‘from the midst of the fire…’

Originally published 8/11/14, but again brought to mind in my studies. Very important and interesting…

There have been a few thoughts from this week’s Parsha, Va’etchanan (and I pleaded), running through my head that I want to share in a rough format.  Hopefully, someone will find these nuggets useful to chew.

‘from the midst of the fire…’

Mountains 6This portion, Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11, encompasses some of the most important parts of Moshe’s message to the children of Israel as they prepare to enter the Land.  As I read, there were a few words and phrases that were of particular interest.  One such phrase, ‘from the midst of the fire,’ repeated at least eight times in chapters 4 & 5 was of particular interest!

Moshe is recounting the original giving of the Torah at Horeb/Sinai and to set the stage and remind them of the awesomeness of the Living God and the momentous event, he repeats this phrase multiple times.  See 4:12, 15, 33, 37; 5:4, 22, 24, & 26!!  Very interesting!

It immediately reminded me of Exodus 3 and the Angel of Yehovah appearing to Moshe in the burning bush and Yehovah speaking to Moshe from the fire.  In one sense, it made me think of Moshe’s private encounter with a voice from the flame and then Israel returning to the same mountain for a corporate encounter.  An interesting difference is that Moshe saw the Angel of Yehovah, where Israel “did not see any form, only a voice.”  (4:12, 15)

In the connection between the Angel of Yehovah and the giving of the Torah, something we have explored more than once on this blog, Was Jesus on Mt. Sinai? being one, it is interesting to note that where the Memra is not mentioned very often in the Targumim, He shows up five times in this same group of verses:  3:22; 4:24, 33; 5:5 & 25.  Notice the clear connections between the Memra [see brackets below] and the fire in these verses:

4:24 For [the Word of] the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

4:33 Has any people heard the voice [the Word] of God speaking from the midst of the fire, as you have heard it, and survived?

5:5 while I was standing between [the Word of] the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. [a]He said,

5:25 Now then why should we die? For this great fire will consume us; if we hear the voice of [the Word of] the Lord our God any longer, then we will die.

Breathtaking!  As we have discussed before, Yeshua GAVE the Torah!  These ARE His commandments.  Of course, the pieces are put together in this portion for us, lest we miss it.  Deuteronomy 5:5-10!!

while I was standing between [the Word of] the Lord and you at that time, to declare to you the word of the Lord; for you were afraid because of the fire and did not go up the mountain. [a]He said,

I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of [b]slavery.

‘You shall have no other gods [c]before Me.

‘You shall not make for yourself [d]an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above [e]or on the earth beneath [f]or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, 10 but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.

We were just told in 4:24, previously quoted,

4:24 For [the Word of] the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

As if these ‘fire connections’ are not enough, Scripture elsewhere draws some lines that point to The Memra, Yeshua.  Daniel 3 is the most obvious with the story of Shadrach, flannlelgraph1Meshach and Abed-nego and their refusal to bow before Nebuchadnezzar’s abomination.  We all recall from flannel graph stories of the fiery furnace, but do we recall the language that is used?

“the midst of a furnace of blazing fire…”

Not once or twice, but seven times (3:6, 11, 15, 21, 23, 24 & 25) we see this phrase (24 is a very minor variant) with the last use being directly connected to one like a ‘son of gods.’

Daniel 3:23 But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up.

24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, “Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.” 25 He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire [a]without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!

Two other references tease my mind as well…  Ezekiel 1:4 and Revelation 1:15, both clear references to the Almighty in one form or another.

At our Shabbat midrash we discussed these passages and references as we pondered Yeshua’s presence at the giving of the Torah and considered fire as it purges us, and how He walks with us in the furnace of affliction.  (There is so MUCH persecution going on right now, particularly in the Mid-East, that it is almost overwhelming!!)  Selah!

Other minor, but related, thoughts we considered included the words ‘heart’ and ‘love’ that appear so frequently in this portion and in the whole Book of Devarim (Deuteronomy) as a whole.  MAJOR themes!  Both of those words appear more here than in any of 62+ other books of the Bible!  Only a couple books eclipse Deuteronomy in use of ‘heart’ or ‘love!!’  Take the time to sit down and draw some comparisons and see the relationship and Yehovah’s commandments.

Shalom!

About Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ natsab.wordpress.com Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!
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4 Responses to ‘from the midst of the fire…’

  1. Beloved brothers and sisters
    “Those who keep the commands of YHWH and the faith of YAHSHUA” are about to be put through the fire. Please consider Revelation 6:11b

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  2. Pingback: An update and a couple nuggets from Ki Tavo | natsab

  3. This passage seems to tie into it as well:
    Isaiah 66:15 For, behold, YAHWEH will come with fire, and His chariots like the whirl-wind, to return His wrath in fury, and His rebuke in flames of fire.

    16 For by fire and by His sword YAHWEH will execute judgment with all flesh; and the slain of YAHWEH shall be many.

    17 Those who sanctify themselves, and purify themselves to the gardens, each one in the midst, eaters of swine’s flesh, and the hateful thing, and the mouse, these are cut off together, says YAHWEH.

    18 For I know their works and their thoughts; it comes to gather all the nations and the tongues; and they shall come and see My glory.

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