Written by Mordecai Silver. Posted in Journey Through Torah.

Ve Etchanan-And I Pleaded

Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11
1 John-Yochanan 2:3-5


If the Shema is a personal, internal declaration of faith, why does it begin with an order to a third party, “Hear O Israel?” This translation is incorrect: the word Shema does not mean “to hear” but “to listen,” a prerequisite of this final farewell by Moses, of first grasping, and only then accepting God’s existence. “O Israel” is thus a declaration of group identity; that the individual can only flourish in personal faith if the rest of the Body does so as well.

Deuteronomy 4:32-40

32 "For ask now of the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether such a great thing as this has ever happened or was ever heard of. 33 Did any people ever hear the voice of a god speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and still live? 34 Or has any god ever attempted to go and take a nation for himself from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, and by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great deeds of terror, all of which the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? 35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD is God; there is no other besides him. 36 Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. 37 And because he loved your fathers and chose their offspring after them and brought you out of Egypt with his own presence, by his great power, 38 driving out before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land for an inheritance, as it is this day, 39 know therefore today, and lay it to your heart, that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other. 40 Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you today, that it may go well with you and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for all time." (ESV)

Deuteronomy is the final message of Moses to the Children of Israel before his passing. Moses has served Israel as its leader for forty years, basically teaching them what God requires from them in order to be His covenant people. There have been highs and lows along this journey, and Moses has tried his best to instill in the people a sense of purpose and perhaps destiny as to what the Almighty desires His people to be. It has not been an easy path for Moses or for the people with thousands of Israelites dying along the way because they could just not catch the vision Moses was trying to pass on to them. Moses had encountered the Almighty in a way very few had ever done, and even very few have done since then. He knew the God of his people in an intimate way unlike many others.

Deuteronomy 34:10 Since that time there has not arisen in Isra'el a prophet like Moshe, whom ADONAI knew face to face. (CJB)

What does it mean to know someone face to face in the sense of knowing your Creator in such a way as no one else ever has except perhaps Adam and Chavah? I don’t say this to mean Adam and Chavah somehow knew God in the same way Moses did because obviously Moses did all he could to follow Torah while Adam and Chavah did all they could not too by disobeying one simple command given to them by their Creator. Not only was Moses trying to teach Israel Torah, he was modeling it before them in his own life, something Adam and Chavah did not do. They had been given dominion over the earth, and had betrayed that trust, while Moses tried to do all the Lord asked of him, but even for Moses, the leadership of Israel and dealing with the people brought him to the point of frustration and caused him to lash out at God in a moment of anger. This brought about his punishment in being forbidden to enter into the Promised Land in this life, but thankfully in another we see Moses along with Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration speaking with Yeshua. In that moment we knew God’s forgiveness, mercy and love for His servant and his place in God’s heart.

Even knowing what his fate will be, Moses still rises to the occasion. In his closing address to Israel, he recounts how God has shown Himself to Israel in so many different ways that Moses wants, more than anything, for Israel to see the reality of God, who He is, and what He desires for His people. He tells them they need to keep his statutes and commandments. Moses is once again reiterating to Israel so they can learn to internalize the covenant and live it out in their lives in a way that will bring them new life and power and a relationship with their Creator they have never known before. Moses is trying to teach them a very basic fundamental lesson here and one that should not be lost on us, which is that Torah is life because it comes directly from the mouth of God through His Son Yeshua through whom everyone must come in order to be reconciled with the Father.

In Deuteronomy 4:36 we read: “Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire.”

<03256> yasar (415d)
Meaning: to discipline, chasten, admonish

Moses tells the Israelites that the Lord allowed them to hear His voice so that He could discipline them. It is no coincidence that Moses refers to this as the great fire. The Lord allows Israel to see and to hear His words literally to burn this into them, in the same way, He wants to burn His Torah into us. Don’t mistake the fact that what the Lord uses to discipline Israel was Torah, and it is what He uses to discipline us. The Torah is His chosen means to share with His people what He desires from them. It is what He desires from us. He has given us a road to travel called Halacha or the way, a reference used in the book of Acts.

Acts 19:23 And about that time there arose a great commotion about the Way. (NKJ)

<3598> hodos
Meaning: a way, road

Ezekiel 33:17 "Yet your fellow citizens say, 'The way of the Lord is not right,' when it is their own way that is not right. (NAU)

<01870> derek (202c)
Meaning: way, road, distance, journey, manner

We are called on a journey to follow the way of the Lord, not the way of man. Today, we have wandered off course and are following the way of man instead of the way of the Lord, and we wonder where it will all end. The time is growing short, my friends, you need to choose before it is too late.

1 John 2:3-5

3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 5 but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: (ESV)

Many people believe the Apostolic Scriptures or New Testament is somehow different from Tanach or what they call the Old Testament. There is nothing old about the Tanach. The only thing new about the New Testament is the fact that those who interpret it have tried to cast it in the light of being a new revelation, doing away with the Torah. Any student of the Apostolic Scriptures knows this is not true and that the teachings of Yeshua confirm this. He upheld the Torah, and anything to the contrary denigrates who Yeshua was and what He taught. He was that Word that came out of the midst of the fire revealing Himself to Israel that day at Mount Sinai. Israel rejected that revelation and paid the price, and we have rejected that same revelation and are paying the price. If you commit yourself to following the Way, you will be tested because to do as the Lord desires is to go against the ways of this world as it is and as it has been since that day man refused to listen to God in the garden.

1 John 1:4 gets right to the point. If you claim you know Him but you do not keep His commandments then you are a liar and the truth is not in you. That is a hard reality but nevertheless this is what the word tells us. Please do not try to rationalize away the Torah by claiming that somehow it was replaced by a new covenant. The new covenant you are speaking about that many say originates in Jeremiah 31:33 is first shared in Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. (ESV)

Deuteronomy 30:6 And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. (ESV)

Jeremiah 31:33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my Torah within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (ESV)

This covenant in Jeremiah 31:33 the church quotes so much is about Torah. Most translations use the word law, but in Hebrew it is Torah. So the new covenant is not new, it is Torah, the same covenant God called Israel to follow at Mount Sinai. This same covenant God called Adam and Chavah to follow along with Abel, Enoch, Noah, and Shem and on and on right down to our day and time, the same covenant that offers redemption in exchange for obedience through faith and action. Torah is not simply the words on a page but Torah is alive because Messiah lives.

Blessings in Messiah Yeshua,

Mordecai Silver

Torah Man says: “It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret.”

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