V’zot HaBrachah

Parasha #54: V’Zot Habrachah (This is a blessing) D’varim (Deuteronomy) 33:1-34:12
Halftarah: Y’hoshua (Joshua) 1:1-18
B’rit Hadashah:Mattityahu (Matthew) 17:1-9; Mark 9:2-10; Luke 9:28-36; Y’hudah (Jude) 3-4, 8-10

This is our last Parasha for this year and we will be starting over from the book of Exodus next week. Moshe is about to die and before his death he blesses B’nai Yisrael. He describes how YHVH appeared to them at Mt. Sinai giving as an inheritance to the Congregation of Yaacov (Israel) the Torah. Then Moshe goes up to Mt. Nevo and YHVH shows him the land, which he cannot enter. Then Moshe, the servant of YHVH, at age 120, dies on the mountain, in the land of Moav. Moshe is mourned for 30 days and then Yehoshua becomes the leader, and the people obey him.

The number of years of Moshe’s life (120) can be significant. 120 seems to be a prophetic number in itself. It is a multiple of 40X3, which is the number of years in Moshe’s life. 40 is the number for testing. Yahshua fasted for forty days and nights (Matthew 4:1-2) and Moshe was with YHVH forty days and nights (Ex. 34:28). Neither had food nor drink but was sustained by YHVH Elohim. 120 is also the number of Jubilees found in 6,000 years. Is this a prophetic pattern? Man has been allotted 6000 years to get it right, and then Yahshua will return and set up the Millennial Kingdom. But we have to consult Jonah for further enlightenment. The message to Jonah was a simple one: “Forty days and Nineveh shall be overthrown. The prophet delivered his message to the people who could not discern their right hand from their left hand. If these 120,000 were children, as scholars believe; metaphorically, and biblically anyone whom cannot “discern their right hand from their left hand” refers to children. It then can be estimated that the total population of Nineveh was somewhere around 600,000 people. If so then the number 600,000 could be a prophetic multiple of what the world population has become. In the year 2000 the world’s population was expected to be 6 billion people. Are these numbers a coincidence? I don’t believe so. The number 3 of the multiple 40X3 may represent 3000 years of YHVH’s judgement upon Israel. Ps 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 said a day, meaning one 24-hour day, couched in prophetic scripture represented a thousand years. If all this comes together as it seems then we are at the door to the millennium and Yahshua’s Second Coming. It seems that 1948 marked the beginning of a new era, the rebirth of Is­rael as a baby. But when the nation reached the age of 20, in 1967, Israel fought the Six-Day War. They had an opportunity to retake the Temple Mount and failed through unbelief. The Hebrews in the wilderness were cursed and not allowed into the promise land because of their unbelief after the spies had returned after observing the Promised Land for 40 days. YHVH cursed them for their unbelief, which caused a forty year delay from entering into the Promised Land, and affected all those from 20 years of age and upwards. Are we now looking at another forty years of punishment because of Israel’s present unbelief and their failing to reestablish the Temple Mount? The very presence of Is­rael in the land is a prophecy of YHVH’s im­pending judgment. If so, we can estimate that about the year 2007 is the year of the beginning of the Tribulation if 40 is the biblical number of testing and judgment. Also we need to consider that our current calendar is not without error. If this is true then from 1967 just add another 40 years and that brings you to:

+ 40 =

It’s a time to be alert and watching.

In the blessings Moshe gives, it falls to Levi to teach the Torah. Moshe also gives three things to pay close attention to and they are:
1. The influence of parents. Children’s personalities are formed under the close supervision of parents. Parents have a grave responsibility to impart to children the positive things they must do.
2. The influence of siblings and friends, which refers to society. We can be influenced by society so that we forget everything that parents have taught us and stray from the correct path. If we all do our job then society can help us take our basic skills, refine them and elevate them to a higher level.
3. The importance of children. This is the final test of how well we have internalized everything we were taught as children. If we can pass it on to the next generation, then we can say we have successfully overcome the hurdles that life has put into our paths.

This is also the week we finish reading the Torah, and celebrate the festival of Simchat Torah. We can now look back and see what we have learned. The Torah we have read throughout the year symbolizes our parents. From the Torah we have absorbed the important messages we need to grow as believers.

When we dance around the Torah, we do it together with our friends. These are the people who influence us in our everyday life. We must all strive to meld their positive traits with our own, so that we can continue the pattern of Torah growth.

Last, but not least, we begin reading the Torah again from B’raishit, symbolizing the passing of Torah to the next generation, the ultimate goal in life. This is a new opportunity to learn and grow. That is why Simchat torah is so special. It combines the past, present, and future, to show us the proper way of serving YHVH Elohim.

Sages Wisdom:

“Moshe commanded us the Torah, a legacy of the Congregation of Yaacov.” (33:4)
How can we keep all the commandments when some of them apply only to specific segments of the community, such as the Cohanim and Levites? This is why the second half of the verse refers to B’nai Yisrael as the “Congregation of Yaacov.” It declares that there is a unity to be found within Israel. If the Cohen performs his job, it is as if the whole community did it.

“Let Reuven live and not die.” (33:6)
Why was Reuven singled out to “live and not die?” In return for the land on the “other side of the Jordan River,” The Tribes of Reuven, Gad, and half of Menashe promised to lead the battle in Israel. Reuven, who was always in the front ranks, needed the special blessing of life in order to survive.

Something to think about:

1. Why wasn’t Moshe burial place made public knowledge?
2. Compare Moshe’s blessing of the tribes to Yaacov’s blessing of his sons in B’raishit (Genesis) 49.
3. What was so special about Benyamin that he was described by Moshe as the “friend of YHVH” (33:12

Halftarah connection:

Y’ hoshua 1:1-18
This week we read of Moshe’s song and his subsequent death. Our Halftarah is taken from the first chapter of Yehoshua, the first book of the Prophets. Even though Moshe died, B’nai Yisrael hasn’t stopped functioning. Yehoshua, their new leader, will pick up where Moshe left off and lead B’nai Yisrael into the Promised Land.

Torah tziva lanu Moshe, “Moshe commanded us the Torah…” (33:4)
The Hebrew word, torah, has the numerical value of 611. This comes to tell us that B’nai Yisrael heard 611 of G-d’s commandments through Moshe, The other two, which were the first two of the Ten Commandments, B’nai Yisrael heard directly form G-d at Mt. Sinai.

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Davis