Learn more about Elohim’s further revelation of Himself and the principles behind the plagues that each deal with a different idol in the lives of the Egyptians, and find out how to apply that to our own lives today! Find prophetic correlations with how the Parashah ends with the 7th plague of hail and see how this hints at the 7th and final plague in the book of Revelation!
Teaching From Shabbat of January 16, 2020
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Vaera or Va’eira (וָאֵרָא) — Hebrew for “and I appeared” the first word that God speaks in the parashah, in Exodus 6:3 and is the fourteenth weekly Torah portion in the annual cycle of Torah reading and the second in the Book of Exodus. The parashah covers Exodus 6:2–9:35.
Torah Parashah Va’eira Summary
God reveals Himself to Moses. Employing the “four expressions of redemption,” He promises to take out the Children of Israel from Egypt, deliver them from their enslavement, redeem them, and acquire them as His own chosen people at Mount Sinai; He will then bring them to the land He promised to the Patriarchs as their eternal heritage.
Moses and Aaron repeatedly come before Pharaoh to demand in the name of God, “Let My people go, so that they may serve Me in the wilderness.” Pharaoh repeatedly refuses. Aaron’s staff turns into a snake and swallows the magic sticks of the Egyptian sorcerers. G‑d then sends a series of plagues upon the Egyptians.
The waters of the Nile turn to blood; swarms of frogs overrun the land; lice infest all men and beasts. Hordes of wild animals invade the cities; a pestilence kills the domestic animals; painful boils afflict the Egyptians. For the seventh plague, fire and ice combine to descend from the skies as a devastating hail. Still, “the heart of Pharaoh was hardened and he would not let the children of Israel go, as God had said to Moses.”
Haftarah (Prophets) Summary
This week’s haftorah begins with a mention of the ingathering of the exiles, echoing God‘s promise mentioned in the Torah portion: “I will take you out of the suffering of Egypt.” The prophet then goes on to discuss the decimation of Pharaoh and Egypt, reminiscent of the primary theme of the Torah portion—the devastation God wrought upon Egypt.
Ezekiel begins with a description of what will occur during the ingathering of the exiles. “When I gather in the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they have been scattered, and I have been sanctified through them in the eyes of the nations, then shall they dwell on their land that I gave to My servant, to Jacob. And they shall dwell upon it securely…”
The prophet then proceeds to convey a prophecy regarding Pharaoh and Egypt, foretelling the fall of the Egyptian empire. Egypt merited this punishment for two reasons: a) They had reneged on their promise to come to Israel’s aid against the attacking Babylonians. b) They had incredible arrogance, considering themselves un-reliant on God, instead attributing their success to the bounty their deified Nile afforded them. Therefore, Ezekiel warns: “And the land of Egypt shall be desolate and in ruins, and they shall know that I am the Lord! Because he [Pharaoh] said, ‘The river is mine, and I have made it.'” God warns that the land of Egypt will be empty and desolate for forty years, after which God will return the people to the land to reinhabit it, but it will no longer be an important nation to be reckoned with.
The haftorah ends with another prophecy wherein God informs Ezekiel that Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, will be the one to conquer Egypt and take its spoils. This as a reward for his effort in defeating the wicked nation of Tyre.
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Torah Parashah teaching with video and audio and illustrations by Rabbi Isaac. © 2020 Assembly of Called-Out Believers. Use by Permission.