Parashat Ki Tisa (For you shall lift up—an idiom which means “take a census”)


Parashat Ki Tisa

(For you shall lift up—an idiom which means “take a census”)

Exodus 30:11-34:35

Haftarah: 1 Kings 18:1-39

In this week’s Torah portion, Moses ascends once more upon Mount Sinai to receive the second set of Tablets. He was upon the Mountain for forty days and forty nights and we are told that he did not eat bread nor did he drink water (See Exodus 34:28). This is most similar to what one reads concerning Yeshua, for He was tempted in the wilderness also forty days and forty nights, during which He did not eat or drink anything (See Matthew 4:2 and Luke 4:2). What is the connection between these two verses?

The number forty appears numerous times in the Scriptures and it relates to a transition or a change. Certainly when Moses received the Torah and descended to the people and gave to them this revelation from G-d it represented a new dispensation for the Children of Israel. In other words, by means of the Torah, the Children of Israel would now know what the will of G-d is. Yeshua, during those forty days of temptation, demonstrated that He had overcome the temptation of Satan which was foundational in Him achieving the victory / salvation for humanity. What did Yeshua use in combating this satanic temptation? The answer is of course the Torah. Hence, the commandments, while they do not provide the victory, they are related to the victorious lifestyle of one who has overcome.

In addition to the forty days and forty nights there is another similarity— the fact that neither Yeshua nor Moses ate anything for these forty days. What is the significance of fasting during this period? Fasting relates to the denying of self while relying upon G-d. This reliance is based upon a trusting in HaShem to supply a supernatural provision, rather than depending upon the natural. The message from this week’s Parashah is that one cannot truly receive the Torah, i.e. the will of G-d, by means of the flesh. Rather it is only when one comes before G-d in faith, and in a spirit of dependence upon Him, that this one will be provided the ability to receive and fulfill the Word of G-d.

This section concludes with the people noticing that Moses’ face had become radiant, i.e. reflecting the glory of G-d. Would it not be fitting that others could see the glory of G-d radiating from believers, because of our obedience to Scriptural truth?

Shabbat Shalom


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