Ekev- Shared Reading
Torah Portions 5.3: Debarim (Deuteronomy) 7:12-11:25
Hebrew Word/Phrase of the Week: Ekev
Meaning: “Because of”
The Torah Portion this week is called Ekev (עקב), which means “heel”, or “because of”. This week, Moshe is still recapping all the events the children of Yashra’el have been through since Mitsrayim (Egypt) and reminds them to keep YHWH’s commands!
Chapter 7 (Continued): Let’s recap from last week for a moment. Moshe is speaking to the people and giving them the run-down of all the events the children of Yashra’el have been through since Mitsrayim. Though you may wonder, ‘Why would he do this?’, Moshe summarizes these events to reinforce their importance and why they should keep the commands. Also, keep in mind the children of Yashra’el listening to Moshe’s speech now were the youth that used to be under 20 years old when the adults were punished to wander the wilderness for 40 years (except for Yahuwshuwa son of Nun and Kaleb, of course).
So Moshe now goes on to say that if the people shall guard and do YHWH’s right-rulings, then YHWH will love them and bless (barak) them. YHWH will increase their people, the fruit of the land, the grain, the wine, the oil and the livestock too. Moshe also tells them that YHWH will turn away all their sicknesses- it was just the children of Yashra’el’s part to get rid of all the people YHWH would be delivering to them in the promised land. And if they were ever afraid of the people for whatever reasons they came across, he reminded them to remember all the things YHWH did to Mitsrayim- because YHWH would do those things to those people too. Moshe even says YHWH would send hornets among all the people left hiding, until those people were destroyed.
Fun Fact: What’s the difference between a hornet and a wasp? A hornet is a type of wasp!
And then Moshe goes on to encourage the people and let’s them know that YHWH will only allow them to drive out the nations before them a little at a time, just because if they did it all at once, their would be too many beasts in the field for them.
Chapter 8: So Moshe again repeats to the children of Yashra’el to guard the commands, so that they’ll live and YHWH will bless (barak) them. He emphasizes for them to keep the commands and not forget all that YHWH has done for them and given to them. And if they were to forget and say they did this all by themselves- YHWH would punish the people by destroying them in the same ways their enemies have been destroyed.
Chapter 9: And in Moshe’s speech, he lets the children of Yashra’el know that this was the day that they would pass over the Yarden, and that they would go to take the nations from people greater and stronger than themselves. This was the time to take on great battles and go possess the land. But even knowing all this, it was important to know that Moshe wanted the people to understand that it wasn’t because of the children of Yashra’el’s righteousness that they were receiving this gift of the promised land, but because of the wrong of those nations that they were allowed to drive them out. Then Moshe even reminds them that since the day that he met them, they’ve been a lot of trouble!
Chapter 10: Remember how the first two tablets of the commandments were broken because of the children of Yashra’el’s sins in the wilderness? Moshe goes over this with the people, and how he had to go back up the mountain and plea with YHWH to get the stones a second time. Moshe tells them, that all YHWH is asking from them is to fear YHWH, to walk in his ways, to love him and to serve him with all their heart and all their being. And that YHWH delighted only in their fathers, and chose their seed after them, making them as numerous as the stars in the sky.
Chapter 11: And then Moshe tells the people to remember YHWH when they enter into the special land that he is giving them. And that this land, was not going to be like Mitsrayim, where they had to water their plants by foot like a vegetable garden, but that this was a land of hills and valleys, flowing with water, that YHWH looks after all year and gives the rain in it’s seasons.
The people would be able to eat to their satisfaction, as YHWH cares for them, as long as they don’t forget YHWH’s commands!
Want to know more? Join us next time as we continue to read through Debarim (Deuteromony)!