Chukat: Numbers 19:1 – 22:1
Haftarah: Judges 11:1 - 33
Besorat Yeshua: Mark 5:21 - 34
According to the Tanach we are a people of Cohanim (priests). We believe in the universal priesthood. This means that every believer has been ordained for ministry. Each one has a different ministry. Believers are ordained for service (Ephesians 2:10) and ministers are ordained to prepare God's people for works of service (Ephesians 4:12). This service is described by Peter: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9). God has a chosen people today. His chosen people are a royal priesthood, a holy nation. We belong to God. We have received everything from Him and it is our privilege to share in praising His glory (in Hebrew we say His kavod) with others. I want to praise the Lord now and always for His blessings upon us and His people in Israel.
The laws of the red heifer are detailed. These laws are for the ritual purification of one who comes into contact with death.
After nearly 40 years in the desert, Miriam dies and is buried at Kadesh.
The people complain about the loss of their water supply that until now has been provided miraculously.
Aharon and Moshe pray for the people's welfare. G-d commands them to gather the nation at Merivah and speak to a designated rock so that water will flow forth.
Distressed by the people's lack of faith, Moshe hits the rock instead of speaking to it. He thus fails to produce the intended public demonstration of G-d's mastery over the world, which would have resulted had the rock produced water merely at Moshe's word.
Therefore, G-d tells Moshe and Aharon that they will not bring the people into the Land. Bnei Yisrael resume their travels, but because the King of Edom, a descendant of Esav, denies them passage through his country, they do not travel the most direct route to Eretz Yisrael.
When they reach Mount Hor, Aharon dies and his son Elazar is invested with his priestly garments and responsibilities.
Aharon was beloved by all, and the entire nation mourns him 30 days.
Sichon the Amorite attacks Bnei Yisrael when they ask to pass through his land. As a result, Bnei Yisrael conquer the lands that Sichon had previously seized from the Amonites on the east bank of the Jordan River.
The Son Of Man Must Be Lifted Up
The Torah states: "And the Almighty said to Moshe, 'Make for yourself the image of a snake and place it on a pole. And it will be that everyone who was bitten shall see it and live.' " (Numbers 21:8)
The snake bit the people - why is the image of the snake the "cure"? Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz explained that when a person hits someone, it comes from anger and hatred, but when he helps another person, it comes from compassion and love. With the Almighty, however, even when He causes a person to suffer, it comes from His compassion and love. In the overall scheme of things a person gains from that suffering. It is either atonement, it serves as a lesson to teach a person to improve, or it elevates a person. Therefore, the smiting and the cure can be from the same thing because they both come from the attribute of love. When you find meaning in your suffering, it is much easier to accept with a positive attitude.
It is interesting to notice that in the Torah the symbol of the snake is a symbol of Salvation. "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." (Numbers 21:8). In the Besorat of Yochanan, we have a wonderful speech from the Yeshua: "Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3: 14-16).
Exactly like the snake was lifted up on the wood by Moses and everyone who looked at it was saved, the Messiah was lifted up on the wood at Golgotha, and everyone who looks at him, everyone who believes that he is the Messiah will live.
"All who have ever lived upon the earth have felt the deadly sting of "that old serpent, called the devil, and Satan." (Revelation 12:9). The fatal effects of sin can be removed only by the provision that G-d has made. The Israelites saved their lives by looking upon the uplifted serpent. That look implied faith. They lived because they believed G-d's word, and trusted in the means provided for their recovery. So the sinner may look to Mashiach, and live. He receives pardon through faith in the atoning sacrifice. Unlike the inert and lifeless symbol, Mashiach has power and virtue in Himself to heal the repenting sinner." PP 431.
"Whoever Drinks The Water..."
When G-d commanded Moshe to bring forth water from the rock, He said "You shall bring forth for them water from the rock and give drink to the people and their animals." When Moshe brought forth the water from the rock, the Torah says, "abundant water came forth and the people and their animals drank..." In the first verse the Torah omits the adjective 'abundant'. In the second verse the dividing pronoun "et" is missing. In other words, the people and the animals are referred to as one category.
Mashiach said: "Whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." (John 4:14). Mashiach combines the two types. He is the rock, He is the living water. The same beautiful and expressive figures are carried throughout the Bible. Centuries before the advent of Mashiach, Moses pointed to Him as the rock of Israel's salvation (Deuteronomy 32:15); the psalmist sang of Him as "My rock, my Redeemer," (Psalms 19:14). "He is my mighty rock, my refuge." (Psalms 62:7) "Lead me to the rock that is higher than I," (Psalms 61:2) "rock of my refuge." (Psalms 94:22) In David's song His grace is pictured also as the cool, "still waters," (Psalms 23:2) amid green pastures, beside which the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock. Again, "Thou shalt make them," he says, "drink of the river of Thy pleasures. For with Thee is the fountain of life." (Psalms 36:8, 9). And the wise man declares, "The wellspring of wisdom [is] as a flowing brook." (Proverbs 18:4). To Jeremiah, Mashiach is "the fountain of living waters;" (Jeremiah 2:13) to Zechariah, "a fountain opened . . . for sin and for uncleanness." (Zechariah 13:1).
Isaiah describes Him as "the Eternal Rock" (Isaiah 26:4) and "the shadow of a great rock in a weary land." (Isaiah 32:2). And he records the precious promise, bringing vividly to mind the living stream that flowed for Israel: "When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them." "I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground;" "in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert." The invitation is given, "Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters." (Isaiah 41:17; 44:3; 35:6; 55:1)." PP 413.
HAFTARAH Judges 11:1 - 33
Parasha: When the Israelites arrived in the country of the Amorites, they tried to negotiate with them. "Israel sent messengers to say to Sihon king of the Amorites: 'Let us pass through your country. We will not turn aside into any field or vineyard, or drink water from any well. We will travel along the king's highway until we have passed through your territory.'" (Numbers 21:21-22).
Haftarah: This story is the story of Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior in Israel and was called by Israel to fight the Amorites. But first try to negotiate with them. "Then Jephthah sent messengers to the Ammonite king with the question: "What do you have against us that you have attacked our country?" (Judges. 11:12).
Parasha: Sihon did not want to talk, then Israel had to fight in order to pass and to reach the Promise Land. "But Sihon would not let Israel pass through his territory. He mustered his entire army and marched out into the desert against Israel. When he reached Jahaz, he fought with Israel. Israel, however, put him to the sword and took over his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, but only as far as the Ammonites, because their border was fortified. Israel captured all the cities of the Amorites and occupied them... (Numbers 21:23-25).
Haftarah: The king did not accept this deal and then Jephthah fought the Amorites like his ancestors on their way to the Promise Land. "The king of Ammon, however, paid no attention to the message Jephthah sent him. (Judges. 11:28). Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the LORD gave them into his hands. (Judges. 11:32).
In the Parasha as well in the Besorat, it is matter of suffering and healing. In the parasha, Israelites were bitten by snakes and they are healed by the lifting up of an image of the snake. This elevation became the symbol of the elevation of the Mashiach on the wood.
Parasha: The LORD said to Moses, "Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live." (21:8)
Besora: Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Y'shua, he fell at his feet And pleaded earnestly with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live." (5:23)
Parasha: Aaron was clothed with the garments God had ordered, specially the Tsitsit (tassels), God asked Moses to "Remove Aaron's garments and put them on his son Eleazar, for Aaron will be gathered to his people; he will die there." (Numbers 20:25-26).
Besora: "a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years." (5:25) ... When she heard about Yeshua, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his Tsitsit, because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed." (5:28). When she was healed Yeshua said to her: "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." (5:34).