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Shemot/Exodus 35:1 And Moshe assembled the whole community of the people of Isra'el (CJB)
The parasha starts with an interesting word: , vayak'heyl, translated as 'he assembled'. It is interesting because the spelling is defectiva: the consonants are correct for the qal stem, but the basic qal stem is never used in the Torah because it is impossible directly to gather people together, by hand, as it were, particularly not a group as large as the whole community of Israel. Rather, the verb is in the hifil stem, whose normal spelling can be seen in Job 11:10 or B'Midbar 20:10. The hifil stem is used to indicate cause - Moshe caused the people to gather together by speaking to them, in order to teach them. Moshe gave out instructions that the people were to assemble so that he could address them and the people gathered themselves together.
So it is that we find G-d Himself gathering together, or choosing, the people of Israel for a purpose: "But the L-rd has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today" (D'varim 4:20, NASB). G-d has chosen and called out a people so that they might be His people, His own people, and so that He can have relationship with them. "And the L-rd has today declared you to be His people, a treasured possession, as He promised you ... and that He shall set you high above all the nations which He has made, for praise, fame and honour, and that you shall be a consecrated people to the L-rd your G-d" (D'varim 26:18-19, NASB). G-d has caused us, as a people, to exist and to be gathered together for and before Him, so that He would have a people of His very own, a chosen and special people set apart for Him.
When the time came for Him to be revealed, Yeshua the Messiah not only confirmed the call on our people, "Go only to the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 15:24, NASB), but extended the call to choose a remnant from the nations who would also be separate and set apart for Him: "[Yeshua] gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds" (Titus 2:14, NASB). Kefa echoes this in his letter to those in the Diaspora: "you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for G-d's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of G-d" (1 Peter 2:9-10, NASB). G-d has done something that is impossible for man to do - He has called together and assembled a people from all nations, tribes and tongues to be His holy people, a part of His body, in these days.
Further Study: Shemot 34:8-9; Ephesians 1:13-14
Application: Thank G-d today that He has gathered you, made you a part of His remnant in Messiah Yeshua and is gathering His people from all over the world as One New Man in Yeshua.
© Jonathan Allen, 2004
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