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Today we begin a new Parasha for the week, called "Eikev". This name comes from the very first pesuk of our portion, pesuk 12 of Devarim 7. In Hebrew it says:
וְהָיָ֣ה׀ עֵ֣קֶב תִּשְׁמְע֗וּן אֵ֤ת הַמִּשְׁפָּטִים֙ הָאֵ֔לֶּה וּשְׁמַרְתֶּ֥ם וַעֲשִׂיתֶ֖ם אֹתָ֑ם וְשָׁמַר֩ יְהוָ֨ה אֱלֹהֶ֜יךָ לְךָ֗ אֶֽת־הַבְּרִית֙ וְאֶת־הַחֶ֔סֶד אֲשֶׁ֥ר נִשְׁבַּ֖ע לַאֲבֹתֶֽיךָ׃
V'yahi EIKEV, tish'maun et hamishpotim ha'eleh U'shmartam V'asitem O'tem V'shamar Adonai Eloheicha L'cha et Ha'brit V'et Ha'chesed Nish'ba'a La'avoticha.
Loosely, this word simply means: Because. According to Strong's definition: "a heel, that is, (figuratively) the last of anything (used adverbially for ever); also result, that is, compensation; and so (adverbially with preposition or relatively) on account of: - X because, by, end, for, if, reward."
"Heel" is appropriate in that we see this was Jacob's name, and we can easily see the root word "akav" in the name "Ya'kov" (i.e. Jacob). This is what we see when Jacob was born:
Genesis 25:24 When her time came to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb. 25 Now the first came out reddish, all of him was like a fur coat, and they named him Esau. 26 Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding onto Esau’s heel—so he was named Jacob.
Additionally, we see this even earlier in the prophecy of the Messiah at the beginning of Creation after the Fall:
Genesis 3:Genesis 3:15 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
15 I will put animosity
between you and the woman—
between your seed and her seed.
He will crush your head,
and you will crush his heel.
So in Hebrew heel = because. So what does our pesuk say as a result of; or because of what?
Deuteronomy 7:12 12 “Then it will happen, as a result of your listening to these ordinances, when you keep and do them, that Adonai your God will keep with you the covenant kindness that He swore to your fathers.
So herein lies a very often overlooked SPIRITUAL PRINCIPLE: "As a result of "LISTENING" to Scripture - (i.e. God's Word); we will (as a result), keep them and do them." Isn't that cool?
All we really have to do is "keep listening"; over and over and over again; and eventually, we will DO THEM!
This completely agrees with the message of Shaliach Shaul about Israel coming to faith in Messiah Yeshua:
Romans 10 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for Israel is for their salvation. 2 For I testify about them that they have zeal for God—but not based on knowledge. 3 For being ignorant of God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit themselves to the righteousness of God. 4 For Messiah is the goal of the Torah as a means to righteousness for everyone who keeps trusting.
5 For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on Torah, “The man who does these things shall live by them.” 6 But the righteousness based on faith speaks in this way:
“Do not say in your heart,
‘Who will go up into heaven?’
(that is, to bring Messiah down),
7 or, ‘Who will go down into the abyss?’
(that is, to bring Messiah up from the dead).”
8 But what does it say?
“The word is near you,
in your mouth and in your heart”
—that is, the word of faith
that we are proclaiming:
9 For if you confess with your mouth
that Yeshua is Lord,
and believe in your heart
that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.
10 For with the heart it is believed for righteousness,
and with the mouth it is confessed for salvation.
11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever trusts in Him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all—richly generous to all who call on Him. 13 For “Everyone who calls upon the name of Adonai shall be saved.”
14 How then shall they call on the One in whom they have not trusted? And how shall they trust in the One they have not heard of? And how shall they hear without someone proclaiming? 15 And how shall they proclaim unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who proclaim good news of good things!” 16 But not all heeded the Good News. For Isaiah says, “Adonai, who has believed our report?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Messiah.
18 But I say, have they never heard? Indeed they have, for
“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
and their words to the ends of the world.”
19 But I say, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,
“I will provoke you to jealousy
by those who are not a nation,
with a nation empty of understanding
I will vex you.”
20 And Isaiah is so bold as to say,
“I was found by those who did not seek Me;
I became visible to those who did not ask for Me.”
21 But about Israel He says,
“All day long I stretched forth My hands
to a disobedient and contrary people."
Again, all we have to do is "KEEP LISTENING" - BECAUSE - FAITH COMES BY HEARING. Hearing the Word of God - because we hear and listen we will have the faith to believe, follow and OBEY.
This is why is is so important to keep proclaiming the Word, and the Good News to our people!
And that is also why our Pesukim today also say:
Deuteronomy 8:3 He afflicted you and let you hunger, then He fed you manna—which neither you nor your fathers had known—in order to make you understand that man does not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of Adonai.
Let's be listening today and everyday!