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This week’s parasha provides an additional parallel between Moses and Yeshua. During the many warnings against idolatry and the reminders of G-d’s Justice Moses stated the following:

“When you father children and children’s children, and have grown old in the land, if you act corruptly by making a carved image in the form of anything, and by doing what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, so as to provoke him to anger, I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that you will soon utterly perish from the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess. You will not live long in it, but will be utterly destroyed.” Deuteronomy 4:25-26

Moses would call heaven and earth to witness against the idolater. This truth helps explain a passage found in Hebrews!

“Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.” Hebrews 10:28

Two or three witnesses are required by the Torah to administer a sentence of capital punishment and/or establish a charge.  (Num. 35:30, Deu. 17:6, Deu. 19:15) In Deuteronomy 4 the word for “witness” in Hebrew is (ha’idoti) הַעִידֹתִי (the root word is ud עוּד) which is a verb that literally means to testify, give warning, or to return. In Numbers 35 the word for “witness” is (ed) עֵד which is contracted from the same root (ud)עוּד and describes the noun “witness.” It is very interesting that the particular word used for the “witnessing” of heaven and earth can also mean warning or return. Perhaps this describes one of the purposes of having witnesses that are always around! First they serve as a warning to return to the ways of G-d then they become a condemning witness. It is impossible to escape both heaven and earth just as it is impossible to dwell somewhere G-d is not, for He is everywhere.

Moses stated that he would “call” heaven and earth to “witness.” Both words are the same and they are combined in Deuteronomy 4. Therefore it was as if Moses was including himself in the witnessing. If so, then that would be a total of three witnesses. Now, according to Scripture Moses shared many characteristics with Messiah Yeshua. (Heb. 3:2,5; Deu. 18:15; Jn. 5:46-47) One of the most important parallels to firmly grasp is that Moses wrote of Messiah Yeshua. (Jn. 5:46-47) Also, Moses wrote the law that G-d spoke to him. (Deu. 31:9) It is the law that condemns and it is Messiah Yeshua that saves but both were revealed by G-d written by Moses. That is why setting aside the law is a capital crime lacking mercy because it is also setting aside or rejecting Messiah Yeshua. The same witnesses adjudicate for both sins.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40

May this never describe us. May we never separate Yeshua from His law. And may both be on our lips at all times.

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This week we see a very important portion, especially in Judaism. In my opinion, Genesis 22:1-19 is one of the most difficult of all the trials Abraham faced. Here he is asked to offer his only son, whom he loves, as an offering. This whole passage contains messianic foreshadowing of Yeshua’s ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.  Some of the parallels include; Isaac being the “only son, whom you love” and Yeshua being G-d’s only Son; both being offered as an offering upon G-d’s request; the wood, which was the source of death since it sustained the fire, was placed on Isaac and he carried it up the mountain just as Yeshua carried the wooden cross up the hill; both Isaac and Yeshua had the faith to walk out their father’s will; and so on.

In Parasha Vayera we see yet another fascinating parallel between Isaac and Yeshua. In the last portion G-d commands Abraham,

“You shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin, and that shall be the sign of the covenant between Me and you. At the age of eight days every male among you shall be circumcised, throughout your generations..” Genesis 17:11-12

Sure enough Abraham’s “only son, whom you love”, Isaac, is miraculously born and circumcised on the eighth day. Not only was Isaac promised to Sarah and Abraham just as Yeshua was promised to Mary and Joseph, but both mothers gave birth despite the physical impossibility. It is just as impossible for a woman without a menstrual cycle to give birth as it is for a virgin to give birth. It appears that Isaac is the first male to be circumcised on the eighth day. Ishmael was thirteen and there isn’t any indication that the people in Abraham’s household had just been born. Why is this significant? Because Isaac is the first child to fulfill the entire commandment of circumcision. Yeshua also fulfilled this commandment in its entirety by being circumcised on the eighth day.

“And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.” Luke 2:21

There are even similarities in the outcome of the sacrifices of Isaac and Yeshua. The writer of Hebrew’s mentions,

“By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, ‘In Isaac your seed shall be called,’ concluding that G-d was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.” Hebrews 11:17-19

Which sounds similar to,

“When Abraham bound his son Isaac on the altar, and slew him and burned him, (the lad) was reduced to ashes, and his ashes were scattered on Mount Moriah; then the Holy One, blessed be He, brought down life-giving dew and revived him […] See S. Spiegel in the Abraham Weiss Jubilee Volume (New York, 1964), pp. 553-566.]1 (emphasis mine)

Also, we know that Yeshua died and rose from the dead. However, the difference between Yeshua and Isaac is the most important part. Yeshua was, is and always will be G-d. His precious blood provided eternal atonement and it is through Him that we may be grafted in to Israel His bride. It is our responsibility to read the Apostolic Scriptures through the lens of the Tanach. In regards to Yeshua, those who believed recognized Him from Scripture. They saw the prophecies being lived out. They saw the messianic references in the Tanach come alive before their eyes. We may not have the incredible honor and privilege of walking physically with Yeshua, but as He said in John 20:29,

“Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”

Shabbat Shalom!

 


1 Courtesy of Curious Jew blog. Cambridge University Library manuscript (Or. 1080, Box I: 48), of the Midrash on Shibbole ha-Leket
http://curiousjew.blogspot.com/2007/01/isaac-died-alternative-version-of.html

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