God spoke in the 70 languages of the world on Mount Sinai, according to Jewish thought. When the Ruach came in Acts 2, the Lord again spoke in the languages of the earth through the talmidim gathered in the Temple. Midrash Rabbah Exodus 5.9 also talks about God speaking in the “tongues” of the 70 nations, “When God gave the Torah on Sinai, he displayed untold marvels to Israel with his voice. What happened? God spoke and the Voice reverberated throughout the world. It says, ‘And all the people witnessed the thunderings’ (Exo 20.18). Note that it does not say ‘the thunder.’ but ‘thunderings’, wherefore, R. Johanan said that God’s voice, as it was uttered, split up into seventy voices, in seventy languages, so that all the nations should understand. When each nation heard the voice in their own vernacular, their souls departed (i.e. they were in fear), save Israel, who heard but who were not hurt.'”
In “The Midrash Says on Shemot” on p. 182 it says, “On the occasion of Matan Torah (the giving of the Torah), the Bnai Israel (children of Israel) not only heard HaShem’s (the Name) voice but actually saw the sound waves as they emerged from HaShem’s mouth. They visualized them as a fiery substance. Each commandment that left HaShem’s mouth traveled around the entire camp and then came back to every Jew individually, asking him, “Do you accept upon yourself the Commandment with all halachot (Jewish law) pertaining to it?” Every Jew answered, “Yes,” after each commandment. Finally, the fiery substance which they saw engraved itself on the luchot (tablets.”
In Deut 4.10-12 we learn that Israel “came near and stood at the foot of the mountain.” The term “at the foot” is the Hebrew word “tachat” and it means “under.” They stood “under the mountain.” They heard a voice in the fire, but saw no form. Deut 4.33-36 says they heard the voice of the Lord from the midst of the fire. He let them hear his great voice to discipline them and let them see his great fire and they heard his words from the midst of the fire. They saw divided tongues in the fire speaking, so they not only heard a voice but saw tongues in the fire. So when we get to Acts 2, which celebrated the giving of the Torah on Mount Sinai, we have the same manifestations. This is confirmed in Heb 12.19 where it says they heard the “sound of words” or literally “the voice of voices” (plural). On Greek the word for “word” is “rhema” meaning a specific word to you. The Greek word “logos” is for “word” in general. Why aren’t people taught this in Christianity? What we just went over people do not learn even after decades of going to a church. It isn’t because people don’t study the Bible, because many do, but these kind of things aren’t taught because they don’t see it.
Mount Sinai was not the goal, however. The goal was Canaan, the promised land. But, the means to get to the land meant they were going to have to go through some changes. Those changes will be taught through the commandments, the Mishkan, meeting with the Lord and so on. These will parallel the Messianic Redemption. The things that happened in the Egyptian Redemption will basically happen again. There will be a return to the land, especially before the United States is attacked (Jer 50-51). There will be a Temple and its services restored and they will meet with the Lord through the Two Witnesses, the 144,000, certain prophetic events and miracles. The Promised Land has a synonymous term called the “Menuchah” meaning “rest.” Heb 3.7-19 talks about this concept. In the peshat (literal) it is referring to Canaan, but in the sowd level (secret, mystery, hidden) it alludes to the Olam Haba, the World to Come. This is the rest that can be entered into which is future, just like Canaan was.
In Heb 4.1, we have the “gospel” being preached to us, just like it was with those in the wilderness. The word “gospel” is “basorah” in Hebrew. The word means “flesh, meat” literally. Now, we don’t relate to this like people in other countries do because we can go down to the store and get food, or order it on-line, go to a fast food place and so on. Food is not so much a problem here and not a life and death issue. But, in other parts of the world it is. Drought or too much rain can lead to famine. Anciently, Israel was nomadic and could hunt, but that was for life. So, in the word “basorah” (gospel) it meant meat and flesh was available, meaning life. In the Tanak, it is translated in English as “good news.” So you can see in a nomadic village where the food has run out, finding “basar/basorah’ was “good news.”
In our verse in Heb 4.1-2, we have the good news (basorah) of the menuchah (rest). In the Egyptian Redemption, that meant Canaan. In the Messianic Redemption, it is the Olam Haba when everything is restored. Christians are taught that the “gospel” came when Yeshua came. But when Yeshua spoke of the gospel nobody was asking, “What is a gospel?” They knew what it was and it started in Gen 1, all the way to Malachi. It wasn’t something new and it was the expected product of what the Scriptures have told them, and us. We see in Heb 4.2 that it was with them in the Exodus Redemption. But, it was not “united by faith” so it did not benefit them at all. Faith is “emunah” in Hebrew and it means “confidence leading to action. Biblical emunah consists of three things; da’at means the knowledge of God, mitz’vot are the commandments and ahav is love for God. All of these must be operating to have biblical faith. There is no such thing as “blind faith.” Emunah (faith) is confidence based on knowledge of what God has said. A baby has faith in its mother, but it isn’t blind faith, it is based on knowledge and a track record. Moses felt confident (emunah) to go up to Mount Sinai, but the people “stood at a distance.” Why? Because Moses had been there before and the Lord told him to come up again. The people had never been there before and they did not have the confidence Moses had. That was a breakdown in faith and unbelief.
In Heb 4.3 we see “his works were finished from the foundation of the world.” People say, “Do you have a plan” and the answer will be “I’m working on it.” Well, God wasn’t “working on it” because he had it from the beginning. We are the ones “working on it.” We see God’s plan unraveling, in part. Another term for the Sabbath is “the Menuchah” that comes weekly. But Canaan was also “the Menuchah” and some did not enter because of disobedience (Heb 4.6). Heb 4.7-9 says that Joshua brought them into Canaan but he also spoke of “another day after that.” There remains a Sabbath (a menuchah) for God’s people.
So, in the Peshat level (literal), Canaan was the ‘rest” but that was just for the first redemption, not the “full promise.” It was a picture of what we are moving towards. But, the promise is not the Messianic Kingdom (the Atid Lavo). The promise is the Olam Haba in the Sowd level (secret, mystical, hidden).
For every study, not just this one, there are editorial questions that need to be answered, and they are: who, what, where, when, why and how. In most cases, this can be very revealing. So, let’s look at the “who” of this study of the redemption. Let’s look at Moses and the Messiah. Moses is in a category by himself. He is not high priest and he is not seen as the head of the Levites. Aaron was in that function. Moses has a special status. There is no one in the Tanak greater than Moses. He is seen as the agent of God in bringing the Torah to the people, the “sh’liach” or sent one. There are many verses where the Lord says he is sending Moses to Pharaoh. There is a difference between the Hebrew concept of an agent and the English concept. Five times in Exodus 3 alone it says that Moses was sent (verses 10,12,13,14,15). In Part 8, we will pick up here, and give the definition of the Hebrew concept of an agent, known as the “sh’liach.” Sh’liach is the word where we get the word “apostle” in English, so we need to know what this is. There are many in Christianity that call themselves an “Apostle” but they do not have the correct concept related to it. So, we are going to give a definition of an agent (sh’liach) and then compare it to our English understanding of an agent, and you will see there is a world of difference. This concept needs to be understood in understanding the redemption, and other passages found in the Scriptures.