Parashat Vaera / פרשת וארא

The disciples of the Lord Yeshua in the first century faithfully transmitted the teaching of their Rabbi, including the promise of his second coming. Such words are nothing less than the reassurance of the fulfilment of all that HaShem has spoken through His prophets, as recorded in the Jewish Scriptures.

There are two comings of the Messiah foreshadowed in the life of Moshe, described by the Prophets, and communicated in the passages about Zeroa HaShem in the Tanakh.

As R. Yeshua says,

‘If you believed Moshe, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?’
Yokhannan 5:46-47

Maimonides confirmed this relationship between the Torah and the Messiah, saying,

‘One who does not believe in the Messiah, or await his arrival, is a denier of the books of prophets and the five books of Moshe, for they are filled with references about the Messiah.’
— Hilchos Melachim, Chapter 11

The late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Shneerson, likewise said that, in fact, every passage in the Torah speaks about the Messiah (Sicha Acharei 5751).

In the Exodus from Mitzrayim, the Lord HaShem prophetically established the pattern for His plan of salvation. As Moshe records in the Torah, HaShem sent a deliverer to the Children of Yisrael, who delivered them from slavery—and this deliverer visited his people twice.

‘R. Berekiah said in the name of R. Levi, ‘The future redeemer will be like the former redeemer [Moses]. The former redeemer revealed himself and later was hidden from them. … Likewise, the future redeemer will be revealed to them, and then be hidden from them.”
— Rut (Ruth) Rabbah 5:6

The first time Moshe visited his people, he saved his brothers from an oppressor and instructed them to love one another. That he was the deliverer appointed by HaShem, however, was not apparent to them and they rejected him at that time, saying ‘who made you a ruler and a judge over us’. The ruler of the land also sought to kill Moshe (cf. Exodus 2:11-15), but he was hidden away.

As a result of this rejection, the deliverer came to sojourn with other descendants of Avraham—the descendants of Midyan, whom Keturah bore to Avraham (cf. Genesis 25:1-2)—saving them and watering their flocks. These people embraced him, and he lived among them for many years as a shepherd of their flocks (cf. Exodus 2:16-22).

Many years after his first visit to his people in their slavery in Mitzrayim, HaShem met with the deliverer on the Mountain of G-d and sent him back to his brothers in response to the cries of the Children of Yisrael in the midst of their affliction (cf. Exodus 3). This time, the deliverer would not be concealed. This time, the deliverer was sent with signs by which the Children of Yisrael would know in no uncertain terms that he was sent by HaShem (cf. Exodus 4:1-17).

At the deliverer’s second coming, in an unprecedented display of HaShem’s supernatural mastery of His creation, HaShem brought judgement on the gods of the oppressors of the Children of Yisrael and on the oppressors alike through his servant Moshe, delivering those who had been subjected to the afflictions of Mitzrayim once and for all.

All of this foreshadows the work of the redemption that is in the Lord Yeshua, who came to be embraced and exalted by the spiritual Children of Avraham through their faith in G-d and in His Servant (cf. Exodus 14:31, Galatians 3:26)—even as the Targum says Avraham believed in the Memra of HaShem, and it was counted to him as righteousness—as a result of the rejection of his own people. Among them Messiah Yeshua has been chief shepherd through the shepherds (a.k.a. pastors) who are his servants, watching over them and leading them and watering them with the Spirit of HaShem.

At the appointed time, HaShem will soon send him back to the Earth to save his people from their oppressors. He will bring them into the wilderness to meet G-d, and the faithful will inherit the Promised Land, as the Prophets of HaShem declare.

In fulfilment of what Zekharyah HaNavi (the Prophet Zechariah) had written of the coming of the Anointed King of Yisrael, when the Lord Yeshua came to Yerushalayim, he arrived humbly, riding a donkey (cf. Matthew 21:1-11, John 12:12-19).

‘Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Tziyon! Shout aloud, O daughter of Yerushalayim! Behold, your king is coming to you—righteous and having salvation is he—humble and mounted on a donkey; on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’
Zekharyah 9:9

He came without form or majesty that we should desire him, as Yeshayahu foresaw. He dwelt in our midst, and the peoples of many nations have and continue to be joined to HaShem as one people through him (cf. Zekharyah 2:11) since he was taken up to HaShem, the Ancient of Days, as Daniel HaNavi foresaw.

‘I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like a son of man came with the clouds of heaven; and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.’
— Daniel 7:13-14

As King David says, HaShem called King Messiah to sit at His right hand until the time appointed for the subduing of his enemies beneath him (cf. Tehillim 110:1). This was fulfilled after Yeshua had visited his people in Yerushalayim.

Luke begins his second book, the book of Ma’asim (Acts), with a record of the departure of the Lord Yeshua from this world after his resurrection, to the right hand of G-d, and a word about his return.

‘…as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into Heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, ‘Men of the Galil, why do you stand looking into Heaven? This Yeshua, who was taken up from you into Heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into Heaven.’ Then they returned to Yerushalayim from Har HaZetim [the Mount of Olives], which is near Yerushalayim a Shabbat day’s journey away.’
— Ma’asim 1:9b-12

In other words, this Yeshua will return on the clouds of heaven, in the same way he left, and this is what the Lord Yeshua taught friend and foe alike. Just before his execution, after arriving in Yerushalayim and teaching in the Temple, his disciples asked him privately about his return and the close of the age.

R. Yeshua said,

‘Immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from Heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then will appear in Heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the Earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory. And he will send out his angels with a loud shofar call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of Heaven to the other.’
— Mattityahu 24:29-31

To his opponents also Yeshua said this:

‘Again the High Priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed?’ And Yeshua said, ‘I am, and you [plural] will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of Heaven.”
— Mark 14:61b-62

As Yeshayahu records about the second coming of Zeroa HaShem:

‘And HaShem shall cause His majestic voice to be heard, and the letting down of [Zero’o] His Arm to rest will be seen, in raging anger and the flame of a devouring fire, with cloudburst and storm and hailstones.’
— Yeshayahu 30:30

Just as it was through His Arm that HaShem redeemed His people from Mitzrayim, so will the final Redemption of Yisrael, together with all the servants of Messiah Yeshua among the nations, be accomplished through Zeroa HaShem.

‘Get up to a high mountain, Tziyon, proclaimer of Good News. Get up into the high mountain, Yerushalayim, proclaimer of Good News. Lift up your voice with strength; lift it up, do not be afraid. Say to the cities of Yehudah, ‘Behold your G-d!’ Behold, the Lord HaShem will come in strength, Zero’o [His Arm] ruling for Him. Behold, his reward is with him and his recompense before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd. He shall gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.’
— Yeshayahu 40:9-11

As Messiah Yeshua said, he will send his angels to gather his elect when he returns (cf. Mattityahu 24:30-31), and this is what is written of Zeroa HaShem, who rules for HaShem. Likewise in Hitgallut, ‘the revelation of Yeshua HaMashiakh, which the G-d gave him to show to his servants’ (Hitgallut 1:1a), Yeshua says, ‘I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what they have done’ (Hitgallut 22:12).

The exalted king anointed by HaShem is coming again soon to the horror of his adversaries and the enemies of his people.

‘HaShem saw that there was no justice and it was evil in His eyes—He saw that there was none to intervene and was appalled—And Zero’o [His Arm] saved for Him; his righteousness, it sustained him. He put on righteousness as a breastplate and a helmet of salvation upon his head. He put on garments of vengeance for clothing; he wrapped himself with zeal as with a cloak. He will repay fury to his adversaries according to their deeds, and recompense to his enemies—he will repay the coastlands in full according to their deeds. So shall they fear the name of HaShem from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun. For he will come like a narrow river, driven by the Spirit of HaShem—and a redeemer will come to Tziyon, to those in Ya’akov who turn from transgression, declares HaShem.’
— Yeshayahu 59:15b-20

Yokhannan foresaw that the wrath of HaShem would be poured out on the Earth through His Arm at his return, at the time when the Satan is imprisoned for 1,000 years.

‘And I saw Heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; the one sitting on it called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns. He had a name written that no man knew, but himself alone. He was clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is the Memra of G-d. And the armies of heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and pure. And out of his mouth came a sharp sword with which to smite the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty G-d. And written on his robe and on his thigh is the name, ‘King of kings and Lord of lords.”
— Hitgallut 19:11-16

Yeshayahu likewise says of the wrath of HaShem through King Messiah at his return,

‘Who is this who comes from Edom, in crimsoned garments from Bozrah, he who is splendid in his apparel, marching in the greatness of his strength? ‘It is I, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save.’ Why is your apparel red, and your garments like his who treads in the winepress? ‘I have trodden the winepress alone, and from the peoples no one was with Me. I trod them in My anger and trampled them in My wrath. Their lifeblood spattered on My garments and stained all My apparel. For the day of vengeance was in My heart, and My year of redemption had come. I looked, but there was no one to help; I was appalled, but there was no one to uphold. So Zero’i [My Arm] saved for Me, and My fury he upheld. I trampled down the peoples in My anger; I made them drunk in My wrath, and I poured out their lifeblood on the earth.’ I will recount the steadfast love of HaShem, the praises of HaShem, according to all that HaShem has granted us, and the great goodness to the house of Israel that He has granted them according to His compassion, according to the abundance of His steadfast love. For He said, ‘Surely they are My people, children who will not deal falsely.’ And He became their Saviour. In all their affliction, He was afflicted, and the Angel of His Presence saved them; in His love and in His pity, He redeemed them. He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled and grieved His Ruakh HaKodesh [Holy Spirit], therefore He turned to be their enemy and Himself fought against them. Then He remembered the days of old, of Moshe and His people. Where is He who brought them up out of the Sea with the shepherds of His flock? Where is He who put in the midst of them His Ruakh HaKodesh, Who caused Zeroa Tifarto [His Glorious Arm] to go at the right hand of Moshe, Who divided the waters before them to make for Himself an everlasting name, Who led them through the depths?
— Yeshayahu 63:1-13a

It is worth noting here that it was Moshe’s assistant, Hoshea bin Nun (Hosea the son of Nun), whom Moshe prophetically renamed Yehoshua/Yeshua (cf. Numbers 13:16, Nehemiah 8:17), who HaShem declared would cause the Children of Yisrael to inherit the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 1:38). Yeshua bin Nun is a hint for us of the true right hand of Moshe. According to Yeshayahu, it is Zeroa HaShem who later became flesh and whom HaShem named Yeshua from his mother’s womb that Yehoshua bin Nun foreshadowed. It is Zeroa HaShem who causes Yisrael to inherit the Land.

Yeshayahu says,

‘Awake, awake, put on strength, Zeroa HaShem; awake, as in the days of old, the generations of long ago. Was it not you who cut Rahav in pieces and wounded the Dragon? Was it
not you who dried up the Sea, the waters of the great deep, who made the depths of the Sea a way for the ransomed to pass over?’
— Yeshayahu 51:9-10

Before he became flesh, Zeroa HaShem made Yam Suf (the Red Sea) a way for the people of Yisrael to pass over when he parted the Sea in the Exodus from Mitzrayim. When he became flesh, he gave his servants authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the Enemy (cf. Luke 10:19a). He wounded the Dragon, who was cast out of Heaven.

As the Lord Yeshua said just before he gave his life as a ransom for many (cf. Matthew 20:28, Mark 10:45),

‘Now is the judgement of this world. Now will the ruler of this world be cast out.’
Yokhannan 12:31

Again he speaks of the Dragon, saying,

‘…the ruler of this world is judged.’
Yokhannan 16:11

And he says,

‘I saw the Satan fall like lightning from Heaven.’
— Luke 10:18

In the revelation of the Lord Yeshua, Yokhannan saw the following vision:

‘Now war arose in Heaven; Mikhael and his angels fighting against the Dragon. And the Dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated and there was no longer any place for them in Heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient Serpent, who is called the Devil and the Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the Earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in Heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation and the power and the Kingdom of our G-d and the authority of His Messiah have come, for the Accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our G-d.”
— Hitgallut (Revelation) 12:7-10

People have wondered that the promised Messiah has come and yet there is little peace in the Earth, and this is why. As Yeshayahu says, the Dragon was wounded by Zeroa HaShem, though not yet destroyed. His place in Heaven was taken away and he was thrown down to the Earth with his angels. On the Earth, he roams around like a lion seeking whom he may devour (cf. Job 1:7, 1 Peter 5:8), being permitted to deceive the nations for a time, yet no longer to appear before HaShem accusing the righteous, until he is imprisoned for 1,000 years at the return of the Lord Yeshua, when the Kingdom of Heaven will at last fill the Earth, the Son of Man sitting on his glorious throne in Yerushalayim.

So it is that Shaul writes,

‘And even if the Good News we proclaim is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. In their case the “god of this age” has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the good news of the glory of the Messiah, who is the image of G-d.’
— 2 Corinthians 4:3-4, cf. Bereishit 5:3

Luke recounts how the Lord Yeshua met the two men on the road to Khamat (Emmaus) after his resurrection (cf. Luke 24:13-35). The two men were perplexed about the events that had occurred surrounding Rabbi Yeshua.

As the two men talked together and discussed what had taken place, R. Yeshua approached them and asked about their conversation. Initially, a veil remained over their eyes, and they were prevented from recognizing the one that HaShem had anointed with His Ruakh (Spirit) as Melekh Yisrael  (King of Israel) who was standing right in front of them.

After they had described the events to him, the Lord Yeshua responded.

‘And beginning with Moshe and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.’
— Luke 24:27

Still, however, the men did not recognize him until after they had invited him to stay with them.

‘When he was at table with them, he took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them. And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, ‘Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened the Scriptures to us?”
— Luke 24:30-32

Writing to the servants of Messiah Yeshua in Corinth, Shaul speaks of the veil that exists over the Torah of Moshe, which prevents those who are in rebellion to HaShem and His anointed king from seeing the glory of the Messiah in the Tanakh, and how this veil it is removed.

‘Moshe…put a veil over his face so that the Yisraelim might not gaze at the outcome of what was being brought to an end. Rather, their minds were hardened. For to this day, when they read the ancient covenant, that same veil remains, because only through Messiah is it lifted. Yes, to this day, whenever Moshe is read, a veil lies over their hearts. But when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.’
— 2 Corinthians 3:13-16, cf. Shemot (Exodus) 34:29-35

As HaShem has said,

‘Turn to Me and be saved all the ends of the Earth! For I am G-d, and there is no other.’
— Yeshayahu 45:22

And as the Targum Yonatan interprets,

‘Turn to My Memra [Word] and be saved all that are at the ends of the Earth!’

As for the Dragon, he will soon be imprisoned at the return of the Messiah, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, ruling the nations with a rod of iron and establishing a lasting peace in the Earth for 1,000 years, at which time the world will finally know peace.

‘Then I saw an angel coming down from Heaven, holding in his hand the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain. And he seized the Dragon, that ancient Serpent, who is the Devil and the Satan, and bound him for a thousand years, and threw him into the pit, and shut it and sealed it over him, so that he might not deceive the nations any longer until the thousand years were ended. After that he must be released for a short time. Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Yeshua and for the Word of G-d, and those who had not worshipped the Beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with the Messiah for a thousand years.’
— Hitgallut 20:1-4

This is the first resurrection.

The destruction of the Dragon and those who follow him is sure. Nevertheless it awaits the appointed time.

‘And when the thousand years are ended, the Satan will be released from his prison and will come out to deceive the nations that are at the four corners of the Earth … and the Devil who had deceived them was thrown into the Lake of Fire and Sulfur where the Beast and the False Prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.’
— Hitgallut 20:7-8a,10

At the return of Zeroa HaShem, the Lord Yeshua will save those longing for his final salvation. ‘The redeemer will come to Tziyon, and to those in Ya’akov who turn from transgression, declares HaShem.’

As Yeshayahu says,

‘Your watchmen raise their voice; together their voice shall cry out in joy! For they shall see eye to eye, when HaShem shall return to Tziyon. Cry out in joy together you waste places of Yerushalayim, for HaShem has comforted His people; He has redeemed Yerushalayim! HaShem has made bare Zeroa Kadsho [His Holy Arm] in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our G-d!’
— Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 52:8-10

Likewise the psalm says,

‘Sing to HaShem a new song; for He has done extraordinary things; His right hand, and Zeroa Kadsho [His Holy Arm], has saved for Him.’
— Tehillim 98:1

And again,

‘You are the G-d Who works wonders: You have made known Your strength among the peoples. You have with a Zeroa [Arm] redeemed Your people, the Children of Ya’akov and Yosef. Selah.’
— Tehillim 77:14-15

Ya’akov here represents the physical offspring of Yisrael, while Yosef represents the servants of the Suffering Servant born among the nations who are adopted by Ya’akov (cf. Bereishit 48:5). The Lord Yeshua comes to save all of the faithful among his people, Jew and Gentile grafted into the commonwealth of Yisrael alike.

Yekhezkel HaNavi (the Prophet Ezekiel) records,

”As I live’, declares the Lord HaShem, ‘surely with a Mighty Hand viZroah Netuyah [and an Outstretched Arm] and with wrath poured out I will be King over you. I will bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you are scattered, with a Mighty Hand viZroah Netuyah [and an Outstretched Arm], and with wrath poured out. And I will bring you into the wilderness of the peoples, and there I will enter into judgment with you face to face. As I entered into judgment with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Mitzrayim, so I will enter into judgment with you’, declares the Lord HaShem. ‘I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. I will purge out the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me. I will bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they shall not enter the land of Yisrael. Then you will know that I am HaShem.’
Yekhezkel 20:33-38

As Shaul says, ‘notice, then, the kindness and severity of G-d’ (cf. Romans 11:22).

The Lord Yeshua says,

‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a sojourner and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a sojourner or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into the Life of the World to Come.”
— Mattityahu 25:31-46

The sheep are those who follow the shepherd. The goats do not.

As R. Yeshua says,

‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.’
Yokhannan 10:11

‘Again Yeshua spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of Life.”
Yokhannan 8:12