Shabbat Chol Hamoed: Exodus 33:12-34:26
Maftir: Numbers 28:19-25
Haftarah: Ezekiel 37:1-14
Shabbat Chol Hamoed is the Sabbath during the festival of unleavened bread. The normal weekly Torah portion is delayed to the following week. In the reading from the prophets Ezekiel receives the famous vision of dry bones. This well known passage speaks about a future restoration of Israel. It is important that one interprets this passage in a general sense and not individually; that is, not every Jewish person is going to be raised according to this vision, but there will be a remnant who will be the recipients of this prophecy. Some have wrongly interpreted this passage as a “second chance” to receive Messiah Yeshua. This is not the correct interpretation, for Scripture declares that it is appointed unto man to die once, and afterwards the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).
The intent of this passage is simply that although Israel, as a nation, will cease to be for a long time, in the last days HaShem will restore His covenant and all His promises to Israel will be realized. This prophecy is not fulfilled in the modern state of Israel, but only during the days of Messiah when a Torah observant nation will be established during the Kingdom period (See Isaiah 2:1-4). In essence Ezekiel is affirming that in spite of Israel’s long exile, which continues today, for without a Temple the exile has not ended, there is a day coming that will reestablish Israel as the nation that G-d will use to fulfill His desire to bless all the nations. When will this be? It will be the resurrection of the dead that brings this prophecy into fulfillment.
In verse 11 of this prophecy HaShem tells Ezekiel that these bones are “all the house of Israel“, one needs to understand the usage of the phrase, “all the house of Israel” in the same way that Paul used it in Romans 11:26,
“And so all Israel shall be saved…“
In no way does Paul mean that every Jewish individual will be in the Kingdom sadly, but those who enter into a covenant relationship with the Redeemer of Israel, Messiah Yeshua. One needs to pay close attention to Paul’s definition of Israel in Romans 9:2-8. In this passage Paul makes it most clear that not all of Israel is Israel. This sounds confusing, but what Paul is demonstrating from the Torah is that not all of Israel, i.e. every Jewish person, is part and parcel of Israel, i.e. those have believed the promise. Hence faith and Israel go hand in hand and ultimately every Jew (also every Gentile) who exercises the faith which G-d gives will be part of Israel.
Ezekiel’s prophecy strongly proclaims that death does not void the promises of HaShem, rather that faith triumphs over death. Finally once again the reader sees that the Land of Israel is always tied to the promises of G-d including His promise of the Kingdom. Do not follow the error of so many “believers” who state incorrectly that Israel has lost her divine right to the Land of Israel.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Passover
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