Studies in Torah

Parashat Beshalach (בשלח): Exodus 13:17-17:16

It took more faith to save Yisra’el than lamb’s blood on the doorposts as the Destroyer of the firstborn roamed the streets of Mitzraim during the first Passover. Then came being cornered by a huge army and going into the desert without sufficient water or food. It’s all part of the training in righteousness that all believers in the LORD much travel.

Read study notes and listen to recorded discussions by Hallel Fellowship teachers on this week’s Torah reading, בְּשַׁלַּח Beshalach (“when he sent”), covering Ex. 13:17-17:16.

Also, see notes and discussions by Hallel teachers on the standard Haftarah (Writings and Prophets) reading for this week, Judges 4:4-5:31 (see below).

Parashat Beshalach discussions

Exodus 13:17–17:16: Thankful for God’s mercy and rest

If God is with us, who can be against us?

The questions ancient Yisra’el asked after the Exodus from Mitzraim are similar to what we often ask ourselves today: Is God with us or not? Are we really free? Where are we going? How will we get our “daily bread”? Where will we find “living water”?

Exodus 13–15

Journey to the 10 series

Exodus 12–20 recounts a transformation of Israel from a people in bondage to a truly free nation of ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. This “Journey to the 10” is a path each believer should take before and after baptism to become fully mature, not lacking anything. (Start the series of studies from the beginning.)

God delivers Israel from Mitzraim (Egypt) through the Red Sea

On the 15th day of the first month, the first day of what God established as Khag Matzot (Feast of Unleavened Bread), Israel left Mitzraim (Egypt). We’ll explore why the Bible talks more about the Matzot than Pesakh (Passover). Pesakh commemorates God’s breaking the chains of Mitzraim that held Yisra’el there, and Matzot, God’s breaking the power of Mitzraim via the sea.

Studies on the annual festival of Firstfruits

The annual festival of Firstfruits, aka רֵאשִׁית קָצִיר Reysheet Qatzir, falls during the seven-day festival of Unleavened Bread, aka מצות Matzot, and actually is a memorial of what Israel experienced during the Exodus. It’s also part of our journey as believers from the “old person” to the “new person” in Messiah (Christ).

Exodus 16

Manna and Shabbat

We need to make our own personal connection to the Exodus and the events leading up to Sinai. These events are not only for those who have an ethnic Jewish heritage. This history belongs to all who are called by God our Father to take hold of Yeshua as our elder brother and kinsmen redeemer. At this point in the Exodus, God gives them manna to eat but also gives them very specific instructions of how, when and what to do with the manna after they gather it. The people violated those instructions and incurred different punishments for their folly.

Wilderness of Sin, Sinai and daily ‘what is it?’ bread

The people of Israel had cried out from the burden of overwork but they didn’t want God to remove them from Goshen forever. Yet, that’s what God did in a miraculous way. As we have reached the fifth week leading up to Sinai, the people are becoming very homesick for Egypt as they are traveling further and further from Egypt. God brings the people of Israel to the wilderness of Sin where they murmur against God for the second time. God responds by making a surprising provision and another test of their willingness to listen and obey God.

Exodus 17

Wilderness of Sin to Massah and Meribah; Amalek terrorized Israel

The territory of Sin — a place name, not the term for moral malady — that Israel transversed after leaving Mitsraim (Egypt) was a very large place. It’s in the area where Mt. Sinai is located. Yet, Yisra’el did sin at Rephadim, so it was called Massah and Meribah. But God still gave the people water from the rock — “living water” preceded law at Sinai — and defeated Amalek.

War against Amalek and the rocks of rest and water

What we see in this story are the actions of God, not the actions of the people. We can learn a lot about God if we just read the story carefully. In this passage, rocks play an important role and are important symbols of God at work. First was the rock Moshe sits on raising his arms during the daylong battle with Amalek. Second was the rock from which “living water” came to quench the thirst of Israel.

Hebrews 3-4: How to enter God’s lasting ‘rest’

Some read about the “Sabbath-rest” in Hebrews 4 and conclude that the teaching is that the remembrance of the seventh-day rest, the Sabbath, has been transferred to the Messiah, Yeshua. Yet the context of the passage and the quotations in it relating to a pivotal event in the Torah point to the fuller meaning of personal peace and real “rest” that God provides.

Haftarah: Judges 4:4-5:31

Female judges Devorah & Ya’el

Daniel Agee looks into the only two female judges of ancient israel, Devorah (Deborah) and Ya’el (Jael), and how that last battle against Canaan parallels the struggles we face today and will face on the Day of the LORD.

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