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Parashah # 16 B’shallach / After he had let go

In Weekly Torah Portions | on January, 09, 2014 | by

Parashah # 16

B’shalach ~ After he had let go 
Torah: Sh’mot/Exodus 13:17-17:16
Haftarah: Shof’tim/Judges 4:4-5:31
B’rit Hadashah: Luke 2:22-24; Yochanan/John 6:25-35 & 19:31-37
1 Corinthians 10:1-13; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15; Revelation 15:1-4

Here I am again, with so much information I don’t know where to start ~ I feel like I’ve been in an orchard at the (aytz khah-yeem) Etz-Chayim/Tree of Life and instead of having one particular kind of fruit, it has a variety!!!

First of all, I want to mention (Too B’Sheh-vaht) Tu B’Shevat (Israel Arbor Day) which falls on the 15th day of Shevat (January 17th this year). Torah Chai/Ozarks Hebrew Heritage Association will observe Tu B’Shevat (Israeli Arbor Day) by sending funds to Israel for trees. Trees are $18 each but any amount is welcome. Since our monthly meeting in January has already taken place, if you are interested in being a part of blessing Israel in this way with us, please send your contribution to the PayPal account at www.ozarkshebrewheritage.com or feel free to contact me and we can work out another method. One reason planting is SO important this year is because next year is Sh’mitah (land rest) with no planting and no harvesting.


But before we start eating from the tree, I want to share some interesting tidbits about the fruit trees in Israel. In Biblical times and even now,

• . . . the first three years after a tree is planted, the fruit isn’t eaten. (Vayikra/Leviticus 19:23-25)
• The fourth year, the fruit is offered to Yehovah in praise and thanksgiving.
• In the fifth year and afterwards, the fruit of the tree is eaten.

Here are a couple of interesting ancient & modern customs associated with Tu B’Shevat:

• In Ancient Israel, it was a custom to plant a young cedar tree for each boy and a young cypress tree for each girl. When the young man and young woman were married, branches from their own trees were woven together for their (khoo-pah) chuppah / marriage canopy.

• Hebrew and non-Hebrew people from around the world, mark this day by sending money to organizations which plant trees in Israel.

• D’varim/Deuteronomy 8:8 tells us the seven Biblical foods which are grown in Israel are:

o Wheat
o Barley
o Grapes
o Figs
o Pomegranates
o Olive oil

o Honey, which upon deeper study, we learn comes from dates

So, of the seven Biblical foods, four grow on trees!

Earlier, I mentioned Etz-Chayim/Tree of Life, which is another way of referring to the Torah. Proverbs 3:18 says The Holy One’s Word is wisdom and a tree of life to us. He promised if we hold tightly to the wisdom found in His Word, we will be blessed. Staying connected to Yehovah’s “tree of life” is very important. Yeshua said He is the vine and we are like branches. To grow strong in our faith, we need to stay close and depend on Him as our source for life and growth. Yeshua wants us to bear good fruit. What kind of fruit does He want us to bear? We can find out in Galatians 5:22. “. . . the fruit of the Spirit is . . .

• Love
• Joy
• Peace
• Patience
• Kindness
• Goodness
• Faithfulness
• Humility
• Self control

Nothing in the Torah stands against such things.”

Thank you for allowing me to share about Tu B’Shevat. Planting trees in Israel is one of the greatest ways to honor the nation, the people and The Holy One, especially after the Mt. Carmel fire in October 2010 as well as the snow and ice storm of December 2013 which destroyed 10,000 trees.


Our Torah portion begins in Sh’mot/Exodus 13:17 with The Almighty guiding (B’nay Is-ra’el) B’nei Israel/Children of Israel “off the beaten path” fearing their return to Egypt because of war. Yet, verse 18 states (Ahm Is-rah-el) Am Israel/People of Israel went up from the land of Egypt fully armed. We know they were fully armed with gold, silver and clothing. Were they armed for battle as well? If so, why would they be fearful? They already had seen the mighty hand of Yehovah during all the plagues?

The Children of Israel had a quick lesson to learn about following Elohim. They knew they were heading to the land Canaan. They would have assumed they would simply follow the coastal route up out of Egypt, along the Mediterranean, and be back in Canaan in a few days.

The coastal highway was guarded by Egyptian garrisons. The Almighty did not want the military confrontations to dissuade the people. Besides, He had some important things to teach them in the wilderness before they arrived in Canaan. He wanted to deliver them at the Red Sea, teach them about His provision and give them the Torah at Sinai before leading them to the land. We are often in a hurry to reach our dreams and our goals. It is frustrating to take long cuts through the wilderness. Yehovah is more interested in seeing us develop in spiritual maturity than He is in seeing us arrive at our dreams and goals. He will often lead us on long, seemingly circuitous routes in order to teach us and prepare us for the things which lie ahead. He wants to build our character. When we rush in without His leading and training, we find ourselves surprised by the challenges and are quickly overcome.

The Artscroll Chumash, Stone Edition, has commentary concerning the miracles Yehovah performed in Egypt and the continued miracles as B’nei Isra’el/Children of Israel journeyed through the wilderness. “This would be their schooling in faith, for they would see through . . .

• the manna,
• the water,
• the constant protection from the elements
• and so on . . .

. . that Yehovah is omnipresent and all-powerful.” As a result, for the rest of Israel’s national history, they would look back and know “everything is in God’s hands”. Immediately, my mind flashed back several years ago to one of the first Hebrew phrases I learned from my friend and “big brother”, Abba Dumaine. I don’t use it as often as I should but I shall strive to do better. So here is one of your (Eve-reet) Ivrit/Hebrew lessons and a reminder to me . . . H’kol b’yadim Yehovah (H’kole b’yah-deem Yeh-hoe-vah) / everything is in God’s hands!

Like his father, Ya’akov, Yosef, on his death bed, requested his bones be taken out of (Mitz-rah-yeem) Mitzrayim/Egypt when they were remembered by The Almighty and delivered from bondage. According to verse 19, Moshe upheld the oath sworn concerning Yosef’s bones. It’s going to be interesting a little later on to see where Yosef/Joseph’s bones are buried. Just as Joseph’s empty tomb signifies the redemption from Egypt, it fore shadows the Messiah’s empty tomb which signifies our redemption. And, by the way, Messiah’s tomb belonged to a man named Joseph. Remember?


“And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them, and I will be honored over Pharaoh and over all his army, that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord.” The people fled and when he was told, the hearts of Pharaoh, and of his servants were turned against the people. They said, “Why have we done this, we have let Israel go from serving us?” (verses 4-5) Once again, Yehovah is going to harden the heart of Pharaoh.

We have been told repeatedly nothing is written in Torah without purpose. So did you really pay attention to verse 6 or did you read over it like I have time and time again?! “So, he (Pharaoh) prepared his chariots and took his people with him”. Why would a king bridle his own horses and hitch them to his chariots? For crying out loud . . . he has attendants to do that for him!!! We are told it was out of his hatred for the Hebrews.

Okay, remember when I said I felt like I had been in an orchard but the tree had more than one kind of fruit on it? Well, here goes with the variety!!!

In verses 7-9, did you really pay attention to what it said? If not, don’t feel bad . . . I didn’t catch until a few years ago. Pharaoh “took 600 first-quality chariots, as well as all the other chariots in Egypt.” How do chariots operate? Do the people pull them? So what happened two weeks ago in Sh’mot/Exodus 9:6? And how about verses 17-19? So did some of the Hebrew children decide not to go with Moshe because of their fear of the unknown? Did they lend their horses to Pharaoh out of fear? We know the Hebrew livestock didn’t die!!!! Or, perhaps, the horses belonged to some of the Egyptians who became God – fearers and had their animals spared. On the other hand, perhaps Pharaoh was intimidated enough so he had all of his horses put in the stables.

Moving right along . . . the Exodus from Egypt was orchestrated and carried out totally by The Almighty. All Israel had to do was simply walk in it. Israel could do nothing at the Red Sea. Egypt was overtaking them with chariots, bows and arrows and swords. To the left and to the right was desert, which would only have served as a mass graveyard had they tried to resist Pharaoh’s army. If they went back to Egypt, they would face slavery again, and perhaps even worse bondage because of the anger of the Egyptians. In front of them was an impassable barrier, the sea. Their fears were beginning to cause panic. They began complaining, “Was it because there weren’t enough graves in Egypt that you brought us out to die in the desert?” (verse 11)

The next verses (13 & 14) are the very verses we need to remember when we are faced with challenging situations. “Moshe answered the people, “Stop being so fearful! Remain steady, and you will see how Yehovah is going to save you. He will do it today – today you have seen the Egyptians, but you will never see them again! Yehovah will do battle for you. Just calm yourselves down!” Should we truly have the opportunity to be part of the Greater Exodus (Yirme’yahu/Jeremiah 16:14-15) those are the words we need to remember.

All seemed lost and about to come to instant disaster, until Yehovah took over! When Israel reached her most hopeless hour, with her back against the wall, The Almighty performed His mightiest act of deliverance, splitting the sea, rescuing Israel and defeating Egypt. Yehovah is not a respecter of persons. What He has done for them He will do for those who choose to be obedient to His Holy Word.

“. . . the angel of God” (verses 19-20), in my opinion was not just any angel of God but was the angel of God, Yeshua/Jesus. I was reminded of Mattityahu/Matthew 28:20, where Yeshua says “I am with you always”. He went before them when necessary and He was their rear guard as well (Yesha’yahu/Isaiah 52:12 and 58:8). He was their cloud (covering) by day to keep them cool from the desert heat and He was their fire at night to give them light and warmth.

Then we have the unnatural or supernatural phenomenon in verse 21 of the east wind blowing all night, which takes us back to last week in Sh’mot/Exodus 10:13 and we saw the east wind blowing all day and all night. As I mentioned last week, the wind doesn’t naturally blow from the east to the west. The natural progression of the weather and wind is from the west to the east. There were some pretty supernatural things happening back then. AND, there will be some pretty supernatural things happening in the Greater Exodus (Yirme’yahu/Jeremiah 16:14-16), as well.

A question was asked: Why did the wind have to blow all night long? Wouldn’t the sea splitting with one whoosh have been more dramatic? The answer: Even when The Almighty makes miracles, He does them in natural ways. Nature is the Hand of God.

Someone, probably a mathematician, went to the trouble to calculate the following concerning the crossing of the Red Sea, also known as the Sea of Suf as well as the Sea of Reeds or Reeds Sea.

If, the children of Israel went on a narrow path, double file, the line would be 800 miles
long and would require 35 days and nights to get through. So there had to be a space in
the sea, 3 miles wide so they could walk through 5,000 abreast.

Based on verses 21-24, I think it took approximately 24 hours for B’nei Isra’el/Children of Israel and all their livestock to walk across.

I like the way this chapter ends (verses 30 & 31) “On that day . . .
• Yehovah saved Isra’el from the Egyptians;
• Isra’el saw the Egyptians dead on the shore.

When Isra’el saw the mighty deed Yehovah had performed against the Egyptians . . .
• The people feared Yehovah, and
• They believed in Yehovah and
• In his servant Moshe.”


So today we have (Shahb-baht She-rah) Shabbat Shirah which means Song of the Sabbath and this week in Sh’mot/Exodus 14:1-25, we read about the deliverance of B’nei Yisrael. As soon as they get on the other side of sea, they break into (She-raht Hah-yahm) Shirat Ha-yam, the Song of the Sea or Song of Triumph in verses 1-19. Our translations, none of them, can do this song justice as the Hebrew language does in a Torah Scroll, the Tanakh or Chumash. (Artscroll, Stone Edition, Chumash: Page 376-378) It is written in a very unique manner and is unlike ANY other passage recorded in Torah.

I realized something rather unique when I looked at verse 2. The children of Israel rejoiced that Yehovah’s name had been glorified more than their own salvation. In Hebrew, the term Kiddush Yehovah expresses it succinctly. In all we do and say, the Name of Yehovah should be exalted and glorified.

As we go through life, we often find ourselves pondering decisions both great and small. We wonder what we should do. Which is the best course of action? I’m learning an excellent principle in my decision making is to ask myself, “Will this decision position me to exalt Yehovah’s name? Will it bring Him glory if I follow this course of action?” I want the outcome to be Kiddush Yehovah, His name be exalted.

The Hebrew word (mah-rah) Marah means bitter or bitterness. In verses 22-25 we learn about B’nei Isra’el’s three day travel into the desert without finding any water. When they do find water, it is marah. Oh no! What to do? “Take it to the Lord in prayer”. It’s the latter part of verse 25 and verse 26 which I like and take to heart. “There Yehovah made laws and rules of life for them and there He tested them. He said,

• Listen intently to the voice of Yehovah your God
• Do what He considers right
• Pay attention to His mitzvot/rulings/commandments
• Observe His laws (let’s see . . . those would be in which covenant?)

Wow! Remember back in B’resheet/Genesis when I said it was both historic and prophetic? Gosh, here it is again! We haven’t been to Mt. Sinai yet but The Almighty made laws and rules for them and tested them.

IF they/we will do those things then Yehovah will not afflict them/us with any of the diseases He brought on the Egyptians/the world; because He is (Yeh-hoe vah Rah-fah) Yehovah Rapha their/our God-Healer.

Bottom line, if we obey Torah, we won’t get the current virus and we shouldn’t be taking any vaccines either! Yehovah is our Healer, not some stupid vaccine which the makers won’t even take themselves! Sorry about the soapbox! However, I am very passionate about this issue. Obey Yehovah and He will cleanse you, heal you, redeem you!!!

It’s number trivia time!!!! In verse 27, right after Yehovah had made laws and rules of life for them and promised them divine health IF they would obey. Here they come to (Eh-ee-leem) Eilim where there were twelve springs and seventy palm trees.

• Twelve is the number for Divine Authority
• Twelve coincides with the number of tribes; a spring for each tribe.
• Twelve also coincides with the twelve talmidim/students or apostles of Yeshua.
• Seventy represents Divine Judgment
• Seventy represents the 70 Elders appointed
• Seventy represents the Israelites who entered into Egypt
• Seventy is also the number of Nations and . . .
• Seventy were sent out by Yeshua/Jesus (Luke 10:1)

There is probably more to it but this is the depth of my digging at this time.


In (verses 1-3) B’nei Israel is 45 days out of Mitzrayim/Egypt and this is the 2nd time they grumble against Moshe (first time for Aharon). In fact, they are wishing Yehovah had used His own hands to kill them in Egypt.

What happened to . . . “When Isra’el saw the mighty deed that Yehovah had performed against the Egyptians,

• The people feared Yehovah, and
• They believed in Yehovah and
• In his servant Moshe.” (verse 31 in Chapter 14)

. . . which was only a little over a month ago?

Moving right along to verses 4-27 we learn about The Manna. BUT, before we delve into the manna, does anyone besides me wonder about this statement in verse 4? Let’s read it . . . the Complete Jewish Bible says, “. . . By this I will test whether they will observe my Torah or not.” The giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps Sh’mot/Exodus 15:25-26 was the original Oral Torah. What do you think?

The Sages teach, one month after B’nei Yisrael/Children of Israel left Egypt; they finished their supply of (maht-zote) matzot/unleavened bread. And you know the story . . . about the grumbling and complaining. They not only got bread but quail to boot! The Holy One provided them with daily carbs and then balanced it out by providing protein in the evening, which is even better!!!

Since most of us have been raised in the “church” and have been taught very little, if any, Hebrew, here is some background I learned about verse 15. When the people of Isra’el saw it, they asked each other, (Mahn hoo) “Man hu?” which literally means, “what is it?” The Hebrew word for bread is (leh-khem) Lechem, so in order to differentiate which was from man and which was from Yehovah, they used the word “man hu”. This became “manna” since there was no Greek or English equivalent. We are told it was like coriander seed, white; and tasted like honey cakes. According to some of the Sages, it tasted like “whatever you wanted it to taste like.” I guess that’s one of those questions I can find the answer to when I get to see these folks (pah-neem l’ pah-neem) panim l’panim/face to face.

Frugalness and timeliness is taught in verses 16-20. Each person was to gather an omer/two-quarts for each person in their tent. Some, however, gathered more and some gathered less according to their appetite BUT, when they measured it, whoever gathered much had no excess and whoever gathered little had no shortage. Additionally, it was to be gathered in the morning after the dew had evaporated. They weren’t to leave it there very long as it melted when the sun grew hot. Also, they weren’t to leave any over night. It’s a “daily bread” thing!!! When left overnight, it rotted and bred worms. Yuck, gross!! Nevertheless, manna was amazing stuff! It had all the nutrition necessary to sustain a large population for forty years. It appeared every morning and in an adequate amount so no one went hungry. It could be cooked, boiled or baked. However, it could not be stored. The part I really like about the manna story is . . . they can only get their “daily bread”; which is what Yeshua told us to pray for in Luke 11:3. Bottom line, Yehovah provides all our needs and all we have to do is receive them.

Even before Torah or the Decalogue came down from Mt. Sinai, B’nei Israel was to observe the Sabbath. On the sixth day they were to gather twice as much (verses 22-26) because “tomorrow is a holy Shabbat for Yehovah”. What was left over this time did not rot and did not have worms! Isn’t it amazing what obedience will do for us!!!

Of course, I need to get a little more Hebrew teaching in here. The word “manna” is spelled with the Hebrew letters (mehm) mem [מ]and (noon) nun [נ] which are the beginning letters for the phrase (Mah-she-akh Neht-zehr) Mashiach Netzer/Messiah the Branch. References to Yeshua being called a netzer/branch can be found in Yesha’yahu/Isaiah 11:1. Also the reference in Mattityahu/Matthew 2:23 concerning Yeshua being a “Nazarene” is most likely a mistranslation from the original Hebrew to Greek to English. I don’t believe you will find anywhere in the (Neh-ve-eem) Nevi’im/Prophets anything about Yeshua being a Nazarene but there is prophecy referring to Him as a netzer/branch or shoot.


Not only was there a food issue but there was also the issue of The Water. In verses 1-7, Moshe is about to lose his life but this wasn’t the first time there was a water issue. We were faced with (mah-rah) marah/bitter water back in Sh’mot/Exodus 15:23-25. You would think after all the miraculous things B’nei Israel have seen Yehovah do, they wouldn’t get so “twitterpated” over water. This is where Yehovah tells Moshe to take his staff, the one he used to part the waters, and strike the rock and water will come out of it. Moshe did this in the presence of the leaders. That place was named (Mahs-sah) Massah / testing and (M’ree-vah) M’rivah / quarreling. Nonetheless, it points to Yeshua, our living water, (Yochanan/John 4:1-14), and our Spiritual Rock, unmovable, unshakeable and timeless (1 Corinthians 10:4).

Verses 8-13 paint such a vivid picture for showing how we should undergird our leaders . . . While we might not be in a position to do as Aharon and Hur holding up Moshe’s arms, we can do so spiritually with our prayers.

• Politically, on every level . . .National, State, County, and Local
• Spiritually, on every level . . .Torah Study leaders (local, national and international)

The closing verses show the strong hand of Yehovah and His promise to “fight Amalek generation after generation”. Moshe built an altar and called it Yehovah Nissi/Yehovah is my banner/miracle. (verses 14-16) Lest we should forget, Amalek was a descendant of Esau and the Edomites. They attacked Israel because of their ancestors’ hatred of Jacob. Those people are the present day Jordanians/Palestinians and Arabs, and what has changed????? I believe this is definitely End Times prophecy. (Check out ‘Ovadyah/Obadiah 1:18)


Last week we read the B’rit Hadashah portion and I commented about the plagues in Egypt paralleling those in Revelation. So this week, when I was looking up the scripture where all the livestock died, Abba encouraged me to write them down to see the comparison. Beginning in Sh’mot/Exodus 7:17 – 12:29 we find the following plagues:

1st Water to blood
2nd Frogs
3rd Lice
4th Swarms (insects)
5th All livestock died
6th Sores (boils)
7th Hail, thunder & fire
8th Locusts
9th Darkness (3 days)
10th Death of 1st born

Then in Revelation Chapters 8 and 9 we read about the blowing of the 7 shofars/trumpets and
with each blast, the following happened:

1st Hail, fire & blood
2nd Sea turned to blood
3rd 1/3 of water bitter
4th Darkness
5th Locusts
6th Death to 1/3 mankind
7th Hidden plan of God will be completed

When I did a comparison, it looked like this:

1st shofar Hail, fire & blood ~ 7th plague of Hail, fire & thunder
2nd shofar Sea turned to blood ~ 1st plague of water to blood
3rd shofar 1/3 of water bitter ~ 2nd plague of frogs from water
4th shofar Darkness ~ 9th plague of darkness 3 days
5th shofar Locusts ~ 8th plague of locusts
6th shofar Death to 1/3 mankind ~ 10th plague of death the first born
7th shofar Hidden plan of God will be completed

As I thought about this Egyptian experience, I thought . . . each of us needs to see we personally came out of Egypt (because we did!). Remember, Egypt in prophecy is a symbol of the world – sinful and disobedient. Our lives are filled with messages from the Holy One, blessed be He, which are designed to teach us His ways and draw us near to Him. He has a plan and we have the choice: To fit in, or to be cut out. We can receive His promises but only by faith AND obedience. Obedience to what? Obedience to His loving instructions, His Torah.

As a parting thought, I sometimes look back at my initial struggle as a Believer and becoming Torah Pursuant. Here are some of the hurdles I encountered . . .

• I had been told Torah had been done away with (see Mattityahu/Matthew 5:17).
• Some think only part of it has been done away with.
• Others think it still applies and the reasoning goes on and on.
• Yeshua/Jesus couldn’t have been talking to me when He said “If you love me, keep my commandments.” Those are only for the Jews (as some teach). If that is the case, then Yeshua/Jesus is only for the Jews.

Finally, to me, the situation has become very simple. It’s a heart issue! יהוה (Yehovah) tells us to believe in Him and do what He has told us to do. He is THE Father; He has spoken and that is it! The bottom line is faith AND obedience. Acts 2:21 and Romans 10:13 quote Yo’el/Joel 2:32 “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Yehovah shall be saved”

B’shalach ~ After he had let go
Haftarah: Shof’tim/Judges 4:4-5:31

First some parallels between our Torah portion Sh’mot/Exodus 13:17-17:16 and our Haftarah, Shof’tim/Judges 4:4-5:31. As you will see from the following parallels, it is easy to understand why this Haftarah reading was chosen to accompany this Torah portion.


Shof’tim/Judges 4:3 – Sisera, who had 900 iron chariots, oppressed Israel
Sh’mot/Exodus 14:7-9 – 600 first-quality chariots as well as others of Pharoah attack Israel


Shof’tim/Judges 4:3 – Sisera had oppressed Israel for 20 years
Sh’mot/Exodus 14 – Egypt had oppressed Israel for 430 years


Shof’tim/Judges 4:4 – Deborah referred to as a prophetess
Sh’mot/Exodus 15:20 – Miriam referred to as a prophetess


Shof’tim/Judges 4:7 – Yehovah lured Sisera and his army to attack Israel
Sh’mot/Exodus 14:1-4 – Yehovah lured Pharaoh’s army to attack Israel


Shof’tim/Judges 4:12 – Sisera was informed of the movements of Barak and Israel
Sh’mot/Exodus 14:5 – Pharaoh was informed of the movements of Israel


Shof’tim/Judges 4:13 – Sisera mustered all his chariots
Sh’mot/Exodus 14:6 – Pharaoh gathered his army to attack


Shof’tim/Judges 4:15 – Yehovah panicked Sisera and all the chariots by fighting for Israel.
Sisera dismounted and fled on his feet.
Sh’mot/Exodus 14:23-25 – Yehovah confounded the Egyptian army and fought for Israel.
Egypt said “I shall flee from before Israel”.


Shof’tim/Judges 4:16 – Yehovah defeated the army of Sisera and not one of them was left
Sh’mot/Exodus 14:28 – Yehovah defeated Egypt’s and there remained not a one of them.


Shof’tim/Judges 4:19 – Sisera thirsted for water.
Sh’mot/Exodus 15:25-26; 17:1-3 – Israel thirsted.


Shof’tim/Judges 4:21 – Ya’el/Jael’s tent peg (wood)-laden hand was used to defeat Sisera.
Sh’mot/Exodus 14:26-28 – Moses’ staff (wood)-laden hand was used to defeat Pharaoh’s


Shof’tim/Judges 5:1 – Deborah, the prophetess sang a song.
Sh’mot/Exodus 15:1, 21 – Miriam, the prophetess sang a song.


Shof’tim/Judges 5:5 – The mountains melted.
Sh’mot/Exodus 16:21 – The manna melted when the sun grew hot.


Shof’tim/Judges 5:6 – In the days of Shamgar, a judge of Israel, no one used the highways
(easiest routes) out of fear of their oppressors and instead used
circuitous routes.
Sh’mot/Exodus 13:17 & 18 – Israel did not take the closest and easiest route because of fear
of the Philistines, but went the long way towards Canaan.


Shof’tim/Judges 5:9 – Deborah sings of the lawgivers in Israel.
Sh’mot/Exodus – Moshe was THE lawgiver.


Shof’tim/Judges 5:14 – Ephraim battled with Amalek
Sh’mot/Exodus 17:8-16 – the battle with Amalek.


Shof’tim/Judges 5:15 – Barak and his army went into a valley.
Sh’mot/Exodus 14:19-22 – Israel descended into the Red Sea with the waters standing up on
each side. This is a picture of them going into a “valley” with the
walls of water like the ascent of mountain slopes on either side of
the valley.

I’m sure there are probably more but this is the best I can do for now.

EXTRA, EXTRA: Devorah/Deborah means “honey bee”
Greatest accomplishment: She led Israel as a Prophetess and Judge.

There had been other prophetesses (Miriam, Moshe’s sister, for one) but Devorah/Deborah was the first woman judge. One of the commentaries spoke of her as a “glorious woman, borne up by the Spirit of Yehovah, fired through and through with enthusiasm for His Word. She put men to shame, with her “flaming words”. It awakened the courage and steeled their powers to action. Not the sword of Barak, but the spirit and the words of Devorah won the victory. In further research I found the following concerning Devorah’s relationships.

Devorah’s relationship with her husband (Shof’tim/Judges 4:4) While Devorah’s husband is mentioned, he played no role in the story of victory over the Kenani/Canaanites. Since Israel was a patriarchal society, it is not surprising she is defined as the “wife of Lapidot”. Women throughout the Tanakh era were identified by the men in whose household they lived, whether their father’s or their husband’s. The family “belonged” to the man. The woman belonged to the household. Very possibly, Devorah may have walked a social tightrope. However, she did so without behaving inappropriately. She lived as a godly woman, a special woman and a wife whose virtue won respect for her husband.

Devorah’s relationship with the Israelites (Shof’tim/Judges 4:4) The word translated “judging” implies more than a judicial function. The judges were actually spiritual, political, judicial and in most cases military leaders. Devorah fit the pattern we see in the male judges but two things set her apart. First she was a prophetess. None of the other judges, except Samuel, were prophets. Second, she was not a military leader. We can conclude The Almighty did not want Devorah in the role of military leader. This is why He appointed her as prophetess and judge and communicated His intention to commission Barak to lead the battle.

Devorah’s relationship with Barak (Shof’tim/Judges 4:8, 9) Barak responded to Devorah’s call and accepted the commission as army commander but he placed a condition on his acceptance. “If you go with me, I will go, but if you don’t go with me, I won’t go”. Devorah recognized Israel’s need to see Barak as the military leader and placed herself in the back-ground.

Devorah’s relationship with Yehovah. The first thing we learn of Devorah is her special relationship with The Almighty. She had been called by Him and commissioned to speak in His name. All Israel recognized this special relationship. In the words of Devorah’s song, she loved Yehovah and, as a result, was “like the sun, when it comes out in full strength” Shof’tim/Judges 5:31.

Summing it all up, Devorah was a woman whose confidence was rooted in a close personal relationship with Yehovah. She was aware He had chosen her to guide His people. Although her role was not typical, she clearly did not draw back, regardless of what others might think. She heard The Holy One speak and was willing to do as He said.

At the same time, Devorah was sensitive to the limitations of her gender. She would settle disputes like other judges but would not lead the army. In fact, she felt uncomfortable with Barak’s conditions. Devorah neither needed nor wanted any credit for the victory. She was self-confident and assertive, yet modest and self-effacing. She was bold enough to step out of the shadow, yet she was unassuming enough to avoid the spotlight in a military campaign. These qualities make Devorah a timeless example for spiritual leaders of either gender.

Devorah reminds us God does gift women for spiritual leadership. We do injustice to Torah if we rule women out of leadership solely on the basis of gender. However, we should be open to accept the fact, not every leadership role is appropriate for women.

B’shalach ~ After he had let go
B’rit Hadashah: Luke 2:22-24; Yochanan/John 6:25-35 & 19:31-37
1 Corinthians 10:1-13; 2 Corinthians 8:1-15; Revelation 15:1-4

Luke 2:22-24 These verses, primarily, are a parallel between the redemption from slavery and the redemption of the firstborn. Then the purification process required of a mother after birth of a child parallels the parting of the Sea of Reeds/Red Sea when the entire community of B’nei Israel/ Children of Israel had a corporate time of purification. (Sh’mot / Exodus 13:2, 12 & 15)

Yochanan/John 6:25-35 Yehovah provided manna in the wilderness and He provided the Bread of Life through Yeshua. Manna is called “bread from heaven” in Tehillim/Psalms 78:24 and in Nechemyah/Nehemiah 9:15. In these verses, Yeshua identifies himself with this “bread from heaven” and calls himself “the bread of life”. Revelation 2:17 states “. . . to him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna . . .”

Yochanan/John 19:31-37 These verses parallel the Pesach scriptures and remind us again of the deliverance/redemption from Egypt. We are reminded no bone was to be broken of the spotless Passover lamb [Sh’mot/Exodus 12:45; B’midbar/Numbers 9:12; Tehillim/Psalm 34:21(20)] and Yeshua had no bones broken on the day of the Great Sacrifice.

1 Corinthians 10:1-13 There are many parallels here to our Torah Portion. They were “guided by the pillar of cloud” (Sh’mot/Exodus 13:21-22) and “passed through the sea” (Sh’mot / Exodus 14:19-31). “They . . . immersed themselves” (verse 2) when they passed through the Sea of Reeds/Red Sea as we immerse ourselves into the Messiah. Rav Sha’ul/Rabbi Paul writes “. . . they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them; and that rock was Messiah.” In our Torah portion there is more than one occasion when The Almighty, through Moshe, brought water from a rock (Sh’mot/Exodus 16:4-35 & 17:1-9). Yeshua is like a rock because he is unmovable, unshakeable and timeless. Additionally, the water pouring from the rock reminds us of Yeshua who gave us Living Water.

2 Corinthians 8:1-15 These passages speak of giving freely. As The Holy One was generous giving manna, quail and water in our Torah portion, Rav Sha’ul encourages those in Corinth to give freely as well. He is calling their attention to “He who gathered much had nothing extra, and he who gathered little had nothing lacking.” (Sh’mot/Exodus 16:18)

Revelation 15:1-4 As we know from previous readings, these verses reveal the seven angels with the seven bowls containing the seven plagues which parallel many of the plagues of Egypt. But I found some really interesting information concerning verses 2-4. Remember how the Israelites stood by the Red Sea after their Egyptian pursuers were drowned? The Israelites sang the Song of Moshe (Sh’mot/Exodus 15:1-18) which is included in its entirety in the daily morning synagogue service. It is followed by Ovadyah/Obadiah 1:26 and Z’kharyah/Zechariah 14:9. It is liberally quoted again in the twice-daily blessing after the Sh’ma (D’varim/Deuteronomy 6:4). Those who are victorious over the beast will sing the Song of Moses signifying true believers in Yeshua identify with the Hebrew people. The “Song of the Lamb” (verses 3b-4) is not sung to or about the Lamb, but BY the Lamb to God – just as the Song of Moses was sung by Moses and not to him. Similarly, the victorious Hebrew people learned and sang the song Moses sang, and the victorious believers in heaven will learn and sing the song the Lamb sings. Like the Song of Moses, the Song of the Lamb rejoices greatly in the just ways of God, using the language of the Tanakh as found in . . .

• Jeremiah 10:7
• Amos 3:13
• Amos 4:13
• Malachi 1:11
• Psalms 86:9-10
• Psalms 92:6 (5)
• Psalms 98:1
• Psalms 111:2
• Psalms 139:14
• Psalms 145:17
• 1st Chronicles 16:9 and 12


The corresponding Psalm for this Torah portion is: Psalm 66

Next week’s lesson: Parashah #17
Yitro ~ Jethro
Torah: Sh’mot/Exodus 18:1-20:23 (26)
Haftarah: Yesha’yahu/Isaiah 6:1-7:6; 9:5-6 (6-7)
B’rit Hadashah: Mattityahu/Matthew 5:21-30; 15:1-11; 19:16-30; Mark 7:5-15; 10:17-31; Luke 18:18-30; Acts 6:1-7; Romans 2:17-29; 7:7-12; 13:8-10; Ephesians 6:1-3;
1st Timothy 3:1-14; 2nd Timothy 2:2; Titus 1:5-9; Ivrim/Hebrews 12:18-29;
Ya’akov/James 2:8-13; 1st Kefa/1st Peter 2:9-10

Shavuah tov (Have a good week)!!!

Who fills his mind with Torah clears it of fear and folly.
Rabbi Chanina Sgan HaKohanim

Organize yourselves into classes for the study of Torah,
since it can best be acquired in association with others.
Talmud: Berkot 63b

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