Parashat Va’etchanan (and he entreated) Deut. 3:23-7:11
Haftarah: Isaiah 40:1-26
This week we observed the day which commemorates the destruction of the Temples-Tisha B’Av. With the conclusion of this fast day the three week period of sorrow ends. This Shabbat we enter a new period of time, the seven Shabbats which are between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Hashanah. The main theme is, understanding the comfort that HaShem offers to His people through the Messiah. Because Rosh Hashanah is connected to the Kingdom of G-d by the rabbis, the comfort which is discussed in the seven prophetic passages shows a relationship between this comfort and the redemption which HaShem offers as the means for being made ready to enter into His Kingdom.
Within this passage from Isaiah one finds the famous statement that was said concerning John as he called the people to repentance on the shores of the Jordan River,
“A voice calling in the wilderness, ‘Clear the way of HaShem; make a straight path in the desert for our G-d…” Isaiah 40:3
If one reads the entire section from Isaiah it becomes clear that the passage is simply saying, get ready for G-d Who is about to visit His people. It is most significant that in the New Covenant this same passage is used to announce the beginning of Yeshua’s public ministry. What is the connection between these two events?
There are two possibilities. The first is simply the way that HaShem visits His people and provides the comfort that ultimately will redeem His people is through Messiah. This is true, but a fuller understanding must be acknowledged. This leads one to the second possibility. This is that Messiah does not only represent G-d, but He Himself is G-d. Hence both of these two possibilities are correct. In other words, the use of this prophecy, which announces the coming of G-d, and is fulfilled in the work of Messiah Yeshua, is one of the many passages in the New Covenant that points to the Divinity of Messiah.
Later on in this prophetic reading one is informed that there is One Who will rule for G-d. This one is usually referred to as the “Arm of the L-rd”,
“Behold the L-rd G-d in strength will come, and His Arm rules from Him…” Isa. 40:11
It is important to know that the word translated “arm” comes from the Hebrew word which can mean “seed”, “descendant”, or “son”. Hence it is more accurate to translate the verse,
“Behold the L-rd G-d in strength will come, and His Son rules from Him…”
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