Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Exodus-Part 66

In Exo 3.16 it says in the NASB, “I am indeed concerned about you.” In the KJV it says, “indeed I have surely visited you.” In Hebrew it is “pakod pakodti” or “visit, visit.” This alludes to seevral visitations. This phrase is used two times, in Gen 50.24 when Joseph predicts these visitations, and Exo 3.19, and it is talking about the First and Second Redemption. It alludes not only to the Exodus, but also to the Messiah in Luke 1.68 and Luke 19.44, and the Second Redemption. Moses cannot explain the essence of God, he can only repeat what God said to him. Only Yeshua can take us beyond those barriers.

Heb 8.6 says there is one mediator between God and man. The Gospels and Epistles teach us about the work of the Messiah. It brings us into that essence so that we may know the Lord (Jer 9.23; Matt 7.21-23; 1 John 2.3-4). Yeshua said, “He who has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14.9). If we want to know the deep things of God, we need to start with Moses and believe him. The fullness will be in Yeshua, and John 5.39-47 says if you start at the burning bush with Moses, you will end up with Yeshua.

How do you say the name of God (YHVH) used in Exo 3.15? Some Jews say “Hashem” (the Name) and others say “Adonai” while and others say it is “Yahweh.” We know that God’s name has a kedusha on it, and according to over 1000 Hebrew manuscripts where the name has now been found written out with full vowel markings, it is pronounced “Yehovah.” If God has told you otherwise, who are we to correct you, but according to all the available data and manuscripts it is written Yehovah, with full vowel markings, but we will go by the available knowledge and information that we have received in our studies and use Yehovah.

We learn from Exo 3.18 that Moses was to tell Pharaoh to let the people go for three days into the wilderness so they can worship Yehovah. Yehovah tells Moses what is going to happen. After much distress, they will be allowed to go and Israel will have favor in the sight of the Egyptians. They will not leave empty handed because they will ask the Egyptians for silver, gold and clothing and it will be given to them.

Then we come to an interesting phrase in Exo 3.22, where it says in English they will “plunder the Egyptians.” The word for “plunder” is “natzaltem” and the root is “natzal” and it means “to save or deliver.” But, how can they “save or deliver” the Egyptians by asking them for silver, gold and clothing? A good explanation for this phrase can be found in the book “The Pentateuch and Haftorahs” by Joseph Hertz.

In his commentary on p 217-218 it says, “Ye shall spoil the Egyptians. This rendering should be replaced by ‘ye shall save the Egyptians (B. Jacob)’ ‘Spoil the Egyptians’ (or strip Egypt) is an incorrect, nay impossible, rendering of the Hebrew text. The root ‘natzal’, which is here translated ‘spoil’ or ‘strip’ occurs 212 times in Scripture.; and in 210 instances its meaning is admitted by all to be, to snatch (from danger), to rescue (from a wild beast), to recover (property), also to plunder (booty). Its direct object is never the person or thing from whom the saving or the rescuing or the snatching has taken place, but always the person or thing rescued. The usual translation, both here and in 12.36, ‘ye shall spoil the Egyptians’ is therefore, unwarranted, for two reasons. It takes the persons from whom things are snatched as the direct object; and furthermore, it necessitates an entire reversal of the meaning of ‘natzal’ from save to despoil!

“There is no justification for departing, in this verse, or in 12.36, from the rendering which is absolutely unchallenged in 210 other places where it occurs. The words ‘v’natzaltem et Mizraim’ can only be translated, ‘and ye shall save the Egyptians’ i.e. clear the name, and vindicate the humanity of the Egyptians. Bitter memories and associations would have clung to the word ‘Egyptians’ in the mind of the Israelites, as the hereditary enslavers and oppressors of Israel. A friendly parting, and generous gifts, however, would banish that feeling. The Israelites would come to see that the oppressors were Pharaoh and his courtiers, not the Egyptian people. They would be enabled thereby to carry out the command to be given to them forty years later, ‘Thou shalt not abhor the Egyptian’ (Deut 23.8). It is for such reasons that the Isrealites are bidden to ask their neighbors for these gifts, in order to ensure such a parting in friendship and goodwill, with its consequent clearing of the name, and vindication of the honour, of the Egyptian people (B. Jacob).”

“Verses 21 and 22 lend a poetic and unforgettable touch of beauty to the going out of Egypt; and yet these verses, as few others, have been misunderstood and looked upon as a blot on the moral teaching of Scripture. The Talmud records a formal claim for indemnity put forward by the Egyptians before Alexander the Great for the vessels of gold and silver which the Israelites had taken with them at the Exodus! The Jewish spokesman, however, had little difficulty in proving to Alexander that, if any indemnity was to be paid, it was the Egyptians who were the debtors, seeing that they had enslaved and exploited the Israelites for many centuries without any pay for their labours.”

“In modern times, enemies of the Bible vie with one another in finding terms strong enough in which to condemn the ‘deceit’ practiced on the Egyptians. Apologists, both Jewish and non-Jewish, usually reply that this silver and gold was in exchange for the property the Israelites left behind them (Malbim); or they repeat the reply of the Alexandrian Jews: ‘Through God’s providence, the Israelites were enriched at the expense of their oppressors, and gained as it were a prize of victory in compensation for their long oppression’ (Dillman). Far better than any of these current explanations is that given by Rabbiner Dr. B. Jacob, which we have adopted. Thus, the phrase spoiling the Egyptians, which has become a proverbial expression, is, like the phrase ‘brand of Cain’ (Genesis, p. 15), due to a complete misunderstanding of the text.”

In Exo 4.1-9 we have two signs that God will give Moses in case the people don’t believe that God had sent him to lead them out of Egypt. That Lord says, “What is that in your hand?” Moses says, “A rod.” The Lord tells him to throw it down, and it becomes a serpent. Moses jumps back, and the Lord tells him to pick up the serpent “by its tail.” Now, you don’t pick up a serpent “by its tail.” That is serpent knowledge 101. You pick up a serpent by the head. But he believed the word of God and acted in faith, then it became a rod or staff again.

Then he tells Moses to put his hand in his bosom. When Moses pulled it out it had become leprous. Then the Lord tells him to do it again, and Moses put it into his bosom and pulled it out, and the hand was restored. What is the message of the two signs?

The Messiah was seen as “serpent on a pole” and cursed. We see a picture this in Num 21.6-9 and in John 3.14. When the people were bitten by the serpents in the wilderness, God told Moses to make “saraph” and put it on a pole. The word “saraph” is translated in English as “fiery” and a saraph means “a burning one.” It is a type of angel (Seraphim) seen in Isa 6.2.

So Moses makes a “nachash” (serpent) and puts it on a pole. When the people were bitten by a serpent and needed healing, they were to “look” at the serpent on a pole. Now, what the people saw was a serpent on a pole, a “nachash” but God saw a “saraph” or a “burning one.” Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness (John 3.14), so shall the son of man (Messiah) be lifted up. When Yeshua was crucified, the people saw one who was cursed and hanging on a tree, but God saw his son, the Messiah, the angel or “shaliach” that he had sent to them for healing. Yeshua was telling Nicodemus in John 3 about being being again. He tells Nicodemus in 3.14 that in order for that to happen, Nicodemus must “Look to me when I am crucified.” What we need is faith to take the serpent by its tail. God knew it didn’t make any sense in the natural, but if they did it they would live. The message of the second sign is “that which was clean became unclean, and that which was unclean became clean.” That is the work and the message of the Messiah.

God’s name has a “yod” a “hey” and a “vav” in it. The ancient symbol for a yod was written like an arm or hand, the hey was arms extended and the vav like a nail, or a staff. The meaning is clear. The deliverance of Israel from Egypt will not be be the hand, arm or staff of Moses, but by the hand of God, using Moses as a shepherd.

In Part 67 we will pick up in Exo 4.10-17.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Feasts of the Lord, The Tanach, Understanding the New Testament

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