Parashah #13: Sh’mot (Names) Sh’mot ( Exodus) 1:1-6:1

Beth Elohim Messianic Synagogue
Parashah #13: Sh’mot (Names) Sh’mot (Exodus) 1:1-6:1
Haftarah: Haftarah: Yirmeyahu ( Jeremiah) 1:1-2:3
B’rit Chadashah: Hebrews 11:23-26

There is a “small” but significant letter that starts this parashah. In Hebrew, the parashah starts with the word “and.” This conjunction indicates there is no separation from the previous parashah. In fact, in the Hebrew, the first six words of the parashah is identical to those In Genesis 46:8. Taking us back to review Genesis, we are better equipped mentally to appreciate the forward progress of G-d’s plan to redeem mankind; that is, those who follow His Torah. This one concept of connecting Genesis and Exodus serves as a reminder that everything is connected. We cannot treat the Books or verses of the Bible in isolation any more than we can separate the complex until of the G-dhead into three separate entities.

Now that Israel has flourished and grown as a nation, Pharaoh expresses his ego by way of enslaving the Israelites and poor treatment. When that did not affect the desired outcome, he ordered the midwives to kill all of the male newborns. Thanks to G-d, His plans never fail and the two midwives Shifrah and Pu’ah loved and feared G-d more than Pharaoh let the male infants live (Ex. 1:17). The action of these two women set the stage for many other women who played a crucial role in G-d’s plan as it unfolds like tightly wrapped knots in the tzitziot. Not only are women used by G-d throughout His Torah, but a few were given the privlege of a very close relationship with Him such as Mary who was the vehicle for his physical manifestation as Messiah, and those who faithfully followed Him throughout His ministry. In our parashah we see how G-d uses women in diverse ways, through the midwives, Pharaoh’s daughter, and Moshe’s mother. G-d’s power can soften the hearts of anyone, Egyptian or Israelite; Gentile or Jew as we read in this parashah.
As for Moshe, he was taken in to be raised as an Egyptian. Interestingly, Moshe’s name means “pulled out” which is exactly what happens when an individual comes to G-d by accepting Yahshua’s sacrifice and learning to follow G-d’s commands. Although Moshe was raised in the house of Pharaoh, when he went out to visit his kinsmen, he was moved with compassion when he saw one of the Egyptians struck a Hebrew. Perhaps he developed this sense of compassion remembering the compassion shown him by Pharaoh’s daughter, his sister, and his mother as she was raising him, knowing she had to relinquish him to Pharaoh’s daughter.

Let’s now go to the Zohar for an interesting Messianic perspective from this Kabbalistic commentary. We are jumping ahead to the punishment of Egypt and Edom that is in the works explained in our parashah and in the B’rit Chadashah. I am going to quote directly from the Zohar as the narrative cannot be improved upon. It is my hope that the reader can read into this text and “see” the connection to the Book of Revelation and Yahshua’s return:
“ Now if Egypt was punished, notwithstanding the kindness with which she treated Israel, especially at first, it can certainly be expected that Assyria and Edom, and, in fact, all the nations who have maltreated Israel, will receive their punishment from the Holy One, when He will manifest the glory of His Name to them, as it is written, ‘Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will be known among many nations (Ezek. 38;23).
R. Simeon lifted up his hands and wept. ‘Alas,’ he said, ‘for him who will live at that time! Yet happy he who will live at that time! When the Holy One comes to visit the “Hind” (Israel), he will examine who it is that remains loyal to her at that time, and then woe to him who shall not be found worthy, and of whom it shall be said, ‘I looked and there was none to help” (Isa. 62:23). Many sufferings shall then befall Israel But happy he who will be found faithful at that time! For he shall see the joy-giving light of the King. Concerning that time it is proclaimed: “ I will refine them as silver is refined, and I will try them as gold is tried ( Zech. 13:9). Then shall pangs and travail overtake Israel, and all nations and their kings shall furiously rage together and take council against her. Thereupon a pillar of fire will be suspended from heaven to earth for 40 days, visible to all nations. Then the Messiah will arise from the Garden of Eden, from that place which is called “The Bird’s nest”. He will arise in the land of Galilee, and on that day the whole world will be shaken and all the children of men shall seek refuge in caves and rocky places. Concerning that time it is written: “And they shall go into the holes of the rocks and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the L-rd and the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth (Isa. 2:19). “The glory of his majesty” refers to the Messiah when he shall revel himself in the land of Galilee; for in this part of the Holy Land the desolation first began, and therefore he will manifest himself there first, and from there begin to war against the world.”

Scrolling down in the text a bit further we read that after a designated time “ The Holy One shall show forth his power before all the nations of the earth, and the messiah shall be manifested throughout the whole universe, and all the kings will unite to fight against him, and even in Israel, there will be found some wicked ones who shall join them in the fight against the Messiah. Then there will be darkness over all the world, and for 15 days shall it continue, and many in Israel shall perish in that darkness. Concerning this darkness it is written “Behold, darkness covers the earth and gross darkness the peoples” (Isa. 60:2)’

The above narrative clearly supports scripture in the B’rit Chadashah that the verse “all Israel shall be saved” in Rom 11:26 does not mean every biological Jew or those within the confines of the state of Israel will be saved. Just as the Israelites had to make a choice to wither apply the blood of their sacrificial lambs on the lentils(doorposts) of their homes to be spared from the angel of death about to pass through Egypt that night, all men must choose to either accept the sacrifice of Yahshua who was the sacrificial lamb for all who seek the Living Water and the Bread of Life or die the second death that is eternal separation from G-d in Hell.

Haftarah: Yirmeyahu ( Jeremiah) 1:1-2:3
This haftarah speaks to similarities between Moshe and Jeremiah as they were called by G-d for their specific missions. They were both humble men who initially attempted to recuse themselves from their G-d-given tasks. G-d reassured both men that they were prepared for their missions and that they would not be killed at the hands of their enemies. Jeremiah saw a staff from an almond tree, a symbol described in Numbers 17:23 to designate Aaron as the man G-d chose as the High Priest before all Israel, and to represent that the legitimate priesthood would remain with Israel. Only the Kingship would be lost through their disobedience. Similarly, we need to accomplish our purpose in life which is to glorify G-d as did these great prophets. Our specific mission is made known to us at G-d’s chosen time, whether in our youth or in old age. We need to prepare our hearts and minds to take advantage of the opportunities as they are presented. Like Jeremiah, G-d is with us to rescue us (Jer.1:19).
B’rit Chadasha Hebrews 11: 23-26
This narrative reiterates and emphasizes the inextricable connection between trusting and obedience. In fact, trusting is an action verb that indicates that true belief in YHVH/Yahshua mandates action. This is accomplished by loving obedience to G-d’s commands as we read in the scriptures below.
(11: 1) Trusting is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see. 2. It was for this that Scripture attested the merit of the people of old.) Trusting or “faith,” Greek pistis.
Being confident, Greek upostasis (literally, “that which stands under”), what gives present reality to what we hope for. In contrast to the rest of the chapter, which analyzes various “heroes of faith” chronicled in the Tanakh, this verse sets forth a basic function of trusting, namely, that by trusting we understand—or, as the 11th-century Christian theologian Anselm put it, Credo ut intelligam (“I believe in order to understand”). Those who refuse to take the tiny step necessary to trust in G-d cannot understand the most basic truths: the benevolent consequences of faith are not only emotional but affect the realm of the mind.
23 By trusting, the parents of Moshe hid him for three months after he was born, because they saw that he was a beautiful child, and they weren’t afraid of the king’s decree.
24 By trusting, Moshe, after he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter. 25 He chose being mistreated along with G-d’s people rather than enjoying the passing pleasures of sin. 26 He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah as greater riches than the treasures of Egypt, for he kept his eyes fixed on the reward.
The author devotes more space to Moshe than to any of the other heroes of faith except Avraham.
Verse 23 The parents of Moshe, Amram and Yoch‘eved (Exodus 6:20), hid him by placing him in a basket to float in the Nile, so that he wouldn’t be killed according to Pharaoh’s decree. In answer to their faith, Pharaoh’s daughter found him there and raised him as her own son, even employing the child’s own mother to nurse him (Exodus 2:1–10).
24–26 Moshe had every possible advantage Egypt could offer. Jewish tradition maintains that as the adopted child of Pharaoh’s daughter he may even have been in line for the throne. But he also had knowledge of G-d’s revelation and of his own identity as an Israelite and chose being mistreated along with G-d’s people rather than enjoying the perquisites of his position, until finally (Exodus 2:11–15) he was forced to flee for his life.
26 He had come to regard abuse suffered on behalf of the Messiah …. Moshe did not know of Yahshua, nor is there evidence that he had specific knowledge of a coming Messiah, Savior or Son of G-d, although he did refer to a Star that would come out of Jacob (Numbers 24:17–19) and to a future prophet like himself (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18–19). But Yn 5:46 says that Moshe nevertheless wrote about Yahshua. One may fairly say that Moshe suffered on behalf of all G-d’s promises, both those known to him at the time and that G-d would make in the future; and, after the fact, it is clear that this implies his suffering abuse on behalf of the Messiah. Sha’ul, in many ways the Moshe of his day, suffered similarly
He kept his eyes fixed on the reward, which was “not seen” (v. 1).

May we learn and internalize the truth that G-d uses those He chooses no matter their past for His glory and that we need only be good and faithful servants, making Him or top priority in all things.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Tamah-Davis-Hart