The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Wickedness of Mankind
Part 2
עץ הדאת טוב ורע והרעת בני האדם

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Wickedness of Mankind

עץ הדאת טוב ורע והרעת בני האדם

Part II

Abraham, Moses, and the Torah

אברהם משה והתורה

HASHEM knew that all the newly formed nations that resulted from their dispersion from the Tower of Babel were corrupted by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  All these new nations were continuing to eat from the fruit of the tree.

HASHEM designed to form a unique nation for Himself.  This nation would be free from the corruption of the tree o the knowledge of good and evil.  The nation that He would make for Himself would have its own borders and its own land.

Happy is the nation whose God is the LORD; the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.

אַשְׁרֵי הַגּוֹי, אֲשֶׁר-יְהוָה אֱלֹהָיו;    הָעָם, בָּחַר לְנַחֲלָה לוֹ

Psalms 33:12  תהילים לג:יב

The people of this nation would not eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge and evil.  HASHEM would give the people of this nation His TORAH תורה, His ordinances, His precepts, His judgments, and His commandments.  Altogether these would form a bulwark, a fortification, a defense against all the seductions and deceptions of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  If the people that He made for Himself would listen to His Voice קול הי, and walk in His ways, then HASHEM would dwell in their midst, and they would have fellowship with Him.  They would hear His Voice קול הי and obey Him.  They would be led by His Spirit.  They would have fellowship with Adonai Elohim the same way as Adam did when Adam was in the garden before Adam sinned.

The people of this nation would be His precious jewels, HOLY to HASHEM.  Through this nation and its people HASHEM would reveal His righteousness and His glory to the nations of the world that were infected by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They could repent, and forsake their idols, and come and worship Him.  This way these nations could be blessed.

HASHEM would accomplish this through the nation that He had formed for Himself.  HASHEM would make His nation the chief of all nations, and the ruler of the nations of the earth. The whole earth would become filled the knowledge of the LORD.

For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

כִּי תִּמָּלֵא הָאָרֶץ לָדַעַת אֶת-כְּבוֹד יְהוָה, כַּמַּיִם יְכַסּוּ עַל-יָם

Habakkuk 2:14  חבקוק ב:יד

The works of HASHEM would be in and through the nation He had formed for Himself.  These works would be characterized as signs, wonders, and diverse miracles.  These works are beyond the scope of man’s five physical senses. These works are thought to be impossible through the logic of the natural mind that is controlled by these five physical senses.  These works are free from the fetters and the chains forged by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They are free from the wisdom of the world; they are free from the logic and the dictates that are decreed by the composite wisdom of the nations that are corrupted by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

 

Abraham

אברהם   

To accomplish His purpose of forming a nation for Himself after the dispersion of the Tower of Babel, HASHEM chose one man: Abram.  Abram was a descendent of Shem.  Shem was the firstborn of the three sons of Noah who had survived the cataclysm of the Flood.  HASHEM later changed Abram’s name to Abraham, because He made Abram the father of a multitude.

Abram took a wife named Sarai.  She was also a descendent of Shem.  HASHEM changed her name to Sarah because she became the mother of a multitude of people.

HASHEM took Abram from the land of idols, from the plain of Shinar, the city of Ur of the Chaldees, and brought him to Haran in Syria.   After Abram had spent some time in Haran, HASHEM told Abram to leave Haran, and go to the land that He would show to him.

Now the LORD said to Abram: “Get out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show to you.

And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing.”

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-אַבְרָם, לֶךְ-לְךָ מֵאַרְצְךָ וּמִמּוֹלַדְתְּךָ וּמִבֵּית אָבִיךָ, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַרְאֶךָּ

וְאֶעֶשְׂךָ לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל, וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ, וַאֲגַדְּלָה שְׁמֶךָ; וֶהְיֵה בְּרָכָה

Genesis 12:1-2  בראשית יב:א-ב

The land was called the land of Canaan.  Canaan was the youngest son of Ham.  Ham was the second son of Noah’s three sons who had survived the Great Flood המבול.  Canaan had 11 sons.  Some of these sons moved westward and settled in a new land.  This was the land that HASHEM would give to Abram.  In this land the sons of Canaan formed their nations.  The rest of Canaan’s sons stayed in the plain of Shinar.

And Canaan begat Zidon his firstborn, and Heth;

and the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgashite;

and the Hivite, and the Iraqite, and the Sinite;

and the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite; and afterward were the families of the Canaanite spread abroad.

And the border of the Canaanite was from Zidon, as you go toward Gerar, unto Gaza; as you go toward Sodom and Gomorrah and Admah and Zeboiim, unto Lasha.

וּכְנַעַן יָלַד אֶת-צִידֹן בְּכֹרוֹ–וְאֶת-חֵת

וְאֶת-הַיְבוּסִי, וְאֶת-הָאֱמֹרִי, וְאֵת הַגִּרְגָּשִׁי

וְאֶת-הַחִוִּי וְאֶת-הַעַרְקִי, וְאֶת-הַסִּינִי

וְאֶת-הָאַרְוָדִי וְאֶת-הַצְּמָרִי, וְאֶת-הַחֲמָתִי; וְאַחַר נָפֹצוּ מִשְׁפְּחוֹת הַכְּנַעֲנִי

וַיְהִי גְּבוּל הַכְּנַעֲנִי, מִצִּידֹן–בֹּאֲכָה גְרָרָה, עַד-עַזָּה:  בֹּאֲכָה סְדֹמָה וַעֲמֹרָה, וְאַדְמָה וּצְבֹיִם–עַד-לָשַׁע

Genesis 10:15-19   בראשית י:טו-יט

These nations became extremely idolatrous and wicked.  Their cultures were completely infected by the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  After the cup of their iniquity became full, HASHEM used the Nation that He had formed to utterly destroy them.

When HASHEM SHOWED Abram the land that He would give to him, the Canaanite nations were in their infancy and dwelling in the land.  Abram had to dwell in the land with them, yet he kept himself separate from them.

And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Shechem, to the terebinth of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.

וַיַּעֲבֹר אַבְרָם בָּאָרֶץ, עַד מְקוֹם שְׁכֶם, עַד אֵלוֹן מוֹרֶה; וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי אָז בָּאָרֶץ

Genesis 12:6  בראשית יב:ו

HASHEM promised Abram that He would give the land to Abram and to his seed forever.

And the LORD said to Abram, after that Lot was separated from him: “Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward;

for all the land which you see, to you will I give it, and to your seed forever.

And I will make your seed as the dust of the earth; so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall your seed also be numbered.

Arise; walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it to you.”

וַיהוָה אָמַר אֶל-אַבְרָם אַחֲרֵי הִפָּרֶד-לוֹט מֵעִמּוֹ

שָׂא נָא עֵינֶיךָ וּרְאֵה, מִן-הַמָּקוֹם אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה שָׁם–צָפֹנָה וָנֶגְבָּה, וָקֵדְמָה וָיָמָּה

כִּי אֶת-כָּל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה רֹאֶה, לְךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה, וּלְזַרְעֲךָ, עַד-עוֹלָם

וְשַׂמְתִּי אֶת-זַרְעֲךָ כַּעֲפַר הָאָרֶץ:  אֲשֶׁר אִם-יוּכַל אִישׁ לִמְנוֹת אֶת-עֲפַר הָאָרֶץ–גַּם-זַרְעֲךָ יִמָּנֶה

קוּם הִתְהַלֵּךְ בָּאָרֶץ, לְאָרְכָּהּ וּלְרָחְבָּהּ:  כִּי לְךָ אֶתְּנֶנָּה

Genesis 13:14-17  בראשית יג:יד-יז

Abram אברם and Sarai שרי his wife had a problem.  Abram was 100 years old.  Sarai was also very old.  She was 90 years old.  In addition to being old, she was barren.  She could not even bare children when she was a young woman in the prime of her life.

According to sense knowledge, and the reasonings and logic derived from the five senses, it was impossible for them to have a child.  It was ludicrous to even think about it.

The knowledge derived from the five physical senses wars against the wisdom that HASHEM gives.  Its reasonings mock the dictates of HASHEM.  This knowledge creates UNBELIEF.

Because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God;

for it is not subject to the Torah of Elohim,

 Neither indeed can it be:

מִפְּנֵי שֶׁמַּחֲשֶׁבֶת הַבָּשָׂר רַק שִׂנְאַת אֱלהִים הִיא

בַּאֲשֶׁר לא תִשְׁתַּעְבֵּד לְתוֹרַת הָאֱלהִים

 וְאַף לא תוּכָל

The Prophet Isaiah makes this very clear:

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the LORD.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.

For as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven, and returns not from where it came, but it waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, and gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

So shall My Word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall make the thing to which I send it to prosper.

כִּי לֹא מַחְשְׁבוֹתַי מַחְשְׁבוֹתֵיכֶם, וְלֹא דַרְכֵיכֶם דְּרָכָי–נְאֻם יְהוָה

כִּי-גָבְהוּ שָׁמַיִם מֵאָרֶץ–כֵּן גָּבְהוּ דְרָכַי מִדַּרְכֵיכֶם, וּמַחְשְׁבֹתַי מִמַּחְשְׁבֹתֵיכֶם

כִּי כַּאֲשֶׁר יֵרֵד הַגֶּשֶׁם וְהַשֶּׁלֶג מִן-הַשָּׁמַיִם, וְשָׁמָּה לֹא יָשׁוּב–כִּי אִם-הִרְוָה אֶת-הָאָרֶץ, וְהוֹלִידָהּ וְהִצְמִיחָהּ; וְנָתַן זֶרַע לַזֹּרֵעַ, וְלֶחֶם לָאֹכֵל

כֵּן יִהְיֶה דְבָרִי אֲשֶׁר יֵצֵא מִפִּי, לֹא-יָשׁוּב אֵלַי רֵיקָם:  כִּי אִם-עָשָׂה אֶת-אֲשֶׁר חָפַצְתִּי, וְהִצְלִיחַ אֲשֶׁר שְׁלַחְתִּיו

Isaiah 55:8-11  ישעיה נה:ח-יה

But Abram did not listen to his five senses, and he did not believe the logic and the reasoning derived from his five senses.  He did not eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Instead he chose to walk with HASHEM.

 

Abram, who in hope believed against hope, to the end that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which had been spoken to him by HASHEM, So shall thy seed be.

And not being weak in faith

he did not consider his own body now as good as dead (he being a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarai’s womb.

But instead looking to the promise of God, he did not waver or stagger through unbelief,

but waxed strong in faith, giving glory to Elohim,

and being fully persuaded that what Elohim had promised, He was able also to perform.

 it was therefore imputed to  Abram for righteousness.

בְּאֶפֶס תִּקְוָה הֶאֱמִין בְּתִקְוָה לְמַעַן אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה לְאַב הֲמוֹן גּוֹיִם

כְּמוֹ שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר כּה יִהְיֶה זַרְעֶךָ

וְלא רָפְתָה אֱמוּנָתוֹ בְּהִתְבּוֹנֲנוֹ אֶל־בְּשָׂרוֹ אֲשֶׁר הָיָה כַמֵּת בִּהְיוֹתוֹ כְּבֶן־מְאַת שָׁנָה

וְאֶל־רֶחֶם שָׂרָה אֲשֶׁר בָּלָה

וְלא־חָלַק לִבּוֹ בְּהַבְטָחַת הָאֱלהִים כִּמְחֻסַּר אֱמוּנָה

כִּי אִם־הִתְחַזֵּק בֶּאֱמוּנָתוֹ

וַיִּתֵּן כָּבוֹד לֵאלהִים

וְנַפְשׁוֹ ידַעַת מְאד כִּי אֶת־אֲשֶׁר הִבְטִיחַ הָאֱלהִים

גַּם־יָכול הָאֱלהִים לַעֲשׂוֹתוֹ

עַל־כֵּן גַּם־נֶחְשְׁבָה־לּוֹ לִצְדָקָה

And, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying: “This man (Abram’s servant) shall not be your heir; but he that shall come forth out of your own bowels shall be your heir.”

And He brought him forth abroad, and said: ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars, if you are able to count them’; and He said to Abram:

“So shall thy seed be.”

And he believed in the LORD;

and HASHEM counted it to Abram for righteousness.

וְהִנֵּה דְבַר-יְהוָה אֵלָיו לֵאמֹר

לֹא יִירָשְׁךָ זֶה:  כִּי-אִם אֲשֶׁר יֵצֵא מִמֵּעֶיךָ, הוּא יִירָשֶׁךָ

וַיּוֹצֵא אֹתוֹ הַחוּצָה, וַיֹּאמֶר הַבֶּט-נָא הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וּסְפֹר הַכּוֹכָבִים–אִם-תּוּכַל, לִסְפֹּר אֹתָם;

וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ, כֹּה יִהְיֶה זַרְעֶךָ

וְהֶאֱמִן בַּיהוָה; וַיַּחְשְׁבֶהָ לּוֹ צְדָקָה

Genesis 15:4-6  בראשית טו:ד-ו

So HASHEM performed a miracle.  This miracle was way beyond the scope of the natural mind.

All the miracles of HASHEM are beyond the scope of the natural mind, and the logic of the five senses.

HASHEM changed Abram’s name from Abram אברם to Abraham אברהם ,  meaning father of a multitude. Then He changed Sarai’s name from Sarai שרי to Sarah שרה, meaning princess.

At the appointed time, HASHEM visited Sarah שרה and gave her a miracle son.

And the LORD remembered Sarah as He had said, and the LORD did to Sarah as He had spoken.

And Sarah conceived, and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time that Elokim had spoken to him.

And Abraham called the name of his son that was born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.

וַיהוָה פָּקַד אֶת-שָׂרָה, כַּאֲשֶׁר אָמָר; וַיַּעַשׂ יְהוָה לְשָׂרָה, כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֵּר

וַתַּהַר וַתֵּלֶד שָׂרָה לְאַבְרָהָם בֵּן, לִזְקֻנָיו, לַמּוֹעֵד, אֲשֶׁר-דִּבֶּר אֹתוֹ אֱלֹהִים

וַיִּקְרָא אַבְרָהָם אֶת-שֶׁם-בְּנוֹ הַנּוֹלַד-לוֹ, אֲשֶׁר-יָלְדָה-לּוֹ שָׂרָה–יִצְחָק

Genesis 21:1-3    בראשית כא:א-ג

His name was called Isaac יצחק because both Abraham and Sarah laughed when Isaac יצחק was born.

Isaac grew up in the land.  When Isaac was about 40 years old, Abraham sent his faithful servant to get a wife for him from the descendants of Shem.

Her name was Rebekah. רבקה’

Isaac took Rebekah to be his wife.  After some time had passed, Rebekah had twin sons.

The younger son was named Jacob יעקוב.

HASHEM chose Jacob.

Jacob grew up in the land.

When Jacob was about 40 years old, Isaac and Rebekah sent him away to get a wife who was a descendant of Shem, Noah’s firstborn son.  Jacob ended up having two wives and two concubines who were all descendants of Shem.

From these wives and concubines HASHEM brought forth 12 sons.  From these 12 sons HASHEM brought forth and fashioned the 12 tribes of Jacob.

HASHEM changed Jacob’s name to Israel ישראל.  The twelve tribes became the twelve tribes of Israel.

After Jacob had sojourned in the land of Padan-Aram (sometimes called Syria), HASHEM brought Jacob and his wives with 11 of his 12 sons back into the land of Canaan.

 

The Sojourn in Egypt

 

After Jacob and his 12 sons had spent some time living in the land of Canaan, HASHEM sent Joseph יוסף, Rachel’s older son, into Egypt.  There HASHEM gave Joseph enormous power, and made him second only to Pharaoh himself.

Then HASHEM sent a famine, and He brought Jacob and all his family into Egypt to be taken care of by Joseph.  There He gave the children of Israel the choicest land in Egypt.  This land had the best and the most bountiful crops in all of Egypt.  There HASHEM fed the people, and multiplied the children of the sons of Jacob.

Egypt מצרים was the second son of Ham.  Ham was the second son of Noah who had survived the Great Flood המבול.

And the sons of Ham: Cush, and Mizraim, and Put, and Canaan.

וּבְנֵי, חָם–כּוּשׁ וּמִצְרַיִם, וּפוּט וּכְנָעַן

Genesis 10-6  בראשית י:ו

The land that Egypt, the son of Ham, occupied after the dispersion from Babel became known as the land of Ham.  It had its own borders, and here the children of Ham multiplied and became a great nation.

Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.

וַיָּבֹא יִשְׂרָאֵל מִצְרָיִם;    וְיַעֲקֹב, גָּר בְּאֶרֶץ-חָם

Psalms 105:23   תהלים קה:כג

During the time of the famine while being under the leadership of Joseph, Egypt had become enormously wealthy.  Egypt became one of the richest and most powerful nations on the face of the earth.

When HASHEM multiplied His people in Egypt, He kept the tribes separate.  He did not want them mingling with each other.  Israel, before he died, blessed each of his 12 sons.  Each son received his own special and unique blessing.  These blessings are written in the Torah.  Each son and his children formed its own tribe.  Each tribe was like a precious gemstone.  Each stone had its own hues, fair colors, and bright beauty.  These stones are listed in the Torah when HASHEM placed them in the breastplate חשן of the High Priest כהן הגדול.

And he made the breastplate, the work of the skillful workman, like the work of the ephod: of gold, of blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine twined linen.

It was four-square; they made the breastplate double; a span was the length thereof, and a span the breadth thereof, being double.

And they set in it four rows of stones:

The first row: a sardius, a topaz, and a carbuncle;

The second row: an emerald, a sapphire, and a diamond;

The third row: a jacinth, an agate, and an amethyst;

And the fourth row: a beryl, an onyx, and a jasper.

They were enclosed in fittings of gold in their settings.

And the stones were according to the names of the children of Israel,

twelve, according to their names, like the engravings of a signet,

every one according to his name, for the twelve tribes.

וַיַּעַשׂ אֶת-הַחֹשֶׁן מַעֲשֵׂה חֹשֵׁב, כְּמַעֲשֵׂה אֵפֹד:  זָהָב, תְּכֵלֶת וְאַרְגָּמָן וְתוֹלַעַת שָׁנִי–וְשֵׁשׁ מָשְׁזָר

רָבוּעַ הָיָה כָּפוּל, עָשׂוּ אֶת-הַחֹשֶׁן–זֶרֶת אָרְכּוֹ וְזֶרֶת רָחְבּוֹ, כָּפוּל

וַיְמַלְאוּ-בוֹ–אַרְבָּעָה טוּרֵי אָבֶן:

טוּר– אֹדֶם, פִּטְדָה, וּבָרֶקֶת–הַטּוּר הָאֶחָד

וְהַטּוּר הַשֵּׁנִי—נֹפֶךְ, סַפִּיר, וְיָהֲלֹם

וְהַטּוּר הַשְּׁלִישִׁי—לֶשֶׁם, שְׁבוֹ, וְאַחְלָמָה

וְהַטּוּר הָרְבִיעִי—תַּרְשִׁישׁ, שֹׁהַם, וְיָשְׁפֵה:

מוּסַבֹּת מִשְׁבְּצֹת זָהָב, בְּמִלֻּאֹתָם

וְהָאֲבָנִים עַל-שְׁמֹת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל הֵנָּה, שְׁתֵּים עֶשְׂרֵה–עַל-שְׁמֹתָם:

פִּתּוּחֵי חֹתָם אִישׁ עַל-שְׁמוֹ, לִשְׁנֵים עָשָׂר שָׁבֶט

Exodus 39:8-14  שמות לט:ח-יד

HASHEM created the pure beauty of each stone to shine forth in its own splendor.  He did not want one tribe to take wives from another tribe.  He wanted to preserve the peculiar beauty and splendor of each tribe.

The people of Egypt were a proud people.  They were proud of their accomplishments.  They spoke their own language.  They were very educated.  They did not like the language of the children of Israel.  It was the language of Shem, and they did not speak it.  They despised the children of Israel because they were shepherds.  They hated shepherds.  Sheep were an abomination to them.  They considered their culture to be superior and they did not mingle with the children of Israel.  As time passed they made the children of Israel their slaves.  They used them to build great monuments, huge magnificent edifices, and beautiful and elaborate ornamental buildings.  Egypt became glorious and powerful through their labor.  The children of Israel did not speak the language of the Egyptians.  They spoke Hebrew.  The language of the Egyptians was strange to them.  HASHEM kept His people separate from the Egyptians.

He ordained it in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out against the land of Egypt,
where I heard a language that I did not understand.

עֵדוּת, בִּיהוֹסֵף שָׂמוֹ– בְּצֵאתוֹ, עַל-אֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם;
שְׂפַת לֹא-יָדַעְתִּי אֶשְׁמָע

Psalms 81:6  תהלים פא:ו

When Israel came forth out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language;

בְּצֵאת יִשְׂרָאֵל, מִמִּצְרָיִם; בֵּית יַעֲקֹב, מֵעַם לֹעֵז

Psalms 114:1   תהלים קיד:א

The Egyptians were corrupted by the wisdom of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Their land was full of idols.  They had carried with them the religion of Babel, embellished it, and enlarged upon it.  Their priests engaged with the knowledge of evil.  They delved deeply into sorcery, black magic, and witchcraft.  The Pharaoh was considered to be more than just a human being.  He was considered among them to be a god.  They sought immortality, but they sought it through the knowledge of good and evil.  They were thoroughly corrupted.  When HASHEM, AFTER 400 YEARS, brought His people Israel up out of the land of Egypt with miracles, signs and wonders, the magicians and the sorcerers of Egypt duplicated some of the miracles  But HASHEM swallowed them up, and put them to shame.

And even as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses,

so do these also withstand the truth.

Men corrupted in their minds,

reprobate and having no faith.

But they shall proceed no further.

For their folly shall be evident to all men,

as the folly of these men was made known to all.

וּכְמוֹ יַנִּיס וְיַמְבְּרִיס אֲשֶׁר־קָמוּ עַל־משֶׁה

כֵּן גַּם־אֵלֶּה מִתְקוֹמֲמִים אֶל־הָאֱמֶת אֲנָשִׁים אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁחֲתָה דַעְתָּם

וּנְלוֹזִים בָּאֱמוּנָה

אֲבָל לא־יוֹסִיפוּ לְהַצְלִיחַ כִּי שִׁגְעוֹן נבלתם יִגָּלֶה לַכּל

כַּאֲשֶׁר קָרָה גַּם־אֶת־הָאֲנָשִׁים הָהֵם

HASHEM made His name known to Pharaoh and to the Egyptians.  He humbled the pride of their knowledge, and pushed the air out of their puffed up minds.

HASHEM revealed the strength of His glorious arm through His prophet Moses.

HASHEM judged all the idols and all the gods of Egypt.

For great is the LORD, and highly to be praised;

He is to be feared above all gods.

 For all the gods of the nations are idols;

but the LORD made the heavens.

כִּי גָדוֹל יְהוָה וּמְהֻלָּל מְאֹד

נוֹרָא הוּא עַל-כָּל-אֱלֹהִים

כִּי כָּל-אֱלֹהֵי הָעַמִּים אֱלִילִים

וַיהוָה, שָׁמַיִם עָשָׂה

Psalms 96:4-5  תהלים צו:ד-ה

Hashem freed His people Israel from the cruel bondage of the Egyptians.

I removed his shoulder from the burden;

his hands were delivered from the pots.

הֲסִירוֹתִי מִסֵּבֶל שִׁכְמוֹ

כַּפָּיו, מִדּוּד תַּעֲבֹרְנָה

Psalms 81:7   תהלים פא:ז

HASHEM brought Israel out of the land of Egypt with great miracles, and mighty signs and wonders.

These were all beyond the scope of the knowledge of the natural mind of man. 

When Pharaoh and the princes of Egypt saw that the children of Israel had escaped the rod and the wisdom of Egypt, they took all their armies and pursued after them in the wilderness.  The wisdom of Egypt fought against the wisdom of HASHEM.  But HASHEM destroyed Pharaoh and the armies of Egypt in the Red Sea.  The knowledge and the might of Egypt could not prevail against the knowledge and the might of HASHEM.  When HASHEM divided the waters of the Red Sea, He led His people through the towering walls of water on dry land.  When the armies of Egypt entered the Red Sea, HASHEM fought against them.

And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left.

And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them into the midst of the sea, all Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen.

And it came to pass in the morning watch, that the LORD looked forth upon the host of the Egyptians through the Pillar of Fire and of the Cloud, and discomfited the host of the Egyptians.

 And He took off their chariot wheels, and made them to drive heavily; so that the Egyptians said: “Let us flee from the face of Israel; for the LORD is fighting for them against the Egyptians.”

וַיָּבֹאוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּתוֹךְ הַיָּם, בַּיַּבָּשָׁה; וְהַמַּיִם לָהֶם חוֹמָה, מִימִינָם וּמִשְּׂמֹאלָם

וַיִּרְדְּפוּ מִצְרַיִם, וַיָּבֹאוּ אַחֲרֵיהֶם–כֹּל סוּס פַּרְעֹה, רִכְבּוֹ וּפָרָשָׁיו:  אֶל-תּוֹךְ, הַיָּם

וַיְהִי בְּאַשְׁמֹרֶת הַבֹּקֶר, וַיַּשְׁקֵף יְהוָה אֶל-מַחֲנֵה מִצְרַיִם, בְּעַמּוּד אֵשׁ וְעָנָן; וַיָּהָם אֵת מַחֲנֵה מִצְרָיִם

וַיָּסַר אֵת אֹפַן מַרְכְּבֹתָיו, וַיְנַהֲגֵהוּ בִּכְבֵדֻת; וַיֹּאמֶר מִצְרַיִם, אָנוּסָה מִפְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל–כִּי יְהוָה נִלְחָם לָהֶם בְּמִצְרָיִם

Exodus 14:22-25  שמות יד:כב-כה

When Israel entered the waters of the Red Sea, they were a People.  When they emerged from the waters of the Red Sea, they were a Nation.

Thus the LORD saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea-shore.

And Israel saw the great work which the LORD did upon the Egyptians, and the people feared the LORD; and they believed in the LORD, and in His servant Moses. 

וַיּוֹשַׁע יְהוָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל–מִיַּד מִצְרָיִם; וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-מִצְרַיִם, מֵת עַל-שְׂפַת הַיָּם

וַיַּרְא יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-הַיָּד הַגְּדֹלָה, אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה בְּמִצְרַיִם, וַיִּירְאוּ הָעָם, אֶת-יְהוָה; וַיַּאֲמִינוּ בַּיהוָה, וּבְמֹשֶׁה עַבְדּוֹ

Exodus 14:30-31     שמות יד:ל-לא

 

40 Years in the Wilderness

 

HASHEM sustained His people for 40 years in a terrible wilderness.  In this desolate land He finished forming them into His nation.  He opened the Rock, and gave them abundant water.  He opened the heavens and fed them with supernatural food.  In this hostile, dry and burning land, He made His people rich and healthy, strong and prosperous.

Who led you through the great and dreadful wilderness, wherein were serpents, fiery serpents, and scorpions, and thirsty ground where was no water; who brought you forth water out of the rock of flint;

Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers knew not, that He might afflict you, and that He might prove you, to do you good at your latter end;

הַמּוֹלִיכְךָ בַּמִּדְבָּר הַגָּדֹל וְהַנּוֹרָא, נָחָשׁ שָׂרָף וְעַקְרָב, וְצִמָּאוֹן, אֲשֶׁר אֵין-מָיִם; הַמּוֹצִיא לְךָ מַיִם מִצּוּר הַחַלָּמִישׁ

הַמַּאֲכִלְךָ מָן בַּמִּדְבָּר, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדְעוּן אֲבֹתֶיךָ:  לְמַעַן עַנֹּתְךָ, וּלְמַעַן נַסֹּתֶךָ–לְהֵיטִבְךָ בְּאַחֲרִיתֶךָ

Deuteronomy 8:15-16  דברים ח:טו-טז

HASHEM miraculously caused the clothes and the shoes of His people to remain new, and to grow with them. They did not wear out or become old in the hostile environment.

And I have led you forty years in the wilderness; your clothes are not waxen old and did not wear out upon you; and your shoe is not waxen old and did not wear out upon your foot.

וָאוֹלֵךְ אֶתְכֶם אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה בַּמִּדְבָּר

לֹא-בָלוּ שַׂלְמֹתֵיכֶם מֵעֲלֵיכֶם

וְנַעַלְךָ לֹא-בָלְתָה מֵעַל רַגְלֶךָ

Deuteronomy 29:4   דברים כט:ד

He spread the Pillar of the Cloud over them during the day to give them shade and refreshing, and to protect them from the violent heat of the desert sun.  He used the Pillar of Fire during the night to keep them and protect them from the cold temperatures of the desert nights.

And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; that they might go by day and by night:

the pillar of cloud by day, and the pillar of fire by night, departed not from before the people.

וַיהוָה הֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵיהֶם יוֹמָם בְּעַמּוּד עָנָן, לַנְחֹתָם הַדֶּרֶךְ, וְלַיְלָה בְּעַמּוּד אֵשׁ, לְהָאִיר לָהֶם–לָלֶכֶת, יוֹמָם וָלָיְלָה

לֹא-יָמִישׁ עַמּוּד הֶעָנָן, יוֹמָם, וְעַמּוּד הָאֵשׁ, לָיְלָה–לִפְנֵי, הָעָם

Exodus 13:21-22  שמות יגג:כא-כב

HASHEM had healed all of His people on the night of the Passover in Egypt while they were eating the flesh of the lamb. They were all healthy and strong when they went out of the land of Egypt.  And He kept His people healthy and strong in the wilderness.

And He humbled you, and suffered you to hunger, and fed you with manna, which you knew not, neither did your fathers know; that He might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD does man live.

Your raiment waxed not old upon you, neither did your foot swell, these forty years.

וַיְעַנְּךָ, וַיַּרְעִבֶךָ, וַיַּאֲכִלְךָ אֶת-הַמָּן אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדַעְתָּ, וְלֹא יָדְעוּן אֲבֹתֶיךָ:  לְמַעַן הוֹדִיעֲךָ, כִּי לֹא עַל-הַלֶּחֶם לְבַדּוֹ יִחְיֶה הָאָדָם–כִּי עַל-כָּל-מוֹצָא פִי-יְהוָה, יִחְיֶה הָאָדָם

שִׂמְלָתְךָ לֹא בָלְתָה מֵעָלֶיךָ, וְרַגְלְךָ לֹא בָצֵקָה–זֶה, אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה

Deuteronomy 8:3-4  דברים ח:ג-ד

And He brought them forth with silver and gold; and there was not one who was sick or feeble among His tribes.

Egypt was glad when they departed; for the fear of them had fallen upon them.

He spread a cloud for a covering like a screen; and fire to give light in the night.

They asked, and He brought quails, and gave them in plenty the bread of heaven.

He opened the rock, and waters gushed out; they streamed forth, a river in the dry places.

For He remembered His holy word to Abraham His servant;

And He brought forth His people with joy, His chosen ones with singing.

וַיּוֹצִיאֵם, בְּכֶסֶף וְזָהָב;    וְאֵין בִּשְׁבָטָיו כּוֹשֵׁל

שָׂמַח מִצְרַיִם בְּצֵאתָם:    כִּי-נָפַל פַּחְדָּם עֲלֵיהֶם

פָּרַשׂ עָנָן לְמָסָךְ;    וְאֵשׁ, לְהָאִיר לָיְלָה

שָׁאַל, וַיָּבֵא שְׂלָו;    וְלֶחֶם שָׁמַיִם יַשְׂבִּיעֵם

פָּתַח צוּר, וַיָּזוּבוּ מָיִם;    הָלְכוּ בַּצִּיּוֹת נָהָר

כִּי-זָכַר אֶת-דְּבַר קָדְשׁוֹ אֶת-אַבְרָהָם עַבְדּוֹ

וַיּוֹצִא עַמּוֹ בְשָׂשׂוֹן;    בְּרִנָּה, אֶת-בְּחִירָיו

Psalms 105:37-43  תהלים קה:לז-מג

HASHEM, in His great love for His people, determined to protect them from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  He gave them His holy Torah, His statutes, His ordinances, His precepts, His testimonies, and His commandments to be a bulwark, a fortification, a strong defense against the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  If His people walked in them, they would keep themselves free from the seductions, the deceptions, and the subtle influences of the tree.  Israel would be a holy nation to HASHEM and would worship Him only.  He caused them to hear His voice at Sinai, so they could know His voice, walk with Him, and have fellowship with Him. They would be a holy nation of priests and prophets, separate from all the nations of the earth.  He led them through the wilderness to His Holy Mountain which He covered with a thick cloud.  He caused the whole mountain to burn with fire, and to shake like a leaf in the wind.  He caused His people to hear His voice like the sound of a shofar.  He caused the whole mountain to shake like a leaf and to tremble terribly.  He brought Moses His servant up to the top of the mountain and gave to him His instructions, His words, and His testimonies for His people Israel.  He taught His people to hear His words, and to fear and obey Him.

Behold, I ) Moses משה ) have taught you statutes and ordinances, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do so in the midst of the land where you go in to possess it.

Observe therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples that, when they hear all these statutes, shall say: “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”

For what great nation is there, that has Elohim so nigh to them, as the LORD our God is whenever we call upon Him?

And what great nation is there, that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this Torah, which I set before you this day?

Only take heed to yourself, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things which your eyes saw, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life; but make them known to your children and your children’s children;

the day that you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me: “Assemble Me the people, and I will make them hear My words that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.”

And you came near and stood under the mountain; and the mountain burned with fire unto the heart of heaven, with darkness, cloud, and thick darkness.

And the LORD spoke to you out of the midst of the fire; you heard the voice of words, but you saw no form; only a voice.

And He declared to you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even the ten words; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.

And the LORD commanded me at that time

to teach you statutes and ordinances,

that you might do them in the land where you go over to possess it.

רְאֵה לִמַּדְתִּי אֶתְכֶם, חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים, כַּאֲשֶׁר צִוַּנִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהָי:  לַעֲשׂוֹת כֵּן–בְּקֶרֶב הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם בָּאִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ

וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם, וַעֲשִׂיתֶם–כִּי הִוא חָכְמַתְכֶם וּבִינַתְכֶם, לְעֵינֵי הָעַמִּים:  אֲשֶׁר יִשְׁמְעוּן אֵת כָּל-הַחֻקִּים הָאֵלֶּה, וְאָמְרוּ רַק עַם-חָכָם וְנָבוֹן, הַגּוֹי הַגָּדוֹל הַזֶּה

כִּי מִי-גוֹי גָּדוֹל, אֲשֶׁר-לוֹ אֱלֹהִים קְרֹבִים אֵלָיו, כַּיהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ, בְּכָל-קָרְאֵנוּ אֵלָיו

וּמִי גּוֹי גָּדוֹל, אֲשֶׁר-לוֹ חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים צַדִּיקִם, כְּכֹל הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי נֹתֵן לִפְנֵיכֶם הַיּוֹם

רַק הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ וּשְׁמֹר נַפְשְׁךָ מְאֹד, פֶּן-תִּשְׁכַּח אֶת-הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר-רָאוּ עֵינֶיךָ וּפֶן-יָסוּרוּ מִלְּבָבְךָ, כֹּל יְמֵי חַיֶּיךָ; וְהוֹדַעְתָּם לְבָנֶיךָ,.. וְלִבְנֵי בָנֶיךָ

יוֹם, אֲשֶׁר עָמַדְתָּ לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ בְּחֹרֵב, בֶּאֱמֹר יְהוָה אֵלַי הַקְהֶל-לִי אֶת-הָעָם, וְאַשְׁמִעֵם אֶת-דְּבָרָי

אֲשֶׁר יִלְמְדוּן לְיִרְאָה אֹתִי כָּל-הַיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר הֵם חַיִּים עַל-הָאֲדָמָה, וְאֶת-בְּנֵיהֶם יְלַמֵּדוּן

וַתִּקְרְבוּן וַתַּעַמְדוּן תַּחַת הָהָר; וְהָהָר בֹּעֵר בָּאֵשׁ עַד-לֵב הַשָּׁמַיִם–חֹשֶׁךְ, עָנָן וַעֲרָפֶל

וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֲלֵיכֶם, מִתּוֹךְ הָאֵשׁ

קוֹל דְּבָרִים אַתֶּם שֹׁמְעִים

וּתְמוּנָה אֵינְכֶם רֹאִים זוּלָתִי קוֹל

וַיַּגֵּד לָכֶם אֶת-בְּרִיתוֹ, אֲשֶׁר צִוָּה אֶתְכֶם לַעֲשׂוֹת–עֲשֶׂרֶת הַדְּבָרִים; וַיִּכְתְּבֵם, עַל-שְׁנֵי לֻחוֹת אֲבָנִים

וְאֹתִי צִוָּה יְהוָה בָּעֵת הַהִוא, לְלַמֵּד אֶתְכֶם חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים:  לַעֲשֹׂתְכֶם אֹתָם–בָּאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם עֹבְרִים שָׁמָּה לְרִשְׁתָּהּ

Deuteronomy 4:5-14  דברים ד:ה-יד

HASHEM remonstrated with the children of Israel, and expressed His great love for them.  He emphasized His great purpose for His new nation.

You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings, and brought you to Myself.

Now therefore, if you will listen to My voice indeed, and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own precious and peculiar treasure from among all peoples; for all the earth is Mine;

and you shall be unto Me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation.

These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.’

אַתֶּם רְאִיתֶם אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתִי לְמִצְרָיִם; וָאֶשָּׂא אֶתְכֶם עַל-כַּנְפֵי נְשָׁרִים, וָאָבִא אֶתְכֶם אֵלָי

וְעַתָּה, אִם-שָׁמוֹעַ תִּשְׁמְעוּ בְּקֹלִי, וּשְׁמַרְתֶּם אֶת-בְּרִיתִי–וִהְיִיתֶם לִי סְגֻלָּה מִכָּל-הָעַמִּים, כִּי-לִי כָּל-הָאָרֶץ

וְאַתֶּם תִּהְיוּ-לִי מַמְלֶכֶת כֹּהֲנִים, וְגוֹי קָדוֹשׁ

אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר תְּדַבֵּר אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל

Exodus 19:4-6   שמות יט:ד-ו

When Moses was on Mt. Sinai, HASHEM proceeded to give to him the instructions and the blueprint to build the Tabernacle  המשכןaccording to the pattern that He showed to him.

Moses gave the instructions to the children of Israel, and when they had finished building the Tabernacle המשכן according to all of HASHEM’S specifications, HASHEM moved His glory from Mt Sinai into the Tabernacle.  From that time forward He spoke

to His servant Moses משה עבדו from above the Mercy Seat of the Ark of the Covenant that was in the Tent of the Meeting  אוהל מואדin the Tabernacleהמשכן  .

Then the cloud covered the Tent of Meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle.

And Moses was not able to enter into the Tent of Meeting, because the cloud abode thereon, and the glory of the LORD filled the Tabernacle.—

וַיְכַס הֶעָנָן, אֶת-אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד; וּכְבוֹד יְהוָה מָלֵא אֶת-הַמִּשְׁכָּן

וְלֹא-יָכֹל מֹשֶׁה לָבוֹא אֶל-אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד–כִּי-שָׁכַן עָלָיו הֶעָנָן

וּכְבוֹד יְהוָה מָלֵא אֶת-הַמִּשְׁכָּן

Exodus 40:34-35   שמות מ:לד-לה

And when Moses went into the Tent of Meeting that He might speak with Him, then he heard the Voice speaking to him from above the Mercy Seat הכפורת that was upon the Ark of the Testimonyארון העדות  , from between the two cherubim; and He spoke to him.

וּבְבֹא מֹשֶׁה אֶל-אֹהֶל מוֹעֵד, לְדַבֵּר אִתּוֹ

וַיִּשְׁמַע אֶת-הַקּוֹל מִדַּבֵּר אֵלָיו מֵעַל הַכַּפֹּרֶת אֲשֶׁר עַל-אֲרֹן הָעֵדֻת, מִבֵּין שְׁנֵי הַכְּרֻבִים; וַיְדַבֵּר אֵלָיו

Numbers 7:89  במדבר ז:פט

He declares His Word to Jacob; His statutes and His judgments to Israel.

He has not done so with any nation;

and as for His judgments, they have not known them.
Hallelujah.

מַגִּיד דְּבָרָו לְיַעֲקֹב;    חֻקָּיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו לְיִשְׂרָאֵל

לֹא עָשָׂה כֵן לְכָל-גּוֹי–    וּמִשְׁפָּטִים בַּל-יְדָעוּם:
הַלְלוּ-יָהּ

Psalms 147:19-20   תהלים קמז:יט-כ

HASHEM then chose the tribe of Levi out of all the tribes of Israel to take care of the Tabernacle and all its appurtenances.  He chose Aaron and his sons to officiate in the sacrifices, and to oversee the affairs of the Tabernacle.  They were also ministers of praise to HASHEM.

 

The Conquest of Canaan

 

After 40 years in the wilderness, HASHEM had fully formed His new nation.  Now He was going to use His people Israel to destroy the Canaanite nations in the land that He had promised to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Through His servant the prophet Moses, HASHEM warned His people not to mingle with those nations.  They were to keep themselves completely separate from them.

And He said: “Behold, I make a covenant; before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been wrought in all the earth, nor in any nation; and all the people among which you are shall see the work of the LORD that I am about to do with you, that it is tremendous.

Observe that which I am commanding you this day; behold, I am driving out before you the Amorite, and the Canaanite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite.

Take heed to yourself, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land where you are going, lest they be for a snare in the midst of you.

But you shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and you shall cut down their Asherim.

For you shall bow down to no other god; for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God;

lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and they go astray after their gods, and do sacrifice to their gods, and they call you, and you eat of their sacrifice;

and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters go astray after their gods, and make your sons go astray after their gods.

You shall not make for yourself any molten gods.”

וַיֹּאמֶר, הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי כֹּרֵת בְּרִית, נֶגֶד כָּל-עַמְּךָ אֶעֱשֶׂה נִפְלָאֹת, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-נִבְרְאוּ בְכָל-הָאָרֶץ וּבְכָל-הַגּוֹיִם; וְרָאָה כָל-הָעָם אֲשֶׁר-אַתָּה בְקִרְבּוֹ אֶת-מַעֲשֵׂה יְהוָה, כִּי-נוֹרָא הוּא, אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי עֹשֶׂה עִמָּךְ

שְׁמָר-לְךָ–אֵת אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוְּךָ הַיּוֹם; הִנְנִי גֹרֵשׁ מִפָּנֶיךָ אֶת-הָאֱמֹרִי וְהַכְּנַעֲנִי, וְהַחִתִּי וְהַפְּרִזִּי, וְהַחִוִּי וְהַיְבוּסִי

הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ, פֶּן-תִּכְרֹת בְּרִית לְיוֹשֵׁב הָאָרֶץ, אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בָּא עָלֶיהָ:  פֶּן-יִהְיֶה לְמוֹקֵשׁ, בְּקִרְבֶּךָ

כִּי אֶת-מִזְבְּחֹתָם תִּתֹּצוּן, וְאֶת-מַצֵּבֹתָם תְּשַׁבֵּרוּן; וְאֶת-אֲשֵׁרָיו תִּכְרֹתוּן

כִּי לֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לְאֵל אַחֵר:  כִּי יְהוָה קַנָּא שְׁמוֹ, אֵל קַנָּא הוּא.

פֶּן-תִּכְרֹת בְּרִית לְיוֹשֵׁב הָאָרֶץ; וְזָנוּ אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶם, וְזָבְחוּ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם, וְקָרָא לְךָ, וְאָכַלְתָּ מִזִּבְחוֹ

וְלָקַחְתָּ מִבְּנֹתָיו לְבָנֶיךָ; וְזָנוּ בְנֹתָיו אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶן, וְהִזְנוּ אֶת-בָּנֶיךָ אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהֵיהֶן

אֱלֹהֵי מַסֵּכָה, לֹא תַעֲשֶׂה-לָּךְ

Exodus 34:10-17   שמות לד:י-יז

After more than 400 years since the Great Dispersion from the Tower of Babel, the Canaanites, the descendants of Ham, had developed into powerful nations.  They had built cities that were fortified with massive high walls.  They had formidable armies.  Some of them were ruled by terrifying giants who were the descendants of Ham.  These giants inspired awe and fear among those who saw them.

But the cultures and the societies that had developed in these nations over the period of more than 400 years of growth and prosperity had become totally corrupted.  The people were eating the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The cup of iniquity of these nations had become full.

When the time finally came for Israel to go into the Promised Land and to inherit it, HASHEM placed Joshua the son of Nun יהשוע בן נון as the commander of the armies of Israel.  HASHEM fought for Israel.  He went before their armies, and through a series of wars and miraculous battles, He destroyed the Canaanite nations who were in the land.

 

Where are we going up?  Our brethren have made our heart to melt, saying: “The people are greater and taller than we are; the cities are great and fortified up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakim (giants) there.”

Then I said unto you: “Dread not, neither be afraid of them.

The LORD your God who goes before you, He shall fight for you, according to all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes;

and in the wilderness, where you have seen how that the LORD your God bore you, as a man bears his son, in all the way that you went, until you came to this place.”

אָנָה אֲנַחְנוּ עֹלִים, אַחֵינוּ הֵמַסּוּ אֶת-לְבָבֵנוּ לֵאמֹר עַם גָּדוֹל וָרָם מִמֶּנּוּ, עָרִים גְּדֹלֹת וּבְצוּרֹת בַּשָּׁמָיִם; וְגַם-בְּנֵי עֲנָקִים רָאִינוּ שָׁם

וָאֹמַר אֲלֵכֶם:  לֹא-תַעַרְצוּן וְלֹא-תִירְאוּן מֵהֶם

יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם הַהֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵיכֶם, הוּא יִלָּחֵם לָכֶם:  כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אִתְּכֶם בְּמִצְרַיִם—לְעֵינֵיכֶם

וּבַמִּדְבָּר, אֲשֶׁר רָאִיתָ, אֲשֶׁר נְשָׂאֲךָ יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, כַּאֲשֶׁר יִשָּׂא-אִישׁ אֶת-בְּנוֹ–בְּכָל-הַדֶּרֶךְ אֲשֶׁר הֲלַכְתֶּם, עַד-בֹּאֲכֶם עַד-הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה

Deuteronomy 1:28-31   דברים א:כח-לא

And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying: “Your eyes have seen all that the LORD your God has done unto these two kings; so shall the LORD do to all the kingdoms where you go over.

You shall not fear them;

for the LORD your God, He it is that fights for you.”

וְאֶת-יְהוֹשׁוּעַ צִוֵּיתִי, בָּעֵת הַהִוא לֵאמֹר:  עֵינֶיךָ הָרֹאֹת אֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם לִשְׁנֵי הַמְּלָכִים הָאֵלֶּה–כֵּן-יַעֲשֶׂה יְהוָה לְכָל-הַמַּמְלָכוֹת אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה עֹבֵר שָׁמָּה

לֹא תִּירָאוּם

כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, הוּא הַנִּלְחָם לָכֶם

Deuteronomy 3:21-22   דברים ג:כא-כב

When you go forth to battle against your enemies, and see horses, and chariots, and a people more than you, you shall not be afraid of them; for the LORD your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt.

And it shall be, when you draw nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak to the people,

and shall say to them: “Hear, O Israel, you draw nigh this day to battle against your enemies; let not your heart faint; fear not, nor be alarmed, neither be frightened because of them;

 for the LORD your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.”

כִּי-תֵצֵא לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל-אֹיְבֶךָ, וְרָאִיתָ סוּס וָרֶכֶב עַם רַב מִמְּךָ–לֹא תִירָא מֵהֶם:  כִּי-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ עִמָּךְ, הַמַּעַלְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם

וְהָיָה, כְּקָרָבְכֶם אֶל-הַמִּלְחָמָה; וְנִגַּשׁ הַכֹּהֵן, וְדִבֶּר אֶל-הָעָם

וְאָמַר אֲלֵהֶם שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל, אַתֶּם קְרֵבִים הַיּוֹם לַמִּלְחָמָה עַל-אֹיְבֵיכֶם; אַל-יֵרַךְ לְבַבְכֶם, אַל-תִּירְאוּ וְאַל-תַּחְפְּזוּ וְאַל-תַּעַרְצוּ—מִפְּנֵיהֶם

כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם–לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם עִם-אֹיְבֵיכֶם, לְהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם

Deuteronomy 20:1-4   דברים כ:א-ד

“The LORD thy God, He will go over before you; He will destroy these nations from before you, and you shall dispossess them; and Joshua, he shall go over before you, as the LORD has spoken.

And the LORD will do to them as He did to Sihon and to Og, the kings of the Amorites, and to their land; whom He destroyed.

And the LORD will deliver them up before you, and you shall do to them according to the entire commandment which I have commanded you.

Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He will go with you; He will not fail you, nor forsake you.”

And Moses called to Joshua, and said to him in the sight of all Israel: “Be strong and of good courage; for you shalt go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give to them; and you shall cause them to inherit it.

And the LORD, He it is that goes before you; He will be with you, He will not fail you, neither forsake you; fear not, neither be dismayed.”

יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ הוּא עֹבֵר לְפָנֶיךָ, הוּא-יַשְׁמִיד אֶת-הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה מִלְּפָנֶיךָ–וִירִשְׁתָּם; יְהוֹשֻׁעַ, הוּא עֹבֵר לְפָנֶיךָ, כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה

וְעָשָׂה יְהוָה לָהֶם, כַּאֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לְסִיחוֹן וּלְעוֹג מַלְכֵי הָאֱמֹרִי, וּלְאַרְצָם–אֲשֶׁר הִשְׁמִיד אֹתָם

וּנְתָנָם יְהוָה לִפְנֵיכֶם; וַעֲשִׂיתֶם לָהֶם–כְּכָל-הַמִּצְוָה אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אֶתְכֶם

חִזְקוּ וְאִמְצוּ, אַל-תִּירְאוּ וְאַל-תַּעַרְצוּ מִפְּנֵיהֶם:  כִּי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, הוּא הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּךְ–לֹא יַרְפְּךָ, וְלֹא יַעַזְבֶךָּ

וַיִּקְרָא מֹשֶׁה לִיהוֹשֻׁעַ, וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו לְעֵינֵי כָל-יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲזַק וֶאֱמָץ–כִּי אַתָּה תָּבוֹא אֶת-הָעָם הַזֶּה, אֶל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה לַאֲבֹתָם לָתֵת לָהֶם; וְאַתָּה תַּנְחִילֶנָּה אוֹתָם

וַיהוָה הוּא הַהֹלֵךְ לְפָנֶיךָ, הוּא יִהְיֶה עִמָּךְ–לֹא יַרְפְּךָ, וְלֹא יַעַזְבֶךָּ; לֹא תִירָא, וְלֹא תֵחָת

Deuteronomy 31:3-8   דברים לא:ג-ח

HASHEM gave cities of the Canaanites and their wealth to His people Israel.  He gave the land to the children of Israel according to the covenant that He had made with their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

HASHEM now has a nation that has its own land, and the land has its own borders.  He calls it the nation of Israel.  HASHEM divided the land among the twelve tribes of Jacob.  Each tribe had its own portion or section of the land.  Each piece of land had clearly defined, distinct borders.    Only the tribe of Levi was given no land.  Their charge was the service of the Tabernacle.  They did have cities, however, that HASHEM gave to them among the tribes of Israel.

HASHEM wanted His new nation to be kept pure and holy, free from the pollutions of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  They had to be kept free from the corruption of the cultures of the Canaanites, and the corruption of the cultures of the other nations that were around them.  HASHELM exhorted His people by the hand of His servant Moses משה עבדו.

Observe and hear all these words which I command you, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you forever, when you do that which is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God.

When the LORD your God shall cut off the nations from before you, where you go in to dispossess them; and you dispossess them, and dwell in their land;

take heed to yourself that you be not ensnared to follow them, after that they are destroyed from before you; and that you inquire not after their gods, saying: “How did these nations use to serve their gods?  Even so will I do likewise.”

You shall not do so to the LORD your God; for every abomination to the LORD, which He hates, have they done to their gods; for even their sons and their daughters they burn in the fire to their gods.

שְׁמֹר וְשָׁמַעְתָּ, אֵת כָּל-הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה, אֲשֶׁר אָנֹכִי מְצַוֶּךָּ:  לְמַעַן יִיטַב לְךָ וּלְבָנֶיךָ אַחֲרֶיךָ עַד-עוֹלָם–כִּי תַעֲשֶׂה הַטּוֹב וְהַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ

כִּי-יַכְרִית יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֶת-הַגּוֹיִם, אֲשֶׁר אַתָּה בָא-שָׁמָּה לָרֶשֶׁת אוֹתָם–מִפָּנֶיךָ; וְיָרַשְׁתָּ אֹתָם, וְיָשַׁבְתָּ בְּאַרְצָם

הִשָּׁמֶר לְךָ, פֶּן-תִּנָּקֵשׁ אַחֲרֵיהֶם, אַחֲרֵי הִשָּׁמְדָם מִפָּנֶיךָ; וּפֶן-תִּדְרֹשׁ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם לֵאמֹר, אֵיכָה יַעַבְדוּ הַגּוֹיִם הָאֵלֶּה אֶת-אֱלֹהֵיהֶם, וְאֶעֱשֶׂה-כֵּן גַּם-אָנִי

לֹא-תַעֲשֶׂה כֵן לַיהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ:  כִּי כָל-תּוֹעֲבַת יְהוָה אֲשֶׁר שָׂנֵא, עָשׂוּ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם–כִּי גַם אֶת-בְּנֵיהֶם וְאֶת-בְּנֹתֵיהֶם יִשְׂרְפוּ בָאֵשׁ לֵאלֹהֵיהֶם

Deuteronomy 12:28-31  דברים יב:כח-לא

Israel must totally destroy all these nations.  They cannot leave any remnant of them that will corrupt them.  If they do not do this, Moses משה gives the nation a solemn warning:

But if you will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you,

then those that you let remain of them shall be

as thorns in your eyes,

and as pricks in your sides,

and they shall harass you in the land in which you dwell.

וְאִם-לֹא תוֹרִישׁוּ אֶת-יֹשְׁבֵי הָאָרֶץ מִפְּנֵיכֶם

וְהָיָה אֲשֶׁר תּוֹתִירוּ מֵהֶם

לְשִׂכִּים בְּעֵינֵיכֶם

וְלִצְנִינִם בְּצִדֵּיכֶם

וְצָרְרוּ אֶתְכֶם–עַל-הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם יֹשְׁבִים בָּהּ

Numbers 33:55  במדבר לג:נה