Thursday, January 18, 2018

Parashah Bo "Enter" Shemot (Exodus) 10:1-13:16

Bo "Enter"

Shemot (Exodus) 10:1-13:16

The need to remember, is something that has always been with humanity - so easily we loose focus, and need to be able to reason well. After 7 miraculous plagues, HaShem hardens Pharaoh’s heart, that He might demonstrate His favour towards the Hebrews, not only so all the nations would fear the G-d of the Hebrews and perhaps turn toward Him, but also for future generations to remember and fear the one true G-d, as even now we do. For a king  to be able to acknowledge he is subject to another authority, a humble heart is required, as stated in Shemot 10:3, 

                “How long will you refuse to humble yourself before Me?”

Still today this same stubbornness abounds in so many people, as we are kings and rulers of our own lives, though HaSham continues to do the miraculous all around, and offer freedom to those that would humble themselves before Him. Partial obedience is not obedience at all, as HaShem demonstrates in Shemot 10:11, when Pharaoh asks the demands from Moses, then Pharaoh only partly meets these demands while trying to stay in control of a situation that he obviously had no control over to stat with.

HaShem continually hardens Pharaohs heart, perhaps knowing that Pharaoh would never bow his knee to the true G-d who was not created by man. HaShem used Pharaoh as a tool to demonstrate His glory for all the world to see for generations to come. After the plague of locus, then came darkness that one could feel (10:21) for three days, followed by the final tenth plague of death that would bring Pharaoh to his knees and force him to humble himself before the G-d of the Hebrews. The first born of every house was struck because of Pharaoh’s disobedience, and therefore Pharaoh’s mind was changed and deliverance came to the Hebrews. This resembled what would later come with the life of Jesus, as the son of G-d was later taken for our sins that we would be justified and redeemed, being set free. 

That night the14th (12:6) of Nissan, when HaShem passed over the houses of the Hebrew’s that had blood over the doors, has now become what we know as Passover, according to the Lord’s command in Shamot 12:13-14:

                “Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. 
                 And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not 
                 be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

                ‘So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast 
                 to the LORD throughout your generations. You shall keep it as a feast 
                 by an everlasting ordinance.”

Nissan was also made the first month of the Hebrew calendar (12:2). 

According to biblical numerics the number 10 signifies ‘testimony, law, responsibility and the completeness of order’. Egypt experienced 10 plagues that would be a testimony to Yisrael for all time to come, of HaShems judgement, and the completeness of His power as the 10 plague’s also represent and fulfil the power of the 10 predominant gods and goddesses of Egypt of that time, demonstrating who is the G-d of gods.

  1. Hapi- Egyptian God of the Nile (water turned to blood)
  2. Heket- Egyptian Goddess of Fertility, Water, Renewal (frogs coming from the nile river)
  3. Geb- Egyptian God of the Earth (Lice from the dust of the earth)
  4. Khepri- Egyptian God of creation, movement of the Sun, rebirth (Swarms of Flies)
  5. Hathor-Egyptian Goddess of Love and Protection (Death of Cattle and Livestock)
  6. Isis- Egyptian Goddess of Medicine and Peace (Ashes turned to Boils and Sores)
  7. Nut- Egyptian Goddess of the Sky (Hail rained down in the form of fire)
  8. Seth- Egyptian God of Storms and Disorder (Locusts sent from the sky)
  9. Ra- The Sun God (Three Days of Complete Darkness)
  10. Pharaoh- The Ultimate Power of Egypt (Death of the Firstborn).

Perhaps HaShem was doing more than just delivering them from the location, or from being under Pharoah’s rule, but also from the deception of the Egyptian gods.

Once delivered Moses declared in remembrance and celebration of what HaShem had done;  “Therefore I sacrifice to the LORD all males that open the womb, but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem”, just as HaShem redeemed the Hebrews first born, Moses followed this  up saying (13:16):

                “It shall be as a sign on your hand and as frontlets between your eyes, 
                 for by strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt.”

What was intended as a metaphor, that they should keep them distinctly in view and carefully attend to them, soon after their return from Babylon became literal, as the Hebrews had accordingly portions of the law written out and worn about their person. These they called tephillin, i.e., “prayers." Still remembrance of the Passover has never been forgotten, perhaps at times its meaning has lost significance to some, but the tradition and name (Passover) is widely heard of, its significance religious circles is considered, and its power and relevance in the Jewish life is still powerfully reminding that HaShem is the one true Lord or Lords.


Graeme Politanski - 2018

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