Thursday, January 8, 2015

Parashat Shemot (names) 1:1-6:1
The book of Exodus is the record of events of the Israelites that went down to Egypt to dwell in the land of Goshen (a great miracle) and became a great nation, numbering around 2.5 million people in a period of 430 years in Egypt. The reason for this estimate of the total number of people leaving Egypt is because many other people or a great multitude (Exo 12:37-38) also left with them. This could have been Egyptians and others who were drawn to the Hebrews by God’s might works and who decided to leave with them.
The first portion of this book begins directly where Genesis left off, by listing the names/shemot of the 70 decedents of Jacob that are in Egypt and will soon experience harsh trials and great manifestations of God. It is in this book that we see the dire captivity of the Israelites and later miraculous works of the Hebrew God. We will be seeing great supernatural phenomena’s occur on regular bases. It’s here that we see the very first Passover that clearly is a picture the redemptive work of God and foreshadows the work of Yeshua as being the true Lamb of God for our redemption.
In the first reading (Exo 1:1-15) we see Joseph’s, his brothers and (everyone else in) that generation died. Israel’s growth is demonstrated as very fertile and prolific that their population increased to become so numerous that the land was filled with them. Also a new order with a new king that didn’t know Joseph, that would make the Israelites have task masters over them to crush their spirits with hard labor.
In the second reading (Exo 1: 16- 2:9) we read of the two midwives who feared God so much that they would go against the order of Pharaoh to be at the birth stool of the Hebrew woman and put to death the male child’s, by disobeying this order the midwives allow Moses to be born in the house of a Levi man. The mother of Moses realizing how extraordinary the child was hide him for three months and then not being able to hide him no more puts the child in a papyrus box, that is coated it with asphalt and pitch. Moses sister (Miriam) watches over him as he is placed in the banks of the Nile, it’s here that Pharaoh’s daughter picks up the box and then later has Moses mother nurse him until he’s mature to later return to Pharaoh’s household.
In the third reading (Exo 2:11-25) we see Moses growing up and going out to his own people, where he see’s the hard labor that is imposed on them. Moses kills an Egyptian and hides him in the sand; this is seen by a fellow Israelite who in turn confronts Moses to the point of scaring him to flee to the land of Midian. While Moses has been given a wife and decides to live with a sheik named Jethro, a new oppressor is brought up in Egypt where the Israelites are subjugated to slavery and are groaning unto God. God hears the cries of His people and He remembers the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
We go to the fourth reading (Exo 3:1-15) where we have an angel of God appearing to Moses in the heart of a fire, in the middle of a thorn bush, that is unburned. Not only a true visual revelation of God, but the audible voice of God himself calling Moses and summons him to go to Pharaoh and bring His people the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses wanting to know who this is that will be asked of when He would say to them “Your father’s God sent me to you”, at this point is where God reveals his sanctity to Moses by the Name of  “I Shall Be As I Shall Be” a divine name meaning God’s Being is timeless or YHVH (Tetragammation)
In the fifth reading (Exo 3:16- 4:17) God continues to reassure Moses that He’s the same God that appeared to the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and that he will lead them out of Egypt into the promised land. God also tell Moses that the Egyptian king will not allow them to leave unless he is forced to do so. The two miraculous signs of the staff turning into a snake and the leprous hand that were given to Moses are not enough but was Moses is given a third sign of take water from the Nile and turning it into blood, to prove that God had sent them and to be taken seriously. Moses seems to be reluctant and pleads with God to send someone else for this mission, but Moses is advised that his own brother Aaron is on his way to meet him and will be his spokesman.
Sixth reading (Exo 4:18- 31) Moses explains to his father in law the situation of wanting to leave Midian and return to his people in Egypt, to see if they are still alive. Jethro sends him off in “Peace”. Moses than takes his wife and son and sets off to return to Egypt. God reminds Moses to tell Pharaoh that “Israel is God’s son and first born”. Next we see the event of God wanting to kill Moses because apparently his son wasn’t circumcised.
In the seventh reading (Exo 5:1-21) we see Moses and Aaron going to appear before Pharaoh  and telling him the message of God “Let my people leave, so they can sacrifice to Me in the desert.” Pharaoh doesn’t recognize God and refuses to let the people go. That same day the Egyptian king imposes them an additional task to go and gather their own straw with a harsh quota to produce the same amount of bricks.
In the last reading of this portion (Exo 5:22- 6:1) Moses returns to God in disappointment, but God tells Moses “Now you will begin to see what I will do to Pharaoh” and will be forced to let them go. This book of Shemot can be summed up in two words “Revelation and Deliverance” we will see the revelation of God to a group of people, the Israelites, and in turn demonstrate to the whole world His revelation and acquiring this particular group to be called His treasured possession by delivering them from slavery of the clutches of Pharaoh.
By Jose Felix










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