Allen and Karen Ranney Th.D
December 29, 2018 (21 Tevet 5779) Shemot "names"
December 29, 2018 (21 Tevet 5779) Shemot "names"
Isaiah 27:6-28 v 13; 29:22-23
This Torah study titled “Shemot” in Hebrew means “names.” The names of the children of Israel, Jacob’s twelve sons, who were the founders of the tribes of Israel that grew into the nation of Israel. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph and Benjamin. The extraordinary growth of the family of promise in Egypt is a great miracle. Evidence of God’s blessings and God’s hand in this miracle are recorded throughout the book of Exodus.
A miracle is a less common way of God working. It is done to arouse people’s surprise, awe or amazement in such a way that God bears witness of Himself in and through signs, wonders and marvels.
Isaiah 35:1-2 Luke 12:27
Ezekiel 36:34-36 Romans 10:8-13
Matthew 6:28 Mark 16:15-18
This week’s Torah portion (Parashat #6557) is in Exodus 1:1-6:1 and is titled “Shemot #8034” in Hebrew and means “names.”
Exodus 1:1-22 records Israel’s suffering in Egypt.
Exodus 2:1-10 records the birth of Moses.
Exodus 2:11-25 records Moses fleeing to Midian.
Exodus 3:1-22 records the miracle of the burning bush.
Exodus 4:1 records miraculous signs for Pharaoh.
Exodus 5:1 records Moses’ first encounter with Pharaoh.
Exodus 5:22-6:1 records Israel’s deliverance is assured by God.
The Haftarah or prophet’s portion is in Isaiah 27:6-28:13; 29:22-23
Isaiah 27:6 records Israel shall blossom and bud.
Isaiah 28:1-13 records warnings to Ephraim and Jerusalem.
Isaiah 29:22-23 records Jacob shall not be ashamed.
The Gospel portion is in Luke 5:12-39
Luke 5:12 records a leper is cleansed.
Luke 5:16- 39 records a paralytic is healed, and Matthew is called.
Exodus 1:1 (Interlinear Bible) reads, “And these were the “Shemot #8034”, “names” of the sons of Israel who came into Egypt with Jacob; they each one came in with his house.”
This is where we get the title for this week’s Torah portion. “Shemot” in Hebrew means “names,” specifically the names of Jacob’s (Israel’s) 12 children, who are the founders of the tribes of Israel that grew into the nation of Israel. Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph and Benjamin. The extraordinary growth of the family of promise in Egypt is a great miracle, and evidence of God’s blessing and God’s hand in this miracle are recorded throughout the book of Exodus.
“Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” Therefore, they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens, and they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom, and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage – in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve with rigor.” (Exodus 1:8-14)
Verse 12 reads “but the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew.” For 400 years, no matter the situation, the people of God multiplied.... Miracle.
“Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other was Puah; and he said, “when you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.” But the midwives feared God and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children live.” Exodus 1:20-22 reads, “therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty, and so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them. So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.” (Exodus 1:15-27)
It’s interesting to note that the king of Egypt’s name is not recorded here, but the “Shemot” names of the two God-fearing midwives are, Shiphrah and Puah.
“Shiphrah #8236” in Hebrew means “beautiful one,” beautiful like how the dew glistens in the morning sun.
“Puah #6312” in Hebrew means “splendid one,” splendid like the light that glistens off jewels.
Two shining examples of God fearing women. Exodus 1:18 tells of Pharaoh calling for these two midwives and asking them why they didn’t do as he ordered. In ancient times, if you didn’t do as the king said, that was grounds for execution or at least imprisonment. But God did not just save the midwives, He provided households for them…. Miracle.
Exodus 2:1-10 records Moses’s birth to a man and wife of the house of Levi
“And she hid him for three months, but when she could hide him no more she built an ark of bull rushes for him and laid it in the reeds by the river bank and his sister stood afar off to know what would become of him and it happened that Pharaoh’s daughter came down to the river to bathe and when she saw the ark among the reads she sent her maid to get it. Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?” And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. So she called his name Moses #4822, saying, “because I drew him out of the water.”
The Nile River was full of crocodiles and yet the daughter of Pharaoh finds the Hebrew child, and in direct defiance of her father’s decree to kill all the male Hebrew children, she decides to keep him and raise him as her own…. Miracle.
Exodus 2:11-15 (Complete Jewish Bible) reads, “One day, when Moshe was a grown man, he went out to visit his kinsman; and he watched them struggling at forced labor. He saw an Egyptian strike a Hebrew, one of his kinsman. He looked this way and that; and when he saw that no one was around, he killed the Egyptian and hid his body in the sand.”
Of course, the murder, is found out and Moses has to escape from Egypt to the land of Midian. Midian just happened to be a son of Abraham by Keturah,
So the priest of Midian “Reuel” is a direct descendent of Abraham. “Reuel #7467” in Hebrew means “friend of God. So, Moses escapes a sure death sentence in Egypt and finds a “friend of God” in Midian…. Miracle.
“Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro (#3503 Jethro meaning his preeminence or his excellence) the priest of Midian and Moses’s father-in-law (Jethro is called Reuel in Exodus 2:18, which means friend of God, Reuel seems to have been his personal name, and Jethro, his excellence, to have been his honorary title) and he led the flock to the back of the desert, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire from the midst of a Bush. So he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, but the bush was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I will now turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush does not burn.” So when the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the Bush and said, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “here I am.” Then He said, “do not draw near this place. Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground. “Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.” (Exodus 3:1-6)
Burning bush? Not consumed by the fire?.... Miracle. God speaking from the midst of the burning bush… Miracle.
Warning! anytime a man or woman tries to explain God’s miracles in this earth by likening them to some natural phenomena, occurrence or event, in essence they are cheapening God’s word and works. They try to make the supernatural, miraculous works of God as common as dirt. The bush is not consumed by the Holy fire of God… Miracle… God speaking from the midst of the burning bush… Miracle…it cannot be said enough!
Exodus 3:14 (Interlinear Bible) reads, “and God said to Moses “I AM #1961” that I AM; and He said, you shall say this to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.”
I “AM” #1961 “Hayah” in Hebrew is translated here as “I AM” but it is also translated as “been, came, exists, am, went and went on continually.” Our God is introducing Himself to Moses and the children of Israel as the Ever Existent One, Amen! And He goes on to say in Exodus 3:15b, “this is My Name #8034 Forever #5769”, “Ha Shem L’olam” and this is My “Zekar #2142”, “Memorial, name, title to all generations.” Amen. God is our Father; we are invited to come into His presence, boldly calling upon Him.
Romans 8:15 reads, “for you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” “
“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)
Amen. God wants us to call on Him by His personal “Shemot” names, God wants to have a personal relationship with us” …. Miracle.
Exodus 4 records that Moses was given miraculous signs to show in Pharaoh’s court.
The rod, probably a shepherd’s crook, turns into a snake and back again…. Miracle.
Moses’ hand turned leprous white and back again…. Miracle.
Exodus 5:1-6 records Moses’ first encounter with Pharaoh.
“Afterward Moses and Aaron went in and told Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: “let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness.” And Pharaoh said, “who is the Lord, that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, nor will I let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:1)
This first meeting between Moses and Pharaoh did not go well according to the recollections of man. Pharaoh’s heart was hard and the Lord used that to fulfill all the plans He had for His chosen people Israel.
Miracle after miracle, two men, Moses and Aaron, one a wanted murderer, the other, a slave and shepherd, standing before the Pharaoh, king of Egypt, defying him, making demands of him, not honoring him, but reverencing another “Shem” name in his presence, disrespecting him, yet they lived…. Miracle!!!
Isaiah 27:6-28; 29:22-23
“Those who come He shall cause to take root in Jacob; Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.” (Isaiah 27:6)
Both Isaiah and Ezekiel (Ezekiel 36:8) prophesy about Israel’s deserts blooming as though they are rejoicing, as the Hebrew people return from all over the world, where they have been scattered in exile.
From over 100 nations in the world, the Jewish people have been returning to the promised homeland Israel at a rate of over 2,000 people a month, as the first part of Isaiah 27:6a reads, “those who come He shall cause to take root in Jacob.” The people are taking root, they are reclaiming the desert, building homes, schools, businesses and green houses. They are cultivating every crop you can imagine and planting every kind of tree for nuts, fruit and lumber.
Isaiah 27:6b reads, “Israel shall blossom and bud, and fill the face of the world with fruit.” I was in Israel awhile back and I can testify that not only does the desert bloom in the spring with the red lilies of the field Jesus spoke of in Matthew 6:28 and Luke 12:27, but Israel grows flowers all year-round in the desert now. Literally tens of millions of flowers of many varieties are grown and exported around the world.
Israel also grows and exports over 100 million pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. Up and down the Jordan River Valley and across Israel there are tens of thousands of greenhouses, producing enough to feed the population of Israel ten times over… God promised it… The prophet’s spoke it… We witness it... It’s a Miracle!! How much more do you think we could do in His “shem” name? Isaiah 29:22-23 reads, “therefore thus says the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob: “Jacob shall not now be ashamed, nor shall his face now grow pale; but when he sees his children, the work of My hands, in his midst, they will hallow My “name” and hallow the Holy one of Jacob, and fear the God of Israel.” Amen.
Those prophetic “Shemot” names are: Yeshua Messiah and Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:9 reads, “therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven and of those on the earth, and of those under the earth.” ... Miracle.
Luke 5:12 records how a leper is cleansed…... Miracle.
Luke 5:16 tells of the paralytic who is healed…. Miracle.
Through the rest of Luke chapter 5, Yeshua Messiah makes it clear His mission is to call sinners unto repentance, reconciling us back to God... Miracle.
I’ve used the word “miracle” a lot in this Torah study, so let’s define it. The old testament and the new testament talk about signs, wonders and miracles. Jesus Himself said in Mark 16:15-18, “Go into all of the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: in My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Amen. Miracles!!!
We may define miracle as; A less common kind of God’s interaction in the world where He arouses people’s awe and wonder, and bears witness of Himself. This biblical definition for miracles points to the idea of God’s power at work to arouse (awaken) people’s wonder and amazement, bringing them to the only logical conclusion; God is real, God is here, God’s overwhelming, awe-inspiring, never ending love for us is manifest in the great name of His only begotten Son... Miracle.
Would you like to experience God’s miracle of rebirth in your own life? Would you like to receive a new “shem” name? Let me explain the ABCs of God’s miraculous salvation.
A. Admit, admit you have sinned and you are sorry you have.
B. Believe, believe Jesus died for that sin then rose from the grave on the third day.
C. Confess, confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and make Him King in your life.
Then read Romans 10:8-13, repenting and praying something like the words above. Make them your own heartfelt confession and pray, “Father, fill me with Your Spirit that I too can receive the miracle, that is salvation through Jesus Christ, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Bibliography for Shemot “names”
Complete Jewish Bible, David H Stern, Jewish New Testament publications, 1998
Interlinear Bible, the Hendrickson publishing, 2006
New King James Version of the Bible, Thomas Nelson publishers, 2007
Strong’s Complete Dictionary of the Bible Words, Thomas Nelson publishing, 1996