Messianic Education Trust
    Yitro  
(Ex 18:1 - 20:23)

Shemot/Exodus 19:1   In the third month of the Exodus of the Children of Israel from Egypt ...

The Who Is ...

Ba'al HaTurim: Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher (1269-1343 CE), born in Cologne, Germany; lived for 40 years in and around Toledo, Spain; died en route to Israel; his commentary to the Chumash is based upon an abridgement of the Ramban, including Rashi, Rashbam and Ibn Ezra; it includes many references to gematria and textual novelties
Baal HaTurim points out that the phrase , in the third month, is an illustration of the dictum established by the Sages that a female captive, a female convert and an emancipated maid-servant may not marry until three months have elapsed (b. Yevamot 35a, b. Ketubot 37a, based on among others D'varim 21:13), so that the patrimony of any child would be clear. "For the Israelites went free from the Egyptian captivity, and He waited for them three months until the day of the giving of the Torah, which established their marriage bond with G-d."

This theme is picked up by the Psalmist who, in a psalm written to celebrate the king's marriage, urges the bride to "Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear; forget your people and your father's house; then the King will desire your beauty; because He is your L-rd, bow down to Him" (Psalm 45:10-11, NASB). Like the captive woman, the bride is to make a clean break, a separation between her family, position and status as her father's daughter and instead focus on being her husband's wife. As the Torah says, echoed by Yeshua: "Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife and they become one flesh" (B'resheet 2:24, RSV), this time using the man to describe how the married couple are a separate entity, no longer a part of their parents' households.

This in turn is a powerful image of how our lives are supposed to change when we come to know G-d in Messiah Yeshua: we turn from sin to G-d, we put off the old and put on the new, we abandon our old, sinful ways and habits to walk before G-d in righteousness and truth. As Rav Sha'ul put it: "Therefore, if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation - the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new!" (2 Corinthians 5:17, CJB). Just, therefore, as G-d didn't give the Torah to our people immediately after we left Egypt, but waited three months for us to experience His provision and guidance as we trekked across the desert from the Sea of Reeds to Mt. Sinai, Yeshua makes it plain that following Him is a radical departure from what has gone before: "Don't think I've come to make life cozy. I've come to cut - make a sharp knife-cut - between son and father, daughter and mother, bride and mother-in-law - cut through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for G-d ... if you prefer father or mother over Me, you don't deserve Me" (Matthew 10:34-37, The Message). Take note that elsewhere Yeshua speaks about honouring father and mother and providing for parents, so He isn't advocating neglecting parents; He is describing the high level of commitment we are to have for Him, over and above the normal love, care and concern we have for family members.

It took time for our people to shake off enough of the life of slavery and bondage in Egypt before they could make that confession of faith and obedience, "Everything that Adonai has spoken, we will do and obey" (Shemot 24:7, CJB), but The Name ...

HaShem: literally, Hebrew for 'The Name' - an allusion used to avoid pronouncing the Tetragrammaton, the so-called 'ineffable' name of G–d
HaShem needed to give them that time so that they would recognise the degree of change required. In the days of the Early Church, when confessing the name of Messiah was all too often a guarantee of an appearance in the arena - and not as a spectator - believers had to be very sure of what they believed and why, because they could frequently be called to account for it with their lives. A complete change and an absolute conviction of faith was needed to face that end.

Further Study: Song of Songs 2:10-13; Isaiah 55:1-3; Philippians 3:7-9

Application: Do you wonder sometimes about your faith, asking yourself just exactly why it is that you believe in Yeshua or, indeed, of you really believe in Him at all? Do you look back in your life and see no change point, no moment of transition from one lifestyle to another? Now is the time to ask G-d to show you the reality of the cross and to call you into a deep and meaningful relationship with Him.

© Jonathan Allen, 2007

10Feb07 17:58 Bonnie: How can two walk together unless they be agreed? Yeshua said for us to take His yoke upon us and learn from Him. Two fit under one yoke. Jesus ... and me. The old nature and The New under one yoke. How can we walk together unless we agree?

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