‘Parsha Behar’ - Attributes of G-d’s divine nature
The ‘parsha’ (‘Torah’ portion) this week is a double ‘parsha’, ‘Parsha Behar - Bechukotai’. Because of this, ‘Parsha Bechukotai’ will be found as a separate article on the ‘Thought for the Week’ page of this website.
The ‘parsha’ (‘Torah’ portion) this week, ‘Parsha Behar’ (on the mountain), is found in Leviticus 25:1 – 26:2. The corresponding ‘haftorah’ (reading of the prophets) is found in Jeremiah 32:6-22.
On the mountain of Sinai, G d communicates to Moses the laws of the Sabbatical year. Every seventh year, all work on the land should cease, and its produce becomes free for the taking for all, man and beast.
Seven Sabbatical cycles are followed by a fiftieth year – the Jubilee year, on which work on the land ceases, all indentured servants are set free, and all ancestral estates in the Holy Land that have been sold revert to their original owners.
Behar also contains additional laws governing the sale of lands, and the prohibitions against fraud and usury.
This week's ‘haftorah’ found in Jeremiah 32:6-22, discusses the purchase of a field by Jeremiah, echoing one of the themes of this week's Torah portion – the purchase and redemption of real estate.
Jeremiah was confined in King Zedekiah's royal compound for having prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of the Jewish people. There G d revealed Himself to the prophet and informed him that he will be approached by his cousin Hanamel with an offer to purchase his ancestral lands. G d instructed Jeremiah to accept this offer.
Hanamel then arrived in the compound with the offer, and Jeremiah accepted.
Money was transferred and a document of purchase was penned in the presence of witnesses. The prophet then gave the deed to his disciple Baruch, son of Neriah for safekeeping, and instructed him to store it in an earthenware vessel where it would remain for many years.
Jeremiah then conveys G d's message, the symbolism inherent in this transaction: “So says the LORD of Hosts, the God of Israel: ‘Houses and fields and vineyards shall be purchased again in this land’”, thus conveying a message of hope even on the eve of destruction and exile. The Jews would be exiled, but they would also eventually be returned to their land.
The ‘haftorah’ ends with the prophet's prayer to and exaltation of G d.
In ‘Haftorah Behar’, we see that even though Jeremiah prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of the Jewish people, through the symbolism above, G-d promises that the Jewish people would also eventually be returned to their land, showing the mercy and grace of G-d’s Divine nature.
In Exodus 34:6-7 we receive a revelation of G-d’s Divine nature: “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin”
The Hebrew wording of the above scripture is: “Adonai, Adonai, El rachum ve’channun, erech apayim, ve’rav chesed v’emet; no’tzer chesed lo’a’lo’afim, no’seh a’von va’phesha v’chata’a ve’nakeh”
Exodus 34:6-7 contains what is known as the “Thirteen Attributes of G-d’s Divine Nature”:
• He is L-rd –‘ Adonai, Adonai’
‘Adonai’ denotes G-d in His attribute of mercy.
The repetition of ‘Adonai’ is described in the ‘Talmud’ as meaning: I am the merciful G-d before a man commits a sin, and I am the same merciful G-d after a man has sinned.
• He is G-d – ‘El’
He is the all-mighty L-rd of the Universe, Ruler of Nature and Mankind.
• He is merciful – ‘Rachum’
‘Rachum’ correctly translated is: “Full of affectionate sympathy for the sufferings and miseries of human frailty”.
• He is gracious – ‘Ve’channun’
‘Channun’ correctly translated is: “Assisting and helping, consoling the afflicted and helping the oppressed, In Him, compassion and grace are permanent”.
• He is longsuffering (slow to anger) – ‘Erech Apayim’
• He is abounding in goodness – ‘Ve’rav Chesed’
‘Rav Chesed’ correctly translated is: “Plenteous in Mercy, granting His gifts and blessings beyond what man deserves”.
• He is abounding in truth – ‘V’emet’
The Talmud describes Emet as ‘Truth and The Right Way’.
So Emet Ministries doesn’t only mean ‘Truth Ministries’, it also means ‘The Right Way Ministries’.
• He is merciful – ‘No’tzer Chesed’
• He forgives iniquity (wickedness, evil and injustice) – ‘No’seh A’von’
‘Noseh Avon’ correctly translated is: “Bearing with indulgence the failings of man”
• He forgives transgression (disobedience and wrongdoing) – ‘Va’fesha’
• He forgives sin – ‘V’chata’a’
• He is righteous – ‘Ve’nakeh’
• He is accountable – Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation
So, Exodus 34:6-7 should read: “The LORD, the LORD God, full of mercy, Ruler of Nature and Mankind, full of affectionate sympathy for the sufferings and miseries of human frailty, assisting and helping, consoling the afflicted and helping the oppressed, slow to anger and abounding in goodness and truth, Plenteous in Mercy, granting His gifts and blessings beyond what man deserves for thousands, bearing with indulgence the failings of man, who is righteous and who by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation.”
Another of G-d’s attributes is that He is full of grace and mercy.
Although our wonderful G-d visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children's children to the third and the fourth generation, His mercy extends to those who love Him and keep His commandments for a thousand generations: Deuteronomy 7:9: “Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments”
2 Samuel 22:2-3 shows more of G-d’s Divine Nature: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Saviour, You save me from violence.”
And the Jewish ‘Mashiach’ (Messiah) Yeshua, G-d in the flesh, displays all these attributes.
Do you want to have a personal intimate relationship with the ONLY true G-d who is L-rd, who is G-d, who is merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abounding in goodness and full of grace, the G-d of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob?
A G-d who is Truth; who keeps mercy for thousands; who is our Rock and our Fortress and our Deliverer. A G-d who is our Strength; our Shield; the Horn of our Salvation; our Stronghold; our Refuge and our Saviour.
To have a personal intimate relationship with Almighty G-d, you need to commit your life to His Son Yeshua, the Jewish Messiah, who lovingly and faithfully endured the cross for you and for me. This is the only way to salvation, as only through Yeshua can one’s sins be forgiven and one’s soul be atoned for – or saved.
Scripture records that the holy and blameless Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, became the perfect sacrifice when He died on the cross, shedding every last drop of His blood, thus taking our sins upon Himself, guaranteeing all who believe in His death and resurrection, and who invite Him to become L-rd of their lives, forgiveness of sin – thus enabling us to be holy and blameless – as well as atonement for their soul and eternal life in heaven.
Yeshua shed every last drop of His blood to usher in the New Covenant that would ultimately result in the redemption of mankind. In other words, the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua, became the ultimate scapegoat and the ultimate sacrifice for mankind – both for Jews and for Gentiles.
Only by accepting Yeshua and G-d’s gift of salvation can your sins be forgiven you and eternal life in heaven be granted to you.
To receive G-d’s gift of the forgiveness of sin, salvation and everlasting life in heaven, all you need to do is confess your sins, repent of them and ask Yeshua to come into your life as your L-rd and Saviour; and you can do this by praying the Prayer of Salvation found at the end of this article.
By accepting Yeshua as your Messiah, you will be able to have an intimate personal relationship with Almighty G-d whose Divine nature is described as: “The LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin”.
We love you.
Scripture of the week: 2 Samuel 22:2-3: “The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; The God of my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, My stronghold and my refuge; My Saviour, You save me from violence.”
Thank you Yeshua for Your love for me.
Thank you for giving up Your life on the cross for me and for taking my sins upon Yourself.
I confess that I have sinned.
I repent of my sins and I turn from everything I know to be wrong.
I invite You to come into my life as my Messiah, my Saviour.
By Your grace I will serve You all the remaining years of my life.