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Throughout Scripture an east wind represents destruction and demonstration of power. It is an east wind in this week’s parasha that brings the locust swarm, it is an east wind that drove the sea back in next week’s parasha, and it is the power of the east wind that Ephraim will seek.

“So Moses stretched out his staff over the land of Egypt, and the L-RD brought an east wind upon the land all that day and all that night. When it was morning, the east wind had brought the locusts.”  Exodus 10:13

“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the L-RD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” Exodus 14:21

“Ephraim feeds on the wind and pursues the east wind all day long; they multiply falsehood and violence; they make a covenant with Assyria, and oil is carried to Egypt.” Hosea 12:1

However, the plague is removed by a “very strong west wind.” In Exodus 10:19, the Hebrew word for “west” is yam and it is also the Hebrew word for “sea” in this verse. There are several other verses that use yam to describe west which is understandable because a sea, valley, or mountain was a helpful landmark to describe direction and location. Another Hebrew word for west is ma`arav. This word is only used 14 times in the Tanach and it is used to describe more of the general direction west. Nevertheless, the word yam is used to describe the wind in Exodus 10:19. Basically the yam wind drove the locusts into the yam. Isn’t Hebrew such a vivid and picturesque language? We would know that locusts were pushed toward the sea without even having the latter half of the verse! It is also intriguing that the locusts are destroyed in the Red Sea which is the same fate of the Egyptians. This is ironic too because Pharaoh describes the swarm as “death” in Exodus 10:17.

This parasha gives a detailed description of the pesach lamb and the activities carried out during the festival. There are two different words used to describe a sheep or lamb in this portion. The first is the word seh and the other is the word keves. The latter is used more often but seh is special. Seh is used to correlate the Messianic references in the binding of Isaac and the pesach lamb.

“Your lamb (seh) shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep (keves) or from the goats,” Exodus 12:5

“Abraham said, ‘G-d will provide for himself the lamb (seh) for a burnt offering, my son.’ So they went both of them together.” Genesis 22:8

“He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb (seh) that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

Not only is this evidence of Yeshua in the Torah but these verses reveal the Messianic significance of physical salvation. We should not forget that we are literally commanded to remember the exodus from Egypt. Even David says that he will speak of G-d’s salvation all the day. (Ps. 71:15) Each example of physical and national salvation in the Torah is very important and it should remind us of our eternal salvation. Our prayers should be reiterations of these miraculous examples. Our sharing of the Gospel should never lack these descriptions. With this knowledge our observance of Pesach should become a harmonious blend of remembrance and hope. Remembering G-d’s mighty act of salvation and looking forward to the awe-inspiring return of His Son. In Matthew 25:32, Yeshua is described as the Shepherd who will separate the sheep from the goats. The sheep are His people and the goats are the wicked. Similarly, this week’s parasha describes G-d separating His people from the land of Egypt. Through Moses, G-d separated His people from Egpyt and through the Prophet like Moses G-d will separate His people from the decaying world. What a gracious and mighty G-d we serve!

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