Parashat Vaetchanan tells how Moses asked to see the Land of Israel, made arguments to obey the law, recounted setting up the Cities of Refuge, recited the Ten Commandments and the Shema, and gave instructions for the Israelites’ conquest of the Land. In the Haftorah, Isaiah speaks words of comfort to Israel. The Apostolic Writings focus on Messiah’s humility and the finality of the Book of Revelation.
The second portion of the book of Devarim/Deuteronomy is Va’etchanan, which means “I pleaded.” This is the 45th Torah Portion.
Torah Portion: Deuteronomy 3:22-7:11
Haftorah Portion: Isaiah 40:1-26
Apostolic Writings: Philippians 2:6-8;
You can read or listen to the Haftarah and Apostolic portions below:
“Comfort and keep comforting my people,” says your G-d.
“Tell Yerushalayim to take heart; proclaim to her
that she has completed her time of service,
that her guilt has been paid off,
that she has received at the hand of HaShem
double for all her sins.”
A voice cries out:
“Clear a road through the desert for HaShem!
Level a highway in the ‘Aravah for our G-d!
Let every valley be filled in,
every mountain and hill lowered,
the bumpy places made level
and the crags become a plain.
Then the glory of HaShem will be revealed;
all humankind together will see it,
for the mouth of HaShem has spoken.”
A voice says, “Proclaim!”
And I answer, “What should I proclaim?”
“All humanity is merely grass,
all its kindness like wildflowers:
the grass dries up, the flower fades,
when a wind from HaShem blows on it.
Surely the people are grass!
The grass dries up, the flower fades;
but the word of our G-d will stand forever.”
You who bring good news to Tziyon,
get yourself up on a high mountain;
you who bring good news to Yerushalayim,
cry out at the top of your voice!
Don’t be afraid to shout out loud!
Say to the cities of Y’hudah,
“Here is your G-d!
Here comes HaShem Elohim with power,
and his arm will rule for him.
Look! His reward is with him,
and his recompense is before him.
He is like a shepherd feeding his flock,
gathering his lambs with his arm,
carrying them against his chest,
gently leading the mother sheep.”
Who has counted the handfuls of water in the sea,
measured off the sky with a ruler,
gauged how much dust there is on the earth,
weighed the mountains on scales, or the hills in a balance?
Who has measured the Spirit of HaShem?
Who has been his counselor, instructing him?
Whom did he consult, to gain understanding?
Who taught him how to judge,
taught him what he needed to know,
showed him how to discern?
The nations are like a drop in a bucket,
they count like a grain of dust on the scales.
The islands weigh as little as specks of dust.
The L’vanon would not suffice for fuel
or its animals be enough for burnt offerings.
Before him all the nations are like nothing.
He regards them as less than nothing.
With whom, then, will you compare G-d?
By what standard will you evaluate him?
An image made by a craftsman,
which a goldsmith overlays with gold,
for which he then casts silver chains?
A man too poor to afford an offering
chooses a piece of wood that won’t rot,
then seeks out a skilled artisan
to prepare an image that won’t fall over.
Don’t you know? Don’t you hear?
Haven’t you been told from the start?
Don’t you understand how the earth is set up?
He who sits above the circle of the earth —
for whom its inhabitants appear like grasshoppers —
stretches out the heavens like a curtain,
spreads them out like a tent to live in.
He reduces princes to nothing,
the rulers of the earth to emptiness.
Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown,
scarcely their stem taken root in the ground,
when he blows on them, they dry up,
and the whirlwind carries them off like straw.
“With whom, then, will you compare me?
With whom am I equal?” asks the Holy One.
Turn your eyes to the heavens!
See who created these?
He brings out the army of them in sequence,
summoning each by name.
Through his great might and his massive strength,
not one of them is missing.
Though he was in the form of G-d,
he did not regard equality with G-d
something to be possessed by force.
On the contrary, he emptied himself,
in that he took the form of a slave
by becoming like human beings are.
And when he appeared as a human being,
he humbled himself still more
by becoming obedient even to death —
death on a stake as a criminal!
I warn everyone hearing the words of the prophecy in this book that if anyone adds to them, G-d will add to him the plagues written in this book. And if anyone takes anything away from the words in the book of this prophecy, G-d will take away his share in the Tree of Life and the holy city, as described in this book.