The Eastern Gate in Prophecy

Approximately 2,600 years ago, the prophet Ezekiel was given a vision of the Glorious Appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 10:18–19; 11:23; 43:1–5; 44:1–2; 46:12). In Ezekiel 43, we read:

 “Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory. And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face. And the glory of the LORD came into the house by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.” (Ezekiel 43:1-4)

It seems reasonable to suggest that Jesus Christ will enter the Temple Mount via the Eastern gate in one of the most momentous events in the history of mankind (the Second Coming)!

The Eastern Gate
The Eastern Gate (also known as the Golden Gate) is one of eight gates built into the walls which surround the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The Eastern Gate provides the only entrance from the East, and it is also the only gate that gives the most direct access to the temple mount. The Eastern Gate was destroyed during the Roman conquest of Jerusalem, and the subsequent destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, thus fulfilling Christ’s prophecy that “not one stone will be left on top of another” (Matthew 24:2). But sometime in the sixth or seventh century, the Byzantines rebuilt the Eastern Gate making it the oldest of all the gates to the city. In 1969, Jerusalem archaeologist James Fleming confirmed that the ancient gate is located right under the current Eastern Gate. While investigating the Eastern wall of the Temple, he suddenly fell into a mass burial site and clearly saw five large wedge-shaped stones set into a massive arch.

James Fleming’s photo from 1969 from inside a grave on the outside of the Eastern Gate looking at the arch of an ancient Eastern Gate.

The Eastern Gate was sealed shut, with fifteen feet of cement, in AD 1540–41 by order of Suleiman the Magnificent, a sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The reasons for this remain unclear, however, it is likely that the Muslim Suleiman became aware of the prophecies which predicted the Messiah’s entrance through the Eastern Gate and, as a result, attempted to thwart the Messiah’s plans. And just in case a sealed entrance didn’t thwart the Messiah’s coming, Muslims even built a cemetery directly in front of the gate, thinking that a Jewish Holy man would never defile himself by walking through a Muslim cemetery.

However, little did they know, they were fulfilling prophecy by doing this. Ezekiel prophesied the shutting of this gate itself around 600 BC, more than 2100 years before Suleiman actually shut the gate:

 “Then He brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary which faces toward the east, but it was shut. And the LORD said to me, “This gate shall be shut; it shall not be opened, and no man shall enter by it, because the LORD God of Israel has entered by it; therefore it shall be shut.” (Ezekiel 44:1-2)

There are eight gates in modern Jerusalem, but only seven are open. The Eastern Gate, and it alone, has remained sealed just as the Lord proclaimed to Ezekiel over 2,600 years ago!

It is a miracle how the Eastern Gate has survived for nearly 500 years of turmoil in Israel, and in spite of numerous well-documented attempts to open it. Four times in the last century an attempt to open the sealed Eastern Gate has failed…
The first attempt was on December 9th 1917 during the Battle of Jerusalem. Muslim leaders in control of Jerusalem wanted all, but one, of the gates in Jerusalem sealed to deter the approaching allied Expeditionary Army led by the British General Allenby. The one gate chosen to remain open just so happened to be the Eastern Gate. On the exact day the workmen were preparing to demolish the mysterious sealed gate, Allenby’s airplane flew over the city, telling the Arabs to flee. Miraculously, without a shot being fired, the opposing soldiers fled the city. The city was delivered into the hands of the Britain, and the gate remained sealed as Ezekiel had prophesied.

A second attempt was in 1967. King Hussein of Jordan, who had control over the ancient city of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, decided to build a hotel for Arab pilgrims on a section of the Western Wall to close off the area to Jewish worship forever. The hotel was planned to be built over the Magreb Gate, which Moslems used to enter the Temple Mount. This meant another gate would have to be opened so that Moslems could still get to the El Aksa Mosque (on the site of the Jewish Temple Mount). King Hussein chose to open the sealed Eastern Gate. But, on June 5th of 1967, as the workmen prepared their air-hammers to shatter the huge stones sealing the Eastern Gate, an intimidating array of Israeli aircraft flew overhead. The Six Day War had begun, and the workmen put down their tools. At the end of the Six Day War, the workmen were unable to resume their project because the Jews had managed to recapture their ancient capital of Jerusalem. What a coincidence!

There was another failed attempt around this same time. When the Six Day War first broke out, some members of the Jewish military suggested catching the Jordanian defenders of the city off guard by blowing open the sealed Eastern Gate. But the leader of the group, an Orthodox Jew, had vehemently protested the idea, stating that “the Eastern Gate can be opened only when the Messiah comes.” After a heated debate, they launched an attack at the Lion’s Gate instead.

Back in October 31 of 1997 the Denver Post had an extraordinary news item which headlined “Israel plans to alter wall.” Here is an excerpt from the article:

 “Israel’s Housing Ministry wants to reopen a sealed gate in the wall ringing Jerusalem’s Old City…The plan to break through the 15-foot-thick stone wall – part of a project to build up the Jewish ‘Quarter and increase its population – also is likely to anger the Palestinians, who oppose any changes in Jerusalem’s eastern sector.”

Whatever came of this plan is unknown, but today, true to Ezekiel’s prophecy, the Eastern Gate remains sealed.

The gate will remain sealed until the day when the promised Messiah will enter into His Kingdom. Its sealing is clear evidence that we are living in the end times, and given the amazing accuracy of this prophecy, we have no reason to doubt it will remain shut until the return of the Lord as this prophecy reaches its fulfillment.

 “Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory. Selah” (Psalm 24:7-10) (Click to Source)


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Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Jeremiah 29:11 – January 5, 2020

Jeremiah 29

And these are the words of the letter which Yirmeyah the prophet sent from Yerushalayim to the rest of the elders of the exile, and to the priests, and to the prophets and to all the people whom Neḇuḵaḏnetstsar had exiled from Yerushalayim to Baḇel –
after Yeḵonyah the sovereign, and the sovereigness mother, and the eunuchs, and the heads of Yehuḏah and Yerushalayim, and the craftsmen, and the smiths had gone into exile from Yerushalayim –
by the hand of El‛asah son of Shaphan, and Gemaryah the son of Ḥilqiyah, whom Tsiḏqiyah sovereign of Yehuḏah sent to Baḇel, to Neḇuḵaḏnetstsar the sovereign of Baḇel, saying,
“Thus said יהוה (Yahweh)of hosts, Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, to all the exiles whom I exiled from Yerushalayim to Baḇel,
Build houses and dwell in them, plant gardens and eat their fruit.
Take wives and bring forth sons and daughters. And take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, and let them bear sons and daughters, and be increased there, and not diminished.
And seek the peace of the city where I have exiled you, and pray to יהוה (Yahweh)for it, for in its peace you have peace.’
“For thus said יהוה (Yahweh)of hosts, Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, ‘Let not your prophets and your diviners who are in your midst deceive you, neither listen to the dreams which you are dreaming.
For they are prophesying falsely to you in My Name. I have not sent them,’ declares יהוה(Yahweh).
“For thus said יהוה(Yahweh), ‘When seventy years are completed, at Baḇel I shall visit you and establish My good word toward you, to bring you back to this place.
For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares יהוה(Yahweh), ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy.
Then you shall call on Me, and shall come and pray to Me, and I shall listen to you.
And you shall seek Me, and shall find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
And I shall be found by you,’ declares יהוה(Yahweh), ’and I shall turn back your captivity, and shall gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, declares יהוה(Yahweh). And I shall bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.’
“Because you have said, ‘יהוה(Yahweh) has raised up prophets for us in Baḇel’ –
thus said יהוה(Yahweh) concerning the sovereign who sits on the throne of Dawiḏ, concerning all the people who dwell in this city, and concerning your brothers who have not gone out with you into exile,
thus said יהוה(Yahweh) of hosts, ‘See, I am sending on them the sword, the scarcity of food, and the pestilence. And I shall make them like spoilt figs, so spoilt as to be uneatable.
And I shall pursue them with the sword, with scarcity of food, and with pestilence. And I shall make them a horror among all the reigns of the earth, to be a curse, and an astonishment, and a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them.
For they did not heed My words,’ declares יהוה(Yahweh), ‘which I sent to them by My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, yet you did not listen,’ declares יהוה(Yahweh).
“You, therefore, hear the word of יהוה(Yahweh), all you exiles whom I have sent from Yerushalayim to Baḇel.
“Thus said יהוה(Yahweh) of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, concerning Aḥaḇ son of Qolayah, and Tsiḏqiyahu son of Ma‛asĕyah, who are prophesying falsely to you in My Name, ‘See, I am giving them into the hand of Neḇuḵaḏretstsar sovereign of Baḇel, and he shall strike them before your eyes.
And because of them all the exiles of Yehuḏah who are in Baḇel shall use a curse, saying, “יהוה(Yahweh) make you like Tsiḏqiyahu and Aḥaḇ, whom the sovereign of Baḇel roasted in the fire,”
because they have done wickedness in Yisra’ĕl, and committed adultery with their neighbours’ wives, and have spoken a word in My Name falsely which I have not commanded them. And I am He who knows, and a witness,’ declares יהוה(Yahweh).
“And speak to Shemayahu the Neḥelamite, saying,
“Thus speaks יהוה(Yahweh) of hosts, the Elohim of Yisra’ĕl, saying, ‘Because you have sent letters in your name to all the people who are at Yerushalayim, to Tsephanyah son of Ma‛asĕyah the priest, and to all the priests, saying,
“יהוה(Yahweh) has made you priest instead of Yehoyaḏa the priest, so that there are overseers in the House of יהוה(Yahweh) over everyone who is mad and makes himself a prophet, that you should put him in the stocks and in the iron collar.
“So why have you not reproved Yirmeyahu of Anathoth who makes himself a prophet to you?
“For he has sent to us in Baḇel, saying, ‘This captivity is long – build houses and dwell in them, and plant gardens and eat their fruit.’ ” ’ ”
And Tsephanyah the priest read this letter in the hearing of Yirmeyahu the prophet.
Then the word of יהוה(Yahweh) came to Yirmeyahu, saying,
“Send to all those in exile, saying, ‘Thus said יהוה(Yahweh) concerning Shemayah the Neḥelamite, “Because Shemayah has prophesied to you, and I have not sent him, and he has made you to trust on falsehood,”
therefore thus said יהוה(Yahweh), “See, I am bringing punishment upon Shemayah the Neḥelamite and his seed: he shall have no one to dwell among this people, nor is he to see the good that I am about to do for My people,” declares יהוה(Yahweh), “because he has spoken apostasy against יהוה(Yahweh).” ’ ”

The Scriptures by Institute For Scripture Research – 2009 Edition


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The Exodus: Christians Fleeing Gaza, Fearing Persecution

by Elizabeth Blade

A 60-year-old Christian from Gaza is now living on the streets of Nazareth but says he prefers to stay there than to go back to Gaza, where he had lived his entire life.

Kamal Tarazi fled the Gaza Strip in 2007 after Hamas, an Islamic group considered a terrorist outfit in Israel, seized control of the enclave, ousting its previous government, officials from Fatah.

“The moment they took control, they started persecuting us, ruining our churches and forcing Christians to convert to Islam”, the 60-year-old Christian recalls.

The Turning Point

It was then that Tarazi decided to organise demonstrations against the movement, uniting Christians and Muslims alike. The calls to act didn’t move the masses, but they did anger Hamas.

“I was jailed several times. Do you know what a Hamas prison is? It is pure torture”, he explains, adding that the Islamic group decided to keep him alive to avoid depicting themselves as persecutors of the local Christian population, something that could potentially anger the international community.

After two months in prison, Tarazi had had enough. Shortly before Christmas, he applied for a permit that would allow him to cross the border into Israel and then travel to Bethlehem – located in the West Bank – to attend a series of religious ceremonies.

Once the permit was given and the border was crossed, Tarazi vowed he would never go back, and he is not alone.

Gaza’s Christian community has been steadily declining over the years. Before Hamas came to power in 2007, Christians made up some 3,500 people in the Strip. Now, however, there are no more than 1,300 and Tarazi says the actual number is even lower.

“I am sure there are no more than 500 Christians left in Gaza and it is just part of the general trend”, he explains.

Over the years, many Gazans decided to flee the Strip, unable to cope with the difficult security and economic situation.

In 2018 alone, some 35,000 Gazans fled the Strip and Tarazi says the number of those who have left since 2007 surpassed 200,000 people.

“For Gaza, with its total population of 1.8 million, this number is significant”, he continues.

The Comeback

Despite promises he would never go back fearing for his life, Tarazi decided to give it a try in 2014, shortly before Israel started its operation Protective Edge aimed at putting an end to the continuous rocket barrage emanating from the Strip and targeting Israel’s southern communities.

“I missed my family and wanted to see how they were doing”, he says. But when he came home, he found an empty place.

“My wife and daughter left the flat where we used to live and moved in with my parents-in-law. As for my house, Hamas turned it into a warehouse, where they kept rockets and various ammunition”, he goes on, adding that he wanted to flee again but the Islamic group wouldn’t let him do so, imprisoning him for several months.

That, however, didn’t silence Tarazi and every time he was out of prison, he gathered crowds sending a clear message to Hamas: “Bidna Naesh” – Arabic for “we want to live”.

Similar protests have been staged by other peace activists but just like in the case of Tarazi, they too were silenced.

Hamas’s Days Numbered?

But Tarazi says the policy to silence those who oppose the Hamas regime cannot continue for too long. “Christians and Muslims live well together in Gaza but both are tired of this organisation that kills and damages everything around them. Their days are numbered”, he warns, adding that the situation in Gaza is explosive.

In Gaza, where 75 percent of the population lives in poverty, the unemployment rate is 52 percent, and the average salary is less than $20 a day, some 68 percent of Palestinians describe their situation as either bad or very bad, according to a recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research.

Leaving for good

“My situation was so bad and I was so desperate to leave that at some stage I tore my clothes off in public and wanted to set myself ablaze”, Tarazi recalls, adding that Hamas prevented him from doing so. To hush him they finally gave him a permit to leave Gaza, five years after his return.

“Initially I went to Bethlehem and from there to a church in Nazareth that gave me shelter for some time, until one day they asked me to pay for the accommodation they provided me with, which of course I couldn’t afford, and that pushed me to the streets of Nazareth, where I currently live”, he continues.

With winter approaching, no money in his pocket, and no Israeli job permit, Tarazi relies on the aid of charity organisations.

But help won’t come as Israel lacks relevant bodies that could take care of Tarazi’s needs.

“Israel has organisations that take care of African refugees and NGOs that help Palestinians with mainly legal advice but none of them will be able to provide him with housing, medication or even food”, explained a representative of Gisha, a non-profit organisation that protects the freedom of movement of Palestinians.

Tarazi, mewanwhile, continues to stroll along the streets of Nazareth, hoping that ordinary citizens will show more empathy.

Sputnik reached out to a number of other NGOs and aid organisations but none was able to help. Hamas hasn’t responded to a request for comment by the time of publication. (Click to Source)


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The Palestinian Christmas Show

by Bassam Tawil

  • “The Palestinian Authority has been offering us money to remain silent. They are trying to bribe us so we would remain silent about the crimes of the police.” — Marian al-Hajal, video on Facebook, October 2019.
  • “We want a civil and humane state based on the rule of law and justice.” — Palestinian Professor Jamal Harfoush, who currently lives in Latin America.
  • As far as Marian is concerned, the PA police version is nothing but an attempt to cover up for their criminal behavior. She and many Christians want the world to know, particularly on the eve of Christmas, that Christians have become easy prey under the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
  • As far as PA President Mahmoud Abbas is concerned, it is business as usual. The cries of the Christian family in Bet Jala seem entirely lost on him…. Abbas may be worried about the future of the hefty funding he gets from Christian countries and organizations, if they find out what his police did…. What he seeks is to continue ensuring the success of the Palestinian lie that Christians are fleeing because of Israel.
  • Will the international community and press continue to swallow — as they have done year after year — the diet of lies that the PA leaders and spokesmen feed them?

 

In a few weeks’ time, the Palestinian Authority (PA) will perform its annual Christmas deception show. As is its custom, the PA will invite foreign journalists and diplomats to Bethlehem, where its spin doctors will wax poetic about good relations and harmony between Christians and Muslims in the city on the eve of Christmas. PA officials often seize this opportunity to blame Israel for the “plight” of Palestinian Christians, who make up only one percent of the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

There is one incident, however, that the PA officials will do their utmost to keep under wraps. It is the story of 63-year-old Terez Ta’amneh, a Christian woman from the town of Bet Jala, near Bethlehem, who died when PA police officers raided her home to arrest her son, Yusef, for unpaid debts.

The story of Ta’amneh is one of those that cause serious damage to the PA’s propaganda machine, which is, instead, preoccupied with blaming Israel for the fact that a large number of Christians have left the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the past few decades.

The number of Christians in the Gaza Strip is currently estimated at a few hundred. Until 10 years ago, there were about 3,500 Christians living under Hamas rule. Most fled to Israel, the West Bank or other countries in the West.

According to a 2017 Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics census, approximately 47,000 Christians live in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. In the past seven decades, since Israel was declared a state, tens of thousands of Christians have emigrated to the US, Canada, Europe and Latin America, mostly for economic reasons. The low birth rate among Christians, as well as mass emigration, has resulted in a steep decline of the Palestinian Christian population, from an estimated 10% in 1948 to around one percent today.

The timing of the death of Ta’amneh in Beit Jala could not have been worse for the Palestinian Authority leadership, particularly because it came shortly before Christmas, when PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his senior officials usually go out of their way to present a rosy picture about the conditions of Christians living under their rule in Bethlehem and other West Bank areas.

Abbas himself has made it a habit to participate every year in the Christmas eve celebrations at Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem. This is his way of showing the world how much he cares about Christians and provides them with security.

Ta’amneh’s daughter, Marian al-Hajal, however, presents a different picture. She has accused the Palestinian Authority police of “killing my mother” and says that as a Christian, she has no confidence in the Palestinian law and police.

Marian made her allegations in a video she posted on Facebook shortly after the death of her mother. “My name is Marian al-Hajal, from Bet Jala, and I’m the daughter of the late Terez Ta’amneh, who holds Jordanian citizenship,” she said in the video.

“I appeal to His Majesty King Abdullah to seek justice for my mother, who died as a result of the barbaric behavior of the Palestinian police when they raided my mother’s home.”

The daughter said the incident took place at 10:30 pm on October 5. “The Palestinian police came to my mother’s home in Bet Jala to arrest my brother, Yusef, because of a financial dispute he has with another person.”

Marian pointed out that the Palestinian law allows the police to deal with financial disputes only between 7:00 am and 7:00 pm. “The seven officers who raided the house were led by Jamal Hmeid, the nephew of Kamel Hmeid, the Palestinian governor of Bethlehem, she said. “Here I want to ask: is the job of the police to protect citizens or is it a private company for collecting debts?”

The police officers, the daughter said, attacked her brother and began beating him in front of their mother. “My mother told them that Yusef suffers from diabetes and high blood pressure,” Marian said.

“She begged them to stop beating him. In response, the commander of the force, Jamal Hmeid, pointed a pistol at my brother’s head and threatened to open fire. He told my mother: We all have orders to open fire at him.”

According to Marian, her mother panicked and collapsed, dying instantly. “I don’t know what happened to her, but she fell to the ground and died,” she said.

“The next day, my sister and I went to the hospital to retrieve my mother’s body and prepare her for burial. We were shocked to find that my mother’s body was not in the morgue. We were told that the body was sent for autopsy. Who gave them the right to perform an autopsy on our mother’s body without our knowledge? As a Palestinian citizen, I have no confidence in the Palestinian forensic institute. I also have no confidence in the Palestinian law. I’m sure the results of the autopsy will be in favor of the police, and not in favor of my mother.”

The daughter said that the PA has taken no measures against the officers she claims are responsible for her mother’s death. “How can the Palestinian law protect me, when the representatives of the law themselves killed my mother?” Marian asked. “The Palestinian Authority has been offering us money to remain silent. They are trying to bribe us so we would remain silent about the crimes of the police.”

Palestinian Professor Jamal Harfoush, who currently lives in Latin America, appealed to Abbas to launch an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death of the Christian woman. Harfoush also expressed outrage that senior PA officials were trying to bribe the woman’s family in an attempt to keep them from speaking out. Addressing Abbas, the professor said: “We want a civil and humane state based on the rule of law and justice.”

A spokesman for the Palestinian Authority police in the West Bank claimed that Ta’amneh’s son, Yusef, tried to escape and attacked the police officers who came to arrest him. The spokesman also denied that the police officers had entered Ta’amneh’s home and insisted that her son was arrested outside the house.

As far as Marian is concerned, the police version is nothing but an attempt to cover up for their criminal behavior. She and many Christians want the world to know, particularly on the eve of Christmas, that Christians have become easy prey under the PA in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

As far as Abbas is concerned, it is business as usual. The cries of the Christian family in Bet Jala seem entirely lost on him. Next month, he and his senior officials will arrive in Bethlehem and again talk about the harmony and brotherly relations between Christians and Muslims in the Holy Land.

Abbas may be worried about the future of the hefty funding he gets from Christian countries and organizations if they find out what his police did to the Christian family in Bet Jala. What he seeks is to continue ensuring the success of the Palestinian lie that Christians are fleeing because of Israel.

Another day, another opportunity. Will the international community and media continue to swallow — as they have done year after year — the diet of lies that the PA leaders and spokesmen feed them? Marian, for one, feels confident that she cannot rely on the international community or the PA to bring her family justice. Who, then, will step up to do so? (Click to Source)

Bassam Tawil is a Muslim Arab based in the Middle East

© 2019 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute.

 

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Beth Yeshua International • Monday • October 14, 2019 Feast Service: Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)

 
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Beth Yeshua International • August 3, 2019 • WHO IS YESHUA? • Part 4 IS HE GOD IN THE FLESH ?

 
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Shabbat Service Jul 13, 2019 Who Is Yeshua? Introduction (Part 1) 29 days ago

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KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD

David Wilkerson (1931-2011) August 9, 2019

 

There is a thrilling Old Testament story that best illustrates what it means to be kept by the power of God. We find it in 2 Kings 6.

Benhadad, king of Syria, declared war on Israel and marched against them with a great army. As his forces advanced, he often called his war counsel into his private chambers to plan the next day’s strategy. But the prophet Elisha, moved by the Holy Spirit, kept sending word to the king of Israel, detailing every move of the enemy troops. On several occasions, the Israelites escaped defeat because of Elisha’s warnings.

Benhadad was furious and he called his servants together. “Show me this traitor! Who is revealing our plans to the king of Israel?” “One of his servants said, ‘None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak” (2 Kings 6:12).

Benhadad immediately dispatched forces to capture Elisha. They went to Dothan by night and surrounded the city, intending to take the old prophet by surprise. But Elisha’s servant awakened early and saw that “there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots.” Terrified, he ran to Elisha and asked what they should do. “[Elisha] answered, ‘Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’ And Elisha prayed, and said, ‘Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:16-17).

Elisha, like the psalmist, could stand in the midst of crisis and say with absolute assurance, “I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around” (Psalm 3:6).

Let your prayer be that of Elisha: “Lord, open my eyes that I may see the mountains filled with horses and chariots of fire — the Lord of hosts!” Beloved, there is hope! The Lord of hosts is with us. He alone is our keeper. He will not let his children slip or fall. We are held in the palm of his hand. Be assured that he is with you to protect, guide, and refresh you in a new way today.

 

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Expounding the Torah

Did Moses speak in tongues? Tradition says that Moses spoke the words of the book of Deuteronomy in the seventy languages of humanity.

Portion Summary

Devarim (דברים) is both the title for the last book from the scroll of the Torah and the title of the first Torah portion therein. Devarim means “words.” The English-speaking world calls this book Deuteronomy. The Hebrew title for the book comes from the opening phrase of the book: “These are the words (devarim) which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness” (Deuteronomy 1:1).

One ancient name for the book of Deuteronomy is Mishnah HaTorah (משנה תורה), which means “repetition of the Torah.” This is similar to the Greek Septuagint name Deuteronomos, which means “second law.” The English name Deuteronomy is derived from Deuteronomos.

The book of Deuteronomy is dominated by Moses’ farewell address to the children of Israel as he urges them to remain faithful to the covenant and prepares them for entering Canaan. During the course of the book, Moses reviews the story of the giving of the Torah at Sinai and the trip to the Promised Land, reiterates several laws of Torah and introduces new laws. The book seems to follow the general pattern of an ancient Near Eastern covenant treaty document.

As we study the first week’s reading from the book of Exodus, the children of Israel are assembled on the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho.

Special Shabbat Reading

Special readings are applicable this Shabbat.

  • Shabbat Chazon (שבת חזון | Vision)
  • Haftarah: Isaiah 1:1-27

Shabbat Chazon (“Sabbath [of] vision” שבת חזון) takes its name from the Haftarah that is read on the Shabbat immediately prior to the mournful fast of Tisha B’Av, from the words of rebuke and doom coming from Isaiah in the Book of Isaiah 1:1-27. It is also referred to as the Black Sabbath due to its status as the saddest Shabbat of the year (as opposed to the White Sabbath, Shabbat Shuvah, immediately precededing Yom Kippur).

Regular Shabbat Readings

  • Devarim (דברים | Words)
  • Torah: Deuteronomy 1:1-3:22
  • Haftarah: Isaiah 1:1-27
  • Gospel: Matthew 24:1-22

Note: The regular readings are often interrupted with special readings on Jewish holidays, special Sabbaths, and Rosh Chodesh. Refer to the annual Torah Portion schedule for these special portions.

Portion Outline

  • TORAH
    • Deuteronomy 1:1 | Events at Horeb Recalled
    • Deuteronomy 1:9 | Appointment of Tribal Leaders
    • Deuteronomy 1:19 | Israel’s Refusal to Enter the Land
    • Deuteronomy 1:34 | The Penalty for Israel’s Rebellion
    • Deuteronomy 1:46 | The Desert Years
    • Deuteronomy 2:26 | Defeat of King Sihon
    • Deuteronomy 3:1 | Defeat of King Og
  • PROPHETS
    • Isaiah 1:1 | Introduction
    • Isaiah 1:2 | The Wickedness of Judah
    • Isaiah 1:21 | The Degenerate City

Portion Summary

Devarim (דברים) is both the title for the last book from the scroll of the Torah and the title of the first Torah portion therein. Devarim means “words.” The English-speaking world calls this book Deuteronomy. The Hebrew title for the book comes from the opening phrase of the book: “These are the words (devarim) which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness” (Deuteronomy 1:1).

One ancient name for the book of Deuteronomy is Mishnah HaTorah (משנה תורה), which means “repetition of the Torah.” This is similar to the Greek Septuagint name Deuteronomos, which means “second law.” The English name Deuteronomy is derived from Deuteronomos.

The book of Deuteronomy is dominated by Moses’ farewell address to the children of Israel as he urges them to remain faithful to the covenant and prepares them for entering Canaan. During the course of the book, Moses reviews the story of the giving of the Torah at Sinai and the trip to the Promised Land, reiterates several laws of Torah and introduces new laws. The book seems to follow the general pattern of an ancient Near Eastern covenant treaty document.

As we study the first week’s reading from the book of Exodus, the children of Israel are assembled on the plains of Moab across the Jordan from Jericho.


The book of Deuteronomy opens, “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel across the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah” (Deuteronomy 1:1). Those words preface more than thirty chapters of Moses continuously talking. The sages puzzled over this. How did the man who was slow of speech become so eloquent? Just a few verses later, it says, “Moses undertook to expound this Torah.” According to Jewish tradition, Moses expounded the Torah in the seventy languages. The Midrash Tanchuma takes up the discussion.

Come and see! When the Holy One, blessed be He, said to Moses, “Go and I will send you to Pharaoh,” Moses said, “Woe! You are giving over the mission to me? I am not a man of words.” He said, “There are seventy languages known in Pharaoh’s court, so that if anyone comes from a foreign country, they can speak to him in his language. I am going as your apostle, and they will question me, and I will tell them that I am an apostle of the Almighty, and it will be obvious to them that I do not know how to converse with them. Will they not mock me and say, ‘Look, the apostle of the Creator of the universe who created all the tongues! He is unable to comprehend or answer.’” This is what Moses meant when he said, “Woe, I am not a man of words.” … forty years after the exodus from Egypt, however, he expounded the Torah in seventy languages, as it says, “He explained this Torah.” (Midrash Tanchuma, Devarim 2)

According to this story, Moses felt unqualified to serve as an apostle of Hashem because he could not speak in all seventy languages. After the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai (i.e., Shavuot) Moses no longer suffered with that impediment. He demonstrated to the people of Israel that he could now teach Torah in all seventy languages.

We should be able to see the connection to our apostles who spoke the good news in all languages on the day of Shavuot. On that day that they became apostles of the Almighty and His risen Son, they received the gift of languages.

The seventy tongues represent the seventy mother-languages spoken by all humanity. The presentation of the Torah in every language alludes to the universal quality of the revelation of God through the Torah of Moses. Just as Moses is said to have expounded the Torah to Israel in every language, likewise, the disciples proclaimed the good news of Yeshua on Shavuot in every language.

Expounding the Torah is a job for every disciple. In the same way that it is incumbent upon us to spread the gospel in every place and at every time, it is also incumbent upon us to teach the Torah. After all the Torah is very much a part of the gospel, and the message of the gospel is quite meaningless without the Torah. Therefore, we are all called to emulate Yeshua, our teacher, who dedicated His life to proclaiming the gospel and teaching the ways of Torah.

When properly presented, the Torah should be an avenue to Messiah. It should be a central part of the good news of the kingdom and the call for repentance in the name of our Master. One who undertakes to teach the Torah to others is like one imbued with the Holy Spirit on the day of Shavuot. (Click to Source)

 

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