Rabbi’s Reflections – Thursday, June 10, 2021


Shalom Everyone.  I heard from Lars about my question from yesterday.  Here are his comments in their entirety (Lars, I’m sorry you have to read this again.)

Shalom Michael,

First of all, thank you for your complement regarding the title of our Bible Reading Plan!

Secondly, a quick comment regarding the “two extra verses” in chapter 17. The answer is that in a few places the Christian translations’ chapter divisions are different from the Jewish. The reason for this is actually based on Replacement Theology. The Jewish sages divided the Torah portions and the different Aliyot to as much as possible end on a good note when you read them. That is why some Aliyot are short, while some can be very long in cases where it takes a long time before you can end the reading on a positive note. It is similar with the chapter divisions. In a few places they differ because of an opposite tendency among the Medieval Christian theologians who divided the Bible, including the Tanach, into chapters and verses. There are quite a few obvious examples of this tendency in the Tenach.

In this week’s Parashah, chapter 16 ends with verse 50 in all Christian translations. The Jewish Bible ends chapter 16 instead in verse 35. We have indicated the differences with placing the Jewish chapter divisions within brackets [ ] when they differ. Chapter 17 ends with verse 13 in Christian Bibles and in the Jewish Bibles chapter 17 ends with verse 21. No verses are added by the rabbis. It is the same text.

Hope this helps.

Blessings in abundance!  

Lars Enarson. larsenarson.com. NORDEN 7:14 norden714.com

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)

Thu 10 June-2021 30th of Sivan, 5781 Rosh Chodesh Tamuz Day 1

Nu 17:16-24 Jer 39-40 Esr 2 (Lk 3) 2 Co 4

Do you recall that the 66 chapters of Isaiah correspond to the 66 books of the Bible?  That means that Isaiah 40 corresponds to Matthew 1.  However; it is not a stretch to find Luke 3 quoting Isaiah 40 also, because these verses are quoted in all four gospels.  In the description of John the Baptist’s ministry, Isaiah (the great Jewish prophet) prophesied this….

Isaiah 40:3 A voice cries out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of Adonai, Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4 Every valley will be lifted up, every mountain and hill made low, the rough ground will be a plain and the rugged terrain smooth. 5 The glory of Adonai will be revealed, and all flesh will see it together.” For the mouth of Adonai has spoken.

I’m going to focus on just Isaiah 40:3 in two parts.  “Prepare the way of Adonai.”  The word translated “prepare” is “Panu” from “Pana” (Peh-Nun-Hey).  It means to “turn (around) and face me.”  It’s actually a form of the word for “face.”  It means “look at me.”  To whom do we look?  Why the Lord, of course.  

This is the meaning of Reuben, the firstborn son of Jacob, “behold (or see) the Son.”  Because I capitalized “Son,” you know I mean to see God’s Son.  The names of the 12 tribes tell the story of the believer, and the story of the believer starts when he/she sees the Son.  

“The way” is “Derech” in Hebrew.  John 14:5 Thomas said to Him, “Master, we don’t know where You are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Yeshua said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life! No one comes to the Father except through Me.  

So, “Prepare the way of Adonai” means “Look to Yeshua, Who is the way.”

What does it mean to “make straight in the desert a highway?”  “Straight” is from “Yashar” which also means “upright” or “righteous.”  This “desert” is not the “wilderness,” (Midbar) but an “Aravah” which is from the same Shoresh as the word for “Hebrew,” “Ivri” meaning “one who crosses over.”  And the “highway” is a “Mesilah” in Hebrew.  This is from “Selah” meaning “rest here and meditate for a moment.”  

So “make straight in the desert a highway” might mean (in the “Rabbi Amplified Version,” “Be righteous in crossing over (from unbelief into faith) and rest in this for a moment.  It is the easier path, a “high” way.

Let’s put these two parts together.  Look to Yeshua, Who is the way.  Be righteous as you cross over into faith.  Rest in this for a moment.  It will make your life easier.  Shalom.   

Week 24
Memory Verse: Jeremiah 1:15 Behold! I am calling all the families of the kingdoms of the north.” It is a declaration of Adonai. “So they will come and each will set up his throne at the entry of the gates of Jerusalem, against all her surrounding walls and against all the cities of Judah.

116   6/10 Monday:        2 Kings 17-18

117   6/11 Tuesday:       2 Kings 19-21

118   6/12 Wednesday:  2 Kings 22-23
*119  6/13 Thursday:     Jeremiah 1-3:5
120   6/14 Friday:         Jeremiah 25; 29

Question of the day:  Nope, out of time.  No question today..