HHMI Newsgroup Archives
From: Dean and Susan Wheelock
Subject: A Reluctant Bride
Dean and Susan Wheelock have a ministry called Hebrew
roots. They produce a quarterly magazine called Hebrew roots. If you
would like to receive the magazine, please send an e-mail to Dean and
Susan at: (HebrewRoots@aol.com) or write them at the following
P.O. Box 400
Lakewood, WI 54138
In order to receive the magazine, you need to provide your snail
Hebrew Roots - Issue 00-1
The Wedding of the Messiah
A Reluctant Bride
(Part 2 of 2)
~ A Husband's Reaction ~
Needless to say the Bridegroom, (HaShem) was incensed with the
actions of His new Bride. According to His own Torah, the adulterous
wife should be put to death along with her lover. This is what God
initially proposed to Moshe:
"And the LORD said to Moses,
'I have seen this people, and indeed it
is a stiffnecked people! Now there-
fore, let Me alone, that My wrath
may burn hot against them and I
may consume them. And I will make
you a great nation."'
Moshe was still in the Chuppah with HaShem, and so he pleaded for
mercy on behalf of the Bride:
"Then Moses pleaded with the
LORD his God, and said: 'LORD,
why does Your wrath burn- hot
against Your people whom You have
brought out of the land of Egypt with
great power and with a mighty
hand? ... Remember Abraham,
Isaac, and Israel, Your servants, to
whom You swore by Your own self,
and said to them, "I will multiply
your descendants as the stars of
heaven; and all this land that I have
spoken of I give to your descendants,
and they shall inherit it forever."'
"So the LORD relented from the
harm which He said He would do to
His people." (Ex 32: 11, 13-14)
When Moshe arrived at the foot of the mountain he discovered that
things were worse than he had imagined. Not only had Aharon made the
golden calf, the people were singing and dancing around it in great joy:
"So it was, as soon as he came
near the camp, that he saw the calf
and the dancing. So Moses' anger
became hot, and he cast the tablets
out of his hands and broke them at
the foot of the mountain." (Ex. 32:19)
Symbolically, the breaking of the tablets was the same as breaking
the Ketavah, the marriage covenant. Of course, that is exactly what some
members of the Bride had already done by their actions. They had
spiritually climbed into bed with their lover (an idol of Egypt) while
their mediator was in the Chuppah with their Husband learning Torah,
i.e. how to be a proper wife
This was the very thing that God had warned Israel about at Mount
Sinai, just after He had spoken the Ten Words directly into the ears of the
Bride, when they had asked that henceforth He speak to them only
through Moshe. HaShem knew that if the Bride refused to enter the
Chuppah with Hm, they would be putting themselves at great risk of
falling into idolatry. Therefore He warned them:
"Then the LORD said to Moses,
'Thus you shall say to the children of
Israel: "You have seen that I have
talked with you from heaven. You
shall not make anything to be with
Me - gods of silver or gods of gold
you shall not make for yourselves.""'
So Moshe, who also represented HaShem to the children of Israel,
took the Bride's lover (the golden calf) and destroyed it. Thus, their
adulterous lover was, in a sense, put to death as the Torah commands.
Then Moshe called out to see if any members of the Bride had and would
continue to remain faithful to their Husband. The tribe of Levi
answered that call. Upon instruction they went through the camp of
Israel killing those who were the perpetrators of this evil. Three
thousand members of the Bride died that day as a result of their
idolatry (adultery) with the golden calf.
~ A Need for Atonement ~
Even though the main perpetrators of the sin of the golden calf
had been eliminated, it was still necessary that atonement be made
for the rest of the Bride.
"And it came to pass on the next
day that Moses said to the people,
'You have sinned a great sin. So now
I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I
can make atonement for your sin."'
"Then Moses returned to the
LORD and said, 'Oh, these people
have sinned a great sin, and have
made for themselves a god of gold!
Yet now, if You will forgive their sin
Äbut if not, I pray, blot me out of
Your book which You have written.'
"And the LORD said to Moses,
'Whoever has sinned against Me, I
will blot him out of My book. Now
therefore, go, lead the people to the
place of which I have spoken to you.
Behold, My Angel shall go before
you. Nevertheless, in the day when I
visit for punishment, I will visit pun-
ishment upon them for their sin.'
"So the LORD plagued the peo-
ple because of what they did with the
calf which Aaron made."
At this point, atonement had not yet been made for the Bride, but
God was at least willing to hold off destroying all of them while He
tested them to see if they still had a heart for obedience such as
they did when He had spoken to them on Mount Sinai a few weeks
previous. Because of the death of the three thousand, the Bride had
become very remorseful. But when the children of Israel heard that
their Husband was going to personally abandon them and send an angel
to lead them into the promised land, instead of going along with them
Himself, they began to understand the enormity of their sin. This
realization caused intense mourning on their part:
"And when the people heard these grave tidings,
they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments
So the children of Israel stripped
themselves of their ornaments by
Mount Horeb." (Ex.33:4,6)
Because the Bride was in a state of uncleanliness as a result of
her adultery (idolatry), Moshe was forced to remove his tent and pitch it
outside the camp so that he could continue to have communion with
HaShem.It was impossible for God to enter the camp as long as the
Bride was unclean from the blood of her sacrifices to the idol.
During this period of time it was the tent of Moshe, pitched
outside the camp, which served as the communication point between
HaShem and Moshe.The tent was pitched within sight of the camp of
Israel, for Scripture tells us the children of Israel could see the pillar of
cloud descend and stand at the door of the tent whenever HaShem chose
to talk with Moshe. During these times, they had direct conversations:
"So the LORD spoke to Moses face
to face, as a man speaks to his...friend" (Ex. 33:11)
During these encounters one of the main topics of conversation was
who was going to escort the Bride to their home in the Promised Land:
"Then Moses said to the LORD,
See, You say to me, "Bring up this
people." But You have not let me
know whom You will send with me.
Yet You have said, I know you by
name, and you have also found grace
in my sight." Now wherefore, I
pray, if I have found grace in Your
sight, show me now Your way, that I
may know You and that I may find
grace in Your sight. And consider
that this nation is Your people.'
"And He said, 'Mv presence will
go with you, and I will give you rest.'
"Then he said to Him, 'If Your
Presence does not go with us, do not
bring us up from here. For how then
will it be known that Your people
and I have found grace in Your sight,
except You go with us? So we shall
be separate, Your people and I, from
all the people who are upon the face
of the earth.'
"Then the LORD said to looses,
'I will also do this thing that you
have spoken; for you have found
grace in My sight, and I know you by
name."' (Ex. 33:12-17)
In this passage the English word 'presence' is translated from the
Hebrew word panim (pah-neem), which literally means 'face'. So what
HaShem actually said is: "My face will go with you." Thus instead of
sending an angel to accompany the Bride to their home, HaShem agreed
to continue accompanying them Himself.
With that issue settled, it was now time for the Ketavah document
(the Ten Words inscribed on tablets of stone) to be reissued. This was
accomplished when Moshe took another forty day trip to the top of
Mount Sinai to receive this new document This time, however, Moshe had
to cut the two tablets of stone himself and carry - them up to the top
of the mount.
"So he cut two tablets of stone
like the first ones. Then Moses rose
early in the morning and went up
Mount Sinai, as the LORD had com-
manded him; and he took in his hand
the two tablets of stone." (Ex. 34:4)
~ Atonement is Made ~
Moshe had made one additional request of HaShem during their
meetings in Moshe's tent:
"And he said, 'Please show me Your glory."' (Ex. 33:18)
HaShem agreed to show Moshe His Glory, but He said:
"... You cannot see My face; for no man
shall see Me, and live."' (Ex. 33:20)
Why did Moshe want to see God in His Glory? Was it merely
curiosity? Was it so he could brag about it to his grandchildren? No,
the reason Moshe asked that HaShem show Himself in all His Glory was
to confirm the promise God had made to him that His Presence (face)
would go with the Bride into the promised land.
"Then the LORD descended in
the cloud and stood with him there,
and proclaimed the name of the
LORD." (Ex 34:5)
However, for HaShem to show Himself in all His Glory meant far
more than just appearing with a great radiance of light. While that in itself
would be awesome and most frightful to any human, what really is being
communicated here is the very essence of HaShem; the Thirteen
Attributes of God's Nature, from which He cannot and will not deviate:
"And the LORD passed before
him and proclaimed, 'The LORD,
the LORD God, merciful and gra-
cious, longsuffering, and abounding
in goodness and truth, keeping mercy
for thousands, forgiving iniquity and
transgression and sin, by no means
clearing the guilty, visiting the iniq-
uity of the fathers upon the children
and the children's children to the
third and the fourth generation."'
The Thirteen Attributes
Of God's Nature
According to the teaching of the Rabbis, God's Divine Nature is
made up of the following thirteen attributes. These attributes
combine to give us an ethical definition of God.
1 & 2) The LORD, the LORD (Heb. YHVH,* YHYH). In the original Hebrew
text this phrase would constitute the actual name of HaShem. It
is said that the reason the Name is repeated is because it
teaches us that God is merciful twice, both before we sin, and
again after we sin. HaShem does not change, He is always
merciful. What must change is the heart of the sinner.
* This name is known as the Tetragrammaton. Transliterating the
Hebrew letters into English result in YHVH. There is much disagreement as to
how this name is to be pronounced. While we have researched this
matter and have our own opinion, it is our policy not to use the
translated name in our publication in order not to offend readers of
Jewish background who believe that the name should only be pronounced
in the Synagogue on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement). Therefore, we
prefer to use the traditional euphemisms for the Tetragrammaton, such
as LORD, God, or HaShem (literally, "The Name"). Those who wish to
substitute their rendition of how the Name is pronounced are free to
do so, and those who wish not too are not offended.
Please do not write to us about this matter in an attempt to "set
us straight." We already have a cardboard box full of various letters
containing opinions on this subject.
3) God (Heb. EL). This attribute shows that HaShem is the all powerful
God of the Universe.
4) merciful (Heb. rachum).
God is full of sympathy for all of suffering humanity.
5) and gracious (Heb. vechannun).
God is always gracious; willing to assist and help.
6) longsuffering (Heb. erech appayim).
This attribute is sometimes translated as "slow to anger." God
is not quick to punish sinners, rather He allows plenty of time
for the sinner to repent.
7) abounding in goodness (Heb. rav chesed sometimes
translated as 'lovingkindness').
It is God's inherent will to do good to those whom He has
created, if only they will let Him do so.
8) and truth (Heb. ve-emet).
If God were nothing else, He would have to be true, both to
Himself and to mankind. Rabbi Dr. J.H. Hertz, in The Soncino
Edition of the Pentateuch and Haftorahs, has this comment about
chesed and emet: "Note that 'chesed, lovingkindness, precedes
'emet,' truth, both here and generally throughout Scripture; as
if to say, 'Speak the truth by all means; but be quite sure
that you speak the truth in love."' (p. 365).
9) keeping mercy for thousands (Heb. nobler chesed laalafim).
HaShem remembers all of the good deeds which His people do,
even down to the farthest removed of the descendants. Thus, we
are blessed even today because of the righteousness of Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob.
10) forgiving iniquity (Heb. noseh avon).
The Hebrew word 'avon' means sins that are committed because
one's disposition is evil. God is willing to forgive even these
nasty types of sin.
11) (forgiving) transgression (Heb. pesha).
these are sins that come from rebellion against God, and they
too can be forgiven.
12) (forgiving) sin (Heb. chattaah). These are the sins
that result from error, also forgivable.
13) by no means clearing the guilty (Heb. venakkeh lo yenakkeh).
"The Rabbis explain: venakkeh 'acquitting--the penitent;
lo yenakkeh, but not 'acquitting--the impenitent.'
He is merciful and gracious and forgiving; but He will
never obliterate the eternal and unbridgeable distinction
between light and darkness, between good and evil. God
cannot leave repeated wickedness and obstinate persistence
in evil entirely unpunished. His goodness cannot destroy
His justice. The sinner must suffer the consequences of his
misdeeds. The unfailing and impartial consequences of sin
help man to perceive that there is no 'chance' in morals. The
punishments of sin are thus not vindictive, but remedial." (Ibid.,
The final phrase of this passage:
"visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children and the children's
children to the third and the fourth
relates to the natural consequences that result from sin, which
can have a negative effect upon future generations. However, HaShem, in His
mercy, does not allow such consequences to affect people beyond the
fourth generation, while His mercy and forgiveness extends to a
Moshe certainly saw God in all of His glory. As a result, he knew
exactly what HaShem was like and what he could expect from Him. This
was extremely important for Moshe, for this revelation boosted his
emunah (trust and faith) in HaShem. Now Moshe could lead the children
of Israel in confidence, knowing that God would surely see them
through to the end.
~ The Covenant is Renewed ~
The engraving on the first set of tablets represented the original
marriage covenant which was broken by the Bride. Then came the first
of a number of covenant renewals. This second covenant, that God made
with the children of Israel, was not brand new in that it did not
replace the one that He had made only a few weeks earlier. Rather, it
was a renewing of the original covenant:
"And He said: 'Behold I make a
covenant.... Observe what I com-
mand you this day.... Take heed to
yourself, lest you make a covenant
with the inhabitants of the land
where you are going, lest it be a
snare in your midst. But you shall
destroy their altars, break their sa-
cred pillars, and cut down their
wooden images (for you shall worship
no other god, for the LORD, whose
name is Jealous, is a jealous God), ...
You shall make no molded gods for
yourselves."' (Ex. 34: 10,12-14,17)
Most of the instructions had been mentioned before, while some
others were new. However, the marriage contract that was entered into at
Mount Sinai was still in effect, because God did not choose to end it
by writing the Bride a get (bill of divorcement) at that time. *
* The Bride could not issue a get to
her Husband, since, under Torah, she was
not permitted to initiate a divorce. A get
was issued much later when the northern
ten tribes were sent into captivity. (The
subject of a future article.)
In addition to specific instructions about what kind of
relationship the children of Israel were to have with the people who currently lived in
the Promised Land (they were to have no relationship with them
whatsoever), God also reiterated the need to observe the three
national pilgrimage festivals (Pesach, Shavu'ot, and Succoth), the
offering of the firstborn, and the bringing of firsthruits.
Finally, the ratification of this renewed covenant took place:
"Then the LORD said to Moses,
'Write these words, for according to
the tenor of these words I have made
a covenant with you and with Israel.'
"So he was there with the LORD
forty days and forty nights; he nei-
ther ate bread nor drank water. And
EIe wrote on the tablets the words of
the covenant, the Ten Command-
ments." (Ex. 34:27-28)
During all of these forty days and forty nights the children of
Israel did not know whether their Husband, the God of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob, would take them back as His Bride. So, according to tradition,
during these forty days they did teshuvah (teh-shoe-vah = repentance
and return). Moshe is said to have ascended the mountain this last
time on the first day of Elul, the sixth month on the Hebrew religious
calendar. Thus, after forty days and forty nights, Moshe returned to
the camp on the tenth day of Tishri.
When the children of Israel saw that Moshe's face shone, they knew
that HaShem had taken them back. This day (10 Tishri) became Yom Kippur
(the Day of Atonement). To this day, the Jewish people go through a
forty day period of repentance and return (teshavah) beginning on 1
Elul and ending on Yom Kippur (see issue 96-2 for more detail).
"Afterward all the children of
Israel came near, and he gave them
as commandments all that the LORD
had spoken with him on Mount Si-
nai." (Ex. 34:32)
~ A Time of Peace ~
During his stay on Mount Sinai, Moshe was also given the complete
set of plans to build a temporary dwelling for HaShem; a place where the
Husband could come and dwell with His Bride, and where she could serve
Him as His dutiful wife. This dwelling was called the Mishkan
(mish-kahn). Since the Mishkan was in fact a tent, it was also
sometimes referred to as the ohel (oh-ell = tent).
The MishLan was to be the temporary home of the Bridegroom
(HaShem). Those who had been selected to serve Him as representatives of the
Bride (the Priests and the Levites) would be allowed to enter that
home in service to their Husband. One could say that the Mishkan was
the first mobile home, since it was moved from place to place while
still serving as a functional home.
HaShem told Moshe, during his first visit to the top of the mount,
that if they would build the Mishkan He would come and dwell among them:
"'And let them make Me a sanc-
tuary (Heb. mikdash), that I may
dwell among them. According to all
that I show you, that is, the pattern of
the tabernacle (MisAkan) and the pat-
tern of all its furnishings, just so you
shall make it."' (Ex. 25:8-9)
The word sanctuary comes from the Hebrew word mikdash, and it
means; "a consecrated thing or place." So the Mishkan (the tabernacle) was also
to be a mikdash (a consecrated place). It was to be a place set apart
from all other places on earth where the creator God of the universe
would dwell with His Bride, the children of Israel. It was a place
where they could approach Him for worship, sacrifice, and prayer; and
where the leaders of the people could inquire about what they should
do or should not do in certain special circumstances.
"'And you shall put in the
breastplate of judgment the Urim
and the Thummin, and they shall be
over Aaron's heart when he goes in
before the LORD. So Aaron shall
bear the judgment of the children of
Israel over his heart before the
LORD continually."' (Ex. 28:30)
Evidence that the Bride had deeply repented of her sins was
reflected in the huge outpouring of materials which she donated to build the
Mishkan. Finally, Moshe had to ask the children of Israel to stop
bringing materials, for they had more than they could use:
"So Moses gave a command-
ment, and they caused it to be pro-
claimed throughout the camp,
saying, 'Let neither man nor woman
do any more work for the offering of
the sanctuary.' And the people were
restrained from bringing, for the ma-
terial they had was sufficient for all
the work to be done -- indeed too
much." (Ex. 36:6 7)
The repentant Bride (the children of Israel) was now thankful to
work diligently building a physical dwelling for her Husband.
~ The Mishkan Is Erected ~
After several months of work, during which time the Bride put her
whole heart and soul into constructing all of the furnishings for the
tabernacle, the Mishkan and its furnishings were completed:
"Then the LORD spoke to
Moses, saying: 'On the first day of
the first month you shall set up the
tabernacle of the tent of meeting....
Thus Moses did; according to all that
the LORD had commanded him, so
he did. And it came to pass in the
first month of the second year, on the
first day of the month, that the taber-
nacle was raised up."
(Ex. 40:1, 16-17)
God was not slack concerning His promise, for as soon as the
Mishkan was ready, He entered it in full glory:
"Then the cloud covered the tab-
ernacle of meeting, and the glory of
the LORD filled the tabernacle. And
Moses was not able to enter the tab-
ernacle of meeting, because the cloud
rested above it, and the glory of the
LORD filled the tabernacle."
Now the Husband and His Bride were ready to journey to the
Promised Land. He had his Mishkan in which to dwell and each member of the
Bride had their own tent in which they dwelt. Everything was under the
direction of the Husband (HaShem). When He said, "Go!" they went. When
He said, "Stop!" they stopped.
"When the cloud was taken up
from above the tabernacle, the chil-
dren of Israel went onward in all
their journeys. But if the cloud was
not taken up, then they did not jour-
ney till the day that it was taken up.
For the cloud of the LORD was
above the tabernacle by day, and fire
was over it by night, in the sight of
all the house of Israel, throughout all
their journeys." (Ex. 40:36-38)
To be continued... next issue.
Dean and Susan Wheelock
~ Sources ~
Ben Mordechai, Avi, Messiah, Vol. 2,
Millennium 7000 Communications, 1999.
Chumney, Eddie, Restoring the Two Houses
of Israel, Serenity Books, Hagerstown, MD, 1999.
Green, Jay P., Sr., The Interlinear Bible,
Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA, 1985.
The Holy Bible (KJV), Oxford University
Press, London. The Open Bible, The New King James
Version, Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, 1985.
Strong, James, S.T.D., L.L.D., Strong's New
Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, World Bible
Publishers, Inc., lowa Falls, 1986.
Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, The Jewish
Publication Society, New York, 1988.
Thayer, Joseph Henry, D.D., A Greek-English Lexicon
of the New Testament, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1977.
Tregelies, Samuel Prideaux, LL.D., Gesenius'
Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, Baker Book House,
Grand Rapids, 1979.
Weissman, Rabbi Moshe, The Midrash Says::
The Book of Shemot, Benei Yakov Publications,
Wigram, George V., The Englishman's Hebrew and
Chaldee Concordance of the Old Testament,
Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, 1980.
Wigram-Green, Jay P., The New Englishman's Greek
Concordance and Lexicon, Hendrickson Publishers,
Peabody, MA., 1982.
Newsgroup Archives Main Page
Return to our Main Webpage
©2011 Hebraic Heritage Ministries International. Designed by Web Design by JB.