Bits of Torah Truths, פרשת כל המאד פסח, Parashat Chol HaMoed Pesach, The Making of a Covenant


In the reading for Pesach we find the following in Shemot / Exodus 34:10, י וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי כֹּרֵת בְּרִית נֶגֶד כָּל-עַמְּךָ אֶעֱשֶֹה נִפְלָאֹת אֲשֶׁר לֹא-נִבְרְאוּ בְכָל-הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל-הַגּוֹיִם וְרָאָה כָל-הָעָם אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בְקִרְבּוֹ אֶת-מַעֲשֵֹה יְהוָֹה כִּי-נוֹרָא הוּא אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי עֹשֶֹה עִמָּךְ: 34:10 Then God said, ‘Behold, I am going to make a covenant. Before all your people I will perform miracles which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations; and all the people among whom you live will see the working of the Lord, for it is a fearful thing that I am going to perform with you. (NASB) Notice something here, the Lord states “I will perform (אֶעֱשֶֹה) miracles (נִפְלָאֹת) which have not been produced in all the earth nor among any of the nations.” The text does not say “I had performed” in the past tense, but provides us with a future tense “I will perform / do” (אֶעֱשֶֹה) great and mighty miracles on your behalf in the future. The Lord speaks of a future expectation of what He is going to do on our behalf. The Lord says this is a fearful thing because it is the power of God manifested in the midst of His people. The commentary Tur HaAroch on Shemot / Exodus 34:10 Part 2 states the following, “נגד כל עמך אעשה נפלאות …וראה כל העם אשר אתה בקרבו, “the distinctive acts which I will perform in sight of the whole people that you are amongst, etc.” G’d says that whatever wonderful acts He would perform henceforth would be on account of His special relationship with Moses, and the people would be beneficiaries seeing that they are included in this covenant. It is not possible to explain this verse as meaning that G’d would perform even greater miracles for the people than He had performed in the past, as we can search the whole Torah and not find any evidence of this having been the case.” Note how the commentary speaks of the people benefiting as a result of the promises and relationship Moshe had with God. According to the commentary, the people received the benefits (i.e. His Mercy חסד) because of the merits of Moshe and his relationship with God. Basically, the people received forgiveness, food, water, and life for Moshe’s sake. This interpretation parallels what we read of the benefits we receive by Yeshua’s relationship with our Father in heaven. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians the following saying, 2 Corinthians 4:5 For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus’ sake. (NASB) In the English language words can have multiple meanings. In this context “sake” can mean “for the benefit of” or “on account of.” The phrase “for Jesus’ sake” means that we are coming to our Father in heaven in prayer, not pleading our own merits, but “on account of” Yeshua’s merits, on account of his relationship with the Father, on account of his right standing before God. This is what Yeshua has done on our behalf in a similar fashion to Moshe and his relationship with the Father. It is within this Torah Centric context that we find Yeshua saying, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). Based upon the reading from Shemot / Exodus 34 for Pesach (Passover), this statement appears to be a Messianic expectation of a Torah centric principle. Therefore, when reading and believing what is written in John 14:6 we are acknowledging that Yeshua is the one who was sent by God who has a special relationship with the Lord, and whose benefits we receive just as the people did in the Torah with Moshe. The rabbis say, “G’d says that whatever wonderful acts He would perform henceforth would be on account of His special relationship with Moses, and the people would be beneficiaries seeing that they are included in this covenant.” In addition to this, we read Isaiah saying the following, 55:3 ‘Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen, that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, According to the faithful mercies shown to David. (NASB) Coming to the Lord is synonymous to listening to what He has to say, not just in the NT, but in all of Scripture. Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 55:3 states the following:

Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 55:3 Part 2
And your soul shall live. That is, your soul shall live for ever after the death of the body, or you will receive new life through Messiah, when you will return to the Divine Law.

Ibn Ezra on Isaiah 55:3 Part 3
An everlasting covenant, that will never expire. The sure mercy of David, that is, like the covenant which I made with David and the kindness which I showed to him, promising him my mercy will I keep for him for evermore, etc. (Ps. 89:29). It is also possible, that by David in this verse Messiah is meant, who will be of the family of David; as the prophet is sometimes called Israel for the same reason; and the meaning of הנאמנים חסדי דוד is in that case: for the kindness of Messiah is sure. This explanation is supported by the next verse.

Ibn Ezra believes in the afterlife saying the soul will live forever after the death of the body. He also states that we will receive “new life through the Messiah” when one returns to the Torah. Note how the Torah and the Messiah are connected. This is the Messianic principle that is laid out in the Torah. Because of the Messiah, we can pray with confidence as the psalmist did, “For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great” (Tehillim / Psalm 25:11). This has the principle of “for the sake of the Messiah pardon my guilt,” or “for your name’s sake pardon my guilt.” This is how the Apostle John understood as he wrote in 1 John 2:12 saying “I am writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven for his name’s sake,” referring to Jesus. Jesus has now atoned for sin and vindicated the Father’s honor so that our “sins are forgiven for his name’s sake.” This is a Torah Centric principle of what Yeshua did on our behalf just as Moshe did on behalf of Israel in the wilderness. This is why we pray with confidence for forgiveness in the name of Yeshua the Messiah! We do not have to doubt who Yeshua is as the Messiah of God and His purpose to lead us in righteousness, holiness, and truth, and by faith in his life and his merits we have eternal life. If we truly believe this, we will apply these truths and Yeshua’s way of life (Torah) to ours, for the glory of God.