Pesukim פסוקים are the "verses" of Scripture divided into Parashaot (Portions) read in the synagogue each week. On Monday's & Thursdays there are 3 divisions of the week's Parasha read and on Shabbat all 6 are read including a Maftir (added), which makes up the final Pesukim (verses) of the Parasha totaling (7) Aliyot each week. Rabbi Eric will give a short d'rash on each of the daily Pesukim that make up the week's Parasha for a good daily dose of Torah. For more explanation on how the Torah is read and divided daily and weekly in the Synagogue see the following links:
The Daily Pesuk for, Friday June 22, 2018 / 9,Tamuz 5778
Numbers 21:10-20 (11 p'sukim)
Journey to Moab
10 Bnei-Yisrael moved on and encamped at Oboth. 11 Then they set out from Oboth and camped in Ije-abarim, in the wilderness facing Moab toward the sunrise. 12 From there they set out and camped in the Wadi Zered. 13 They set out from there and camped along the Arnon, which is in the wilderness extending into Amorite territory. The Arnon is also the border between Moab and the Amorites. 14 Therefore, it is said in the Book of the Wars of Adonai, “...Vaheb in Suphah and the wadis of the Arnon, 15 and the slope of the wadis that leads to the site of Ar and lie along the border of Moab—” 16 And from there—on to Beer.
This is the well where Adonai said to Moses, “Gather the people and I will give them water.”
17 Then Israel sang this song,
“Spring up, O well! Sing about it!”
18 The well the princes dug,
that the nobles of the people sank
with their scepter and their staffs.”
From the wilderness they went on to Mattanah. 19 From Mattanah they went on to Nahaliel, and from Nahaliel to Bamoth, 20 and from Bamoth to the valley in the field of Moab where the peak of Pisgah overlooks the wasteland.
10 וַיִּסְע֖וּ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל וַֽיַּחֲנ֖וּ בְּאֹבֹֽת׃
11 וַיִּסְע֖וּ מֵאֹבֹ֑ת וַֽיַּחֲנ֞וּ בְּעִיֵּ֣י הָֽעֲבָרִ֗ים בַּמִּדְבָּר֙ אֲשֶׁר֙ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י מוֹאָ֔ב מִמִּזְרַ֖ח הַשָּֽׁמֶשׁ׃
12 מִשָּׁ֖ם נָסָ֑עוּ וַֽיַּחֲנ֖וּ בְּנַ֥חַל זָֽרֶד׃
13 מִשָּׁם֮ נָסָעוּ֒ וַֽיַּחֲנ֗וּ מֵעֵ֤בֶר אַרְנוֹן֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בַּמִּדְבָּ֔ר הַיֹּצֵ֖א מִגְּב֣וּל הָֽאֱמֹרִ֑י כִּ֤י אַרְנוֹן֙ גְּב֣וּל מוֹאָ֔ב בֵּ֥ין מוֹאָ֖ב וּבֵ֥ין הָאֱמֹרִֽי׃
14 עַל־כֵּן֙ יֵֽאָמַ֔ר בְּסֵ֖פֶר מִלְחֲמֹ֣ת יְהוָ֑ה אֶת־וָהֵ֣ב בְּסוּפָ֔ה וְאֶת־הַנְּחָלִ֖ים אַרְנֽוֹן׃
15 וְאֶ֙שֶׁד֙ הַנְּחָלִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָטָ֖ה לְשֶׁ֣בֶת עָ֑ר וְנִשְׁעַ֖ן לִגְב֥וּל מוֹאָֽב׃
16 וּמִשָּׁ֖ם בְּאֵ֑רָה הִ֣וא הַבְּאֵ֗ר אֲשֶׁ֨ר אָמַ֤ר יְהוָה֙ לְמֹשֶׁ֔ה אֱסֹף֙ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם וְאֶתְּנָ֥ה לָהֶ֖ם מָֽיִם׃ ס
17 אָ֚ז יָשִׁ֣יר יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֶת־הַשִּׁירָ֖ה הַזֹּ֑את עֲלִ֥י בְאֵ֖ר עֱנוּ־לָֽהּ׃
18 בְּאֵ֞ר חֲפָר֣וּהָ שָׂרִ֗ים כָּר֙וּהָ֙ נְדִיבֵ֣י הָעָ֔ם בִּמְחֹקֵ֖ק בְּמִשְׁעֲנֹתָ֑ם וּמִמִּדְבָּ֖ר מַתָּנָֽה׃
19 וּמִמַּתָּנָ֖ה נַחֲלִיאֵ֑ל וּמִנַּחֲלִיאֵ֖ל בָּמֽוֹת׃
20 וּמִבָּמ֗וֹת הַגַּיְא֙ אֲשֶׁר֙ בִּשְׂדֵ֣ה מוֹאָ֔ב רֹ֖אשׁ הַפִּסְגָּ֑ה וְנִשְׁקָ֖פָה עַל־פְּנֵ֥י הַיְשִׁימֹֽן׃ פ
Our pesukim for today speak of a mysterious "Book of the Wars of Adonai". Scholars for centuries have debated what this referenced book may actually be? Keil & Delitzsch have what I consider to be one of the best explanations:
"The book of the wars of Adonai is neither an Amoritish book of the conflicts of Baal, in which the warlike feats performed by Sihon and other Amoritish heroes with the help of Baal were celebrated in verse, as G. Unruh fabulously asserts in his Zug der Isr. aus Aeg. nach Canaan (p. 130), nor a work “dating from the time of Jehoshaphat, containing the early history of the Israelites, from the Hebrew patriarchs till past the time of Joshua, with the law interwoven,” which is the character that Knobel's critical fancy would stamp upon it, but a collection of odes of the time of Moses himself, in celebration of the glorious acts of the Lord to and for the Israelites; and “the quotation bears the same relation to the history itself, as the verses of Körner would bear to the writings of any historian of the wars of freedom, who had himself taken part in these wars, and introduced the verses into his own historical work” (Hengstenberg).
(Note: “That such a book should arise in the last days of Moses, when the youthful generation began for the first time to regard and manifest itself, both vigorously and generally, as the army of Adonai, is so far from being a surprising fact, that we can scarcely imagine a more suitable time for the commencement of such a work” (Baumgarten) . And if this is the case, the allusion to this collection of odes cannot be adduced as an argument against the Mosaic authorship of the Torah, since Moses certainly did not write out the history of the journey from Kadesh to the Arboth Moab until after the two kings of the Amorites had been defeated, and the land to the east of the Jordan conquered, or till the Israelites had encamped in the steppes of Moab, opposite to Jericho.)
The fact that the Torah references this "book" or record of the wars as well as the songs and odes/poems ect... for us must be accepted as factual, even though we have no copy or record of such a book existed. This must be attributed to what the Torah says as:
Deuteronomy 29:28 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
28 (29) “Things which are hidden belong to Adonai our God. But the things that have been revealed belong to us and our children forever, so that we can observe all the words of this Torah.
It must be remembered that the miracles followed the Israelites everywhere they went, and there is no word of Torah that is written without any purpose. There is always great meaning and significance to every word of Torah that is listed, the names of places and peoples, locations, step-by-step journeys, etc... all should be regarded as being written for us to teach us a lesson about God, Israel His people and ourselves individually, and the other nations as well. Nothing - I repeat, NOTHING is in the pesukim of all Scripture that has no meaning for us. Just as the great Torah commentator Shaliach Shaul taught us connecting Tanakh (O.T.), to the Brit Chadasha (New Covenant)...
2 Timothy 3:14-16 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
You, however, continue in what you have learned and what you have become convinced of. For you know from whom you have learned, 15 and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to make you wise, leading to salvation through trusting in Messiah Yeshua. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for restoration, and for training in righteousness.
This brings to the next significant point of today's pesukim. As stated there were always miracles. The Exodus of Israel was Impossible without the Divine favor and constant help and provision of Adonai, the God of Israel.
Traditions of the rabbis say:
ואת הנחלים ארנון AND THE VALLEYS AT ARNON — Just as they relate the miracles at the Red Sea, so there should be related, too, the miracles at the valleys of Arnon, for here, also, great miracles were wrought (Midrash Tanchuma, Chukat 20). And what were those miracles? (the reply is given in the next passage).
וְאֶ֙שֶׁד֙ הַנְּחָלִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר נָטָ֖ה לְשֶׁ֣בֶת עָ֑ר וְנִשְׁעַ֖ן לִגְב֥וּל מוֹאָֽב׃
ואשר הנחלים THE DISCHARGE IN THE VALLEYS — The Targum translation of ,שפך “pouring forth”, is אשר. Consequently these words signify “the pouring forth in the valleys”, for at that place there was poured forth the blood of the Amorites who had concealed themselves there. As the mountains were high and the valley deep and narrow, and the mountains were so close to one another, that a man could stand upon the mountain on one side and speak to his fellow on the other mountain, and the road passed through the valley, the Amorites said: When the Israelites are about to enter the land by passing through the valley we will come out of the mountain caves above them and will kill them by arrows and stone missiles. Now those caves were in the mountains on the Moabite side, and on the mountain that was on the Amorite side there were, opposite those caves, projections like horns and breasts jutting out. When Israel were on the point of passing, the mountain that was located in the land of Israel (that on the Amorite side which afterwards came into the possession of the Israelites) was set in tremor as a handmaid that goes forth to receive her mistress, and moved nearer to the mountain of Moab, and these breast-like projections penetrated into the caves and killed them (the Amorites who were hidden in them). And this is the meaning of אשר נטה לשבת ער which inclineth towards the dwelling (location) of Ar (the capital Moab) — which means that the mountain inclined from its place and approached close to the mountain on the Moabite side and affixed itself to it: and this, too, is the meaning of ונשען לגבול מואב, and leaneth towards the boundary of Moab (Midrash Tanchuma, Chukat 20; cf. Berakhot 54b).
According to Rashi, this victory against the Amorites was nothing less than a complete MIRACLE. Even though we do not have a specific record of this in the pages of our Torah, we do have mention today of other "HIDDEN THINGS" as the Book of Wars gives evidence of.
If this is true, and it doesn't contradict anything in the Scriptures, at least we can be assured that we know that our God is a MIRACLE WORKING GOD. And the example of our ancestors in the Exodus was for our benefit for the battles we face today in SPIRITUAL WARFARE...
Just as Shaliach Shaul taught Romans 15:4 For whatever was written before was written for our instruction, so that through patience and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Therefore, today's pesukim regarding the War with the Amorites should be ENCOURAGEMENT TO US TODAY!!!
And we should do well to remember what David said about these battles (he knew that God waged war on our behalf)...
1 Samuel 17:46...Then all the earth will know that there is a God in Israel, 47 and so all this assembly will know that Adonai delivers not with sword and spear—for the battle belongs to Adonai—and He will give you into our hands.”
Not only does our God give us all Victory - both physically and Spiritual Victory - but He also MAKES OUR WARS CEASE AND GIVES US PEACE...
Psalm 46 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
1 For the music director, of the sons of Korah, according to Alamoth, a song.
2 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
3 Therefore we will not fear,
though the earth change,
though the mountains topple into the heart of the seas,
4 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains quake at their swelling. Selah
5 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God—
the holy dwelling place of Elyon.
6 God is in the midst of her, she will not be shaken.
God will help her when morning dawns.
7 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms totter,
He utters His voice, the earth melts!
8 Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us.
The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah
9 Come, see the works of Adonai,
who brings devastations on the earth.
10 He makes wars cease to the end of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear.
He burns chariots with fire.
11 “Be still, and know that I am God.
I am exalted among the nations.
I am exalted in the earth.”
12 Adonai-Tzva’ot is with us.
The God of Jacob is our strong tower. Selah