Saturday, July 1, 2023

Chukat-Balak - Reading #7

Chukat-Balak Statute/Balak — חֻקַּת־בָּלָק
Torah: Numbers 19:1 - 25:9
Haftarah: Micah 5:6 - 6:8

Apostolic Reading: John 19:38-42, Matthew 21:1-11

Reading #7 - Numbers 23:27-25:9 

My Thoughts:

Verse 24:9, “Everyone who blesses you is blessed. Everyone who curses you is cursed.” Balaam is announcing Hashem’s words to Balaak. And it still stands true today. The nations that curse Israel are cursed themselves, and those who bless are blessed. I remember hearing about a book that talked about the United States and the times it has “cursed” Israel, or not supported them. And there would be a natural disaster within days of some important decision not to support Israel. Israel and it’s people are special and must be blessed and protected. The cool thing is you will be blessed if you bless them. Think about financially supporting Israel today. There are many organizations that help older people, poor people and pregnant women. Organizations that support start up businesses or businesses that have been boycotted. Go online and check it today.


Verse 24:2 we read, “Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes; and the Spirit of Elohim came on him.” Can you imagine? He looks out and sees Israel and all of its tribes -- and something holy happens. The spirit of Elohim comes upon him. It is interesting that Hashem would allow this to happen to a person who is using divination. I wonder if when people are looking at Hashem’s people/land if something holy does come upon us. When I have gone to Israel this seems to happen. A special feeling comes over you, like nothing you have ever experienced. Is this the Spirit of Elohim? My challenge is to see if Hashem is blessing you in some way today. And to look at your life and see if there are any times when you have felt His Spirit coming upon you. Be grateful and praise Him for these times. Amen. 

Reading #7- Numbers 23:27-25:9 

27 Balak said to Balaam, “Come now, I will take you to another place; perhaps it will please Hashem that you may curse them for me from there.”

28 Balak took Balaam to the top of Peor, that looks down on the desert. 29 Balaam said to Balak, “Build seven altars for me here, and prepare seven bulls and seven rams for me here.”

30 Balak did as Balaam had said, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.

24 When Balaam saw that it pleased Hashem to bless Israel, he didn’t go, as at the other times, to use divination, but he set his face toward the wilderness. 2 Balaam lifted up his eyes, and he saw Israel dwelling according to their tribes; and the Spirit of Elohim came on him. 3 He took up his parable, and said,

“Balaam the son of Beor says,
    the man whose eyes are open says;
4 he says, who hears the words of Elohim,
    who sees the vision of the Almighty,
    falling down, and having his eyes open:
5 How goodly are your tents, Jacob,
    and your dwellings, Israel!
6 As valleys they are spread out,
    as gardens by the riverside,
    as aloes which Hashem has planted,
    as cedar trees beside the waters.
7 Water shall flow from his buckets.
    His seed shall be in many waters.
His king shall be higher than Agag.
    His kingdom shall be exalted.
8 Elohim brings him out of Egypt.
    He has as it were the strength of the wild ox.
He shall consume the nations his adversaries,
    shall break their bones in pieces,
    and pierce them with his arrows.
9 He couched, he lay down as a lion,
    as a lioness;
    who shall rouse him up?
Everyone who blesses you is blessed.
    Everyone who curses you is cursed.”

10 Balak’s anger burned against Balaam, and he struck his hands together. Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and, behold, you have altogether blessed them these three times. 11 Therefore, flee to your place, now! I thought to promote you to great honor; but, behold, Hashem has kept you back from honor.”

12 Balaam said to Balak, “Didn’t I also tell your messengers whom you sent to me, saying, 13 ‘If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can’t go beyond Hashem’s word, to do either good or bad from my own mind. I will say what Hashem says’? 14 Now, behold, I go to my people. Come, I will inform you what this people shall do to your people in the latter days.”

15 He took up his parable, and said,

“Balaam the son of Beor says,
    the man whose eyes are open says;
16 he says, who hears the words of Elohim,
    knows the knowledge of the Most High,
    and who sees the vision of the Almighty,
    falling down, and having his eyes open:
17 I see him, but not now.
    I see him, but not near.
A star will come out of Jacob.
    A scepter will rise out of Israel,
and shall strike through the corners of Moab,
    and crush all the sons of Sheth.
18 Edom shall be a possession.
    Seir, his enemy, also shall be a possession,
    while Israel does valiantly.
19 Out of Jacob shall one have dominion,
    and shall destroy the remnant from the city.”

20 He looked at Amalek, and took up his parable, and said,

“Amalek was the first of the nations,
    But his latter end shall come to destruction.”

21 He looked at the Kenite, and took up his parable, and said,

“Your dwelling place is strong.
    Your nest is set in the rock.
22 Nevertheless Kain shall be wasted,
    until Asshur carries you away captive.”

23 He took up his parable, and said,

“Alas, who shall live when Elohim does this?
24     But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim.
They shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber.
    He also shall come to destruction.”

25 Balaam rose up, and went and returned to his place; and Balak also went his way.

25 Israel stayed in Shittim; and the people began to play the prostitute with the daughters of Moab; 2 for they called the people to the sacrifices of their gods. The people ate and bowed down to their gods. 3 Israel joined himself to Baal Peor, and Hashem’s anger burned against Israel. 4 Hashem said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up to Hashem before the sun, that the fierce anger of Hashem may turn away from Israel.”

5 Moses said to the judges of Israel, “Everyone kill his men who have joined themselves to Baal Peor.”

6 Behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought to his brothers a Midianite woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, while they were weeping at the door of the Tent of Meeting. 7 When Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from the middle of the congregation, and took a spear in his hand. 8 He went after the man of Israel into the pavilion, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her body. So the plague was stopped among the children of Israel. 9 Those who died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.

Haftarah: Micah 5:6-6:8

My Thoughts:

Micah is basically talking about the faithfulness of Hashem. Through defense, through love -- He always takes care of us. And what does He require in return? In verse 6:8 we learn “What does Hashem require of you, but to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your Elohim.” He wants these special things from us. These are traits that Hashem has and that He extends through us. Let us make sure we are loving Him and loving others. Truly loving. Are you?


We are reminded in 6:4 that Hashem has delivered us from bondage. Then and now. Let us never forget that we do not need to live a life of being enslaved to anything. Through prayer and action we can follow Him and be delivered. It’s just finding that path. My challenge to you today is that you praise Hashem for all He has given you and ask Him to help you to be delivered in the areas that you need deliverance. Do it today, so that you can finally find peace and happiness. Don’t give up. Seek Him in this area.

Haftarah: Micah 5:6-6:8

They will rule the land of Assyria with the sword,

    and the land of Nimrod in its gates.

He will deliver us from the Assyrian,

    when he invades our land,

    and when he marches within our border.

7 The remnant of Jacob will be among many peoples,

    like dew from Hashem,

    like showers on the grass,

    that don’t wait for man,

    nor wait for the sons of men.

8 The remnant of Jacob will be among the nations,

    among many peoples,

    like a lion among the animals of the forest,

    like a young lion among the flocks of sheep;

    who, if he goes through, treads down and tears in pieces,

    and there is no one to deliver.

9 Let your hand be lifted up above your adversaries,

    and let all of your enemies be cut off.

10 “It will happen in that day”, says Hashem,

    “that I will cut off your horses out from among you,

    and will destroy your chariots.

11 I will cut off the cities of your land,

    and will tear down all your strongholds.

12 I will destroy witchcraft from your hand;

    and you shall have no soothsayers.

13 I will cut off your engraved images and your pillars out from among you;

    and you shall no more worship the work of your hands.

14 I will uproot your Asherah poles out from among you;

    and I will destroy your cities.

15 I will execute vengeance in anger,

    and wrath on the nations that didn’t listen.”

6 Listen now to what Hashem says:

“Arise, plead your case before the mountains,

    and let the hills hear what you have to say.

2 Hear, you mountains, Hashem’s indictment,

    and you enduring foundations of the earth;

    for Hashem has a case against his people,

    and he will contend with Israel.

3 My people, what have I done to you?

    How have I burdened you?

    Answer Me!

4 For I brought you up out of the land of Egypt,

    and redeemed you out of the house of bondage.

    I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam.

5 My people, remember now what Balak king of Moab devised,

    and what Balaam the son of Beor answered him from Shittim to Gilgal,

    that you may know the righteous acts of Hashem.”

6 How shall I come before Hashem,

    and bow myself before the exalted Elohim?

Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,

    with calves a year old?

7 Will Hashem be pleased with thousands of rams?

    With tens of thousands of rivers of oil?

Shall I give my firstborn for my disobedience?

    The fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

8 He has shown you, O man, what is good.

    What does Hashem require of you, but to act justly,

    to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your Elohim?

Apostolic Reading: John 19:38-42, Matthew 21:1-11

My Thoughts:

Yeshua is fulfilling a “Messianic” prophecy by riding a donkey. The week of His death, He exposes to the public who He is. He is the Mashiach they have been praying and waiting for. Some got caught up in the excitement and welcomed Him. But just a few days later, they forget and forsake Him. They allow Him to be crucified without a fight. Is that all He really wanted? Maybe if there had been even a small display of rebellion against the Romans, maybe just maybe, the Mashiach would have reacted to the support and performed some huge miracle of deliverance. But, people did not defend Him, they just watched as He was crucified. They stood -- being scared of the Romans. 


When asked who the man on the donkey was they said He was the prophet. They did not announce at this time that He was the Mashiach. Even though He was fulfilling prophecy by riding a donkey, they still only recognized Him as a prophet. They really didn’t understand yet who He was. I think that is true today. Many people have heard or read about Yeshua but they don’t understand who He was. That is where we come in. It is important that we share who Yeshua was and how He taught Torah. Most important how He pointed everything to Hashem. Many people have not been raised in a family that has taught them about Yeshua, and they have not been to a church to learn. We lead by example and by being a “light” -- so that others want to know why we are so happy and content! We need to help the world to know that Yeshua is Mashiach and is coming back again. Right?

Apostolic Reading: John 19:38-42, Matthew 21:1-11

John 19:38 After these things, Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Yeshua, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked of Pilate that he might take away Yeshua’s body. Pilate gave him permission. He came therefore and took away his body. 39 Nicodemus, who at first came to Yeshua by night, also came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred Roman pounds. 40 So they took Yeshua’s body, and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury. 41 Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden. In the garden was a new tomb in which no man had ever yet been laid. 42 Then because of the Jews’ Preparation Day (for the tomb was near at hand) they laid Yeshua there.

Matthew 21:1 When they came near to Jerusalem and came to Bethsphage to the Mount of Olives, then Yeshua sent two disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go into the village that is opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. 3 If anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The L-rd needs them,’ and immediately he will send them.”

4 All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken through the prophet, saying,

5 “Tell the daughter of Zion,

    behold, your King comes to you,

    humble, and riding on a donkey,

    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”

6 The disciples went and did just as Yeshua commanded them, 7 and brought the donkey and the colt and laid their clothes on them; and he sat on them. 8 A very great multitude spread their clothes on the road. Others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The multitudes who went in front of him, and those who followed, kept shouting, “Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the L-rd! Hosanna in the highest!” 

10 When he had come into Jerusalem, all the city was stirred up, saying, “Who is this?”

11 The multitudes said, “This is the prophet, Yeshua, from Nazareth of Galilee.”

Friday, June 30, 2023

Chukat-Balak - Reading #6

Chukat-Balak Statute/Balak — חֻקַּת־בָּלָק
Torah: Numbers 19:1 - 25:9

Reading #6 - Numbers 22:39-23:26

My Thoughts:

This is quite the story and somewhat hard to understand. Except it seems like Balaam does really want to follow Hashem, and not curse the Israelites. It is curious in verse 4 that “Balaam met Elohim”. It almost sounds casual. Like anyone at that time, could “meet with” Hashem. And then Hashem speaks to Balaam. And says He will put “His words” in his mouth. Maybe in a time of less distraction it was easier to “meet” with Hashem. Maybe our world is so busy, so full of other things that if we just got in a peaceful, quiet place -- we too, could “meet” with Hashem. And hear what He has to say. Let’s try it.


Let’s talk briefly about blessing people. In this reading Balaam is blessing people through words. But, there are obvious other ways to bless people. That is my challenge to you today. Think about and pray about, how Hashem wants you to bless others. It could be through listening to someone and their concerns. Or maybe someone needs some authentic financial help. Maybe someone needs prayer and/or an encouraging word. Look around you and see how you can bless someone today. Let’s help make the world a better place today.

Reading #6 - Numbers 22:39-23:26

39 Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kiriath Huzoth. 40 Balak sacrificed cattle and sheep, and sent to Balaam, and to the princes who were with him. 41 In the morning, Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal; and he saw from there part of the people.

23 Balaam said to Balak, “Build here seven altars for me, and prepare here seven bulls and seven rams for me.”

2 Balak did as Balaam had spoken; and Balak and Balaam offered on every altar a bull and a ram. 3 Balaam said to Balak, “Stand by your burnt offering, and I will go. Perhaps Hashem will come to meet me. Whatever He shows me I will tell you.”

He went to a bare height. 4 Elohim met Balaam, and he said to Him, “I have prepared the seven altars, and I have offered up a bull and a ram on every altar.”

5 Hashem put a word in Balaam’s mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and thus you shall speak.”

6 He returned to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, he, and all the princes of Moab. 7 He took up his parable, and said,

“From Aram has Balak brought me,

    the king of Moab from the mountains of the East.

Come, curse Jacob for me.

    Come, defy Israel.

8 How shall I curse whom Elohim has not cursed?

    How shall I defy whom Hashem has not defied?

9 For from the top of the rocks I see him.

    From the hills I see him.

Behold, it is a people that dwells alone,

    and shall not be listed among the nations.

10 Who can count the dust of Jacob,

    or count the fourth part of Israel?

Let me die the death of the righteous!

    Let my last end be like his!”

11 Balak said to Balaam, “What have you done to me? I took you to curse my enemies, and behold, you have blessed them altogether.”

12 He answered and said, “Must I not take heed to speak that which Hashem puts in my mouth?”

13 Balak said to him, “Please come with me to another place, where you may see them. You shall see just part of them, and shall not see them all. Curse them from there for me.”

14 He took him into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered up a bull and a ram on every altar. 15 He said to Balak, “Stand here by your burnt offering, while I meet Hashem over there.”

16 Hashem met Balaam, and put a word in his mouth, and said, “Return to Balak, and say this.”

17 He came to him, and behold, he was standing by his burnt offering, and the princes of Moab with him. Balak said to him, “What has Hashem spoken?”

18 He took up his parable, and said,

“Rise up, Balak, and hear!

    Listen to me, you son of Zippor.

19 Elohim is not a man, that He should lie,

    nor a son of man, that He should repent.

Has He said, and He won’t do it?

    Or has He spoken, and He won’t make it good?

20 Behold, I have received a command to bless.

    He has blessed, and I can’t reverse it.

21 He has not seen iniquity in Jacob.

    Neither has he seen perverseness in Israel.

Hashem his Elohim is with him.

    The shout of a king is among them.

22 Elohim brings them out of Egypt.

    He has as it were the strength of the wild ox.

23 Surely there is no enchantment with Jacob;

    Neither is there any divination with Israel.

Now it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel,

    ‘What has Elohim done!’

24 Behold, a people rises up as a lioness.

    As a lion he lifts himself up.

He shall not lie down until he eats of the prey,

    and drinks the blood of the slain.”

25 Balak said to Balaam, “Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all.”

26 But Balaam answered Balak, “Didn’t I tell you, saying, ‘All that Hashem speaks, that I must do?’”

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Chukat-Balak - Reading #5

Chukat-Balak Statute/Balak — חֻקַּת־בָּלָק
Torah: Numbers 19:1 - 25:9

Reading #5 - Numbers 22:13-38

My Thoughts:

Did Hashem change His mind? He told Balaam not to go. But, King Balak wants something different. So, he sends more princes and more gifts. Then Balaam tells them to wait overnight to see if Hashem is something else to say (verse 19). Haven’t you done the very same thing? Clearly Hashem is telling you not to do something but you come back to Him to reason, to ask Him to clarify His decision. We know that Hashem is full of mercy and grace, and just like a parent, maybe He wants to give us what we want -- beyond reason. And of course, a lesson will be learned when this happens. Just like Balaam. We will read on and see what happens. 


Balaam is “challenging” Hashem in a sense, when he decides to see if Hashem will have anything more to say. Clearly Hashem said not to go with these men. Not to curse Israel. But, Balaam “challenge” Him. The challenge today is for you to look at your life. What has Hashem clearly told you “no” on, and yet you wait for Him to change His mind? Listen to what He says and obey, even if you don’t like it! If not, you will suffer consequences. Amen.

Reading #5 - Numbers 22:13-38

13 Balaam rose up in the morning, and said to the princes of Balak, “Go to your land; for Hashem refuses to permit me to go with you.”

14 The princes of Moab rose up, and they went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”

15 Balak again sent princes, more, and more honorable than they. 16 They came to Balaam, and said to him, “Balak the son of Zippor says, ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me, 17 for I will promote you to very great honor, and whatever you say to me I will do. Please come therefore, and curse this people for me.’”

18 Balaam answered the servants of Balak, “If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I can’t go beyond the word of Hashem my Elohim, to do less or more. 19 Now therefore please stay here tonight as well, that I may know what else Hashem will speak to me.”

20 Elohim came to Balaam at night, and said to him, “If the men have come to call you, rise up, go with them; but only the word which I speak to you, that you shall do.”

21 Balaam rose up in the morning, and saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab. 22 Elohim’s anger burned because he went; and Hashem’s angel placed himself in the way as an adversary against him. Now he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 The donkey saw Hashem’s angel standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and the donkey turned out of the path, and went into the field. Balaam struck the donkey, to turn her into the path. 24 Then Hashem’s angel stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, a wall being on this side, and a wall on that side. 25 The donkey saw Hashem’s angel, and she thrust herself to the wall, and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall. He struck her again.

26 Hashem’s angel went further, and stood in a narrow place, where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 The donkey saw Hashem’s angel, and she lay down under Balaam. Balaam’s anger burned, and he struck the donkey with his staff.

28 Hashem opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

29 Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have mocked me, I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would have killed you.”

30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey, on which you have ridden all your life long until today? Was I ever in the habit of doing so to you?”

He said, “No.”

31 Then Hashem opened the eyes of Balaam, and he saw Hashem’s angel standing in the way, with his sword drawn in his hand; and he bowed his head, and fell on his face. 32 Hashems angel said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out as an adversary, because your way is perverse before me. 33 The donkey saw me, and turned away before me these three times. Unless she had turned away from me, surely now I would have killed you, and saved her alive.”

34 Balaam said to Hashem’s angel, “I have sinned; for I didn’t know that you stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases you, I will go back again.”

35 Hashem’s angel said to Balaam, “Go with the men; but you shall only speak the word that I shall speak to you.”

So Balaam went with the princes of Balak. 36 When Balak heard that Balaam had come, he went out to meet him to the City of Moab, which is on the border of the Arnon, which is in the utmost part of the border. 37 Balak said to Balaam, “Didn’t I earnestly send for you to summon you? Why didn’t you come to me? Am I not able indeed to promote you to honor?”

38 Balaam said to Balak, “Behold, I have come to you. Have I now any power at all to speak anything? I will speak the word that Elohim puts in my mouth.”

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Chukat-Balak - Reading #4

Chukat-Balak Statute/Balak — חֻקַּת־בָּלָק
Torah: Numbers Numbers 19:1 - 25:9
Reading #4 - Numbers 21:21-22:12 

My Thoughts:

Today we read how the battles are continuing as the Israelites wander through the wilderness. But one thing that they know for sure is that Hashem will go with them. Verse 34 says, “Don’t fear him, for I have delivered him into your hand, with all his people, and his land.”  Hashem is literally telling them not to fear -- that He has delivered them and they will have victory! We must remember this as we go through “battles” in our lives. If we are living a righteous life or at least trying to, we can trust that Hashem will go before us and clear the way to victory. Amen!


Interesting in verse 21 that Moses is sending messengers to the enemy to try to work things out before attacking. Sometimes people who do not believe in Torah -- think that Hashem just ruthlessly attacks and kills people. Many times we see that is just not true. There are people that go ahead and try to establish an agreement. And the times we don’t see that, it just may not have been written down. My point is -- in our lives we must do the same. Go to the person(s) you are having a disagreement with and try to work it out, before having a battle! Go with peace and solutions. Pray ahead of time. See how many “battles” can be avoided. Do this at home too with your spouse and kids. If we start this today, we will begin to mend our broken world. It starts with us. That is today’s challenge.

Reading #4 - Numbers 21:21-22:12

21 Israel sent messengers to Sihon king of the Amorites, saying, 22 “Let me pass through your land. We will not turn away into field or vineyard. We will not drink of the water of the wells. We will go by the king’s highway, until we have passed your border.”

23 Sihon would not allow Israel to pass through his border, but Sihon gathered all his people together, and went out against Israel into the wilderness, and came to Jahaz. He fought against Israel. 24 Israel struck him with the edge of the sword, and possessed his land from the Arnon to the Jabbok, even to the children of Ammon; for the border of the children of Ammon was fortified. 25 Israel took all these cities. Israel lived in all the cities of the Amorites, in Heshbon, and in all its villages. 26 For Heshbon was the city of Sihon the king of the Amorites, who had fought against the former king of Moab, and taken all his land out of his hand, even to the Arnon. 27 Therefore those who speak in proverbs say,

“Come to Heshbon.

    Let the city of Sihon be built and established;

28 for a fire has gone out of Heshbon,

    a flame from the city of Sihon.

It has devoured Ar of Moab,

    The lords of the high places of the Arnon.

29 Woe to you, Moab!

    You are undone, people of Chemosh!

He has given his sons as fugitives,

    and his daughters into captivity,

    to Sihon king of the Amorites.

30 We have shot at them.

    Heshbon has perished even to Dibon.

We have laid waste even to Nophah,

    Which reaches to Medeba.”

31 Thus Israel lived in the land of the Amorites. 32 Moses sent to spy out Jazer. They took its villages, and drove out the Amorites who were there. 33 They turned and went up by the way of Bashan. Og the king of Bashan went out against them, he and all his people, to battle at Edrei.

34 Hashem said to Moses, “Don’t fear him, for I have delivered him into your hand, with all his people, and his land. You shall do to him as you did to Sihon king of the Amorites, who lived at Heshbon.”

35 So they struck him, with his sons and all his people, until there were no survivors; and they possessed his land.

22 The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in the plains of Moab beyond the Jordan at Jericho. 2 Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 Moab was very afraid of the people, because they were many. Moab was distressed because of the children of Israel. 4 Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this multitude will lick up all that is around us, as the ox licks up the grass of the field.”

Balak the son of Zippor was king of Moab at that time. 5 He sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor, to Pethor, which is by the River, to the land of the children of his people, to call him, saying, “Behold, there is a people who came out of Egypt. Behold, they cover the surface of the earth, and they are staying opposite me. 6 Please come now therefore, and curse this people for me; for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall prevail, that we may strike them, and that I may drive them out of the land; for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

7 The elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the rewards of divination in their hand. They came to Balaam, and spoke to him the words of Balak.

8 He said to them, “Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as Hashem shall speak to me.” The princes of Moab stayed with Balaam.

9 Elohim came to Balaam, and said, “Who are these men with you?”

10 Balaam said to Elohim, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has said to me, 11 ‘Behold, the people that has come out of Egypt covers the surface of the earth. Now, come curse them for me. Perhaps I shall be able to fight against them, and shall drive them out.’”

12 Elohim said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them. You shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Chukat-Balak - Reading #3

Chukat-Balak Statute/Balak — חֻקַּת־בָּלָק
Torah: Numbers 19:1 - 25:9

Reading #3 - Numbers 20:22-21:20 

My Thoughts:

Complaining again. The people were getting tired of the food and were thirsty again. Every time they had to suffer they would complain and want to go back to Egypt. We may read this and be very judgmental against them, but just wait a second. Isn’t that what we do? We complain that things are not going well instead of praising Hashem for all He has given us! The punishment for their complaints was severe. Hashem sent poisonous snakes. Moses prays and Hashem provides a way of escape. They simple need to look at the serpent on the poll and remember the greatness of Elohim! Next time you start to complain, either in your head or out loud, please remember the greatness of Hashem. Stop complaining, repent and praise Him for all He does! Amen!


This story on the pole and the bronze serpent has a lot of commentary from many people. Why would Hashem ask the people to look upon a bronze anything? There is a strict commandment not to have false idols. Maybe because Hashem is showing He is Elohim! Remember the snake story with the Pharaoh. Moses' staff turned into a snake and swallowed the other fake snakes the sorcerers had created. Maybe this snake story reminds the people of His greatness. That is what I believe. What other reason could there be? My challenge to you today is to remember Hashem’s greatness. In your life and in the world -- think about how He has shown His greatness. And thank Him. 

Reading #3 - Numbers 20:22-21:20 

22 They traveled from Kadesh, and the children of Israel, even the whole congregation, came to Mount Hor. 23 Hashem spoke to Moses and Aaron in Mount Hor, by the border of the land of Edom, saying, 24 “Aaron shall be gathered to his people; for he shall not enter into the land which I have given to the children of Israel, because you rebelled against my word at the waters of Meribah. 25 Take Aaron and Eleazar his son, and bring them up to Mount Hor; 26 and strip Aaron of his garments, and put them on Eleazar his son. Aaron shall be gathered, and shall die there.”

27 Moses did as Hashem commanded. They went up onto Mount Hor in the sight of all the congregation. 28 Moses stripped Aaron of his garments, and put them on Eleazar his son. Aaron died there on the top of the mountain, and Moses and Eleazar came down from the mountain. 29 When all the congregation saw that Aaron was dead, they wept for Aaron thirty days, even all the house of Israel.

21 The Canaanite, the king of Arad, who lived in the South, heard that Israel came by the way of Atharim. He fought against Israel, and took some of them captive. 2 Israel vowed a vow to Hashem, and said, “If you will indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities.” 3 Hashem listened to the voice of Israel, and delivered up the Canaanites; and they utterly destroyed them and their cities. The name of the place was called Hormah.

4 They traveled from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom. The soul of the people was very discouraged because of the journey. 5 The people spoke against Elohiim and against Moses: “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no bread, there is no water, and our soul loathes this disgusting food!”

6 Hashem sent venomous snakes among the people, and they bit the people. Many people of Israel died. 7 The people came to Moses, and said, “We have sinned, because we have spoken against Hashem and against you. Pray to Hashem, that He take away the serpents from us.” Moses prayed for the people.

8 Hashem said to Moses, “Make a venomous snake, and set it on a pole. It shall happen that everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” 9 Moses made a serpent of bronze, and set it on the pole. If a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked at the serpent of bronze, he lived.

10 The children of Israel traveled, and encamped in Oboth. 11 They traveled from Oboth, and encamped at Iyeabarim, in the wilderness which is before Moab, toward the sunrise. 12 From there they traveled, and encamped in the valley of Zered. 13 From there they traveled, and encamped on the other side of the Arnon, which is in the wilderness that comes out of the border of the Amorites; for the Arnon is the border of Moab, between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore it is said in The Book of the Wars of Hashem, “Vaheb in Suphah, the valleys of the Arnon, 15 the slope of the valleys that incline toward the dwelling of Ar, leans on the border of Moab.”

16 From there they traveled to Beer; that is the well of which Hashem said to Moses, “Gather the people together, and I will give them water.”

17 Then Israel sang this song:

“Spring up, well! Sing to it,

18     the well, which the princes dug,

    which the nobles of the people dug,

    with the scepter, and with their poles.”

From the wilderness they traveled to Mattanah; 19 and from Mattanah to Nahaliel; and from Nahaliel to Bamoth; 20 and from Bamoth to the valley that is in the field of Moab, to the top of Pisgah, which looks down on the desert.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Chukat-Balak - Reading #2

Chukat-Balak Statute/Balak — חֻקַּת־בָּלָק

Torah: Numbers 20:7-21

Reading #2 - Numbers 20:7-21

My Thoughts:

Edom is the descendant of Esau. And as we know Esau was not happy about Jacob taking his inheritance and birthright. The two groups were at odds ever since. And today we read how the Edomites will not allow Israel to pass through. Some sages do believe that they sold the Israelites some food. Regardless, it is so sad that nations that should really be “brothers” do not get along. It is a lesson to be learned for us. Do we get along with our “brothers and sisters”? It would be good to reconcile or there might be generations after you that carry the “grudge”. This could cause a lot of hurt and pain. Reconcile today!


I guess the message today is that if you ask someone something and they refuse, turn away and leave. Hashem will provide a different path for you. Of course, as mentioned above, it is best to reconcile and make things right from the beginning. But, if this doesn’t happen and you approach your “brother/sister” and they do not wish to help you -- go somewhere else for help. Remember to first go to Hashem. Think of the peace that could reside in our earth if people only got along. Amen.

Reading #2 - Numbers 20:7-21

7 Hashem spoke to Moses, saying, 8 “Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you, and Aaron your brother, and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it pour out its water. You shall bring water to them out of the rock; so you shall give the congregation and their livestock drink.”

9 Moses took the rod from before Hashem, as He commanded him. 10 Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Shall we bring water out of this rock for you?” 11 Moses lifted up his hand, and struck the rock with his rod twice, and water came out abundantly. The congregation and their livestock drank.

12 Hashem said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you didn’t believe in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

13 These are the waters of Meribah; because the children of Israel strove with Hashem, and He was sanctified in them.

14 Moses sent messengers from Kadesh to the king of Edom, saying:

“Your brother Israel says: You know all the travail that has happened to us; 15 how our fathers went down into Egypt, and we lived in Egypt a long time. The Egyptians mistreated us and our fathers. 16 When we cried to Hashem, he heard our voice, sent an angel, and brought us out of Egypt. Behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the edge of your border.

17 “Please let us pass through your land. We will not pass through field or through vineyard, neither will we drink from the water of the wells. We will go along the king’s highway. We will not turn away to the right hand nor to the left, until we have passed your border.”

18 Edom said to him, “You shall not pass through me, lest I come out with the sword against you.”

19 The children of Israel said to him, “We will go up by the highway; and if we drink your water, I and my livestock, then I will give its price. Only let me, without doing anything else, pass through on my feet.”

20 He said, “You shall not pass through.” Edom came out against him with many people, and with a strong hand. 21 Thus Edom refused to give Israel passage through his border, so Israel turned away from him.