God’s Sanctification Taught in the Torah, פרשיות מטות- מסעי, Parshiyot Mattot/Massei, Bits of Torah Truths – Digging Deeper

58

This week’s Torah Portion is a double portion and completes the book of Bamidbar / Numbers. In this week’s reading we find an interesting correlation to the Apostolic Writings by the way the text is written in the Hebrew language. Let’s look at Bamidbar / Numbers 33:50-52, נ וַיְדַבֵּ֧ר יְהוָ֛ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֖ה בְּעַֽרְבֹ֣ת מוֹאָ֑ב עַל־יַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵח֖וֹ לֵאמֹֽר׃ נא דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם כִּ֥י אַתֶּ֛ם עֹבְרִ֥ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן׃ נב וְה֨וֹרַשְׁתֶּ֜ם אֶת־כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֤י הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ מִפְּנֵיכֶ֔ם וְאִ֨בַּדְתֶּ֔ם אֵ֖ת כָּל־מַשְׂכִּיֹּתָ֑ם וְאֵ֨ת כָּל־צַלְמֵ֤י מַסֵּֽכֹתָם֙ תְּאַבֵּ֔דוּ וְאֵ֥ת כָּל־בָּמֹתָ֖ם תַּשְׁמִֽידוּ׃ 33:50 Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho, saying, 33:51 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 33:52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places; (NASB) We see Moshe speaking to Israel concerning the inhabitants of the Land saying, וְה֨וֹרַשְׁתֶּ֜ם אֶת־כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֤י הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ מִפְּנֵיכֶ֔ם “then you are to drive out all of the inhabitants of the land.” This is quite different from what we read according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 20:16, רַ֗ק מֵעָרֵ֤י הָֽעַמִּים֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה אֲשֶׁר֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לְךָ֖ נַחֲלָ֑ה לֹ֥א תְחַיֶּ֖ה כָּל־נְשָׁמָֽה׃ “However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes.” This is significant לֹ֥א תְחַיֶּ֖ה כָּל־נְשָׁמָֽה as the word נְשָׁמָֽה reminds us of the Torah from Bereshit / Genesis 3 and God creating man and woman, and how the Lord breathed the נְשָׁמָֽה into us creating us uniquely from all of the rest of creation. This makes certain we know what God is expecting of Israel when entering the Land, as all of those who have the breath of life meaning people are to be killed. This is quite different by instructing not a soul should live (לֹ֥א תְחַיֶּ֖ה כָּל־נְשָׁמָֽה), none should survive. We note there are seven nations that inhabit the Promised Land, and the way in which this verse is written, כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֤י הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ (all who dwell in the land) references all of the people, even those who are living in their midst as sojourners, Israel is to drive them out, even those who were not members of the seven nations. (Or Chaim on Bamidbar / Numbers 33:52, Part 1)

Another interesting observation is by what Moshe says in Bamidbar / Numbers 33:50, בְּעַֽרְבֹ֣ת מוֹאָ֑ב עַל־יַרְדֵּ֥ן “when passing over from Moab through the Jordan,” and in Bamidbar / Numbers 33:51, דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם כִּ֥י אַתֶּ֛ם עֹבְרִ֥ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan’” pay particular attention to the word עֹבְרִ֥ים in 33:51. The phrase, כִּ֥י אַתֶּ֛ם עֹבְרִ֥ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן here the word כִּ֥י is also very important because this qualifies the command God is giving Moshe to tell the people. Note it states specifically, when you cross the Jordan into the Land of Canaan, you are to drive out the inhabitants and destroy their idols and places of worship. What is interesting is how the people were not ordered to destroy the idol worship on this side of the Jordan where Reuben and Gad Settle in Gilead. This reveals to us how the holiness of the Land of Israel affects the other side. Gilead and other places did not become sanctified until Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) was sanctified. The rabbis connect this to “the concept of the Cities of Refuge that did not take in accidental murderers until those in Eretz Yisrael would also be sanctified, because the activation of the Cities of Refuge depends on the holiness of Eretz Yisrael which in turn is only when the Jubilee year is being observed.” (Haamek Davar on Bamidbar / Numbers 33:51, Part 1) Note how Rashi connects this to the motivation, or intents of one’s heart to do what God had commanded.

Rashi on Bamidbar / Numbers 33:51 Part 1
כי אתם עברים את הירדן וגו’ והורשתם וגו’. וַהֲלֹא כַמָּה פְעָמִים הֻזְהֲרוּ עַל כָּךְ? אֶלָּא כָּךְ אָמַר לָהֶם מֹשֶׁה כְּשֶׁאַתֶּם עוֹבְרִים בַּיַּרְדֵּן בַּיַּבָּשָׁה עַל מְנָת כֵּן תַּעַבְרוּ, וְאִם לָאו — מַיִם בָּאִין וְשׁוֹטְפִין אֶתְכֶם, וְכֵן מָצִינוּ שֶׁאָמַר לָהֶם יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (יהושע ד’) בְּעוֹדָם בַּיַּרְדֵּן (סוטה ל”ד):

כי אתם עברים את הירדן וגו׳ והורשתם וגו׳ WHEN YOU ARE PASSED OVER THE JORDAN … YOU SHALL DRIVE OUT [ALL THE INHABITANTS] — But had they not already been admonished about this several times? But it is repeated here in this form “when you are passing over the Jordan”, and not as usual “when you come into the land” because Moses spoke thus to them: While you are passing through the Jordan on dry land, you shall pass over having this in view (that you will drive out the inhabitants), and if you do not, the waters will come and overwhelm you. And so indeed we find (Jos. 4:10) that Joshua spoke to them while they were still standing in the Jordan (Sotah 34a)

Rashi draws out this parallel of passing through the Jordan river as doing so on dry land, but if their intent was not to drive out the inhabitants, they would be overwhelmed by the flood waters. Notice the significance of this, their salvation, the miracle of God was contingent upon whether they were willing to obey the word of God! Also, the flood waters brought death to the wicked in Bereshit / Genesis 6, and we also find the waters being analogous to the Mikvah which Peter says these are the waters that now save you. The Mikvah or baptism is more than just washing your body. It means turning to God with a clear conscience, it is the process of Teshuvah, and because the Messiah has been raised from the dead! (1 Peter 3:21) Paul writes of the waters as causing one to die to self, to the old and sinful ways as entered into the newness of life. (Romans 6:4-6) We can see how many parallels there are to the Apostolic Writings in these few verses here from the Torah! Here, before entering the Land, the entire nation is passing through the water in a way that is very miraculous, God is working a miracle when His people are committed to obeying His commands! Remember, the people were not ordered to destroy the idol worship on this side of the Jordan where Reuben and Gad Settle in Gilead. This is connected to Bamidbar / Numbers 33:52, נב וְה֨וֹרַשְׁתֶּ֜ם אֶת־כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֤י הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ מִפְּנֵיכֶ֔ם וְאִ֨בַּדְתֶּ֔ם אֵ֖ת כָּל־מַשְׂכִּיֹּתָ֑ם וְאֵ֨ת כָּל־צַלְמֵ֤י מַסֵּֽכֹתָם֙ תְּאַבֵּ֔דוּ וְאֵ֥ת כָּל־בָּמֹתָ֖ם תַּשְׁמִֽידוּ׃ “then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places.” These Scriptures speak to us how the holiness of the Land of Israel affects the other side. Gilead and other places did not become sanctified until Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) was sanctified by removing the ungodliness, the places of the abominations of the people from the land, and purifying the Land for both the people and God to live!

The scriptures we are looking at for this week are from Bamidbar / Numbers 33:50-56.

ספר במדבר פסק לג
נ וַיְדַבֵּ֧ר יְהוָ֛ה אֶל־מֹשֶׁ֖ה בְּעַֽרְבֹ֣ת מוֹאָ֑ב עַל־יַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵח֖וֹ לֵאמֹֽר׃ נא דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם כִּ֥י אַתֶּ֛ם עֹבְרִ֥ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן׃ נב וְה֨וֹרַשְׁתֶּ֜ם אֶת־כָּל־יֹשְׁבֵ֤י הָאָ֙רֶץ֙ מִפְּנֵיכֶ֔ם וְאִ֨בַּדְתֶּ֔ם אֵ֖ת כָּל־מַשְׂכִּיֹּתָ֑ם וְאֵ֨ת כָּל־צַלְמֵ֤י מַסֵּֽכֹתָם֙ תְּאַבֵּ֔דוּ וְאֵ֥ת כָּל־בָּמֹתָ֖ם תַּשְׁמִֽידוּ׃ נג וְהוֹרַשְׁתֶּ֥ם אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ וִֽישַׁבְתֶּם־בָּ֑הּ כִּ֥י לָכֶ֛ם נָתַ֥תִּי אֶת־הָאָ֖רֶץ לָרֶ֥שֶׁת אֹתָֽהּ׃ נד וְהִתְנַחַלְתֶּם֩ אֶת־הָאָ֨רֶץ בְּגוֹרָ֜ל לְמִשְׁפְּחֹֽתֵיכֶ֗ם לָרַ֞ב תַּרְבּ֤וּ אֶת־נַחֲלָתוֹ֙ וְלַמְעַט֙ תַּמְעִ֣יט אֶת־נַחֲלָת֔וֹ אֶל֩ אֲשֶׁר־יֵ֨צֵא ל֥וֹ שָׁ֛מָּה הַגּוֹרָ֖ל ל֣וֹ יִהְיֶ֑ה לְמַטּ֥וֹת אֲבֹתֵיכֶ֖ם תִּתְנֶחָֽלוּ׃ נה וְאִם־לֹ֨א תוֹרִ֜ישׁוּ אֶת־יֹשְׁבֵ֣י הָאָרֶץ֮ מִפְּנֵיכֶם֒ וְהָיָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר תּוֹתִ֣ירוּ מֵהֶ֔ם לְשִׂכִּים֙ בְּעֵ֣ינֵיכֶ֔ם וְלִצְנִינִ֖ם בְּצִדֵּיכֶ֑ם וְצָרֲר֣וּ אֶתְכֶ֔ם עַל־הָאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֥ר אַתֶּ֖ם יֹשְׁבִ֥ים בָּֽהּ׃ נו וְהָיָ֗ה כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר דִּמִּ֛יתִי לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת לָהֶ֖ם אֶֽעֱשֶׂ֥ה לָכֶֽם׃

Bamidbar / Numbers 33:50–56
33:50 Then the Lord spoke to Moses in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho, saying, 33:51 “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 33:52 then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images and demolish all their high places; 33:53 and you shall take possession of the land and live in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it. 33:54 ‘You shall inherit the land by lot according to your families; to the larger you shall give more inheritance, and to the smaller you shall give less inheritance. Wherever the lot falls to anyone, that shall be his. You shall inherit according to the tribes of your fathers. 33:55 ‘But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it shall come about that those whom you let remain of them will become as pricks in your eyes and as thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the land in which you live. 33:56 ‘And as I plan to do to them, so I will do to you.’ ” (NASB)

Again, we note what Moshe said according to Bamidbar / Numbers 33:50, בְּעַֽרְבֹ֣ת מוֹאָ֑ב עַל־יַרְדֵּ֥ן יְרֵח֖וֹ “when passing over from Moab through the Jordan,” and in Bamidbar / Numbers 33:51, דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם כִּ֥י אַתֶּ֛ם עֹבְרִ֥ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan,” specifically the phrase, כִּ֥י אַתֶּ֛ם עֹבְרִ֥ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן here the word כִּ֥י is very important because this qualifies the command that God is giving Moshe to tell the people. Note it states specifically, when you cross the Jordan into the Land of Canaan, what is interesting is how the people were not ordered to destroy the idol worship on this side of the Jordan where Reuben and Gad Settle in Gilead. This reveals to us how the holiness of the Land of Israel affects the other side. There is a parallel to our lives in the Messiah Yeshua, note what is written in the book of Hebrews.

Hebrews 10:10
10:10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. (NASB)

Hebrews 12:14
12:14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. (NASB)

In Hebrews 10:10 we are told how the Messiah separated us from the World, how he has made us holy through his sacrifice! In Hebrews 12:14 we are told how we are to pursue that sanctification in our lives here on Earth. The Torah speaks of God’s call for the people to destroy the places of worship (high places), the idols of worship, and their houses of worship. We also noted that the land where Reuben and Gad were dwelling this command is missing. The rabbinic conclusion was that the sanctification of Eretz Yisrael would affect the sanctification of Gilead and the surrounding lands Reuben and Gad are dwelling in. When we consider what is written in the Torah in light of what the author of Hebrews is saying, we find there is a heavenly calling upon our lives as the children of God (Hebrews 3:1). Note Hebrews talks about our heavenly calling, and of how we are made holy through the sacrifice of the Messiah, and how we are to pursue peace and the sanctification, without which no one will see the Lord. Note that both the word holy and sanctify come from the same root word קדש (kadosh). Living a sanctified life is living a life that brings glory to God. This is what is being expressed in the Torah as the people are entering into the Promised Land, they are to sanctify that Land by removing the idolatrous and immoral practices that are taking place there. The reason being, these things are not the expression of the inward and outward salvation that we have received through faith. Notice how the people have been delivered from Slavery from Egypt, and miraculously sustained through the wilderness, and into the Land of Promise. These things relate to the outward salvific work of God. Now their inward expression of the salvific work is to walk in the ways of God according to His Holy Word. This causes one to walk and live a sanctified life before God and men. Again note how living a sanctified life, a life of holiness and righteousness, this is the only way to have a life of closeness to the presence of God and for growing spiritually. There is a tremendous blessing in doing so which is explained further in the article (Scientist Identifies Signaling Underlying Organ and Limb Regeneration – A Spiritual Insight | MATSATI.COM Teaching Ministry) We consider how this is contrasted to today’s permissive society of worshiping false gods and immorality. The idolatry in today’s society has not changed, only the idols have changed from the molten image to that of self, materialism, money, fame, and sex. Note how so few people today talk about sanctification (holiness) as these days are exceedingly wicked. The doctrine of hyper grace for example allows the Christian to live where everything is permissible because we are holy already. What we have to understand is what the Scriptures actually teach us. The Scriptures tell us that we have been sanctified in heaven by the blood of the Messiah, and as a result we are to live sanctified lives. This means we are being given a heavenly calling, to walk in God’s holy and righteous ways here on earth because of what has been accomplished in heaven. This is the illustration we are receiving from the Torah command according to Bamidbar / Numbers 33:51, דַּבֵּר֙ אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וְאָמַרְתָּ֖ אֲלֵהֶ֑ם כִּ֥י אַתֶּ֛ם עֹבְרִ֥ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan,” specifically the phrase, כִּ֥י אַתֶּ֛ם עֹבְרִ֥ים אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֖ן אֶל־אֶ֥רֶץ כְּנָֽעַן here the word כִּ֥י qualifies the command that God is giving Moshe to tell the people. He states specifically, when you cross the Jordan into the Land of Canaan, while the people were not ordered to destroy the idol worship on this side of the Jordan where Reuben and Gad Settle in Gilead. This illustrates the sanctification process that God is calling for in our lives. Because we have been called to walk in holiness, when believers are not striving to live sanctified lives, there are many things that are missing in their lives, the presence of God, the power of God, and the close communion with God (hearing and seeing Him)! Note the consequences of refusing holiness in one’s life, there is not much difference from those who walk in the way of the nations except that the person claims they have received the Messiah into their lives. This is why we are called to pursue holiness and sanctification in our lives! The author of Hebrews went as far as saying “without which no man shall see the Lord.” This is straight to the point! We are called to pursue sanctification in our lives just as the people Israel were called to pursue sanctification in their lives as they entered into the Promised Land.

When we consider what the Torah teaches, how God delivered Israel from slavery, this was both a process and an instantaneous as on Pesach the people were driven out of Egypt. This is how our salvation is given to us in the Messiah Yeshua, we are made righteous, we are sanctified in heaven before our Father God based upon the merits of the Messiah. This is a very rabbinic Torah based concept. The Messiah establishes our position before God. This is the newness of life that we enter into through faith, and the power of God that enters into our lives through the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit. Now we are called to a progressive and practical sanctification of our lives because of our earthly home. This idea of God sanctifying us naturally leads to God’s call on our lives to live sanctified lives meaning that we are called to obey God’s Word. Rashi draws out this parallel of passing through the Jordan river as doing so on dry land, but if their intent was not to drive out the inhabitants, they would be overwhelmed by the flood waters. Notice the significance of this, their salvation, the miracle of God was contingent upon whether they were willing to obey the word of God! Note also how 1 John 1:7 speaks of this very thing, “If we walk in the light as he himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” Our salvation through the blood of the Messiah is contingent upon whether we choose to sanctify our lives or not! This is what the Torah is teaching us in light of the Apostolic Writings, that our practical sanctification is the daily living out of our faith resulting in purity and integrity. We have fellowship with God through practical sanctification, because we are being called to order our lives according to God’s Holy Word!

Previous articleEngineers Develop a New Water Treatment Technology That Could Help Mars Explorers – A Spiritual Insight
Next articleDr. Duane D. Miller PhD – LIVE – God’s Sanctification Taught in the Torah, פרשיות מטות- מסעי, Parshiyot Mattot/Massei, Bits of Torah Truths – Digging Deeper
Dr. Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!