Deuteronomy 29:4, A heart to perceive.This verse prophesied the outpouring of the Spirit of Elohim en masse on humans.
Deuteronomy 29:15, Not here with us today.This verse teaches us that YHVH made his covenant not only with the Israelites present there that day, but with all those who would live in the future. What are the implications of this with regard to your life? How does it impact what you do, how you act, your attitude and relationship with your Maker to know that covenants were made 3500 years ago that have a bearing on our lives today as Redeemed Israelites or the Israel of Elohim (see Gal 6:16)?
There are those in the modern church who will say, “Since I’m not an Israelite, but I’m a Gentile Christian, therefore, I have no obligation toward the Torah, and thus the Old Testament laws mean little or nothing to me.”
My response to this argument that, with the flick of the hand and the nod of the head, dismisses two-thirds of Scripture—the Word of Elohim—is simple. The idea that a born again believer is still a Gentile—a lie that the church system has convinced most Christians to believe—isn’t biblically substantiated. The Scriptures are clear on this point. For example, Paul calls redeemed believers the “one new man” and part of the nation of Israel. And who are the ex-Gentiles that Paul talks about who were aliens to the covenants (plural, referring to the Abrahamic Covenant revealing the path to salvation, the Mosaic Covenant revealing the path of righteousness and the New Covenant, which is the previous two covenants written on our spiritually circumcised hearts) of Israel, but have now been brought into the commonwealth of Israel through the work of Yeshua? (See Eph 2:11–19.) Remember, there’s no Gentile gate in the New Jerusalem—only the 12 gates named after the 12 tribes of Israel. So what tribe are you?
Additionally, some might question whether covenants made with one’s forefathers are applicable to us today. If this is your case, then let us pose the following question: Did the founding fathers of America make laws more than 200 years ago (i.e. the U. S. Constitution) that are binding upon us today? If so, how much more applicable upon us are covenants made by our forefathers 3500 years ago with YHVH? Just because our forefathers broke their covenant with YHVH does not free us to violate YHVH’s laws any more than if someone in the past violates a nation’s constitutional law frees this frees future generations from violating that law. Think about it!
Deuteronomy 29:16–19, Emboldened to sin. As we pass through the spiritual wilderness of the world around us (verse 16) on our way to the Promised Land of our eternal inheritance, it’s easy for us sin-oriented beings to justify our personal rebellion, our sinful habits, our lustful and materialistic thoughts on the basis of carnal rationalizations. Delusions are tempting. It is all too easy to fall prey to such excuses as, “Everyone around me is doing it,” or, “It feels like it’s okay to do,” or, “If it feels good, do it,” or “YHVH’s laws don’t apply to me … that was for the people back then, not for us today,” or, “That’s not what the church I belong to teaches,” or, “Surely YHVH doesn’t expect us to keep his commandments … they’re too hard to do … we can’t really do all that stuff today,” or, “We’re under grace today … that stuff has been done away … Jesus fulfilled it … nailed it to the cross,” etc. Do these statements square with YHVH’s words of truth? If we have fallen prey to such excuses to disregard the Creator’s commandments, we have, in reality, emboldened ourselves to continue sinning. The question each person needs to ask themselves is, “Do what I believe and practice square with YHVH’s Word?” Is YHVH pleased with our excuses or our obedience? What did Yeshua say would be an identifying mark of those who would love him? (Read John 14:15.)
Deuteronomy 29:20–28, Rooted them out of their land. What was YHVH’s response to those who refused to obey him? Are some of the curses (i.e. the bad things happening to you now) in your life related to disobedience of his commandments (or YHVH’s instructions in righteousness) in the past or perhaps even now?
Deuteronomy 29:23, Whole land is brimstone. The area just west of the Dead Sea where ancient Sodom and Gomorrah likely were is to this day a barren wasteland of gypsum containing little or no vegetation, and, in places, is covered in sulfur balls (brimstone) that one can still pick up. This region is an enduring testimony to the severity of YHVH’s judgments against men’s sin, which speaking loudly to us even now in harsh and warning tones.
Deuteronomy 29:26, Other gods. This is likely referring to the demon-gods (demigod) nephilim of Genesis 6:2–4 (see The Great Inception by Derek P. Gilbert, p. 67).
Deuteronomy 29:28–30:1–20, The Final Redemption of All Israel. A time is coming when Israel, including the ten northern tribe will be redeemed and regathered back to the land of Israel after having been exiled into captivity from their land. What is the captivity from which Israel will be returning?
What Is This Captivity?
The biblical term captivity is often a reference to Samaria, the capital of the Northern Kingdom or house of Israel, being brought out of captivity by YHVH (Ezek 16:53). Also compare Isaiah 61:1 with Luke 4:18–21 where, while preaching in the region of Galilee and Nazareth (the historic homeland of the Northern Kingdom or House of Israel), Yeshua quotes the Isaiah 61 passage relating it to his ministry to the ten tribes of the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matt 10:6). Yeshua states that it was his mission “to preach the gospel to the poor … to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captive and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bound, to preach the acceptable year of YHVH.”
To what“captivity” is Yeshua referring? Is it a physical or spiritual captivity? Compare this with Revelation 18:4 where YHVH states that his people (the saints) are enslaved to the last days’ Babylon the Great religious-economic-political system and must come out of it. What is this religious part of this system that he is now calling his people to leave?
Deuteronomy 29:28, Cast them into another land. “This verse also alludes to the fate of [those Israelites] who had become so assimilated among other peoples that their [i.e. the Israelite’s] origins had become forgotten. When the final redemption comes, these hidden ones known only to [Elohim] will be reunited with the rest of the nation and be restored to the status of their forefathers” (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash, p. 1090). To whom is the author referring here? Who became assimilated among the peoples and forgot their origins? Who is it that Elohim will bring out of hiding from among the nations where he, in judgment, scattered them and reunite with the Jews (the tribe of Judah) in the end times during what the Jews refer to as “the final redemption”? In Jewish thought, what is the “final redemption”? (For the answer, read Ezek 34:13; 36:24; Isa 56:8; Matt 24:29–44; Acts 1:6; 1 Cor 15:51–53; Rev 11:15–18.)
Another land. Let’s next notice a quote from the ancient apocryphal book of 2 Esdras 13:40-45(elsewhere known as The Fourth Book of Ezra; quoted from Lange’s Commentary; bracketed phrases are from an alternate translation by James H. Charlesworth in his book entitled, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha—Apocalyptic Literature and Testaments); Two Esdras is a Jewish work written near the beginning of the Christian era,
[T]hese are the ten tribes which were carried [led] away prisoners out of their own land [into captivity] in the time of Josia[h] the king, whom Salmanasar king of Assyria led captive, and carried them over the river and they were brought over into another land. But they took this counsel [formed this plan] amongst themselves, that they would leave the multitude of the heathen [nations], and go forth into a further country [a more distant region], where mankind never dwelt, that they might there keep their own statutes, which they had not kept in their own land. But they entered into Euphrates by the narrow passages of the river; for the Most High then wrought signs for them, and held still the waves [stopped the channels] of the river till they had passed over. But through that country there was a long journey to make of a year and a half; and the same region is called Arzareth [Hebrew for “another land”].
Arzareth or “another land” is a reference to the prophecy in Deuteronomy 29:28 which states, “And YHVH rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land [Heb. eretz acheret], as it is this day.” Acheret in the Hebrew means “another,” but also has the connotation of “new”such as “next year”(or in the “new year,” Gen 17:12), a “another well” (Gen 26:21); “another man” (i.e. a new husband); and so on. Other Hebrew words for “new” include chodesh or chadashah, which can mean either “brand new”or “renewed”such as in “new moon, new heart, or new heaven and new earth”; tiyrowsh, which refers to “new wine” or “new fruits.” These are unique Hebrew words, which specifically describe those things and nothing else; and beriyah, which is used once in Numbers 16:30, describes the earth opening up to swallow Korah and his malcontents.
The point of this brief word study is that eretz acheret can justifiably be translated into English as “new earth,” or “new world.” The “New World” is a common historical reference to what? North America, of course. It was there that Scripture seems to indicate that the Israelites would, in part, at least, be scattered and the rabbinic writings of 2 Esdras 13:40–45possibly makes reference to this land.
Additional Comments on Deuteronomy 29:28
Israel to Be Lost Among the Gentiles
Deuteronomy 29:28 states, “And YHVH rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land [Heb. eretz acheret], as it is this day.” How did the ancient Jewish sages understand this passage?
Rabbinic Commentary on this Verse
b. Talmud, Yevamot 17a (c. 500 C.E.) (Soncino Talmud, Soncino):
[T]hey had declared them [i.e. the ten tribes of Israel, see rabbinic footnote below]19 to be perfect heathens [or gentiles]; as it is said in the Scriptures, “They have dealt treacherously against YHVH, for they have begotten strange children.20”
A Rabbinic footnote on this passage states, “(19) The ten tribes; (20) Hos. 5:7.”
The ArtScroll Tanach Series Bereishis/Genesis (an Orthodox Jewish commentary on Genesis) states, regarding Genesis 48:19, Orthodox Jewish sage of the Middle Ages, Ibn Ezra wrote:
Many nations will descend from him [Ephraim]. That is, the word, fullness, melo, connotes “abundance,” the phrase meaning: and his seed will become the abundance of the nations (Neter; Karnei Or)” (p. 2121). According to Radak [R. Dovid Kimchi Torah, a scholar of the Middle Ages], “This refers to the Exile when the lands of others will be filled with his scattered descendants. See also Hosea 7:8: Ephraim shall be mingled among the nations (ibid.).