Studies in Torah

Parashot Matot/Massei (מטות/מסעי): Numbers 30–36

“As God is my witness, I will do that.” Such words can roll off our tongues easily, but we can forget that One is witnessing such a vow and watching to see whether we respect the Creator enough to follow through. That’s why Moshe (Moses), Yeshua haMashiakh (Jesus the Christ) and His apostle Ya’akob (James) warned us against dragging the LORD in to co-sign on our promises.

Yisrael’s promise to remain faithful to the One Who delivered the people out of bondage in Mitsraim (Egypt) eroded under the temptation of a flesh-friendly religion. So a former ally of 40 years ago became an existential enemy and had to be defeated. The wisdom of being very careful in making promises and seeking the strength to keep them is the subtext of the Torah reading מטות Matot (“tribes”), covering Numbers 30–32.

When life or our trust in the LORD seems to get too tough for too long, it’s tempting to give up. Yet we should look back on how far we have come in our new life in the Kingdom of Heaven through the mercy given us on the name of Yeshua. Our journey from our old life is much like Israel’s journey from bondage in Mitsraim to freedom at Sinai and rest in the Promised Land, a trek recounted for the second generation in the Torah passage (parashah) מסעי Massei (or Mase’y, “journeys of”), covering Numbers 33–36.

Numbers 30–36: ‘Be angry, and yet do not sin’

Numbers 30-36: We want Messiah to give us rest from our dumb oaths and vows


Note: Because of special Bible readings during God’s appointed times, the readings Massei and Matot are combined into one week this year.



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