Torah Pearls #14 – Vaeira (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

Torah Pearls Vaeira, Exodus 6:2-9:35, Egypt, Exodus, migdal-oz, mixed multitude, month of aviv, Moses, Name of God, nehemia gordon, parashah, Parsha, parshas, parshat, Pharaoh, plague, plagues, Tetragrammaton, Torah Pearls, Torah Portion, vaeira, YehovahThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls is on the Torah portion of Vaeira (Exodus 6:2-9:35). At face value, the first sentence of Vaeira appears to contradict other Scripture but several common-sense explanations clear things up. We learn why Moses’ lineage was important—particularly to the original audience—and that his “why me?” attitude was a sign of greatness. Gordon reveals a key verse for understanding the month of Aviv and the significance of its place on the Hebrew calendar. He also reads a poetic passage from the Portion that contains God’s name and where the rhyme of the divine is evident. As the trio examines each plague, Gordon translates the three Hebrew words for what was done to Pharaoh’s heart. Johnson speculates if the livestock taken to a place of shelter—a “migdal-oz”—hints at the mixed multitude and wonders if any Egyptians took shelter in the wondrous redemption to be found in Goshen.

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24 thoughts on “Torah Pearls #14 – Vaeira (Exodus 6:2-9:35)

  1. Were sheep indeed considered sacred by the Egyptians? Or would they have been offended by a sacrifice in the same way the Jews were offended by the Greeks sacrificing pigs during the time of the Maccabeans?

  2. You can’t see the connection between one of the names of God, and the word “breast”? It’s obvious! Isa 40:11 he carries the lambs close to his heart. He wants an intimate relationship with us, isn’t that what you do with someone who is intimate with you, hold them close to you, to your heart? It’s a sign of intimacy, to hold someone close to you. He loves us that much.

  3. hmm, well, ok…HUGE problem with something Keith said in this one 🙁 There is a BIG “theological difference” between “redeeming people from harm” (plagues) and “redeeming them from sin.” “Blood” is 100% required for the redemption from sin, no ifs ands or buts. That is clear in both the Tanakh and the Brit Hadasha. Further, the “redemption from bondage” absolutely required “the shedding of blood.” So, just because YHVH can sovereignly choose to “spare” (redeem in this sense) someone (or a group of people) from some negative influence/action, it is not “honest” to carry that over to mean He will “redeem from sin” without “the blood”, which is HIS prescribed method for “cleansing” from sin. Perhaps I misunderstood (and forgive the knee-jerk reaction if so), but it sure seemed to me that Keith was making that implication–trying to make the text say that, when it does not lead to that conclusion (nor did it play out that way in context) at all. shalom

    • Question.”Why did john the baptist tell folks to come be baptised to take away their sins?And why did Yeshau get baptised because he had no sin?
      Ezekiel chapter 18 says no man can die for anothers sins.”What l see we must Tesuvah which means more than repent it means come back and receive ‘a one on one personal relation with Father and be obedient to his laws commandments and his statues.
      Paul claims we need to be baptised in Christ, which to me would be
      idol worship.Their is only one true creator YeHoVaH and to think l was a Jehovahs witness! Now l follow my Father only.

    • Describing Greek beliefs in Hebrew by no means makes it genuine. Don’t study here a little, there a little, read in context. I am positive you read the new testament before you did the Hebrew scriptures. Your “UNDERSTANDING” comes from Rome not Israel.

  4. Around 1:05 Kieth sugggests using multiple translations when reading the Bible. The Bible Gateway app is free and has lots of different translations available; it even has the ability to read 2 translations side by side.

    What I find even more enlightening is reading from an interlinear Bible like: and often refer to this when Nehemiah is breaking down a particular Hebrew word.

    • In 9:34, Pharaoh hardened his own heart – in the sense of making it stubborn and uncooperative. In 9:35, Pharaoh’s heart was hardened – in the sense of strengthening it, giving it courage to keep going. I don’t know enough, though, to identify whether YHVH strengthened Pharaoh’s heart this time in v35, or whether Pharaoh strengthened his own heart – it appears passive. “It was strengthened”. That implies that it happened to him, not that he did it. Nehemia??

      • Exodus 10 1 ADONAI said to Moshe, “Go to Pharaoh, for I have made him and his servants hardhearted, so that I can demonstrate these signs of mine among them, 2 so that you can tell your son and grandson about what I did to Egypt and about my signs that I demonstrated among them, and so that you will all know that I am ADONAI יְהֹוָה.” Sometimes you have to read a little further into the text to get the rest of the story.

  5. Great discussion on Ex 8:23 about the distinction of Hebrew about ‘division’ and ‘redemption’ PDT of Israel by the sign of the plagues. Thought you might like to see the translation of the Geneva Bible (1775) on this. 8:22 But the land of Goshen, where my people are, will I cause to be *wonderful in that day, (Margin * or I will separate) … v23 And I will make a deliverance of my people from thy people. … Just shows that the Old Geneva Bible was more accurate in some places than the KJV and the later modern versions. Any comment on the ‘wonderful’?

  6. Nehemia, I found it fascinating what you said in this teaching regarding the construct of the parenthetical statement in Shemot 6:14-27. Are there any other examples of this in the Tanak?

  7. It was a great discussion and perhaps the best discussion of many recordings …. and especially the discussion discussion on Exodus 6.3. Looking at 6.4 there is an “also” in English translations. If this is supported by the Hebrew, an “also” supports the idea of a prior, related action in the prior verse. ..i.e. supporting the “did I not…” reading of 6.3. True?

  8. The magician were not able to make lice appear because what Moses did, at YHVH’s command was a repetition of creation. YHVH make creatures from the dust. Lice appeared from the dust. Here there is separation of the real deal from the counterfeit. Indeed all will know that the earth is YHVH for He is the creator of heaven and earth by the appearance of this plague…

  9. Noticed an interesting connection between Ex.9:31 and Deut 16:1
    KJV- And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled. EAR= Strong’s #24 abiyb; meaning to be tender, green; ie. a young ear of grain; hence the name of the month Abib.

    Showing us, the reader, what time of year this event originally took place. The instructions given in Deut 16:1 insure that the Passover memorial would be kept at that same time of year. Thus proving the significance of the stage of ripening of barley in determining the beginning of months as in Deut 16:1 and keeping the ‘moed’ of Yehovah according to His clock not according to man-made calendars.

  10. I would like to know the name or publisher of the dictionary mentioned towards the end of this download, the dictionary Nehemia said shows the history of hebrew word meanings, and how/when they have changed. Thank you if you can provide it.
    A note on the previous section – the Haftorah of Shemot – perhaps Yehovah was saying He does not smite the enemies of Israel, once He is taking vengeance, with the same manner of death with which those enemies killed His people. Just a thought. Jeremiah 51 seems like a rather unusual smiting, of vengeance, maybe only to me.

  11. I should qualify my statement: there is debate around the requirement that a rhetorical question be punctuated with a question mark, but I’m unaware of the grammatical stance of using a full stop being used in the KJV of the Bible. I guess it’s possible, but it feels like a stretch. It seems clear to me that the KJV is making a statement, just like all the other English translations. But to your point, we all interpret when we read. 🙂

  12. KJV doesn’t present Ex 6:3 as a rhetorical question – it takes more than just word order in English to determine question vs statement. You need a question mark to indicate a question. There is no question mark in the KJV.

    I absolutely LOVE these lessons, so grateful to you all for doing this. Please keep it up!

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