The Hebrew Love Story

Part Three

 

The Divorcement of Israel

Numbers 14

The Sefer Keritut

 

 

 

The Hebrew Love Story is comprised of several articles all having a common thread, that being the thread of covenant.  The opinions expressed throughout the series are outside the box but thoroughly Scriptural, I don’t know of anyone saying the things I’ll be saying in this article as well as the other articles I’ve written in this series.  In my mind, when it’s all tied together via this series of articles it makes for a thoroughly amazing panorama of the Scriptural message, a love letter from YHWH you can actually understand!  The Hebrew Love Story consists of…

 

 

The Hebrew Love Story ~ The Introduction

 

Part One - Abram the Hebrew

 

Part Two - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai

 

Part Three - The Divorcement of Israel ~ Numbers 14 ~ The Sefer Keritut

 

Part Four - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai Amended!

 

Part Five - THE NEW COVENANT ~ What Is It?

 

Part Six - THE MASTER’S TABLE ~ The Entry Rite Into THE NEW COVENANT!

 

Part Seven - Yom Kippur ~ The Consummation

 

Part Eight - The Marriage Supper of The Lamb!

 

 

Why should you take the time to read this article? My answer to that question is because Yehowah, our Creator and Redeemer is an El of 'Covenant'. He never enters into long term relationship by any means other than 'covenant'. This article strikes directly at the heart of the matter of YOUR COVENANT RELATIONSHIP with YEHOWAH!

 

"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide [is] the gate and broad [is] the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. "Because [fn] narrow [is] the gate and difficult [is] the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV

 

"So the last shall be first, and the first last, for many are called, and few chosen." Matthew 20:16 NKJV

 

Since 1999 I have striven to know all there is to know about biblical marriage. However even with due diligence there have remained areas of understanding which remain cloaked, allusive, hidden behind a curtain. To understand the law of marriage it is necessary to address the issue of Yehowah's having married and then divorced the nation of Israel. It is clear that the divorcement of Israel has taken place, Jeremiah 3:8;

 

"And I see when (for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery) I have sent her away, and I give the bill of her divorce unto her, that treacherous Judah her sister hath not feared, and goeth and committeth fornication -- she also." (YLT)

 

and in Isaiah 50:1;

 

"Thus said Jehovah: `Where [is] this -- the bill of your mother's divorce, Whom I sent away? Or to which of My creditors have I sold you? Lo, for your iniquities ye have been sold, And for your transgressions Hath your mother been sent away." (YLT)

 

but when? And where? Surely it is recorded in the Word of Yehowah, is it not? Indeed, as Yehowah asks,

 

"Where is this -- the bill of your mother's divorce, Whom I sent away?"

 

If you were asked those questions would you have answers? Up 'til now I would not.

 

I have always wondered but never knew, but now... I am confident that I know, that I know, that I know! As usual, it's hiding right out in the wide open and we just keep bulldozing past it. But not this time! I have scoured the commentaries on Isaiah 50:1 and Jeremiah 3:8 and totally disagree with their conclusions. They don't seem to differentiate between the divorcement of 'the mother' and the selling of 'the children' for their iniquity, pointing in both instances to the exile into Babylon and Assyria. I have to ask at this point, who is the 'mother'? The question is being asked of the descendants of the children who had entered into and possessed the Promised Land with Joshua but at the time of these verses were in exile. So then who is the mother? As you will see, I believe the mother spoken of in Isaiah 50:1 is the generation of Israelites who were delivered from the bondage of Egypt, entered into the 1st marriage covenant with Yehowah at Mt. Sinai and then continued in their stiff necked, rebellious ways to the point that Yehowah issued them (the mother of the children who did eventually enter into the Promised Land) a certificate of divorce and refused to take her (the mother - adults over 20) into the Promised Land according to the covenant promises.

 

Early in 2012 I adopted a belief that the book of Deuteronomy 'IS' The Book of THE NEW COVENANT. In so doing I unwittingly put myself in a theological box in a couple of ways. The first being, if Deuteronomy is The Book of THE NEW COVENANT then the divorcement of Israel from the 1st marriage covenant which took place on Mt. Sinai had to take place BEFORE The Book of THE NEW COVENANT, i.e. Deuteronomy, was ever written! Secondly, I now realize that Deuteronomy should be understood as an amendment to the Covenant of Mt. Sinai and I’ll be discussing that in the next article titled ‘The Book of the Covenant – Mt. Sinai Amended!  Nevertheless, when I first realized the squeeze I had put myself in I began to think of any event which would lend itself to a divorcement that would have taken place from the time Israel lifted their voices in unison to proclaim,

 

"All the WORDS which YHWH has spoken we shall do" (Exodus 24:3)

 

and then again

 

"All that YHWH has spoken we shall do, and obey" (Exodus 24:7)

 

to the time they were given the book of Deuteronomy, just prior to their entering into the Promised Land forty years later. Without a second's hesitation I realized it must be recorded in Numbers chapter 14. As you will see, by adopting The Book of Deuteronomy as THE NEW COVENANT it not only became a 'theological box' concerning when and where the divorcement of Israel took place but also a 'theological window' to actually 'see' when and where Israel was divorced! Lo and behold here's what I found!

 

The first verse that caught my attention was verse 12 which reads,

 

"I smite it with pestilence, and dispossess it, and make thee become a nation greater and mightier than it." (YLT)

 

From the KJV with Strongs;

 

"I will smite H5221 them with the pestilence, H1698 and disinherit H3423 them, and will make H6213 of thee a greater H1419 nation H1471 and mightier H6099 than H4480 they."

 

In this verse the word 'yarash' (H3423) translated here as 'disinherit' caught my attention and I looked for how 'yarash' H3423 is translated in other translations. Here is what I found;

 

disinherit them

destroy them

evict them

consume them

root them out

dispossess it

wipe them out

dispossess them

get rid of them

disown them

will not give them the land

drive them away

 

None of those translations would lend themselves to a husband talking to his wife in that it is his duty in marriage to provide and protect! That is 'divorce talk'! Nevertheless those phrases all run true according to the definitions I found in various lexicons. One of the first lexicons I checked was WordStudy and found this;

 

WordStudy

H3423

 

ָיַרשׁ

yāraš: A verb meaning to take possession, to inherit, to dispossess, to drive out. This term is sometimes used in the generic sense of inheriting possessions (Gen_15:3-4). But the word is used usually in connection with the idea of conquering a land. This verb is a theme of Deuteronomy in particular where God's promise of covenantal relationship is directly related to Israelite possession (and thereby foreign dispossession) of the land of Israel. This theme continued throughout Israel's history and prophetic message. Possession of the land was directly connected to a person's relationship with the Lord; breaking the covenantal relationship led to dispossession. But even in exile, Israelites awaited the day when they would repossess the land (Jer_30:3). (Emphasis mine)

 

I have emboldened what caught my eye in the WordStudy definition. In Numbers 14 YHWH has decided to deny the Israelites entry into the Promised Land. By doing so He has rejected them as His Bride! The marriage covenant is directly connected to taking possession of the land. It is clear that the covenant has been broken off. The covenant remains but the adults had been 'cut off' from those promises, i.e. divorced! It is important to note that the divorcement is taking place during the betrothal phase (the only time a legitimate divorcement can take place) and prior to the giving of the 'second law' which is what 'Deuteronomy' means. 'Deuter' = Second and 'onomy' = nomos (law). In this case a second law that amends the 1st law.

 

Here is Brown Driver Briggs definition;

 

H3423

ירשׁ / ירשׁ

yârash / yârêshBDB Definition:

1) to seize, dispossess, take possession off, inherit, disinherit, occupy, impoverish, be an heir

1a) (Qal)

1a1) to take possession of

1a2) to inherit

1a3) to impoverish, come to poverty, be poor

1b) (Niphal) to be dispossessed, be impoverished, come to poverty

1c) (Piel) to devour

1d) (Hiphil)

1d1) to cause to possess or inherit

1d2) to cause others to possess or inherit

1d3) to impoverish

1d4) to dispossess

1d5) to destroy, bring to ruin, disinherit

Part of Speech: verb

A Related Word by BDB/Strong’s Number: a primitive root

Same Word by TWOT Number: 920

 

Here we see 'yarash' H3423 can mean to 'inherit' or 'disinherit' and according to the KJV concordance the word 'yarash' is used nearly 50 times in the book of Deuteronomy alone which is the amendment to the 1st covenant. Of course that makes total sense since in the 'second covenant' the Promised Land is promised once again and in the book of Joshua which follows directly after Deuteronomy Joshua leads the Israelite people into the Promised Land to take possession of it and fulfill the 'second marriage covenant'. I find the definition and use of this word 'yarash' here in Numbers 14:12 fascinating when it is known to be used nearly 50 times in Deuteronomy connecting the Promised Land to the amended covenant of Mt. Sinai. That of course is not the end of the story as Israel would continue to prove herself unfaithful and would later be driven out of the land into exile again. Some lessons just seem hard to learn!

 

I also found this interesting connection in the definition of 'yarash' H3423 via the Greek Septuagint which shows a connection to possession of the land and 'betrothal'.

 

LXX Strong

H3423

μνηστεύω

mnēsteuō

mnace-tyoo'-o

From a derivative of G3415; to give a souvenir (engagement present), that is, betroth: - espouse. (Emphasis mine)

 

It is clear from these definitions that marriage and divorcement are in play in Numbers chapter 14 but that is not all that I found!

 

Num 14:34 "by the number of the days [in] which ye spied the land, forty days, -- a day for a year, a day for a year -- ye do bear your iniquities, forty years, and ye have known my breaking off;" (YLT)

 

We have all heard of couples that have 'broke off' an engagement. As a matter of fact I am one such person. I was stunned to see this language used in Numbers 14! As you will see, this becomes a powerful confirmation.

 

In the King James Version with Strongs it reads;

 

KJV+

Num 14:34 After the number H4557 of the days H3117 in which H834 ye searched H8446 (H853) the land, H776 even forty H705 days, H3117 each day for a year, H3117 H8141 H3117 H8141 shall ye bear H5375 (H853) your iniquities, H5771 even forty H705years, H8141 and ye shall know H3045 (H853) my breach of promise. H8569

 

To verify the use of 'my breach of promise' for a translation of H8569 I compared several other translations only to find these different phrases used;

 

and you will know my alienation

and you shall know my breach of promise

and you shall know My displeasure [the revoking of My promise and My estrangement]

and you will see that I am against you

and ye shall know my fierce anger

Then you will know what it means to oppose me and you shall know My fierce anger

You will know My displeasure

and ye shall know mine estrangement from you

and shall know my revenge

You will know what it means to have me against you

and ye shall know my reason annulling my promise

and ye shall experience my withdrawal of protection

and you will know My opposition

You will know me as your enemy

and you will know what it means to thwart me

and you shall know My rejection

and learn what it means to reject me

as YOU must know what my being estranged means

and ye shall know My Tenu'a (Opposition)

and you shall know My breaking off

 

Here again we see language that is not used between a husband and wife of a functional marriage covenant. The covenant has been withdrawn and the consequences of it's withdrawal will be known. Just look at some of the words being used, breach of promise, alienation, estrangement, annulling of promise, withdrawal of protection, rejection, My breaking off! There is only one thing to conclude from this, with the exception of Moses, Joshua and Caleb, everyone 20 years of age and older have been divorced from the marriage covenant of Mt. Sinai.  In other words the 'mother' of both the Northern and Southern kingdoms have been divorced!

 

WordStudy has this to say about 'tenuah' H8569;

 

WordStudy

H8569

 

ְתּנוָּאה

tenû’āh: A feminine noun meaning an opposition; a pretext. It refers to God's attitude of discipline that He took against Israel in the wilderness, His reasons for dealing with them as He did (Num_14:34). It indicates causes, reasons for doing or acting in a certain way, e.g., God's actions against Job (Job_33:10).

 

Take a second look at that definition of 'tenuah' with this in mind; is the word 'tenuah' used in Numbers 14:34 because this is Yehowah's certificate of divorce?

 

What I am seeing here is Yehowah writing His reasons for 'breaking off' the engagement. I believe what we have in Numbers chapter 14 is the 'sefer keritut', i.e. the 'divorce decree', written by Yehowah and delivered to Israel by Moses just as Jeremiah 3:8 and Isaiah 50:1 proclaim! If Deuteronomy is an amendment to the covenant of Mt. Sinai then Numbers chapter 14 is exactly where you would expect the divorcement of the people from the marriage covenant of Mt. Sinai to be, i.e. prior to entering into the Promised Land. I know of no other section of Scripture that can stand as the 'sefer keritut' of YHWH to Israel. Yehowah is not an El of confusion, His ways are not diffuse, undefined or nebulous in any way. He is specific and if there was a divorcement then it MUST be recorded in Scripture. It only stands to reason since The Book of the COVENANT is recorded between Exodus 19:1 to Exodus 24:8 and the amended Book of the Covenant is recorded in Deuteronomy. So then where is the 'sefer keritut' (divorce decree) of all those who died in the wilderness never experiencing the promises of the marriage covenant of Mt. Sinai if it is not in Numbers chapter 14?

 

I looked for further confirmation in many commentaries, here is what I found;

 

Clarke

Num 14:34

And ye shall know my breach of promise - This is certainly a most harsh expression; and most learned men agree that the words את תנואתי eth tenuathi should be translated my vengeance, which is the rendering of the Septuagint, Vulgate, Coptic, and Anglo-Saxon, and which is followed by almost all our ancient English translations. The meaning however appears to be this: As God had promised to bring them into the good land, provided they kept his statutes, ordinances, etc., and they had now broken their engagements, he was no longer held by his covenant; and therefore, by excluding them from the promised land, he showed them at once his annulling of the covenant which they had broken, and his vengeance because they had broken it. (Emphasis mine)

 

Henry

(3.) That they might sensibly feel what a dangerous thing it is for God's covenant-people to break with him: “You shall know my breach of promise, both the causes of it, that it is procured by your sin” (for God never leaves any till they first leave him), “and the consequences of it, that it will produce your ruin; you are quite undone when you are thrown out of covenant.” (Emphasis mine)

 

JFB

Num 14:34

ye shall know my breach of promise — that is, in consequence of your violation of the covenant betwixt you and Me, by breaking the terms of it, it shall be null and void on My part, as I shall withhold the blessings I promised in that covenant to confer on you on condition of your obedience. (Emphasis mine)

 

PooleNum

14:34

 

My breach of promise, that as you have first broken the covenant between you and me, by breaking the terms or conditions of it, so I will make it void on my part, by denying you the blessings promised in that covenant, and to be given to you in case of your obedience. So you shall see that the breach of promise wherewith you charged me, Num_14:3, lies at your door, and was forced from me by your perfidiousness. Or, my breach; either passively, i.e. your breaking off from me, as such pronouns are oft used, as Gen_1:4 Isa_53:11 56:7; or actively, i.e. my breaking off or departing from you, and stopping the current of my blessings towards you; you shall feel by experience how sad your condition is when I withdraw my grace and favour from you. (Emphasis mine)

 

WEN

Num 14:34 Ye shall know my breach of promise - That as you have first broken the covenant between you and me, by breaking the conditions of it, so I will make it void on my part, by denying you the blessings promised in that covenant. So you shall see, that the breach of promise wherewith you charged me, lies at your door, and was forced from me by your perfidiousness. (Emphasis mine)

 

In my opinion there is no room for doubt that Numbers 14 is The Sefer Keritut (certificate of divorce) issued to the mother of the future Northerthern and Southern kingdoms of Israel by YHWH thru Moses. The covenant of Mt. Sinai remains intact but YHWH would propose to those who remained alive after the 40 years of judgment who were not in covenant with an amended Mt. Sinai Marriage Covenant with which to bring the Hebrews into The Promised Land.

 

Because I've striven to know all that I can know about marriage and divorce in biblical terms I find it absolutely fascinating to consider the possibility that Yeshua, when questioned by the Pharisees about Moses' command to give a certificate of divorce before sending a wife away, may have referred to Numbers 14 when He spoke of the 'hardness of their hearts'.

 

They said to Him, "Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?" He said to them, "Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so." (Matthew 19:7-8)

 

The divorcement of Israel in Numbers 14 is the first divorcement recorded in Scripture. The commandment Moses gave to issue a certificate of divorce comes in Deuteronomy 24, it was not a provision of the original Covenant of Mount Sinai. Did Moses permit the Israelite men divorcement via a divorce certificate because YHWH had already divorced Israel because of the 'hardness of their hearts' with a certificate of divorce? It is an intriguing thought to consider! The children of Israel as the betrothed wife of YHWH proved herself to be 'hard hearted', i.e. disobedient, which led to the divorcement in Numbers 14. Did this then lead YHWH to allow Israelite men to avoid 'entrapment' to betrothed 'hard hearted' wives via the divorce decree? As I said, it's an intriguing thought! Just to make sure no one misunderstands what I'm saying here in regard to the issuance of a divorce certificate, the only legitimate use of a divorce certificate comes during the betrothal phase of marriage. Once the marriage is bound there is no longer any opportunity for legitimate divorce.

 

The divorcement of Israel in Numbers 14 answers another question I've had over the years, namely, 'Why the Israelites never circumcised their sons or kept the Passover during the 40 year wilderness period?' In Joshua chapter 5, verses 2-9 we have Yehowah telling Joshua to circumcise the men of Israel;

 

"At that time said Jehovah unto Joshua, `Make for thee knives of flint, and turn back, circumcise the sons of Israel a second time; and Joshua maketh for him knives of flint, and circumciseth the sons of Israel at the height of the foreskins. And this [is] the thing [for] which Joshua circumciseth [them]: all the people who are coming out of Egypt, who are males, all the men of war have died in the wilderness, in the way, in their coming out of Egypt, for all the people who are coming out were circumcised, and all the people who [are] born in the wilderness, in the way, in their coming out from Egypt, they have not circumcised; for forty years have the sons of Israel gone in the wilderness, till all the nation of the men of war who are coming out of Egypt, who hearkened not to the voice of Jehovah, to whom Jehovah hath sworn not to show them the land which Jehovah sware to their fathers to give to us, a land flowing with milk and honey, are consumed; and their sons He raised up in their stead, them hath Joshua circumcised, for they have been uncircumcised, for they have not circumcised them in the way. And it cometh to pass when all the nation have completed to be circumcised, that they abide in their places in the camp till their recovering; and Jehovah saith unto Joshua, `To-day I have rolled the reproach of Egypt from off you;' and [one] calleth the name of that place Gilgal unto this day." YLT (Emphasis mine)

 

Once they had been circumcised and healed they were now ready to keep the Passover as we're told in the continuing verses from Joshua chapter 5 and verses 10-11.

 

"And the sons of Israel encamp in Gilgal, and make the passover on the fourteenth day of the month, at evening, in the plains of Jericho; and they eat of the old corn of the land on the morrow of the passover, unleavened things and roasted [corn], in this self-same day;" (YLT) (Emphasis mine)

 

It is important to remember that no uncircumcised man was to ever eat the Passover as we're commanded in Exodus 12:43-50;

 

"And Jehovah saith unto Moses and Aaron, `This [is] a statute of the passover; Any son of a stranger doth not eat of it; and any man's servant, the purchase of money, when thou hast circumcised him -- then he doth eat of it; a settler or hired servant doth not eat of it; in one house it is eaten, thou dost not carry out of the house [any] of the flesh without, and a bone ye do not break of it; all the company of Israel do keep it. `And when a sojourner sojourneth with thee, and hath made a passover to Jehovah, every male of his [is] to be circumcised, and then he doth come near to keep it, and he hath been as a native of the land, but any uncircumcised one doth not eat of it; one law is to a native, and to a sojourner who is sojourning in your midst. 'And all the sons of Israel do as Jehovah commanded Moses and Aaron; so have they done." (YLT) (Emphasis mine)

 

Today we can't keep the Passover because we don't live where YHWH has placed His Name, there is no Temple and no Priesthood. However during the 40 year wilderness period YHWH was with them, they did have the Tabernacle and the Levitcal Priesthood was operational. So why didn't they circumcise their sons and keep the Passover? It makes sense to me now to believe that it was because they were not in covenant with Yehowah! The marriage covenant of Mt. Sinai had been annulled therefore it was not necessary to circumcise their infant male children because the Passover was no longer a feast they could keep having been thrown out of the covenant which they were dependent upon to go into the Promised Land! Forty years later, once the adults over 20 years of age at the time of the divorce had all died in the desert, the children of the deceased of Israel were given an amended Mt. Sinai covenant and crossed over into the Promised Land with Joshua now leading the way, according to the promises of the amended Mt. Sinai Covenant, it was then once again necessary to circumcise the uncircumcised males of Israel a second time so they could fulfill the commandment to keep the Passover!

 

Let's back up once again to Isaiah 50:1 and Jeremiah 3:8. As I have noted once before, I have scoured the commentaries to find any reference between these two verses and Numbers 14. What I found was NOTHING! Not a reference, not a cross reference, NOTHING! Which really amazes me because those same commentaries talked about the annulment of the covenant, the breach of promise, the breaking off and so many other phrases that they used to inform the reader that the people of  the covenant of Mt. Sinai had been cut off even though not a single commentary used the term 'divorce'. And yet when they get to Isaiah 50:1 and Jeremiah 3:8 which both talk about the divorce decree Yehowah has given Israel and Judah they seem to manifest a severe case of amnesia! In so doing they then relate the divorcement being spoken of in those verses as though it never happened or associate the divorcement with the Babylonian and Assyrian exiles right along with the children being sold into captivity for their sins as though they are one and the same thing. That is really stunning! How can they write the commentaries they have written and I have posted in this article on Numbers 14 and then totally forget what they wrote when they write further commentary on Isaiah 50:1 and Jeremiah 3:8? I am more than incredulous! This looks like replacement theology to me in it's truest form!

 

The only credible commentary that I found was from the NET bible commentary which reads;

 

Isa 50:1

1 sn The Lord challenges the exiles (Zion's children) to bring incriminating evidence against him. The rhetorical questions imply that Israel accused the Lord of divorcing his wife (Zion) and selling his children (the Israelites) into slavery to pay off a debt.

 

2 sn The Lord admits that he did sell the Israelites, but it was because of their sins, not because of some debt he owed. If he had sold them to a creditor, they ought to be able to point him out, but the preceding rhetorical question implies they would not be able to do so.

 

3 sn The Lord admits he did divorce Zion, but that too was the result of the nation's sins. The force of the earlier rhetorical question comes into clearer focus now. The question does not imply that a certificate does not exist and that no divorce occurred. Rather, the question asks for the certificate to be produced so the accuser can see the reason for the divorce in black and white. The Lord did not put Zion away arbitrarily.

 

Even though this commentary also confuses the divorcement of Israel with the selling of the children into captivity/slavery I like the point it makes in the 3rd statement regarding the question being rhetorical. There is not a doubt in my mind that the commentator is clueless as to where this certificate of divorce is but nevertheless is right on point in saying that it does exist! I don't think the use of Zion here is appropriate either, they should have stuck with what the verse says, i.e. 'your mother'. The point is, the 'certificate of divorce' does exist and proves the justice of Yehowah's actions.

 

It is clear to me that the 'mother' referred to in Isaiah 50:1 is that generation of the children of Israel which was delivered from the bondage of Egypt, entered into marriage covenant with Yehowah at Mt. Sinai and then continued in her stiff necked, rebellious ways and was divorced prior to entering into the Promised Land according to the covenant promises and died in the wilderness. Forty years later the next generation of the children of Israel, i.e. the children of the divorced mother, were proposed to with an amended Mt. Sinai Marriage Covenant and did enter into the Promised Land according to the covenant promises. So then when Yehowah tells the 'children' of the 'divorced mother' they have been sold for their personal iniquities He is speaking to the descendants of the children of the mother whom He divorced which came out of Egypt but never entered into the Promised Land.

 

I recently stumbled across an intriguing passage in Deuteronomy 29 where YHWH is speaking to the 'children' of the 'divorced mother' of Isaiah 50:1 through Moses. What jumped off the page for me was Deuteronomy 29:6. It blows me away to think I've missed this so many times before! Here is what I saw…

 

(Leeser) "Bread have ye not eaten, and wine or strong drink have ye not drunk; in order that ye might understand that I am the Lord your God."

 

Here is another translation that puts it another way…

 

(Rotherham) "Bread, ye did not eat, and wine and strong drink, ye did not drink,—that ye might know that, I, Yahweh, was your God."

 

It's interesting to note how the two translators translate the last portion of the verse, "that I am the Lord your God" vs. "that, I, Yahweh, was your God." Can these two translations be read as saying the same thing? And if so what is being said here? I believe they are saying the same thing but it can easily be misunderstood and even more so with other translations which are less specific. The first translation above (Leeser) uses "in order that ye might understand" making the eating of bread and drinking of wine 'conditional' upon their knowing YHWH as their El. The second translation (Rotherham) uses "that ye might know" also as a conditional statement upon eating the bread and drinking the wine and then uses "that, I, Yahweh, was your God."

 

There are other translations that take this verse in different directions but these two translations get closest to the truth in my opinion. So what's going on here? The context of the beginning of the chapter is 'Deuteronomy' being the words of a new covenant, so why has YHWH inspired Moses to write about eating bread and drinking wine in that context? To the casual reader, which I've evidently been up to this point, an impression is left (mainly by poor translations) that by denying the Israelites bread to eat and wine to drink they had come to 'know' Him as there El (God). But that seems a bit strange doesn't it? There is definitely a connection between the eating of bread and the drinking of wine with the 'knowing' of YHWH, but denial doesn't work for me. What's the deal? Is it actually being denied those things that brings a person to 'know' their El?

 

Here's where the lights went on! This is important so heads up! Eating the bread and drinking the wine ARE the elements of the 'entry rite' into the covenant being discussed in the context of chapter 29. The eating of bread and the drinking of wine, which they had not done in the last 40 years (verse 5), was the very 'means' by which they 'could have known' their El but were denied knowing Him because they were no longer in covenant with Him because of the divorcement that took place back in Numbers 14 before they entered into the Promised Land!!!!

 

What Deuteronomy 29:6 is saying is, 'without having received from His hand the bread to eat and the wine to drink it was impossible to know Yehowah as their El’! To 'know' Yehowah is to be in covenant with Him. Without having the bread and wine offered it was impossible to enter into covenant with Him. In both translations, if properly read, it can be understood as "I was your El but am not now your El because I have not offered you bread to eat and wine to drink that you might enter into covenant with Me and know Me." Not having had bread to eat and wine to drink reinforces the fact that the children of the divorced mother had not been in covenant the whole time they spent in the wilderness after their parents refused to believe the promises of Yehowah in regard to the Promised Land. What a powerful confirmation that the children of Israel who had been betrothed to Yehowah at Mt. Sinai had been divorced before she entered into the Promised Land and now, in Deuteronomy, the next generation of Israel are being proposed to via the amended covenant of Mt. Sinai! The inference that can be clearly drawn from Deuteronomy 29:6 is that from the day Israel agrees with the terms of the amended Mt. Sinai Covenant (Joshua 24) she would receive bread to eat and wine to drink as an 'entry rite' into His covenant! Which is exactly what the Essenes were doing in their 'communal meals' believing that the Messiah was present with them as they ate, drank and fellowshipped!!!! HalleluYAH!!!!

 

In yet another recent discovery, in a prophecy I’ve read a multitude of times and from which I’ve drawn what I believe are profound and rather provocative truths, I’ve found a very solid confirmation of Israel’s divorcement taking place in the wilderness between Mt. Sinai and The Promised Land. The prophecy of which I speak is found in Ezekiel 20:33 - 38. The context of the prophecy is the return of the people from the lands of exile via the Greater Exodus in the end of days. At the border of the Promised Land Messiah Yeshua causes them all to pass under the rod of judgment. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is Yom Kippur in some future year. This judgment will purge the rebels from the camp of the future Bride of Messiah. This judgment should be seen as the ‘consummation’ of the betrothal phase of Messiah Yeshua’s marriage covenant. (You can learn more about Yom Kippur being ‘the consummation’ of Messiah Yeshua’s betrothal to us by reading my article titled ‘Yom Kippur - The Consummation’.) This judgment that takes place in Ezekiel 20 makes it obviously clear that just because a person is part of the Greater Exodus doesn’t mean you’re automatically also the Bride of Messiah. There is no doubt that this judgment has to do with the marriage of Messiah for we are told that after passing everyone under the rod of judgment He will bring those who qualify into the ‘bond’ of the covenant, i.e. the 'bound phase' of the marriage covenant. So then what is so interesting about this prophecy is that He compares this judgment to that judgment which took place in the wilderness when He brought the fathers out of the land of Egypt! In both cases we’re dealing with those who have entered into covenant with Messiah and in both cases the faithless individuals are being purged from the faithful. In the first instance only Joshua and Caleb were found to be faithful and entered into the Promised Land. I think we can rest assured although the number of faithful will be significantly higher, the number who pass into the Promised Land and actually become the Bride at the time this prophecy is fulfilled will still be few. The prophecy in Ezekiel is telling us there is another divorcement to take place in the future when He ‘pleads His case with us face to face’ purging the rebels from the camp of His Bride to be! Let’s read those verses from Ezekiel;

 

“[As] I live," says the Lord GOD, "surely with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out, I will rule over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a mighty hand, with an outstretched arm, and with fury poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you," says the Lord GOD. I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I [am] the LORD.”

 

When YHWH says,

 

“And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will plead My case with you face to face. Just as I pleaded My case with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so I will plead My case with you,”

 

I find a powerful confirmation that what Numbers 14 is telling us took place in the Egyptian wilderness was most certainly the divorcement of Israel! I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve read Ezekiel 20:33 - 38 and never noticed what I’ve written here, the reason being, I never had the foundation to see it or understand it. But once you understand Numbers 14 is the Sefer Keritut (certificate of divorce) proclaiming the reasons for why YHWH divorced Israel in the wilderness before taking her into the Promised Land it then becomes obvious what is being said in the verse quoted above. Its just like putting a jigsaw puzzle together, you have to have certain pieces in place before you can ‘see’ where other pieces go!

 

Even in the midst of the judgment Israel has brought upon itself YHWH left them with a promise that He was not done with His people, He would fulfill His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through the children of those who have displayed their faithlessness and would die without entering into The Promised Land.

 

And the LORD spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying: How long shall this wicked congregation complain against me?  I have heard the complaints of the Israelites, which they complain against me.  Say to them, “As I live,” says the LORD, “I will do to you the very things I heard you say: your dead bodies shall fall in this very wilderness; and of all your number, included in the census, from twenty years old and upward, who have complained against me, not one of you shall come into the land in which I swore to settle you, except Caleb son of Jephunneh and Joshua son of Nun.  But your little ones, who you said would become booty, I will bring in, and they shall know the land that you have despised. (Numbers 14:26-31 NRS

 

 

 

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