Nitzavim- Shared Reading
Torah Portions 5.8: Debarim (Deuteronomy) 29:9-30:20
Hebrew Word/Phrase of the Week: Nitzavim
The Torah Portion this week is called Nitzavim (נצבים ), meaning “Standing”. The sojourners and people to come are given the same opportunity to take part in YHWH’s agreement (covenant) as the children of Yashra’el.
Chapter 29: As Moshe’s speaking to the people, he makes them aware that together the leaders, the tribes, elders, officers, men, women, children and sojourners and are all united before YHWH. Not only are the children of Yashra’el made an oath (promise), but everyone standing before YHWH at this time as well as for those to come in the future.
This is a really important piece of info, as this tells us that even the sojourners that cut wood and drew water for the people as well as the the generations of people to come were to going to be given this promise as well. That means YHWH’s promise was the same for the sojourners and people to come as it was the children of Yashra’el there at the time, as long as these people obeyed.
Now what exactly is the promise?
This is the covenant YHWH is making with the children of Yashra’el. The covenant is like a written agreement (contract) for both of the groups (parties). YHWH (party 1) and the people (party 2). Moshe’s been explaining to the people everything wonderful YHWH will do for them, as long the people (party 2) obey the rules of the contract (the commands).
However, we know that if the people didn’t play by the rules, they would be made into a bad example for all the nations to see. All the bad stuff that’s been mentioned would happen to them! And when the people would choose to worship other mighty ones, the world would notice how bad the people and their land were suffering, and the nations would know it was because they didn’t obey YHWH’s commands.
Fun Quote: The scriptures say that “The secret matters belong to YHWH” and “what is revealed belongs to us and our children forever..”.
Chapter 30: Next Moshe tells us that all these bad things would happen to the people! But as long as they turned away from doing evil and turned back to YHWH, then YHWH would turn back their captivity and have compassion on them again. And he would even turn away all the curses they had on them and put them on their enemies, even blessing them and rejoicing over them as he did their fathers.
So all-in-all, we learn that it really comes down to the people’s choice. The written agreement is before the people, and it is each person’s choice to choose the blessings or the curses for themselves. And when we notice we’ve taken the wrong path, YHWH will still give us the blessings so long as we turn to him with all our heart and turn away from doing evil.
Want to know more? Join us next time as we continue to read through Debarim (Deuteromony)!