Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Why were the Bnei Adam Numbered According to the Bnei Yisrael?





In Deuteronomy, we learn that before Israel was a People, G-d was already thinking about Israel--and that He numbered the sons of Adam according to the sons of Israel:
"When the Most High gave the nations their inheritance, when he divided all mankind, he set up boundaries for the peoples according to the number of the sons of Israel," Deuteronomy 32:8
What was the number for the sons of Israel?
"With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob's family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all," Genesis 46:27
Is it because G-d planned to give the world to Israel?
"...and your offspring shall be like the dust of the earth, and you shall spread abroad to the west and to the east and to the north and to the south; and all the families of the earth shall be blessed in you and in your offspring," Genesis 28:14
"Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear; break forth, and shout, you who are not in labor!  Because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her that has a husband, for the Lord has spoken.  Enlarge the site of your tent, and the coverings of your curtains; make it firm; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.  because you must spread out to the right and to the left, and your offspring will inherit the nations and will inhabit the cities that have become desolate," Isaiah 54:1-3
But it would not be an easy process.  Because many of those nations would be rebel against Israel--would touch (i.e. harm) Israel:
'Thus says the Lord concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: “Behold, I will pluck them up from their land..." Jeremiah 12:14
and
"...to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: “Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them..." Zechariah 2
But then G-d allows these nations a second chance--PROVIDED THEY DILIGENTLY LEARN THE WAYS OF YISRAEL:
"Thus says the Lord concerning all my evil neighbors who touch the heritage that I have given my people Israel to inherit: “Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them.  And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land.  And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people.  But if any nation will not listen, then I will utterly pluck it up and destroy it, declares the Lord," Jeremiah 12:14-17
And then these nations will actually become G-d's People (i.e. will be grafted into Israel):
" Up! Up! Flee from the land of the north, declares the Lord. For I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heavens, declares the Lord. Up! Escape to Zion, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.  For thus said the Lord of hosts, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye: “Behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me.  Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold, I come and I will dwell in your midst, declares the Lord. And many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people.And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.  And the Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem," Zechariah 2:6-12
The Menorah is the most wonderful symbol of humanity being joined together--the seventy pictured in the seven candlesticks--in the Light of G-d.  I hope everyone has a happy fourth night of Hanukkah tonight!  

P.S.  Remember that the Hanukkiah has 8 candlesticks (plus the helper) because it is specifically to remember a specific miracle.  It is not the same as the Menorah which stood in the Temple.

Shalom,

Peter


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