Reading of Haftorah and Apostolic Writings for Shemot 5780

The first Torah Portion of the book of Exodus is Shemot, Names.

The thread between the selections this week is more branching than last week. The Haftorah and Apostolic writings each focus on different concepts found in the Torah portion. The Haftorah focuses on the coming deliverance of Israel and builds suspense towards it. The Apostolic writings on the other hand offer a seemingly conflicting message. Moshe elevated himself and appointed himself as a judge to rule between his brethren. Yeshua seemingly rejected being put in the place of a judge between two men, but then counseled the people around them. The counsel He gave was an answer to the feuding brothers, but it was also an instruction to the people: do not be consumed by greed.

Are the Messiah’s words an indictment of Moshe? Is the passage in Acts? I would advise against making any quick judgments and suggest looking deeper into what these seemingly conflicting messages mean in concert. Are they even speaking to each other? And besides that, who made you judge over them? 


Torah Portion: Exodus 1:1-6:1

Haftorah Portion: Isaiah 27:6-28:13, 29:22-23

Apostolic Writings: Luke 12:13-15, Acts 7:25-28

Haftorah Portion: Isaiah 27:6-28:13, 29:22-23

Isaiah 27:6-28:13

The time is coming when Ya‘akov will take root; Isra’el will bud and flower, and fill the whole world with a harvest. [ Adonai ] will not strike Isra’el, as he did others who struck Isra’el; he will not kill them, as he did the others. Your controversy with her is fully resolved by sending her [into exile]. He removes her with a rough gust of wind on a day when it’s blowing from the east. So the iniquity of Ya‘akov is atoned for by this, and removing his sin produces this result: he chops up all the altar stones like chalk — sacred poles and sun-pillars stand no more. For the fortified city is alone, abandoned and deserted, like the desert. Calves graze and lie down there, stripping its branches bare. When its harvest dries up, it is broken off; women come and set it on fire. For this is a people without understanding. Therefore he who made them will not pity them, he who formed them will show them no mercy. On that day Adonai will beat out the grain between the Euphrates River and the Vadi of Egypt; and you will be gathered, one by one, people of Isra’el! On that day a great shofar will sound. Those lost in the land of Ashur will come, also those scattered through the land of Egypt; and they will worship Adonai on the holy mountain in Yerushalayim.

28 Woe to the haughty crown of Efrayim’s drunks, to the fading flower of its proud splendor, located at the head of the rich valley belonging to people overcome by wine! Adonai has someone strong and powerful. He comes like a hailstorm, a destructive tempest, like a flood of water, rushing, overwhelming; with his hand he hurls them to the ground. The haughty crown of Efrayim’s drunks is trampled underfoot; and the fading flower of its proud splendor, located at the head of the rich valley, is like the first ripe fig of summer — whoever sees it picks and eats it. On that day, Adonai – Tzva’ot will be a glorious crown, a brilliant diadem for the remnant of his people. He will also be a spirit of justice for whoever sits as a judge, and a source of strength for those repelling enemy attacks at the gate. But there are others reeling from wine, staggering about because of strong liquor; cohen and prophet reel from strong liquor, they are confused by wine. Led astray by strong liquor, they err in their visions and stumble when judging. All tables are covered with vomit and feces, not a single place is clean. Can no one be taught anything? Can no one understand the message? Must one teach barely weaned toddlers, babies just taken from the breast, so that [one has to use nursery rhymes]? — Tzav la-tzav, tzav la-tzav, kav la-kav, kav la-kav z‘eir sham, z‘eir sham [Precept by precept, precept by precept, line by line, line by line, a little here, a little there]. So with stammering lips, in a foreign accent, [ Adonai ] will speak to this people. He once told this people, “It’s time to rest, the exhausted can rest, now you can relax” — but they wouldn’t listen. So now the word of Adonai for them comes “precept by precept, precept by precept, line by line, line by line, a little here, a little there,” so that when they walk, they stumble backward, and are broken, trapped and captured!

Isaiah 29:22-23

Therefore, here are the words of Adonai , who redeemed Avraham, concerning the house of Ya‘akov: “Ya‘akov will no longer be ashamed, no longer will his face grow pale. When his descendants see the work of my hands among them, they will consecrate my name. Yes, they will consecrate the Holy one of Ya‘akov and stand in awe of the God of Isra’el.

Apostolic Writings: Luke 12:13-15, Acts 7:25-28

Luke 12:13-15

Someone in the crowd said to him, “Rabbi, tell my brother to share with me the property we inherited.” But Yeshua answered him, “My friend, who appointed me judge or arbitrator over you?” Then to the people he said, “Be careful to guard against all forms of greed, because even if someone is rich, his life does not consist in what he owns.”

Acts 7:25-28

He supposed his brothers would understand that God was using him to rescue them, but they didn’t understand. When he appeared the next day, as they were fighting, and tried to make peace between them by saying, ‘Men, you are brothers! Why do you want to hurt each other?’ the one who was mistreating his fellow pushed Moshe away and said, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us? Do you want to kill me, the way you killed that Egyptian yesterday?’

Published by MJ Muñoz

Husband. Father. Believer. Writer.

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