Wandering Arami, Obligations, and Destiny Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 (23 August, 2013, Elul 17, 5773)
To Hear a Talk based on the Text below:
Ci Tovo: Wandering Arami, Obligations, and Destiny
Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8 (43 minutes)
Talk includes points not mentioned in the text.
Duration: 30.20 minutes
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The Israelites were to told to inherit and settle in the Land. Every year they had to bring their first fruits to the Tabernacle (Temple).
They had to remember that their forefather had once been wandering Arami. This term was also applied to the Scythians.
The Tribes were told to go to Mounts Gerizim and Ebal. Six tribes stood on one mountain and six on the other.
Blessings and curse were read out.
For our own sake and for that of others we need to seek the will of the Almighty.
Tovo (also pronounced as "Ta-vo")
1 When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it.
God gave the Land of Canaan from the Nile to the Euphrates to Israel. The Hebrews must take control of it and dwell in it.
2 you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name.
One should give something of whatever blessings received to the Almighty. If one gives tithes then the tithe should be given straight away or at least set aside.
3 You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, Today I declare to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.Â
# who is in office at that timeÂ i.e. THAT SHALL BE IN THOSE DAYS #:Â Whatever you have is at least partly by your own merit. This includes your spiritual leaders.Â The Sages emphasized that the Leader in each generation is to be given the same respect as was due to a leader in a previous one even though on the individual level there may be a great qualitative difference between them.
4When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the Lord your God,
5 you shall make this response before the Lord your God: A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous.
A wandering ArameanÂ sometimes translated as A SYRIAN [Arami] READY TO PERISH: This translationÂ is based on later Commentary. The verse was probably earlier understood as saying, #A wandering Arami [Syrian] was my forefather#.
READY TO PERISH. In Hebrew "Oeved" which can mean "perishing" but it also connotes "wandering"
13 And on that day a greatÂ shofar will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.
# who were lost in the land of Assyria # i.e. the Lost Ten Tribes,
# and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt #Â i.e. Jewish Captives.Â The term Mitsraim translated as Egypt may also connote Russia.
IS RUSSIA EGYPT? Does the term "Mitsraim" (translated as Egypt) in the Hebrew Bible in Prophecy Refer to Russia?
A wandering Aramean ["Arami"] was my ancestor (Deuteronomy 26:5) was what the Israelites had to declare every year.
The term Arami meant Syrian.Â Aram meant Syria but the term could also be used to encompass Israel.
Jewish mercenaries stationed in Egypt under the Persians, for instance, were referred to as "Arami"Â by the Persians.
The Israelites from the Ten Tribes would also knownÂ have been as "Arami" to foreigners.
We identify the Lost Ten Tribes with a portion of the Scythians who were also known as Sacae.
Pliny, the Roman geographer, reported that the Scythian Sacae had originally been known as "Arami" .
Pliny (77 CE) b: VI. XIX. states :Â
"Beyond [the Syr Darya, which the Scythians call the Silis] are some tribes of Scythians. To these the Persians have given the general name of Sacae, from the tribe nearest to Persia, but old writers call them the Aramii".
Here we have it. The Scythians or Sacae were originally known as Aramii. This means they were either Aramaeans (from Syria) or Israelites!! Israelites could also be referred to as Aramii. Amongst the Celts of Britain and Gaul there was a god named Aram.
From the Scythian Sacae emerged the Anglo-Saxons and related peoples. It is interesting that the term "Scot" is a form of "Scyth" and the Scots interpreted their name to mean "Wanderer" which is also one of the connotations of the word "Hebrew".
6 When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labour on us.
The Egyptians oppressed the Israelites. The Israelites should always remember this. This experience was a formative factor in the national character.
7 we cried to the Lord, the God of our ancestors; the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.
We prayed and we were saved. If anybody is in any trouble and he prays, God hears.
8 The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; 9 and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10 So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me. You shall set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. 11 Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house.
s.2Â Â 26:12-15
12 When you have finished paying all the tithe of your produce in the third year (which is the year of the tithe), giving it to the Levites, the aliens, the orphans, and the widows, so that they may eat their fill within your towns.
Â In The Hebrew Agricultural Year goes in 7 year cycles.
In Years One and Two and Four and Five the Tithe for the Levi is separated and the Second Tithe.
The Second Tithe is to be eaten only in Jerusalem meaning that the whole family would go up to Jerusalem three times a year and live there for at least a week sustaining themselves from the Second Tithe. Alternately they would have one of their member dwelling permanently in Jerusalem and living with his own family off the Second Tithe from the rest of the family. This privileged individual would be expected to occupy himself chiefly with Torah Learning.
In Years Three and Six the Tithe for the Levi is separated (as in the other years) but instead of the Second Tithe another Tithe called "Maaser Ani" (The Tithe for the Poor) is separated. This Tithe for the Poor would be given to poor people Â in addition to the First Tithe that the Levites would already be receiving.Â
Apart from giving the Tithe for the Poor the males (at least) of the family would still be required to go up to Jerusalem three times a year. In Jerusalem they would eat any of the Second Tithe that was left over from previous years (grain lasts a long time) as well as ordinary produce.
The seventh Year (Shemittah) is the Sabbatical Year in which no agricultural work goes on, the only agricultural produce available (apart from that stored up from previous years) is that which grows of itself. No private property rights over the agricultural produce that does grow of itself is practiced.
13 then you shall say before the Lord your God: I have removed the sacred portion from the house, and I have given it to the Levites, the resident aliens, the orphans, and the widows, in accordance with your entire commandment that you commanded me; I have neither transgressed nor forgotten any of your commandments:
This was said in the Third Year. In the Third Year the house and storehouses are checked to see that no produce that has not been tithed remains.Â
14 I have not eaten of it while in mourning; I have not removed any of it while I was unclean; and I have not offered any of it to the dead. I have obeyed the Lord my God, doing just as you commanded me.
One was commanded to mourn for a full day when a close relative or spouse had passed away. The Sages extended the mourning period to seven days.
It was forbidden to eat of the Second Tithe during the first Day of Mourning and/or if one was ritually unclean having touched a dead animal or corpse or had a defiling emission.
15 Look down from your holy habitation, from heaven, and bless your people Israel and the ground that you have given us, as you swore to our ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey.Â
God is in heaven and sees us all. The People of Israel are the People of God. We do, or should do, the will of the Almighty and then we ask God to remember us.
s.3Â Â 26:16-19
A Treasured People (Am Segulah)
16 This very day the Lord your God is commanding you to observe these statutes and ordinances; so observe them diligently with all your heart and with all your soul.
The Lost Ten Tribes at present are not commanded in the Jewish Sense at present to Keep all the Law. In the future this will change. Those of them who voluntarily convert to Judaism should do it with a full heart and willingness to keep all the commandments, to worship God with all one's heart and soul. This may not always be easy. Everyone has weak points. We do what we can and should do it as well as we can.
17 Today you have obtained the Lord's agreement: to be your God; and for you to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, his commandments, and his ordinances, and to obey him.
# to walk in his ways #. The Sages based on this phrase said that one is commanded to imitate the Almighty. As HE is merciful so should you be merciful, as HE is good to others, so should you be, etc.
18 Today the Lord has obtained your agreement: to be his treasured people, as he promised you, and to keep his commandments;
The Israelites are a chosen people.
BeingÂ a chosen people ULTIMATELY means keeping the commandments.
19 for him to set you high above all nations that he has made, in praise and in fame and in honour; and for you to be a people holy to the Lord your God, as he promised.
Israelites are the Chosen People. They are special. They are different and this difference should be reflected in a higher Cod of Behavior.
s.4Â Â 27:1-10
Mount Ebal and the Public Display of the Law
1 Then Moses and the elders of Israel charged all the people as follows: Keep the entire commandment that I am commanding you today. 2 On the day that you cross over the Jordan into the land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall set up large stones and cover them with plaster. 3 You shall write on them all the words of this law when you have crossed over, to enter the land that the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you. 4 So when you have crossed over the Jordan, you shall set up these stones, about which I am commanding you today, on Mount Ebal, and you shall cover them with plaster. 5 And you shall build an altar there to the Lord your God, an altar of stones on which you have not used an iron tool.
6 You must build the altar of the Lord your God of unhewn stones. Then offer up burnt-offerings on it to the Lord your God,
This was carried out in the time of Joshua who succeeded Moses as the leader of Israel (Joshua 8;30-35).
This altar may have been found in Schechem (Nablus) in the territory of Samaria.
There has been found the remains of a very large edifice consisting of a framework of unhewn blocks filled with ashes of clean animals and earth. The dimensions are the same as that of the altar that was in the Temple at Jerusalem. Around the altar were found traces of the plaster upon which the Torah had been written by Joshua. The altar was excavated by the Israel archaeologist Adam Zertal. Adam Zertal has written a book (in Hebrew) describing his excavations and findings and discussing the Biblical history of ancient Israel from an archaeological point of view.Â
Adam Zertal believes that he has found the altar and edifice erected by Joshua. There are however certain problems with the location of his finding. Zertal dismisses the difficulties but others disagree. At all events he has found something of religious significance from the ancient Israelite Period. The discussion as to what exactly Zertal has found is in itself of importance.
The altar was situated in the territory of Manasseh. Zertal considers Manasseh to have been the most important tribe in many ways in ancient Israel.
Ancient residential structures in the area are similar to those found in the British Isles and the West where they are often associated with Megalithic Monuments.
These according to the Prophet Jeremiah trace a Pathway of Migration linking the Land of Israel to western regions.
[Jeremiah 31:21] SET THEE UP WAYMARKS, MAKE THEE HIGH HEAPS: SET THINE HEART TOWARD THE HIGHWAY, EVEN THE WAY WHICH THOU WENTEST: TURN AGAIN, O VIRGIN OF ISRAEL, TURN AGAIN TO THESE THY CITIES.
This verse in the original Hebrew (as we explain in the above URL) may be understood according to the Radak, Abarbanel, other commentators, and a literal interpretation of the Hebrew as saying:
Abarbanel: #The prophet therefore spoke concerning the Kingdom of Israel [of the Ten Tribes] SET THEE UP WAYMARKS saying that when you go into Exile make signs by the routes and waymarks like piles of rocks [i.e. cairns] or stone monuments [Hebrew: Matzavah, i.e. dolmens] so that you may set your heart to the route and remember in order that you may return in the way you went in, return to your cityÂ #
This means that through archaeological evidence and related studies we may prove who the Lost Ten Tribes are today! The Prophet Jeremiah urges us to do so!
Zertal in effect believes in the historical accuracy of the Bible and says that archaeology proves it. His book concentrates on Menasseh.
Aspects of these findings throw light on certain Biblical passages. They also reveal something of the tribal character of Menasseh.
Brit-Am believes that the Tribe of Menasseh is the Israelite Tribe that has had the most influence on the USA and determined much of the American character.
An account of describing Zertal's views and findings appears in our book
"Joseph - The Israelite Destiny of America"
7 make sacrifices of well-being, and eat them there, rejoicing before the Lord your God. 8You shall write on the stones all the words of this law very clearly.
9 Then Moses and the levitical priests spoke to all Israel, saying: Keep silence and hear, O Israel! This very day you have become the people of the Lord your God. 10 Therefore obey the Lord your God, observing his commandments and his statutes that I am commanding you today.
s.5Â Â 27:11-28:6
Blessing and Curses:Â
A Minority of ALL the Tribes is still to be found amongstÂ Judah.Â Amongst this minority those Tribes that stood on the Blessing appear to be more pre-eminent. [ Source forgotten but published by others.]
11 The same day Moses charged the people as follows:
12 When you have crossed over the Jordan, these shall stand on Mount Gerizim for the blessing of the people: Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Joseph, and Benjamin.
Half the tribes stood on the side of one mountain and half of the tribes stood on the side of another mountain facing the others.
The ark of the Covenant with the priests and some of the Levites stood in a valley between them.
Â 13 And these shall stand on Mount Ebal for the curse: Reuben, Gad, Asher, Zebulun, Dan, and Naphtali.
All those who stood on Mount Ebal (of the curse) were thoroughly lost when the northern ten tribes were exiled.
Of those who stood on Mount Gerizim (of the blessing) Simeon, Levi, Judah, and Benjamin belonged to the kingdom of Judah.Â In addition a not insignificant minority of refugees from Joseph and Issachar had also been assimilated amongst Judah:
Concerning Asa the king of Judah it says that many from the north came to him for religious reasons: Ephram and Menasseh (i.e. Joseph), as well as Judah, Benjamin, and Simeon are mentioned.
[2-Chronicles 15:8]Â AND WHEN ASA HEARD THESE WORDS, AND THE PROPHECY OF ODED THE PROPHET, HE TOOK COURAGE, AND PUT AWAY THE ABOMINABLE IDOLS OUT OF ALL THE LAND OF JUDAH AND BENJAMIN, AND OUT OF THE CITIES WHICH HE HAD TAKEN FROM MOUNT EPHRAIM, AND RENEWED THE ALTAR OF THE LORD, THAT WAS BEFORE THE PORCH OF THE LORD.Â
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[2-Chronicles 15:9]Â AND HE GATHERED ALL JUDAH AND BENJAMIN, AND THE STRANGERS WITH THEM OUT OF EPHRAIM AND MANASSEH, AND OUT OF SIMEON: FOR THEY FELL TO HIM OUT OF ISRAEL IN ABUNDANCE, WHEN THEY SAW THAT THE LORD HIS GOD WAS WITH HIM.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
This brings us to the question of refugees from the northern tribes who remained with Judah (=the Jews):
Later it says that in the time of Hezekiah people from Ephraim, Menasseh, Issachar, and Zebulon came up to Jerusalem to sacrifice.
[2-Chronicles 30:18] FOR A MULTITUDE OF THE PEOPLE, EVEN MANY OF EPHRAIM, AND MANASSEH,Â Â ISSACHAR, AND ZEBULUN, HAD NOT CLEANSED THEMSELVES, YET DID THEY EAT THE PASSOVERÂ OTHERWISE THAN IT WAS WRITTEN. BUT HEZEKIAH PRAYED FOR THEM, SAYING, THE GOOD LORD PARDON EVERY ONE
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[2-Chronicles 30:19] THAT PREPARETH HIS HEART TO SEEK GOD, THE LORD GOD OF HIS FATHERS,Â THOUGH HE BE NOT CLEANSED ACCORDING TO THE PURIFICATION OF THE SANCTUARY.
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[2-Chronicles 30:20] AND THE LORD HEARKENED TO HEZEKIAH, AND HEALED THE PEOPLE.
Previous to this Hezekiah had sent posts throughoutn the land asking remnants of the Northern Tribes to come up to Jerusalem:
[2-Chronicles 30:10] SO THE POSTS PASSED FROM CITY TO CITY THROUGH THE COUNTRY OF EPHRAIM AND MANASSEH EVEN UNTO ZEBULUN: BUT THEY LAUGHED THEM TO SCORN, AND MOCKED THEM.Â Â Â Â Â
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[2-Chronicles:11] NEVERTHELESS DIVERS OF ASHER AND MANASSEH AND OF ZEBULUN HUMBLED THEMSELVES, AND CAME TO JERUSALEM.
This happened at the beginning of the reign of Hezekiah. At this point most of the northern tribes had already been exiled by the Assyrians. A remnant remained. Most of this remnant was also destined to soon be taken into exile but we know from archaeology that some escaped to Jerusalem. It may be that many out of the few that escaped belonged to those who feared God.
Those who remained in Judah were from the Tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, along with representative minorities from the other other tribes the majority of whom however went into Assyrian Exile. The other Ten Tribes were destined to achieve their Tribal Self-realization in Exile as part of the Lost Ten Tribes as explained by Nachmanides.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Out of the small minority proportion of the Ten Tribes who stayed with Judah is would appear that there were more from the Tribes of Benjamin, Simeon, Issachar, and Joseph.
The present-day Jews DO INCLUDE descendants of all the Tribes BUT the Ten Tribes are only a minority and subservient from the Tribal point of view to Judah.
14 Then the Levites shall declare in a loud voice to all the Israelites:
15 Cursed be anyone who makes an idol or casts an image, anything abhorrent to the Lord, the work of an artisan, and sets it up in secret. All the people shall respond, saying, Amen!
16 Â Cursed be anyone who dishonours father or mother. All the people shall say, Amen! Â
Our fathers and mothers are the reason for our being. We are commanded to honor and fearÂ (respect) them. Even so we all have complexes that we blame our parents for. Sometimes thisÂ blame may be justified but usually it is exaggerated. These unnecessary and superfluous complexes of ours are often factors that psychologically cripple us. By not despising our parents we do not demean ourselves in our own subconscious. This can help us go forward and succeed. The psychological importance of the commandments alone very often justifies them.
17 Cursed be anyone who moves a neighbour's boundary marker. All the people shall say, Amen!
What someone else has merited we should not encroach upon.
18 Cursed be anyone who misleads a blind person on the road. All the people shall say, Amen!
This injunction applies to anyone who is "blind" or unaware of something. We are forbidden to exploit the ignorance of others.
Â 19 Cursed be anyone who deprives the alien, the orphan, and the widow of justice. All the people shall say, Amen!Â
#THE STRANGER, FATHERLESS, AND WIDOW# are all vulnerable. The justice of this injunction is obvious and one's first reaction is to say,
"Of course, that's obvious!"
Â In practice however when under pressure, and pain, and in positions of authority when by sacrificing the weak we can relieve the pressure, - we may be tempted to do so.
20 Cursed be anyone who lies with his father's wife, because he has violated his father's rights. Â All the people shall say, Amen!Â
21 Cursed be anyone who lies with any animal. All the people shall say, Amen!
Many homosexuals today have also had experiences with "beasts." In Norway and Denmark it is legal.
22 Cursed be anyone who lies with his sister, whether the daughter of his father or the daughter of his mother. All the people shall say, Amen!Â
Most prostitutes in western societies were the victims of child abuse, usually incest.
When you do something that is wrong it usually does end "there" but carries on and has an echoing effect of great proportions.
So too, when someone does a good deed it is amplified and often has other good effects elsewhere.
23 Cursed be anyone who lies with his mother-in-law. All the people shall say, Amen!Â
24 Cursed be anyone who strikes down a neighbour in secret. All the people shall say, Amen!Â
In a literal sense it is forbidden to use physical violence against others when it is unnecessary and one is forbidden from harming others gratuitously.
25 Cursed be anyone who takes a bribe to shed innocent blood. All the people shall say, Amen!Â
Doctors and nurses who perform abortions and other people whose activities harm the public wealm are offenders.
26 Cursed be anyone who does not uphold the words of this law by observing them. All the people shall say, Amen!Â
All of the Law must be kept by those who are obliged. Those who are not so obliged should also respect the Law. The Lost Ten Tribes do not have to keep the Law at this stage. In the past they did have to keep the Law and in the future they will return and do so.
Â The Lost Ten Tribes has a responsibility not to cause Judah to depart from the Law. Do not missionize or tempt Jews away from the Torah.
1 If you will only obey the Lord your God, by diligently observing all his commandments that I am commanding you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth;
You will be elevated.
The Book of Deuteronomy is one of the most powerful of all Biblical books.
2 all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the Lord your God:
3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field.
4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your ground, and the fruit of your livestock, both the increase of your cattle and the issue of your flock.
5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading-bowl.
6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
You and your children will be blessed at the beginning of your lives and at their end. You will begin a day with the blessing of the Almighty and end it with even greater blessing. This happens. We know it does. We also know that it can also happen to us but in many cases will not do so probably because we have not kept to the straight and narrow.
Continued at: Â D7b. Bounty and Dearth