Deuteronomy 32:1–2, Words of my mouth…rain. Note the phrases: “words of my mouth,” “my doctrine,” “rain,” “my speech shall distill as the dew,” “small rain” and “showers.” Now read compare these phrases with Eph 5:26. What is Scripture talking about here? Israel spent 40 years in a dry wilderness. By contrast, the Promised Land was a land flowing with milk and honey and was well-watered. Immediately before and after the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai (Exod 20), there are references to human thirst and YHVH providing water for his people (Exod 15:22–27; 17:1–7 Num 20:2–13). During the Messianic Age (the Millennium), living waters will flow from Jerusalem (Zech 14:8) and those who refuse to come up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) will receive no rain on their land (Zech 14:16–19). As you relate all these scriptures together, what is the bigger lesson YHVH is trying to teach us here pertaining to water and the word of YHVH?
Deuteronomy 32:8, Children of Israel. The Septuagint (LXX) has “angels of God,” the ESV has “sons of God,” and the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) has “children of God.” The LXX and ESV references could be a reference to the fallen angel, demon-nephilim or sons of Elohim reference found in Genesis 6:2 who along with their descendants founded kingdoms and empires that were opposed to Elohim. This alternate rendering possibly makes more sense, since Israel was not yet a nation when the Almighty assigned the nations to the heathens and the demon-gods or elohim that he placed over them and that they worshipped in place of the true YHVH Elohim. On the other hand, perhaps YHVH arranged the heathen in their countries around the future land of Israel, and those heathen living therein were merely squatters illegally inhabiting the Promised Land before the children of Israel were a nation.
Deuteronomy 32:14, Blood of the grapes. What is Torah referring to in this interesting, rather arcane phrase? Compare this with a parallel passage found in Genesis 49:11, which is clearly Messianic in nature. Now add into the mix Leviticus 17:11; Revelation 1:5; 7:14; Matthew 26:27–28; Romans 3:25; Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14; John 15:1–5 and finally John 6:53–56. In the last passage listed, is Yeshua advocating some bizarre cultic rite involving cannibalism, or is he relating back to these Torah passages that are Messianic in nature and relating them to his redemptive work at the cross, which believers commemorate when they take communion at Passover?
Deuteronomy 32:15, Yeshurun. The name Yeshurun is a poetic name for Israel and means “upright, straight or just.” YHVH ascribed this august title to Israel indicating that Israel was not to deviate from the high standards demanded by YHVH (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 1103). This is a prophecy about what would happen to Israel once in the Promised Land. They forsook the one who had redeemed them and blessed them. Compare this with Yeshua’s admonition to the Laodicean believers in Revelation 3:14–21 (especially note verse 17), which is a description of the contemporary American Christian church, much of which preaches an “easy-believism,” health and wealth, pop-psychology, “come to Jesus and everything will be all right” “gospel” message. Just because you now a part of a more Hebraically oriented congregation does not mean that you have shed off this kind of thinking and its accompanying lifestyle and that this prophecy does not apply to you. Selah (ponder and reflect).
Deuteronomy 32:21, I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people. I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation. The term not a people is the Hebrew phrase lo-am/OG TK. Curiously this same phrase occurs in several other references in the Hebrew Scriptures (Tanakh) in reference to the Northern Kingdom or House of Israel (Ephraim) and is repeated by several apostolic writers in reference to the “Gentiles” or “peoples of the nations” (which is the meaning of the Greek word ethnos translated as gentiles). (See Isa 7:8;Hos 1:9; 1 Pet 1:1; 2:9–10.) In Romans 9:25, Paul equates the “Gentiles” with the same people-group to which Hosea makes reference in Hosea 2:23. To whom is Hosea referring in his prophecy? (Read Hos 1:4,6; 4:15–17, chapter 5; 6:10–11; 7:1–11; chapter 8; etc.). Remember that the nation of Israel split into two groups at the time of Jeroboam and Rehoboam: the Northern Kingdom comprised of the ten northern tribes of Israel and referred to in Scripture as Ephraim, House of Israel and Samaria while the Southern Kingdom was known as Judah, the House of Judah and Jerusalem.
Where are these Ephraimites today? The answer can be found in Genesis 48:14 and 16 where the patriarch Jacob is prophesying over the two sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh. Can you find any clues in these two verses that may point to a religious people-group in existence today on earth? What sign does Jacob make with his arms when placing them on the heads of his two grandsons? Is it coincidental that it is the sign of the cross? Then in verse 16, Jacob recounts his experiences with the Angel or literally Heavenly Messenger who “redeemed me from evil.” This is a reference to Genesis 31:1–11 where, while fleeing from Laban, Jacob’s adversary, he had a dream where the Messenger of Elohim calls himself the El of Bethel (or the El/God of the House of El/God). Who is the Messenger of Elohim who is also a Redeemer? (See Rom 3:24; Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; Heb 9:12.)
Finally, Jacob prophesies that his grandsons’ descendants would grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. The word grow is the Hebrew word dagah/VDSfrom which the Hebrew word dag/DSor fish derives. This is why the ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach translates this phrase as “may they proliferate abundantly like fish within the land.”
The question is then begged, what religious people-group on earth today can be associated with a cross, a Redeemer and a fish? Knowing this will give us a clue as to whom Paul and the other writers in the Testimony of Yeshua (NT) were referring when they equated the “Gentiles” with “a foolish nation” and “not a/my people.”
Deuteronomy 32:26, I will scatter them into the corners. How was this prophecy fulfilled to Israel? Who in Israel was scattered and forgotten? Certainly not the Jews. They were scattered, but not forgotten. Verses 28–29 say of these people that they are void of counsel and understanding and lacked wisdom. These are all terms relating to the Torah. Who today has forgotten the Torah and says it is “done away with”? Who says that it brings death not life (in contradistinction to verse 47)? Who has inherited (theological) lies from their spiritual fathers (Jer 16:19, read verses 14–21 for context) who say that “the law has been done away”? Will there be a spirit of Elijah move of the Spirit of Elohim in the last days to turn the scattered and backslid children’s heart back to their spiritual fathers and does this involve returning to the Torah of Moses (Mal 4:4–6)? It is interesting to note that The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash states that this verse “refers to the exile of the Ten Tribes who were scattered to an unknown place where they were never heard from again” (p. 1105).
It is important to note that the ten northern tribes of Israel or Ephraim, as Scripture often shortened their name to, were scattered over the face of the whole earth after they were taken into captivity by the Assyrians (Ezek 34:6,12; 36:19; 37:21; John 11:52). In regards to Deuteronomy 32:26 which says, “I said, I would scatter them into the corners …” The Orthodox Jewish The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach Chumash comments, “This refers to the exile of the Ten Tribes who were scattered to an unknown place where they have never been heard from again.” On the phrase of the same verse, “I would make the remembrance of them to cease from among men …” the same Chumash states, “This is a reference to the exile of Judah and Benjamin, the Davidic kingdom from which today’s known Jews are descended.” It goes on to say that though nations would seek to destroy Israel entirely YHVH would never allow Israel to become extinct or disappear. Israel’s perpetual existence is a constant reminder of YHVH’s plan and eventually Israel will thrive and fulfill YHVH’s intention for it (pp. 1105–1106). Samson Raphael Hirsch in his commentary on the Pentateuch on the same verse translates the phrase, “I would scatter them into the corners …” as, “I would relegate them into a corner” and then says that the Hebrew here refers to the “extreme end of a surface, the side or corner …” He, too, relates this fate to the ten tribes who would be scattered “to some distant corner of the world, where, left entirely to themselves, they could mature towards serious reflection and ultimate return to Me …” (p. 650).
Deuteronomy 32:47, It is your life. YHVH’s Torah-words or commandments (i.e. YHVH’s instructions in righteousness) are life. Do you really believe this? If so, are you living out YHVH’s Torah instructions to your best capability, or are you just playing religious games and not taking his Word seriously? If you really were convicted that Torah “is your life,” what changes would you make in your life to conform to these words? What things would you stop doing or start doing? How much more would you seek Yeshua, the Living Torah in daily prayer and the study of his Word? How much more would you contribute to YHVH by supporting his work on earth through your time, talent and treasure? How committed to him are you now compared to where he would have you to be?
Deuteronomy 32:2, Teachings droop as rain. Like the dew, the Torah is a gift from heaven and waters the ground of men’s hearts to help bring forth a bountiful harvest of righteousness. (See also Eph 5:26; Isa 55:1–11 cp. Mic 5:7.)
Deuteronomy 32:6, Do you thus repay or you are unmindful. The letter hey at the beginning of this verse in the phrase “do you thus repay” is written larger and is separated from the surrounding words by a space making it the only one-letter word in the entire Tanakh. This is part of Moses concealed signature in the Torah text—a Hebrew poetic devise by which authors weave their signatures in the texts they have written in the form of an acrostic (Tikkun, p. 488).
Deuteronomy 32:18, Abraham’s steadfastness in surviving ten tests of his faith eventually saved his descendants, who tested Elohim on ten different occasions in the wilderness. This is alluded to by the specially small yud (which in the Hebrew alphabet signifies the number 10) in the phrase teshyr tzor y’ladkha, the Rock Who gave birth to you, have forsaken (The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet, by Michael Munk p. 129).
Deuteronomy 32:22, The lowest sheol. The Scriptures in numerous places mentions sheol (the grave), but in several instances there are references to the lowest sheol (e.g. Ps 86:13; Isa 14:15, NKJV). What is the difference between the grave and the lowest grave? It appears that sheol or the grave is where the bodies of mortal men go to await their resurrection either to immortality or to eternal death in the lake of fire. The lowest sheol appears to be the place where the devil and evil spirits (that rebelled at Lucifer’s fall and or prior to Noah’s flood) are confined awaiting the white throne judgment and their fate in the lake of fire. If this interpretation is correct, this may explain the enigmatic “spirits in prison” passage of 1 Peter 3:19. This would also be the pit or abyss into which Satan is cast and confined for 1000 years at Yeshua’s second coming (Rev 20:3). This may be what Isaiah 14:14–15 is referring to when it describes the fall of Lucifer and prophesies his being brought down into the lowest sheol, the pit or abyss.
This lowest sheol or level of the grave is likely the same place that YHVH cast the angels that rebelled in the time of Noah where they await in chains of darkness awaiting their judgment at the end of the Millennium. This is probably the same “prison” or pit (Gr. tartaroo, pronounced tar-tar-ah-ohw, see notes at 2 Pet 2:4)that Satan will be cast into at the beginning of the Millennium and then briefly released from at the end of it to go forth and to deceive the nations (Rev 20:7–8). After that, Satan (presumably along with his demons) will be cast into the lake of fire where they will be tormented for eternity (Rev 20:10).The lake of fire is a different place than the pit, sheol or tartaroo, which is a temporary place of restraint or prison where YHVH places rebellious angelic beings to await their final judgment, which is the lake of fire.
Deuteronomy 32:43, The DSS and LXX vary greatly from the MT on how this verse reads:
Rejoice, O heavens, together with him; and bow down to him all you gods, for he will avenge the blood of his sons, and will render vengeance to his enemies, and will recompense those who hate him, and will atone fro the land of his people. (DSS)
Rejoice, ye heavens, with him, and let all the angels of God worship him; rejoice ye Gentiles. with his people, and let all the sons of God strengthen themselves in him; for he will avenge the blood of hi sons, and he will render vengeance, and recompense justice to his enemies, and will reward them that hate him, and the Lord shall purge the land of his people. (LXX)
Interestingly, the phrase in Hebrew 1:6, “Let all the angels of God worship him” (NKJV) is a direct quote from the LXX (or the more ancient Hebrew manuscript from which the LXX derives), and not the MT, which is a later version of the Tanakh.
Will be merciful or will provide atonement. The key Hebrew root word in this phrase is kaphar meaning “to cover, purge, make atonement.” Yom Kippur and the kapporeth, which is erroneously translated as “mercy seat” in many English Bibles derive from kaphar.