Hebrew Roots/Torah observance/Beshallach
BeShalach-When He Let Go Exodus 13:17-17:16; Judges 4:4-5:31; Romans 6:1-23; Judges 4-5; John 6:25-35, I Corinthians 10:1-13;12:31
Introduction The Children of Israel were armed when they went up from Mitzraim assembled in their tribal ranks, even though it was not planned as an initial encounter for them. Exodus 13:17 "And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had Be-Shallach (let the people go), that Yahweh led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for Yahweh said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt:"
The Targum Johnathan for this passage tells us that some Israelites had escaped by this route earlier and had met with their death at the hands of the Philistines. The Book of Jasher also records this event of some of the tribe of Ephraim going in disobedience to Yahweh's word believing that the time of their deliverance had come. Their presumptuous act caused them to be given over to the Philistines and overcome by them and their bones lay where they fell for many years, which would have been a disturbing sight for the people had they journeyed that way. Book of Jasher 75:1-20
The people were not trained for war and going that way would have caused them also confrontation by the Philistines. When Yahweh first sets us free, he doesn't take us directly into (spiritual) warfare because we would be tempted to return to our old ways.
In spite of the inevitable complainers and grumblers that we read about in the balance of the portion, Moses has effectively given enough of the children of Israel a “vision for the freedom” that awaits the chosen nation as it travels east to Canaan. This vision is not only for the Land of Promise flowing with milk and honey coupled with the prophecies that were a part of the heritage of the patriarchs, but also a vision about being the chosen nation of the Almighty.
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him, for he had firmly commanded the Children of Israel, saying, “Yahweh will surely remember you, and you shall bring up my bones from here with you.” They journeyed from Succoth and encamped in Etham, at the edge of the Wilderness. Yahweh went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them on the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day and by night. Yahweh did not remove the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night from before the people.
The Bones of Joseph And while the rest of the Children of Israel were preoccupied with requesting valuables, we find Moses gathering the skeletal remains of Joseph. These bones of Joseph represents a picture-type of the whole House of Israel in this passage of scripture, in that these bones point to a future date in prophecy that these dried bones shall have life breathed into them and once again live. These skeletal bones are representative of the scattered diaspora of the whole house of Israel around the globe later to be rejoined and caught up again in one place as a unified body unto Messiah Yeshua in the valley of Jezreel. Moses obeys the Ruach and carries the remains of what is to become a latter day reminder of who the people of Israel are. These bones represented more than mere mortal bones, but were a representation of the physical embodiment of latter day Israel. These skeletal bones were symbolic of the people of Israel as one body, and the latter day plan of Yahweh for the Children of Israel. Moses took the bones of Joseph with him. Truly, Moses here represents a picture-type of Messiah Yeshua. His concern was for the whole house of Israel, and he was determined to not leave any part of the body behind.
Next Israel faced the Red Sea In the Targums it is called the Sea of Suph and is identified as what was once part of the Gihon river of the Garden of Eden. " And they journeyed from Succoth, the place where they had been covered with the clouds of glory, and sojourned in Ethan, which is on the side of the desert. [[JERUSALEM. IS. And the Word of Yahweh conducted the people by the way of the desert of the sea of Suph;" Targum Johnathan 13:18 "And Yahweh spoke to Moshe, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pihahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon: before it shall you encamp by the sea." Exodus 14:1,2
After the punishing plagues and the expulsion from Egypt, the "house of slavery," it seemed that the Israelites would never have to face their brutal oppressors again, but Pharaoh hardened his heart and aroused the Egyptians to follow. When we follow Yahweh we often find ourselves at the "Red Sea", where we are straightened between the enemy and impossible circumstances and our only salvation is in divine intervention.
"And Pharaoh approached; and the Children of Israel lifted their eyes, and behold, Egypt was traveling after them! And they were very frightened, and the Children of Israel cried out to Yahweh." Exodus 14:10 Imagine the trauma! The Red Sea is before them, and what seems like the entire Egyptian nation is surging toward them, from behind. All appears lost.
When the Israelites faced the Red Sea, they not only were provided a way to leave which was supernatural, but they also lost their primary enemy, the Egyptian army. If we will only trust Yahweh, He will not only provide a way of escape for us, but will also in the process destroy the army chasing us. Within the camp there were evidently four groups, those who believed the Word of Yahweh and were ready to go forth into the sea, those who wanted to fight, those who wanted to return and those who wanted to use strategies to confuse them. (Targum Johnathan 14:13)
"And they said unto Moshe, Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore have you dealt this way with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell you in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness." (11,12 ) He answered each accordingly and assured the people that “Yahweh will fight for you, while you will remain silent” (verse 14). Moshe will raise his staff, the sea will split, and the people will proceed through the sea on dry land."
Just a short time earlier the people were crying out to God for a deliverer. When Yahweh sent one, they didn't like the results. Believe it or not, no matter how bad things look to the eyes, God is in control. Trust Him!
Not all who had come out had received the redemption in the passover, they had gone through the form, but their hearts were unchanged. Many followed the cloud and were baptised in the cloud and in the sea but were not part of spiritual Israel. Only those who believe by faith in the redemption of Yeshua are truly redeemed, only faith will enable us to stand when tests and trials come. 1 Corinthians 10: 1-11
"And the angel of Yahweh, that went before the camp of Israel, traveled and went from behind them; and the pillar of cloud traveled from before them and it stood from behind them. And it came between the camp of Egypt and the camp of Israel. And there was the cloud and the darkness, and it lit up the night, and the one did not approach the other all the night" (14:19-20). To the Egyptians it was darkness, to the Israelites light, and the attack which they had begun, ceased. "And Yahweh said unto Moshe, Why do you cry unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: But you lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea." 14:15,16
But Moses said to the people, "Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of Yahweh which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.
Don't return to your "Egypt", go forward into victory and watch Yahweh defeat your enemies.
- 20 "And it (the angel of Yahweh) came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night."
What appears to be Yahweh's direction and blessing to you may not be the same to your enemies. To the Israelis, Yahweh's protection was a blazing flame. To the Egyptians, a dark thick cloud. Flames bring light, which results in understanding and comfort. Darkness produces confusion, fear and prevents clearness of mind. 24 "… in the morning watch Yahweh looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, 25 And took off their chariot wheels, that they drove them heavily: so that the Egyptians said, Let us flee from the face of Israel; for Yahweh fights for them against the Egyptians."
The Targum Johnathan tells us that Yahweh threw "flakes of fire and hail" upon them and that He broke the wheels of the chariots so that it was hard driving them (14:24) He loosened the "lug bolts" on their "tires" and everything came apart, wheels flying everywhere. This would tend to make it more difficult to escape the trap being laid for them.
For Israel this was a 'mikvah', a baptism - a cleansing and a separation from Egypt. It was intended to be a death to the bondage and slavery of Egypt and a grave in which all that their old life represented was buried. Out of that watery grave, they arose to a new life and a new hope - they were in effect a new people. This is now a type of what 'baptism' - immersion does now for us as believers. We die to the old life and bury it under the waters of baptism and rise to a new life by the power of His resurrection. Baptism now saves us from the power of sin. 1 Corinthians 10: 1-13; Romans 6: 3-11; Colossians 2:12-15
With great rejoicing they celebrated their deliverance led by Mirium the prophetess in dancing and singing His praises. But three more days into the wilderness and they are again tested by the lack of water and complain. They have now arrived at Marah, seven days from their exodus.
When Israel left Egypt and went through the sea, they were separated from Egypt and Pharaoh lost his claim on them. In the same way, when we go through the 'sea' of burial of the old man in baptism (Romans 6:3-5), we are separated from the world and the enemy loses his power over us.
At the time of their release, there was no question of their appreciation of their redemption from the bondage and slavery. As time progressed however, the very real images of the suffering are dimmed in the light of their trials and they begin to look back on the 'pleasures' in Egypt. The lusts of the flesh start to dominate and Yahweh has to take us through the wilderness to starve the 'flesh' out of us. It is only in adversity that we discover the flesh in us.
When we look at things in the natural, the flesh will take over, we need to keep our minds on the things of the spiritual and walk in faith on the Word He has given us. Fears and anxieties come in when we look to our own resources. We need to put our trust in Him and pray for the necessary provision to come, and we have His promise -- Philippians 4:7
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Messiah Yeshua." The ultimate peace of God comes from knowing Yeshua as Messiah and we find Him in the Torah.
At Marah 15:22-25 "And the people murmured against Moshe, saying, What shall we drink? And he cried unto Yahweh; and Yahweh showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,". Yahweh changed their murmuring and made the bitter waters sweet.
The Targum Jerusalem says, 25. "And Mosheh prayed before Yahweh, and the Word of Yahweh showed him the tree of Ardiphne, and he cast it into the midst of the waters, and the waters were made sweet. There did the Word of Yahweh show unto him statutes and orders of judgment, and there He tried him with trials in the tenth trial. 26. For I am Yahweh who heals you by My Word.]" - ( 14:25-26 - Divine Name changed)
The Ardiphne, Hirdoph, and sometimes Rododaphne, is described in Shemoth Rabba as a tree which grows beside water and bears flowers like lilies, of a bitter taste. The name is given also to the bitter herbs eaten with the passover. (Tr. Pesachim, 39.) The old commentator in the Yalkut says, "This was one miracle within another, --bitter waters made sweet by a bitter tree."
This is a type of Yehsua impaled on a tree that was cast into the bitter waters of the curse from sin, which then became life-giving water to all who drank from that source. Provision was also made in that for healing of the body, as He said, "I am Yahweh, who heals you" 15:26 His healing power is for the whole man - spirit, soul and body.
The Torah is a "A tree of life". Just as Moshe was provided a tree to sweeten the bitter waters, Yahweh has given us His Torah to sweeten our lives which are bitter without it. Yahweh here at Marah reveals His "statutes and orders of judgement" and promised them that if they would keep them, "I will put none of these diseases on you which I brought upon the Egyptians." 14:26b It was here that Yahweh also instructed them in Sabbath-keeping.
Their arrival at Marah in on the seventh day of the Feast established as Unleavened Bread, the last Sabbath of the Feast. Here Yahweh completes the work of redemption, applying the work of the atonement to their lives in deliverance from the curse of sin and sickness and giving them His laws. They are being established as His people.
Provision of Manna In chapter 16, Yahweh provides manna for them during that week and any excess that they collected turned to worm-infested slime. On Friday however, twice the normal collection of the manna does not spoil, as the residue is used on the Sabbath, to teach them to observe the correct day of the week as the Sabbath. Israel had just left a country whose calendar used an eight-day 'week'. All recollection of the Sabbath had been forgotten by the people as a whole, during their time of slavery and hard labour. Yahweh tests them here on their willingness to keep Shabbat.
They responded to the sight of the manna by giving it its name 'manna'. Basically meaning 'what is it?' or literally from Hebrew "from Him". The manna was a gift from heaven - - "they ate angels food" Psalm 78:24-25
It was white like coriander and tasted like a confectionery made from honey. It was there every morning six days a week, a double portion being there on the day before Sabbath for forty yeas until they came into the promised land and it ceased the day that they ate the produce of the land. Joshua 5:10-12 According to Yahweh's instruction, Moshe takes some of the manna and places it before the Testimony 16:34
Chapter 17 reveals how Yahweh struck the rock in the desert to provide water. Paul illustrate how this Rock was a type of Messiah in 1 Corinthians 10. As Moshe struck the rock in the desert, so Yahweh struck the Rock of Israel, Yeshua, to bring forth living water for His people's spiritual need.
Dealing With the Flesh While fighting Amalek, when Moshe held up his arms and hands with the rod, Israel won. When Moshe lowered his hands, the enemy prevailed. Moshe stands in as an intercessor for them while they fight the battle. Aaron and Hur brought a rock for Moshe to rest on and held up his arms until the battle was complete. This was the establishment of his authority in the spiritual realm to triumph over Amalek, a type of the fleshly nature.
Moshe was holding up a banner and that is why Moshe built an altar and called it "Yahweh Nissi" - Yahweh is my banner. Our victory is in Yahweh, under His banner. We have a pictorial presentation in the natural what happens in the spiritual when a believer comes out of the world. There comes a time when the battle with the flesh has to be engaged and the enemy overcome. Amalek represents the fleshly nature of man which we will overcome if we wage warfare in prayer with Yahweh as our banner.
The decree was issued - "Write this memorial in a book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua, that I will utterly blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. ..... ..... .... Because Yahweh has sworn: Yahweh will have war with Amalek from generation to generation." 17:16
"Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then , they that are in the flesh cannot please God." Romans 8: 7-8
The fleshly, natural mind is completely against God and those who are of the natural mind-set of the things of this world are personally at enmity with Yahweh.. Even the apparently 'good' things of this world find no acceptance with Him. James 4: 4
"Do not love the world, or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" 1 John 2:15 The love of the things of this world is idolatry -- i.e. a love for that which is not of the Father, but that which is generated by the 'god' of this world. If the enemy has our worship. he has a claim on our lives. His appeal is to the lusts of the flesh which are accessible through our earthly members. We are exhorted to guard our hearts with all diligence, for from within the heart spiritual life or death is generated. (Proverbs 4:23)
"Therefore put to death your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience .. .. " Colossians 3: 5-6a
"But put on the Lord, Yeshua the Messiah and make no provision (take no forethought) for the flesh, to fulfil its lusts."Romans 13:14
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:1-2
It is only by having our minds renewed by the Word that we can have the mind that is of Yeshua the Messiah, so as to live like Him and to not even consider satisfying our own desires, whether they be desires of the mind or of our physical flesh. While ever we think according to the way of the world we will be kept in bondage to the old nature with its deceitful lusts which war against the spiritual man.
We have to prove what is the good and the perfect will of God by His Word. That is the revelation which He has given us of His will, for us to know what He requires of us. So offering up our lives, we present them to Him to live according to His purposes which are in His Word.