Ki Tissa: Crime And Mercy

Today, we are going to speak about one of the richest portions in the Torah – Ki Tissa. There is an amazing story in this portion about how God “changed His mind” – or did He? You can read my book “As though hiding His face” for this story. However, there are many other amazing details and insights here—as I just mentioned, Ki Tissa is one of the richest and most complex portions in the entire Torah—and today, we are going to talk about some of these details.


That there may be no plague among them

First, I have to admit that never before have the opening verses of this portion sounded as somber and stern as they do this year: “that there may be no plague among them”. In the first months of the pandemic, I wrote a short book about Corona; I wanted to analyze all the cases of plagues in the Bible: why they started and how they were stopped in each particular case. In the book, these particular verses from our Torah Portion came up in connection with a plague in King David’s time:

11 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying: 12 “When you take the census of the children of Israel for their number, then every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord, when you number them, that there may be no plague among them when you number them”[1]

We see that here the Lord explains to Moses exactly what has to be done during a census: “every man shall give a ransom for himself to the Lord,” otherwise, a plague would follow the census. Midrash elaborates: “when you wish to know how many they are, do not count them by head, but each one shall give a half-shekel. By counting the shekels, you will know their number.” Nevertheless, David took the census and counted the people, ignoring this warning completely – and a plague was indeed sent on Israel after David’s census: “So the Lord sent a plague upon Israel from the morning till the appointed time. From Dan to Beersheba seventy thousand men of the people died[2].

As far as we know, the COVID Pandemic did not start from an unlawful census – but I believe it is not the census or the money that matters here. What does matter is the fact that every person should be ready to recognize and acknowledge the simple fact that he belongs to the Lord. That is why later we read: The rich shall not give more and the poor shall not give less than half a shekel, when you give an offering to the Lord, to make atonement for yourselves”[3]. The rich one belongs to the Lord in exactly the same measure as the poor one does, therefore they are required to give exactly the same ransom—the same atonement (both words, “ransom” in Ex. 30:12  and “atonement” in 30:15, render the Hebrew root kaf-pei-reish, the same root that the word “Kippur”, in the Day of Atonement, is derived from). God wants everyone, from the age of twenty years up, to recognize Him as Lord – that there may be no plague among them.    

In the Shadow of God

Almost every verse of this amazing portion is worth commenting on. Of course, I cannot do it here, therefore, I choose to comment on those details that are lost in translation and can be seen in Hebrew only. As I have written several times on these pages, one of the biggest losses we experience while reading the Bible in translation is the loss of the meaning of names. Biblical names carry a lot of weight – and the name, Bezalel, is a wonderful example of this principle. At the beginning of chapter 31, we read that God chooses Bezalel and fills him with His spirit, giving him wisdom, understanding and knowledge for the structure and furniture of the Tabernacle. The idea of being “filled with the Spirit of God” here, means spiritual equipping and enabling him for special service to God. How does this name, Bezalel, reflect this?

“Bezalel” (בצלאל – Be Tzel El) in Hebrew means “in the shadow of God”. Tzel (shadow) is a biblical word and a biblical concept, and the expression “in the shadow of God” occurs several times in Scripture. For example, in Psalm 91 we read: “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” (בצל שדי). If you remember, when we spoke about the very first chapter of Genesis, discussing the words: “for in His image did God make man[4] – we spoke about this word: “shadow”, discovering the connection betweenצל (tzel) and the Hebrew word for “image”, צֶלֶם (tzelem).  In Genesis, this tzelem/tzel dynamic helps us better understand the meaning of being created “in the image of God”: as a shadow is an imperfect image resembling the real thing which casts it, so a man is an imperfect image of God, capable of resembling God’s actions—His love, His mercy, His justice. Here, in Exodus, this combination “tzel –El” in the name of Bezalel, in my opinion, provides an ultimate definition of creativity: the Bible sees true creativity as coming from God alone and resembling God’s actions. Man becomes truly human – and truly creative – as he endeavors to resemble God.


You Shall See My Back…

We conclude our comments on this portion with a few thoughts on one of the most mysterious episodes in the entire Bible. In a very famous scene from Exodus 33, when Moses asks God to show him His glory, God answers:

And the Lord said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.[5]

We have to admit that we don’t really know what God meant by saying: “you shall see My back”. We have no idea whatsoever what God’s back might be; the Hebrew word Acharay (אחרי), was just translated as “back” in an attempt to make comprehensible something that we cannot comprehend – something that maybe was not even intended for our comprehension.

Does that mean we have no way of knowing what happened there? As I have mentioned several times, there is no better commentary on Scripture than Scripture itself – and to our great surprise, we find almost the same word much earlier, in the book of Genesis. To my even greater surprise, nobody has ever commented on this amazing juxtaposition – at least, to my knowledge. In Genesis 16, when Sarah’s Egyptian maid Hagar flees from her mistress and the angel of the Lord finds her in the wilderness and talks to her, she sums up this epiphany in a few words. In English, she says, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”[6] The original Hebrew sentence, however, reads: “I saw after (אחרי) the One (or, the Back of the One) who sees me.” This ‘after’ or ‘back’ part is omitted altogether in most translations; but this is the same exactly word that the Torah uses in our scene with Moses (the vowels are slightly different, but you probably know that the original Hebrew text contained no vowels).

We are all very curious: What exactly did Moses see? What did God show him? Maybe – just maybe – the epiphany of Hagar sheds some light on the scene from Ki Tissa. Maybe, the very fact that Hagar used the same word that God used while speaking to Moses, means that the experience she had during that encounter, had been very similar to the experience of Moses: this epiphany was not about God, after all, it was about Moses’ heart and healing the wounds of this heart. Of course, nobody knows or can adequately describe what happens during an encounter with God—it’s between God and the heart, and it is different for everyone, because only God knows the deepest secrets and wounds of that heart; He is the only One who can touch and heal those wounds. I presume Moses did need some healing and encouragement after the golden calf incident—as did Hagar. As we all do! And when, like Moses and Hagar, we experience the absolutely overwhelming presence of God; when the warmth of His closeness envelops our whole being; when His love, His compassion, His tenderness melts our heart completely and heals our wounds – the only thing we can utter is: “Have I also seen Him who sees me?”  El Roi— God-Who-Sees-Me.




[1] Ex.30:11-12

[2] 2 Sam.24:15

[3] Ex. 30:15

[4] Gen. 9:6

[5] Ex.33:21-23

[6] Gen 16: 13

Excerpts from my books are included in this article  (and many other posts here), so if you like the  articles on this blog, you might enjoy also my books,  you can get them here.  Also, if these articles whet your appetite for discovering the hidden treasures of the Hebrew Bible, or studying in-depth Parashat Shavua, along with New Testament insights, I would be happy to provide more information (and also a teacher’s discount for new students) regarding our wonderful courses (

About the author

Julia BlumJulia is a teacher and an author of several books on biblical topics. She teaches two biblical courses at the Israel Institute of Biblical Studies, “Discovering the Hebrew Bible” and “Jewish Background of the New Testament”, and writes Hebrew insights for these courses.

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  1. Yuliya Nalarinke

    — Love is not self seeking–
    After everything I posted.
    PS: from your article : “Man becomes truly human – and truly creative – as he endeavors to resemble God.”- end quote .
    Now, be careful with that. Does this sound familiar: you shall not surely die.. you shall be like God.
    (Those who do not learn from history are bound to repeat it.)
    John 5:30
    Berean Study Bible
    I can do nothing by Myself; I judge only as I hear. And My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
    John 5:30 ISR
    Of Myself I am unable to do any matter. As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own desire, but the desire of the Father who sent Me.
    ( what makes My judgment righteous ? I do not seek My own.
    Remember , love is not self seeking)
    That’s the image of Elohim. Man was made in His image- this image – love is not self seeking.
    Hebrews 1
    1Elohim, having of old spoken in many portions and many ways to the fathers by the prophets,

    2has in these last days spoken to us by the Son, whom He has appointed heir of all, through whom also He made the ages,

    3who being the brightness of the esteem and the exact representation of His substance, and sustaining all by the word of His power, having made a cleansing of our sins through Himself, sat down at the right hand of the Greatness on high.

    Romans 8
    1There is, then, now no condemnation to those who are in Messiah יהושע, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

    2For the Torah of the Spirit of the life in Messiah יהושע has set me free from the law of sin and of death.

    3For the Torah being powerless, in that it was weak through the flesh, Elohim, having His own Son in the likeness of flesh and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh,

    4so that the righteousness of the Torah should be completed in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

    5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit.

    6For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.

    7Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself to the Torah of Elohim neither indeed is it able,

    8and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim.

    9But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, this one is not His.

    10And if Messiah is in you, the body is truly dead on account of sin, but the Spirit is life on account of righteousness.

    11And if the Spirit of Him who raised יהושע from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Messiah from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit dwelling in you.

    12So then, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

    13For if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live.

    14For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim.

    15For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

    16The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of Elohim,

    17and if children, also heirs – truly heirs of Elohim, and co-heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him, in order that we also be exalted together.

    18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed in us.

    19For the intense longing of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of Elohim.

    20For the creation was subjected to futility, not from choice, but because of Him who subjected it, in anticipation,

    21that the creation itself also shall be delivered from the bondage to corruption into the esteemed freedom of the children of Elohim.

    22For we know that all the creation groans together, and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.

    23And not only so, but even we ourselves who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, we ourselves also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

    24For in this expectation we were saved, but expectation that is seen is not expectation, for when anyone sees, does he expect it?

    25And if we expect what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with endurance.

    26And in the same way the Spirit does help in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray, but the Spirit Himself pleads our case for us with groanings unutterable.

    27And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the set-apart ones according to Elohim.

    28And we know that in all matters Elohim works for good to those who love Elohim, to those who are called according to His purpose.

    29Because those whom He knew beforehand, He also ordained beforehand to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, for Him to be the first-born among many brothers.

    30And whom He ordained beforehand, these He also called, and whom He called, these He also declared right. And whom He declared right, these He also esteemed.

    31What then shall we say to this? If Elohim is for us, who is against us?

    32Truly, He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up on behalf of us all – how shall He not, along with Him, freely give us all else?

    33Who shall bring any charge against Elohim’s chosen ones? It is Elohim who is declaring right.

    34Who is he who is condemning? It is Messiah who died, and furthermore is also raised up, who is also at the right hand of Elohim, who also makes intercession for us.( hebrews 7:25Berean Literal Bible
    wherefore also He is able to save to the uttermost those drawing near to God through Him, always living for to intercede for them.)

    35Who shall separate us from the love of the Messiah? Shall pressure, or distress, or persecution, or scarcity of food, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?

    36As it has been written, “For Your sake we are killed all day long, we are reckoned as sheep of slaughter.”

    37But in all this we are more than overcomers through Him who loved us.

    38For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor messengers nor principalities nor powers, neither the present nor the future,

    39nor height nor depth, nor anything in all creation shall be able to separate us from the love of Elohim which is in Messiah יהושע our Master.

  2. Yuliya Nalarinke

    The heartbeat of My heartbeat
    Passionate love from the very start to the very end.
    Exodus 20
    I am יהוה your Elohim, who brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim, out of the house of slavery.
    3“You have no other mighty ones against My face.( no other elohei in addition to Me – you shall not be intimate with anyone else)
    4“You do not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness ….
    5you do not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, יהוה your Elohim am a jealous Ěl..
    For in the image of Elohim we are made. From Him, through Him and to Him.
    Ezekiel 16:8
    Then I passed by and saw you, and it was time of your loves. So I spread My cloak over you and covered your nakedness. I pledged Myself to you, entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine, declares Yahuwah your Elohim.

    Hosea 11:8
    How could I give you up, Ephrayim? How could I hand you over, Yisra’ĕl? How could I make you like Aḏmah? How could I set you like Tseḇoyim? My heart turns within Me, all My compassion is kindled( My love for you is too strong)

    Deuteronomy 32
    Do you do this to יהוה, O foolish and unwise people? Is He not your Father, who bought you, Who created you and established you?
    16They moved Him to jealousy with foreign matters, With abominations they provoked Him.
    17“They slaughtered to demons – not Eloah – Mighty ones they did not know, New ones who came lately, Which your fathers did not fear.
    18“You neglected the Rock who brought you forth, And forgot the Ěl who fathered you.
    ( it pierced Him through – I am shattered, desolate. Isaiah 53:5
    He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.)

    Not the shadow – the heartbeat of My heartbeat; the fire of My fire. In the Image of Elohim we are created.

    Songs of Solomon 8
    6Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as unyielding as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, a flame of Yah!
    7Many waters are unable to extinguish love, And floods do not wash it away. If one would give all the wealth of his house for love, It would be utterly scorned.

    Let your mind and your heart be constantly set upon me, let me be engraven upon the tables of your heart.

    Seal- A symbol of something especially dear and precious.Jealousy is Strong passion, from a word meaning to be red with flame, in a good sense, as the parallelism shows: “Strong as death is love, A most vehement flame.—Literally, a flame of Yah, the only place where a sacred name occurs in the book, and here adverbially, to express something superlatively great and strong. Southey’s lines are a faint echo of this:—“But love is indestructible,
    Its holy flame for ever burneth,
    From heaven it came, to heaven returneth.”For love — My love to thee, whence this desire proceeds, is strong as death — Which conquers every living thing, and cannot be resisted or vanquished. Jealousy — Or, zeal: my ardent love to thee, Hebrew, קשׁה, ( not cruel but hard) is hard, grievous, and terrible, and sometimes ready to overwhelm me, and swallow me up; therefore do not leave me. The coals thereof are coals of fire. It burns and melts my heart like fire. Many waters cannot quench love — My love to thee cannot be taken off, either by terrors and afflictions, which are commonly signified in Scripture by waters and floods, or by temptations and allurements. Therefore, give me thyself.Jealousy” is here another term for “love,” expressing the inexorable force and ardor of this affection, which can neither yield nor share possession of its object, and is identified in the mind of the sacred writer with divine life.
    He goes on to describe it as an all-pervading Fire, kindled by the Eternal One, and partaking of His essence:
    “Its brands are brands of fire,
    A lightning-flash from Yah ( YHWH)
    – the coals thereof are coals of fire. The flashes thereof are flashes of fire. Love glows and burns in the heart like flame.
    The most vehement flame . Heb. shalhebheth yâh, the flame of Yah, i.e. a flame of supernatural power, one that is kindled and cherished by God.

    1 corinthians 6
    15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Messiah? …
    17And he who is joined to the Master is one spirit.
    19Or do you not know that your body is the Dwelling Place of the Set-apart Spirit who is in you, which you have from Elohim, and you are not your own?
    20For you were bought with a price, therefore esteem Elohim in your body and in your spirit, which are of Elohim.

    Ephesians 5
    30Because we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones.
    31“For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”( echad)
    32This mystery is great, but I speak concerning Messiah and the assembly

    1 John 3
    1See what love the Father has given us,( lavished on us ) that we should be called children of Elohim! For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.

    2Beloved ones, now we are children of Elohim. And it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

    2 corinthians 3
    5Not that we are competent in ourselves, but our competence is from Elohim,

    6who also made us competent as servants of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit, for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life.

    7But if the administering of death in letters, engraved on stones, was glorious so that the children of Yisra’ĕl were unable to look steadily at the face of Mosheh because of the glory of his face, which was passing away,

    8how much more esteemed shall the administering of the Spirit not be?

    9For if the administering of condemnation had esteem, the administering of righteousness exceeds much more in esteem.

    10For indeed what was made esteemed had no esteem in this respect, in view of the esteem that excels.

    11For if that which is passing away was esteemed, much more that which remains in esteem.

    12Having then such expectation, we use much boldness of speech,

    13and not like Mosheh, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Yisra’ĕl should not look steadily at the end of what was passing away.

    14But their minds were hardened, for to this day, when the old covenant is being read, that same veil remains, not lifted, because in Messiah it is taken away.

    15But to this day, when Mosheh is being read, a veil lies on their heart.

    16And when one turns to the Master, the veil is taken away.

    17Now יהוה is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of יהוה is, there is freedom.

    18And we all, as with unveiled face we see as in a mirror the esteem of יהוה, are being transformed into the same likeness from esteem to esteem, from Yahuwah the Spirit.

    Ephesians 3
    14For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Master יהושע Messiah,

    15from whom all fatherhood in the heavens and earth is named,

    16in order that He might give you, according to the riches of His esteem by power, to be strengthened in the inner man, through His Spirit,

    17that the Messiah might dwell in your hearts through belief – having become rooted and grounded in love,

    18in order that you might be strengthened to firmly grasp, with all the set-apart ones, what is the width and length and depth and height,

    19to know the love of Messiah which surpasses knowledge, in order that you might be filled to all the completeness of Elohim.( to know His love which surpasses all knowledge – to be filled to completeness with His completeness)
    I posted it before. Yeshua is not mad at you and covid has nothing to do with it. Covid is man made fear. See part 2 below- paid in full – Adonai Ori v’Yishi- no fear.

    1. Yuliya Nalarinke

      I thought it went through. Ok that’s the part 2 I was talking about.
      —-Glory in sacrifice—-
      Not plan B. It was planned from eternity past:
      1 Peter 1
      Redeemed with the precious blood of Messiah, lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was known before the foundation of the world, but was revealed in the last times for your sake. 21Through Him you believe in God, who raised Him from the dead and glorified Him; and so your faith and hope are in God.

      Isaiah 50:5-6
      The Sovereign YHWH has opened My ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away.I offered My back to those who beat Me, My cheeks to those who pulled out My beard; I did not hide My face from mocking and spitting.Psalm 40:6-8
      6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire—
      but My ears you have opened—
      burnt offerings and sin offerings You did not require.
      7 Then I said, “Here I Am, I have come—
      it is written about Me in the scroll.
      8 I desire to do Your will, My God;
      The will of God , the pleasure of God that Yeshua desired with the desire to do, hineni as a commitment , as a passion, is the cross . Yeshua refered to the cross . That pain and suffering which is the puzzlement to people. And it is Yeshua’s passion in fulfillment God’s will. John 13:31-32 Yeshua said, “Now the Son of Adam is glorified and God is glorified in Him. 32 If God is glorified in Him, God will glorify the Son in Himself, and will glorify Him at once.
      The cross was His hour and His glory and on the cross God’s glory shined the brightest. This is the pleasure of God Yeshua desired with the desire to do .
      John 6:28-29
      Then they asked Him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
      Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.”
      It means , by the way , absolute surrender to Him . You do not live as you want . You are not your own , you are bought with the price . His will be done always , in everything , be it joy or pain . Say to Him : ” I desire with the desire to do Your pleasure , my God . hineni here I am.
      Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:10 NLT
      I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised Him from the dead. I want to suffer with Him, sharing in His death

      -Matthew 27:46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?”) is Lamentations 1:12-13 Is it naught to you, All you who pass by? Look and see if there is any pain like My pain, Which has been brought on Me, Which יהוה has inflicted on Me In the day of His burning displeasure.
      13“From above He has sent fire into My bones, And it overpowered them; He has spread a net for My feet and turned Me back; He has laid Me waste and faint all the day.
      He made Me desolate,
      Lamentations 3:1-15 I am the man who has seen affliction by the rod of the Lord’s wrath.
      He has driven Me away and made Me walk
      in darkness rather than light;
      He has turned back,
      Indeed, He has turned His hand against Me
      again and again, all day long.
      .He has besieged Me and surrounded Me
      with bitterness and hardship.
      He has made Me dwell in darkness
      like those long dead.
      He has weighed Me down with chains. He has walled Me in so I cannot escape
      Even when I call out or cry for help,
      He shuts out My prayer.
      He has barred My way with blocks of stone;
      He has made My paths crooked.
      Like a bear lying in wait,
      like a lion in hiding,
      He dragged Me from the path and mangled Me
      and left Me without help.
      He drew his bow
      and made Me the target for His arrows.
      He pierced My heart
      with arrows from His quiver.
      I became the laughingstock of all My people;
      they mock Me in song all day long.
      He has filled Me with bitterness
      and given Me wormwood to drink
      Psalm 88:6-7
      You have put Me in the lowest pit,
      in the darkest depths.
      Your wrath lies heavily on Me;
      You have overwhelmed Me with all Your waves. Psalm 22:14 I am poured out like water, and all My bones are spread apart. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted within.Psalm 69:15 Do not let the floodwaters engulf Me or the depths swallow Me up or the pit close its mouth over Me.( lamentations 3:54 the waters closed over My head, 3:55 I called on Your Name oh Lord from the depths of the pit. And lamentations 3:58 You have taken up My cause You have redeemed My life; and john 6:57 as I live by My Father you shall live by Me) . psalm 69:4 Those who hate Me without reason outnumber the hairs of My head; many are My enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy Me. what I did not steal I have restored. Psalm 31:5 Into Your hand I commit My spirit; You have redeemed Me, YHWH Elohim of truth.
      From the cross Yeshua announced : tetelestai! Paid in full.
      (Fulfilled : the cross – tetelestai paid in full.John 19:30
      It is finished.”
      Τετέλεσται (Tetelestai)
      Strong’s Greek 5055: I fulfill, accomplish, I pay. From telos; to end, i.e. Complete, execute, conclude, discharge.)
      Teruah triumph cry that shattered the earth and ushered in God’s kingdom .
      Matthew 27
      50When Yeshua cried out again in a loud voice, He yielded up His spirit. 51At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split (torn ). Its the covenant – cut in 2. ( also Matthew 27:54. 1 Peter 3:18. Hebrews 10:5-10. Hebrews 10:14. His people are brought back, restored to Him with the shouts of joy and triumph. Shout – He and we. Teruah)
      Mark 7:37 He has done ALL things well.

      In the book called Glory in Sacrifice author timothy pain mentions Aqedat- binding of Isaac. Timothy said when Abraham raised the knife he reached the heights of worship unknown to many today who regularly raise their hands in praise and prayer . Hebrew word for worship means bow down.God is worshipped when self is bowed down to Him with recognition His will is the best and should be accepted with thanksgiving. His will may mean waiting, failing, suffering and even dying and when all those are embraced – God is worshipped. God shares in our pain, anguish and desolation -and the end result of it is glory – His glory ( and it becomes our glory because He gives Himself to us, share His anguish and share His triumph) – that’s why book is called glory in sacrifice. It is reference to Yeshua’s sacrifice on the cross. He told His disciples to deny themselves pick up their cross daily and follow Him.luke 9:23. We are to say what Yeshua said : not my will but Yours be done. Joy or pain. Timothy the author of glory in sacrifice book says: glory without sacrifice is impossible.

      Mark 9:49
      For everyone shall be salted with fire, and every offering shall be salted with salt.
      Matthew 3
      11He shall immerse you in the Set-apart Spirit and fire.
      Philippians 1
      29Because to you it has been given as a favour, on behalf of Messiah, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake
      ( our pain is His. Loyalty is His alone )

      How do you spell love? SACRIFICE.
      Cross- the highest Tehillah.

      John 12
      24Truly, truly, I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a seed; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25Whoever loves his life will lose it, but whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

      1 Peter 5
      10And the Elohim of all favour, who called you to His everlasting esteem by Messiah יהושע, ( Yeshua) after you have suffered a while, Himself perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.
      11To Him be the esteem and the might forever and ever. Amĕn.
      1 Peter 2
      21For to this you were called, because Messiah also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.
      See romans 8
      Nothing can separate His people from His love.

  3. Dorothy Healy

    Thankyou Julia for this interesting piece. The bringing together of the Moses and Hagar stories here is particularly insightful.
    Moses and Hagar had just witnessed the justice side of the Lord and had no way forward – their hearts were torn. Then, in their anguish, they saw His back – His other side, full of love, mercy and grace. No longer simply Elohim, but YHWH.
    How privileged we are, that through Yeshua, we are also able to truly know and experience His love, mercy, grace and forgiveness, which changes our lives forever, and enables us to go forward with renewed hearts and hope.

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you for this very profound comment, Dot. I’ve never thought of it in this way – but, as it happens almost always when God shows something, once you see it, it seems so clear and obvious. Amazing! You probably know that Jewish tradition interprets the names Elohim and Adonai (YHWH) as explanations of the two sides of the nature of God, Elohim representing the quality of justice, Adonai reflecting the quality of mercy. The Midrash says that the world was originally created by God as Elohim (Gen 1), but that afterward He is called Adonai Elohim (Gen 2) because He saw that without the added quality of mercy creation could not have endured. We can’t endure without His mercy – and we see it clearly in both stories, with Hagar and with Moses.

  4. Charl Van Wyngaard

    Nicely penned and very informative thank you for sharing this

    1. Julia Blum

      Thank you for your kind words Charl!

  5. Nick

    Hagar and Moses?!! Wow! Truly G-d is “no respecter of persons”. In a time of suffering, a deeper experience seems likely? Thanks so much for this insightful teaching!

    1. Julia Blum

      Yes, Nick, I agree, it is indeed “wow”, the links and allusions we find in the Scripture are incredible, and every new “discovery” means also a new message from Him ! Amazing!