Torah – Exodus 1:1-6:1 Haftarah – Isaiah 27:6-28:13 Brit Chadashah – Acts 7:27-35
This week we are embarking upon the book of Exodus (Shemot), which is the Hebrew book “Names.” This is in reference to the names of the sons of Israel that came into the land of Egypt.
There is an extremely cool link in this parasha (portion) to the birth of Messiah. It is not at all obvious and unless you are reading in the Hebrew or, at least doing a pretty extensive search in a concordance, you would likely miss it altogether. In fact, this idea is something I studied a few weeks ago and was wanting to share, but did not feel it was time. I had forgotten about it until I began preparing for this week’s study and can’t wait to share so let’s jump right in.
Before we get to the specific verse in this portion’s verses in Torah, I have to take you to a couple places outside of the above listed verses.
Isaiah 7:13-14, “Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! [Is it] a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? 14 “Therefore the L-rd Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel..” (NKJV)
Seeing that we are only a few days past much of the world celebrating Christmas, I thought it pretty appropriate to address what scoffers call “impossible”, the virgin birth. In fact, they dispute that the word “virgin” is not accurate or appropriate translation of the Hebrew word, “alma.” The claim is that it simply means young girl.
A few points of contention with this claim. First, it should be noted that every time it is used it is in reference to a virgin. The above verse in Isaiah puts context to this matter. You see the birth itself was to be a sign! How is something completely ordinary, common and unremarkable considered a sign? If a young woman gave birth…so what? Young women give birth all the time. If that was the case, then if G-d intended anything other than that she would be a virgin He would have mentioned that. He would have likely pointed out that she was divorced, unmarried, widowed or a harlot. One such modifier would have been attached to young girl, but none was used.
Genesis 24:43, “behold, I stand by the well of water; and it shall come to pass that when the virgin comes out to draw [water], and I say to her, “Please give me a little water from your pitcher to drink,”
This is the very first time that the word “almah” (virgin) is used in Torah. It is used in reference to Rebecca, the young, unmarried virgin daughter of Laben.
It should be noted that this is not only the first time in Torah that the word “almah” is used, but it is only one of two times it is used. Let’s look a at the other time which appears in this week’s parashah.
Exodus 2:7-8, “Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?” 8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother..”
Are you picking up on the message that is forming here yet? If you include the use of the word “almah” in Isaiah and the only two times it appears in Torah we have three verses that seem to me to paint a pretty awesome picture.
A sign shall be given, a virgin shall conceive and have a male child…a virgin…a virgin named Miriam (Mary)! and He shall be called Emmanuel ( G-d with us.)
I find this beautiful as this portion always comes near not only Christmas, but Chanukah. If you are reading this in 2018 you are likely saying what are you talking about? Chanukah was weeks ago! Not so! Yes, it was celebrated according to the modern calendar, but remember this current calendar is off by about a month. You will recall that the “Fall Feasts” began weeks before the autumnal equinox, therefore we celebrated the Fall Feasts in Summer! It is likely truly to be celebrated about this time!
So this prophecy of Isaiah which connects the story of Rebecca with the first mention of Miriam, the sister of Moshe, the almah is connected not only when most of the world recognizes the acknowledgement of Messiah Yeshuah. We know He was likely born in the Fall Feast of Sukot, but proper study will reveal that the December 25th date to be associated not with His birth, but with the arrival in Bethlehem of the wise men who came to give gifts and worship Him! Also we know Yeshua is the light of the world and the Festival of Lights we know as Chanukah is again a beautiful picture of our Messiah at this awesome time of year!