Exodus Week 14 - Va'Era

Wisdom From the Torah Book 2:
EXODUS
With P
ortions From the Prophets and New Testament

This Bible study guide is presented as an extension to our Virtual House Church. It is designed to show you how the themes, stories, and words of the Torah (the five books of Moses) are woven throughout the writings of the prophets and New Testament. There is much wisdom to be gained from the Torah. The word is often translated as “law” but really, it represents the instructions of our loving Father to His children. We pray this study draws you into a closer, more intimate relationship with Him.


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Va'Era (And I appeared)

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This week's study in 60 seconds


Why Study the Torah? Because it is very important to YHVH:

1 Corinthians 10:11
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

11 These things happened to them to serve as an example, and they were written down to instruct us, on whom the ends of the ages have come.


PLEASE ANSWER THE FOLLOWING WORKBOOK DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

How does this week’s Torah Portion relate to the Haftarah and Brit Chadasha Portions? 



What did you find most interesting about this week’s reading?
 


What is the general theme of this reading and how does it apply to our lives today?


 

Jeremiah 23
New American Standard Bible (NASB)

1 Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of My pasture!” declares theLord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel concerning the shepherds who are [a]tending My people: “You have scattered My flock and driven them away, and have not attended to them; behold, I am about to attend to you for the evil of your deeds,” declares the Lord. “Then I Myself willgather the remnant of My flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and bring them back to their pasture, and they will be fruitful and multiply. I will also raise up shepherds over them and they will [b]tend them; and they will not be afraid any longer, nor be terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.

“Behold, the days are coming,” declares theLord,
“When I will raise up for David a righteous[c]Branch;
And He will reign as king and [d]act wisely
And do justice and righteousness in the land.
“In His days Judah will be saved,
And Israel will dwell securely;
And this is His name by which He will be called,
‘The Lord our righteousness.’

“Therefore behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when they will no longer say, ‘As theLord lives, who brought up the sons of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ but, ‘As the Lord lives, whobrought up and led back the descendants of the household of Israel from the north land and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ Then they will live on their own soil.”


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Rob's Rapture Riddle blog:
http://www.babylonrisingblog.com/RaptureRiddle2.html

Consider the following parallels between the books of Exodus and Revelation:

EXODUS
REVELATION
The plagues of Egypt listed in order:
End Times Parallel Plagues:
Trumpet Judgments
Bowl
Judgments
1. Blood Water Ex. 7:14-22 1. Blood Water Rev. 8:8-9 Rev. 16:3-7
2. Frogs Ex. 8:1-12 2. Frogs ................. Rev. 16:12-14
3. Gnats Ex. 8:16-19 3. Gnats ................. .......................
4. Flies Ex. 8:20-32 4. Flies ................. .......................
5. Dead Animals Ex. 9:1-7 5. Dead Animals Rev. 8:7-9 Rev. 16:3,8
6. Skin Boils Ex. 9:8-12 6. Skin Boils ................. Rev. 16:1-2, 8
7. Hail Ex. 9:13-35 7. Hail Rev. 8:7,11:19 Rev.16:17-21
8. Locusts Ex. 10:1-20 8. (Demon) Locusts Rev. 9:1-11 .......................
9. Darkness Ex. 10:21-29 9. Darkness Rev. 8:12 Rev. 16:10
10. People Killed by God's Judgments Ex. 12:21-30 10. People Killed by God's Judgments Rev. 9:13-16 Rev. 16:1-21


Against the Gods of Egypt by Chuck Missler

There have been few dramas that can equal the cosmic warfare that took place against the gods of Egypt when God used Moses to free Israel from their bondage.

We all are familiar with the death of the firstborn that finally caused Pharaoh to release them. Yet few of us, probably, are aware of the significance lying behind the other nine plagues: a cosmic war against the demons of darkness.

Waters Turned to Blood

The first of the judgments was upon the waters of Egypt. The Nile was the highway of this ancient land, as it still is today.

Not only was the Nile turned to blood, but the other waters of the land were as well, even the water that was drawn for use in the houses in wooden and stone jars. For seven days the whole land was in horror, with dead fish and a stench from the river.

To better appreciate what was going on, we must examine the numerous gods of the river: Osiris, one of the chief gods of Egypt, was first of all the gods of the Nile. He, with his companion, the mother god, Isis, and their child, Horus , were human-headed gods (in contrast to the many that had heads of birds, beasts, and reptiles).

There were other gods of the Nile, too: Hapimon in the north, and Tauret at Thebes, and the hippopotamus goddess of the river. There was also Nu , the god of life in the Nile.

The supernatural pollution of the waters of the land were a humiliation to the gods the Egyptians worshiped.

The Frogs

The second of the wonders further proved the powerlessness of the gods of Egypt. The land was covered with a plague of frogs in such abundance that they infested the Egyptians' houses and beds.

One of the principal goddesses of the land was Hekt , the wife of the creator of the world, who was always shown with the head and the body of a frog.

The frogs came out of the sacred Nile and Egypt's devotion to them prevented them from dealing with them: they soon had decaying carcasses throughout the land, resulting in a stinking horror. (It is interesting that the climactic war against God in Revelation is assembled by three frog-like spirits.)

The Sand Flies

The third of the judgments on Egypt came out of the soil in Egypt. The Hebrew word ken, is translated "lice" in our English translation, with "sand flies" or "fleas" in some marginal notes.

The Hebrew word comes from a root meaning to dig; it is probable that the insect was one which digs under the skin of men.

This was an embarrassment to their great god of the earth, Geb, to whom they gave offerings for the bounty of the soil. Also the presence of the fleas or lice were a barrier to their officiating in their priestly duties!

The Scarabs

The fourth of the plagues were "swarms" ("of flies" is not in the original). The word is `arob , a swarm, possibly suggesting incessant motion.

The deification of the scarab beetle is still conspicuous - even today - in the jewelry and artifacts celebrating ancient Egypt. Amon-Ra , the king of the gods, had the head of a beetle. Some of the giant scarabs were even accorded the honor of mummification and entombment with the Pharaohs.

This is particularly bizarre since the scarab is actually a dung beetle. The insect is about the size of a nickel and feeds on dung in the fields or the side of the road.

When animals defecate, these insects swarm from their holes in the ground and collect their provender for future meals by forming it into round balls about the size of golf balls, which they roll across the ground to their underground dwellings.

Since they seemed to "come from nowhere," and perhaps because these perfectly round balls were possibly associated with the sun, these beetles became associated with creation. (Also, the Egyptians seem to have had the mistaken notion that the scarabs deposited larvae in the spheres, but that is not true.)

The plague of swarms of scarabs, with mandibles that could saw through wood, and destructive qualities worse than termites, must have caused extreme consternation since they were so venerated and thus were not to be interfered with!

Pharaoh called Moses, pleaded for a cessation, hinted at the possibility of compromise, and even asked to be prayed for.6 But God doesn't compromise; the judgments continued.

The Animals

The fifth plague was against the domestic animals of Egypt, and thus Apis, the bull god, and the cow-headed Hathor, goddess of the deserts. These were so widespread that even the children of Israel had become tainted by their worship, which led to the fiasco of the golden calf in the image of Apis .

The plague was a "murrain," a contagious disease among the cattle, and even the sacred bulls in the temple died.8 Other domestic animals were sacred also, and their images adorned many of the idols, such as Bubastis , the cat goddess of love, feminine matters and fashion, etc.

(The veneration of cows still creates a sight in India, when cows appear on the streets and even in stores and shops.)

The cattle of the Hebrews, of course, were not touched.

Ashes

The sixth wonder was manifested against the bodies of men. The plague of shechiyn , translated "boils", may hide something more terrible. The root means "burning," and the same word can be translated as leprosy, and as the Egyptian botch, which was declared to be incurable.

Among the gods to which cures would have been ascribed were Thoth, the ibis-headed god of intelligence and medical learning, and Apis, Serapis and Imhotep.

Here even the magicians did not escape and could not carry on their priestly functions. It was their custom to take the ashes of human sacrifices and cast them into the air. Borne by the wind over the milling populace, they were viewed as a blessing.

(It is inferred by some that this heathen custom was the source of the practice of putting ashes on the forehead on the first day of Lent.)

Moses launched this plague with a parody of this practice, and may even have had access to the very furnaces used in the sacred precincts of the royal temple.

Fiery Hail

Egypt is a sunny land with virtually no rain. The seventh wonder was a tempest of hail and fire.

Where was Shu, the wind god? And Nut, the sky goddess? Where was Horus , the hawk-headed sky god of upper Egypt?

When Pharaoh confessed his sin and the sin of his people, he even used the Hebrew names for God:

I have sinned this time: the Lord [YHWH] is righteous, and I and my people are wicked. Intreat the Lord [YHWH] that there be no more mighty thunderings ["voices of Elohim"]. -Exodus 9:27,28

(The French have a phrase for one who speaks with spiritual language but whose heart is far from God: le patois de Canaan , the dialect of Canaan.)

[source: http://www.khouse.org/articles/2000/263/]

Hardening Pharaoh's heart? Nope. Actually YHVH was strengthening Pharaoh to continue with the attitude he already had:


Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar (becoming a beast):



For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. - Hebrews 10:14

Christ makes us perfect. However, we are made holy by being set apart and sanctified. This only happens through obedience to the Father.

The space of "about" a half-hour in Heaven = almost 21 years on earth.

More study resources related to the subjects of this week's study can be found at:

www.babylonrisingblog.com and www.babylonrisingbooks.com

The Scriptures for this week's study are:

TORAH:
Exodus 6:2 - 9:35 

PROPHETS:
Ezekiel 28:25 - 29:21

NEW TESTAMENT:
Romans 9:14-26;
2 Corinthians 6:14 - 7:1; Revelation 6:1-17, 8:1-13; 
16:1-21




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