Deuteronomy 31:7-9 (3 p'sukim)
Deuteronomy 31:7-9 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong! Be courageous! For you are to go with this people into the land Adonai has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you are to enable them to inherit it. 8 Adonai—He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you. Do not fear or be discouraged.”
9 Moses wrote down this Torah and gave it to the kohanim, the sons of Levi who carry the Ark of the Covenant of Adonai, and to all the elders of Israel.
7 וַיִּקְרָ֨א מֹשֶׁ֜ה לִֽיהוֹשֻׁ֗עַ וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֵלָ֜יו לְעֵינֵ֣י כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֮ חֲזַ֣ק וֶאֱמָץ֒ כִּ֣י אַתָּ֗ה תָּבוֹא֙ אֶת־הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה אֶל־הָאָ֕רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֧ע יְהוָ֛ה לַאֲבֹתָ֖ם לָתֵ֣ת לָהֶ֑ם וְאַתָּ֖ה תַּנְחִילֶ֥נָּה אוֹתָֽם׃
8 וַֽיהוָ֞ה ה֣וּא׀ הַהֹלֵ֣ךְ לְפָנֶ֗יךָ ה֚וּא יִהְיֶ֣ה עִמָּ֔ךְ לֹ֥א יַרְפְּךָ֖ וְלֹ֣א יַֽעַזְבֶ֑ךָּ לֹ֥א תִירָ֖א וְלֹ֥א תֵחָֽת׃
9 וַיִּכְתֹּ֣ב מֹשֶׁה֮ אֶת־הַתּוֹרָ֣ה הַזֹּאת֒ וַֽיִּתְּנָ֗הּ אֶל־הַכֹּהֲנִים֙ בְּנֵ֣י לֵוִ֔י הַנֹּ֣שְׂאִ֔ים אֶת־אֲר֖וֹן בְּרִ֣ית יְהוָ֑ה וְאֶל־כָּל־זִקְנֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל׃
As in yesterday's pesukim, the theme of being strong "Chazak", and not fearing along with the understanding that Adonai will NOT leave us, is continued today. Additionally, we have pesuk 9 which begins to explain to us the importance of the Public Reading of the Torah.
Today is also the Second Day of Rosh Hashanah here in the Diaspora (only one day in Israel), ironically, this was also the season when we see a Biblical account of a public reading of the Torah on Rosh Hashanah...
Nehemiah 8:8 Then all the people were brought as a single body into the plaza that was before the Water Gate. They said to Ezra the scribe, “Bring out the Torah scroll of Moses that Adonai had commanded Israel.”
2 Ezra the kohen brought the Torah before the assembly, which included men and women and all who could understand what they heard. This happened on the first day of the seventh month. 3 So he read from it before the plaza in front of the Water Gate from first light until midday, in the presence of the men and women, and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the scroll of the Torah. 4 Ezra the scribe stood on a high wooden platform constructed for this purpose.... (skip to pesuk 5...)...
5 Ezra opened the scroll in the sight of all the people for he was above all the people. When he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 Ezra blessed Adonai, the great God, and all the people answered, “Amen, amen!” as they lifted up of their hands. Then they bowed down and worshiped Adonai with their faces to the ground.
7 The Levites—Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbetai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan and Pelaiah—instructed the people in the Torah while the people were standing in their place. 8 They read from the Torah scroll of God, distinctly explaining it and giving insight. Thus they understood what was read.
9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the kohen-scribe, and the Levites who were teaching the people said to all the people, “Today is kadosh to Adonai your God. Do not mourn or weep!” For all the people had been weeping when they heard the words of the Torah.
10 So he said to them, “Go! Eat choice food, drink sweet drinks, and send portions to those who have nothing ready. For today is kadosh to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of Adonai is your strength.”
11 Then the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Hush! For today is kadosh. Do not grieve.” 12 So all the people departed to eat and drink, to send portions and to celebrate with great joy, because they came to understand the words that were explained to them.
What a beautiful account of a Rosh Hashanah where the Torah was restored after the Babylonian captivity and the people were now being instructed on the Torah and how to celebrate this Mo'ad (appointed Time). A wooden Bima was built just like we have in our synagogues, before the reading we have the blessing, just like Ezra the Scribe did... and they ate and drank sweet drinks, just as we eat apples & honey and wish each other a L'shanah Tovah today!
And just as our ancestors continued in the public reading and teaching of the Torah, so too are we reminded today as Messianic believers...
1 Timothy 4:13 Tree of Life Version (TLV)
13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to encouragement, and to teaching.
May Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur NOT be the only time you darken the door of the synagogue. Let's not neglect the assembly and come together in a mikra kodesh (holy convocation) for the spiritual nourishing of our souls!
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