is ours to take.
This tells the story of the woman of Samaria, who comes to the well to draw water, and she receives even a better blessing. She gets her water and even more, the “Living Water” She meets her “Messiah”. It is very interesting that she is the first person who Yeshua reveals himself as Messiah to, without riddles, just in plain words;
The woman said; “I know that the Messiah is coming, and when he comes, he will teach us all things” (John 4:25. Yeshua responds saying; “I AM the one who speaks to you” in Aramaic it’s “Enah-na damalel na amehee” as this was the common language of the street then. Or one could rephrase and say, “It is I, (the Messiah) who speaks to you” No doubt she had a life-changing experience, she went to tell the others about Yeshua. Isn’t that what we are supposed to do? Receive Yeshua as LORD and Savior, then, go tell the world, go and teach others to respond to the calling of Adonai in their lives. Is HE part of YOUR LIFE?