Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach
Torah Reading: Exodus 33:12-34:26
Maftir: Numbers 28:19-25 Haftarah: Ezekiel 37:1-14
This week we have a special reading during the time of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. As many of you know, one of the great privileges that I have is to lead tours to Israel and at times also teach at the different biblical sites in the Land. Every time I open the Bible at a specific site in which a biblical event occurred, I get excited because it brings the Bible alive. As I read this week’s special reading, the same excitement happened to me.
You shall keep the Feast of Unleavened Bread. For seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month of Abib; for in the month of Abib you came out of Egypt.
As I read these verses, I once again thought of the great privilege and honor that I have to live in God’s Land, and to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread here.
In Jeremiah 16:14-15 we read:
“Therefore behold, days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the LORD lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to their own land which I gave to their fathers.”
It astonishes me to read these verses all the while remembering God’s amazing redemption of the children of Israel when He delivered us from slavery in Egypt; today, I live in the Land of Promise and see the continuation of God’s faithfulness to the Jewish people. It also fills me with much hope in the fact that the same God who delivered Israel, is the same God that I believe in and worship today.
Another thing that struck me when I read this week’s special reading is the foreshadowing of a new covenant that God would give us, which I see in God giving Moses a new set of tablets in Exodus 34:1-9:
Now the LORD said to Moses, “Cut out for yourself two stone tablets like the former ones, and I will write on the tablets the words that were on the former tablets which you smashed. So be ready by morning, and come up in the morning to Mount Sinai, and present yourself there to Me on the top of the mountain. And no one is to come up with you, nor let anyone be seen anywhere on the mountain; even the flocks and the herds are not to graze in front of that mountain.” So he cut out two stone tablets like the former ones, and Moses got up early in the morning and went up to Mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and he took the two stone tablets in his hand. And the LORD descended in the cloud and stood there with him as he called upon the name of the LORD. Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in faithfulness and truth; who keeps faithfulness for thousands, who forgives wrongdoing, violation of His Law, and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, inflicting the punishment of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.” And Moses hurried to bow low toward the ground and worship. Then he said, “If in any way I have found favor in Your sight, Lord, please may the Lord go along in our midst, even though the people are so obstinate, and pardon our wrongdoing and our sin, and take us as Your own possession.”
And then in verse 10 we read:
Then God said, “Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the LORD, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you.”
I personally believe that this is a picture of a future that God predestined for the children of Israel, with a new covenant that He will make with the House of Judah and the House of Israel (Jeremiah 31:31-33).
In the special reading from the Haftarah, we read of Ezekiel’s incredible vision of the dry bones, which directly connects to the new covenant that God Himself will make with Israel, ultimately pointing to the final redemption in Messiah:
The hand of the LORD was upon me, and He brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; and it was full of bones. He had me pass among them all around, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley; and behold, they were very dry. Then He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “Lord GOD, You Yourself know.” Again He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones and say to them, ‘You dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’ This is what the Lord GOD says to these bones: ‘Behold, I am going to make breath enter you so that you may come to life. And I will attach tendons to you, make flesh grow back on you, cover you with skin, and put breath in you so that you may come to life; and you will know that I am the LORD.’”
So I prophesied as I was commanded; and as I prophesied, there was a loud noise, and behold, a rattling; and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, tendons were on them, and flesh grew and skin covered them; but there was no breath in them. Then He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, ‘The Lord God says this: “Come from the four winds, breath, and breathe on these slain, so that they come to life.”’” So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath entered them, and they came to life and stood on their feet, an exceedingly great army.
Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the entire house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’ Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘This is what the Lord God says: “Behold, I am going to open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people. And I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.”
While there are those who deny it, I believe we live in the days that we not only see the physical restoration of the Jewish people back to the Land of Promise, but also the beginnings of Israel’s spiritual restoration. The spiritual restoration through Messiah Yeshua is happening on an individual basis, but there will be a day when the Jewish people collectively recognize Yeshua as our Messiah (Zechariah 12: 10-14). Let us not grow weary in all the chaos that we see throughout the world today, but instead press on in the hope and promises that we have in our Living God.
We serve a living and faithful God, whose promises will come true!
Shabbat Shalom, and a happy and blessed feast,
Check out previous blogs on this parashah!
Share this Post
Thank you so much. I enjoy every powerful newsletter. You send me.
So appreciate you Moran
Hi Moran, Shalom, my name is Jessica, from México 🙂
Ive had the opportunity to be in Israel for 2 months in 2015, which was funny/ interesting cuz my original plan was to stayed only 8 days, but as i was on the Tel Aviv airport and the officer asked me for my passport i realized going back in time (like in a movie) that i had forgotten my passport in Haifa at a hostel (long story to tell of the why hah, “mistake” i don’t regret), so, this led me to lost my flight and me deciding to stay 2 months there in Tel Aviv (i had the opportunity to do volunteer at a hostel, but I felt a “very strange peace and that i was meant to do it, and i did it, my time there was great in many ways, great experiences i had among the culture and the places, which i loved and felt so blessed, like that time in Tzfat, where (thank God) i was able to stayed in a Jew hostel, and had the opportunity to spent Shabbat with Jews orthodox families, have a full service at the Synagogue, dance and sing with the girls, oh boy! that still bring such a joy when i remember that (even more now);
As this one, many other ones that God allowed me to experience I still treasured them in my heart, but as there were some as great at this one, there were others very shameful that I regret and that was cuz Jesus was not in the center of my life, not even in my life, better said, (i was a believer of God (Father/ Jehovah, but i was very agnostic about Jesus begin the Messiah), so he was def. no the Lord and my teacher.
Anyways heh, what I want to say is that, as i was reading the line you wrote ” Every time I open the Bible at a specific site in which a biblical event occurred, I get excited because it brings the Bible alive.” Wow!, it DID encourage me so much once again of the HUGE BLESS that might be to be there as a Disciple of Jesus and see in real life many of the places that were/are part of His perfect plan, His prophecies, His life and His purpose for the world, not only while He was here but since the beginning of the world and now.
I wasn’t a truly believer back then in 2014 when i was there for the first time, but now after many years i am (since 2021), and i cannot imagine how beautiful might be to see the Holy Land and all around but now with new eyes, His eyes and and with a new heart with His Spirit, aaand all the REVELATION that you might experience in every place along with the Bible.
Anyways, just wanted to share that that line, really encourage me and bless me to keep asking God to be able to keep learning about His mighty deeds in the Bible, and eventually the opportunity to go back there and see them, but now having a new life in Christ and be able to be once again among His people, the places he once visited and his language, but with a WHOLE NEW HEART AND PERSPECTIVE.
Thank you brother for your time, God bless you! and toda raba for your studies you shared with us 🙂