Weekly Parashot

The Torah of Messiah Yeshua


Parashah No 42-43

Book Num-Bamidbar (In the Desert)

Matot and Masa’ei (Tribes and Day)

 Theme for today: "The tribes that decided to be on the other side"

 

 

Parashá: Bamidbar – Numbers  30:2BH  (30:1BC) – 36:13.

Haftara: Iermiahu  - Jeremiah  2:4-28.

Apostolic Writings:  Luke 12:13-21.

Focus Reading:  Numbers 32:1-42

 

Purpose of the lesson:

Demonstrate that what we think is appropriate is not always the best; therefore, convenience could not govern our destiny

Teaching - Learning goal.

You will understand that what we think is appropriate is not necessarily the best; we need to be clear that is what the Eternal has for us. You will discuss the adjustments you think are necessary to make the will of the Eternal above the conveniences; and you will list at least three actions that will lead you to the achievement of the proposed adjustments.

 

Meeting with the Torah: "Whenconvenience rules fate"

Bamidbar 32:1-32; Luke 12:13-21.

 

 

This time we get a "mechubarot" (together or united), i.e. two parashiot joined together. In this case we have parashah Mattot and parashah Masa’ei, (42  and 43  respectively). Mattot  מַּטּוֹת is the expression that translates as "tribes"  because he is referring to the fact that Moshe spoke to the heads of the tribes of the children of Israel. "Masa’ei"  מַסְעֵי,  translats to "days", begins by talking about the order of the Eternal to write all the days or trips that the people of Israel made during their journey through the desert. These two portions complete the book Bamidbar (Numbers).

It is striking that this portion of the Torah begins completely different from all the statements of divine orders. Because he always says that "the Eternal spoke to Moshe saying, speak unto the children of Israel." But here he goes straight, saying that Moshe spoke to the princes of Israel, which the Eternal had commanded; it is the only place where this way of communicating what the Eternal is ordering appears. The rabbinical authorities see here a divine intervention, especially about the vows. [1] The first chapter of this portion of the Torah is about the vows. The focus is on respect for the word, and the annulment of vows.

Moshe transmits to the leaders of the tribes, which the Eternal taught him about vows and promises. A vengeance is raised against Midian for their intervention in the seduction of Israel that led them to deviate from the Torah, and become corrupted in immorality and idolatry. It details the spoils of war and its distribution. Those of the tribe of Reuben and Gad ask to be allowed to stay on the other side of Jordan, after committing to support their brethren in the conquest of the rest, they were granted the request.

Description of the days of the children of Israel from Egypt to the Moav camps. The people are ordered to eradicate all inhabitants upon entering the land, the limits of the land are established. Thos in charge of dividing the land are assigned; allocation of the portion for the Levites, allocation of the cities of refuge. Also, laws regarding those who kill involuntarily, and laws on the marriage of heiresses.

This study will be based on the request of the tribes who asked to stay on the other side of Jordan for convenience.


 

I.      A request for personalistic convenience.

 

1.     What was the approach that caused Reuben and Gad's   request?  Numbers 32:1-3.

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The sons of Reuben and the sons of Gad were  focused on their possessions, because they had numerous and very important flocks and when they saw the lands of Jazer and Gilead they thought it was most convenient for their cattle and without wasting time they spoke to  Moshe,Eleazar and the princes of the assembly to negotiate the matter. Reuben was  Yaacov's firstborn with Lea (Genesis 29:31-32), it is possible that this is why it is mentioned first, but in the rest of the narration Gad is mentioned first, as we see from the v.  2 This indicates that these were the ones who took the initiative, as their father acknowledges before he died, by saying that he took the front of the people (Deuteronomy 33:21); even though those land were not within the limits of the promised land, but they thought of their own conveniences (Numbers 34:1-12). The Eternal commands us that our focus should be on spiritual things and not in the earthly (Colossians 3:2). 

 

2.     What reference point did they have for such a request? Numbers 32:4.

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Victory against those kings was the argument to think that the Eternal was on his side. Evidently the Eternal lashed them in the presence of all Israel, so they claimed that the Eternal Had given them to them. Because it was good land for cattle, it would be unreasonable for it to be abandoned.  It is interesting to see that they begin their argument by speaking the Eternal’s subjugation over those lands. Using this action as a reference point is a way to manipulate divine action to move the hearts of leaders and find grace for their ambitions..  They did not take into account that that decision was out of the way of what the Eternal had. It is  dangerous to take the blessings of the Eternal as a reference point to think that the Eternal agrees with what we are doing, without having direct confirmation from the Torah.  The will of the Eternal is not confirmed by what we have experienced, but by what the Torah tells us and the directions that the Eternal is giving us.

 

3.     What did the Rubenites and Gadites appeal to for their request? Numbers 32:5.

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They appealed to the mercy they might have, to be shown by granting the petition they were presenting, which was  to leave them these lands on property; with pleas and pleas they asked them not to let them cross the Jordan, because they wanted to stay on this side. They were defying the character of benevolence and mercy of the leaders, insinuating to them that it should correspond to the grace that should be in them. This attitude is similar to the attitude of the rich young man who wanted to be please Yeshua by calling him a "good teacher" (Matthew 19:16; Mark 10:17; Luke 18:18).  Yeshua's response teaches us a model to avoid falling into such traps.

II.    An anger justified by the risks of this petition

 

4.     How did Moshe react to Reuben and Gad's request? Numbers 32:6-8.

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Moshe believes  that they would not go with their brothers to the rest of the conquest. He criticizes them for that   it would discourage the people; it makes them see that this was the same attitude that their parents had when they were sent to explore the earth. Here we find ourselves with a justified anger, by the risks involved in that request. The first risk that  Moshe makes them see is to leave his brethren alone in the conquest, without the required support, which happened in the times of Deborah and Barak (Judges 5:15-17). Another risk was that the rest of the children of Israel would be discouraged and would give up on the other side of Jordan (v.7). They had already had a precedent, which cost him the lives of many people and a lot of time.  Yeshua  warned of the importance of analyzing risks before such a delicate decision (Luke 14:28-33).

 

5.     What memories does Moshe evoke when considering Reuben Gad's request? Numb 32:9-12.

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Moshe referred  to them  the sending of the spies to the earth, who in analyzing the inspection discouraged the hearts of the people from entering the land that the Eternal had given them and how the eternal wrath against them was ignited,  ,  because they were not whole before the Eternal,, to believe what he had promised them. Past experiences are a reference point, through which the Eternal puts us on our toes. Moshe  tells them the experience of the ten spies who brought the discouraging report (v.9), as described in Numbers 13:24, 31; Deuteronomy 1:24, 28.  Moshe's argument was based on the inequity of those people (v. 11), hence he wasdefeatedby fear, except  Yehoshua  (Joshua) and Calev. One of the means Ruaj Ha-Kodesh uses to speak to us is circumstances; they reveal the divine affirmation or refusal, to stay where we are or to go.

 

6.     What were Moshe's fears that caused him so much anger? Numbers 32:13-15.

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Moshe explains how the Eternal's wrath was ignited at the time against Israel, which led them to roam for forty years through the wilderness until they were exterminated, and fears that they will have the same spirit as their ancestors, which would reignite divine wrath and condemn them to forty more years, before entering the promised land.  Los Moshe's  fears  are justified, because he feels challenged to something they had experienced before. The negative result of that action, in the case of spies, was immediately  and long-term; but in the case of Benjamin and Gad's request, the consequences were long-term. They were exposed to pagan influences (Judges 10:6-11:33). The region of Gilead was a stumbling block for the children of Israel, because not only did they suffer the Gilada and Rubenites, but I affectionate the whole nation. The influence of the heathen was very strong and led them to turn away from the Eternal and were harshly punished.

III.    An agreed proposal whose effects were detrimental.

 

7.     What was the proposal that Reuben and Gad presented to Moshe? Numbers 32:16-19.

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They approached and proposed to build cattle and city pens for families; but all the men would arm themselves and go diligently with the rest of the people on the other side of the battle until they destroyed the enemy; committing not to return homeuntil  everyone takes up their property. This response seemedió  reasonable, in  fact, was accepted by  Moshe  and the rest of the leaders; but subsequent results demonstrated that conveniences are not a sure reference point for the children of the Eternal. They took it  easy and  used every possible argument to get approval; their plan was to build something temporary that would serve as a temporary shelter for the family and animals, as they went with the rest; and then return and make more stable and secure buildings. If we discern the seasons and situations of the present time, we can see the disasters coming in an immediate time (Luke 19:44; Romans 13:11). 

 

8.     What did Moshe agree on Reuben and Gad's proposal? Numbers 32:20-32.

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Moshe replied that if they did as they were proposing and left the land on the other side completely subduedos before the Eternal, they would be free from all responsibility before the Eternal and to Israel, but if they did not comply, they, would be responsible for the consequences, therefore they allowed them to build as they had asked.  Moshe accepts the proposal, on the condition that they keep his word, to remain united in the rest of the people in the conquest. All these verses tell us about the conditions Mosheputs. The fact that the Eternal access to their request does not indicate that it is their will; we have the example of sending spies (Numbers 13:2; Deuteronomy 1:20-23). Another example is the case of Balaam, which Elohim told him to go, but it was not his will (Numbers 22:20-22). Commitment was limited to the conquest of the land. 

 

9.     What was the final result of the distribution east of Jordan? Numbers 32:33-42.

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The distribution was done as they had proposed, here it describes in detail how the distribution wasmade; even though it was not the original plan of the Eternal, He allowed it; but it was not the most convenient, on the one hand, there was a barrier between them and the rest of the tribes  and the possibility of cooperation was more difficult, in the end they were the first to assimilate. As the conquest was over, the problems of misunderstandings began between the rubenites, the Galaites and the half tribe of Manasseh, with the rest ready to go to arms among them (Joshua 22:10-34). Problems were not left to wait (Judges 8:4-17; 12:1-7). In the time of the Gilead judges it was under the control of the Ammonites (Judges 10:6-11:33). They later mingled with other villages and ended up disappearing.

Reflexión y aplicatión.

 

 

1.     What motivated the Gadaites and Rubenites to stay on the other side of Jordan?

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2.     Why was their approach wrong?

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3.     How did the Gadanites and rubenites manipulate the favorable action of the Eternal?

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4.     What was the leaders' fear of the effects of this decision?

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5.     What are the consequences of decisions on immediate benefits?

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6.     How tempting is it for you to be invited to work in another state and city with higher pay than you do now?

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7.     What adjustments do you think you need for the Will of the Eternal is above convenience?

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8.     List at least three actions that will lead you to the achievement of the proposed adjustments.

1st   _______________________________________________________________________

2nd  _______________________________________________________________________

3rd  _______________________________________________________________________

 



[1] Rab. Munk, Eli. The Voice of the Torah, Pentateuch Commentary. Volume VII, Numbers; p. 659-660. Editorial Presence. Bogota – Colombia. Spanish translation, S. Newman. 1st Edition 5753. Year 1993. P.O. Box 190942 Miami Beach. Fl. 33119-0942. Used.

 

[i] This material has been prepared by Messianic Rabbi Héctor R. Navarro. Month of Siván 5780. July 2020. All rights reserved. For any questions, write to us at the following E-mail: bernabe_ben@hotmail.com