Shemot (Names)

Torah: Exodus 1:1 – 6:1 Haftarah: Isaiah 27:6-28:13 Brit Chadasha: Philemon 4:4-13

How soon can our ‘blessings’ turn right around and become bondage as seen in the lives of the children of Yisrael!  Our focus is a very important factor in determining if blessings become curses.  Why not remember where they come from and not allow ourselves to become complacent in our service to our King.

And There Arose

This portion is the famous there came to be a Pharaoh who knew not Yosef.  I will save that for another time but would like to mention something that I recently heard about that statement.  I haven’t fully researched what I am about to cite from another minister so I’m not saying it’s written in stone.  This minster mentioned that the reason was why there arose a Pharaoh who knew not Yosef was because the previous Pharaoh was a Hyksos which in Egyptian terms means foreigner.  He continued on to explain the history of the Hyksos in that they had come in and taken over Mitsrayim and were ruling and how they were a conglomeration of different ethnic groups among who Semites predominated in other words these Semites came from the line of Shem.  Again I haven’t looked much into that and am just stating what this minister said.  So he continues in stating that these Hyksos being Semites knew who Yosef and Yaakov were and that was the reason they were kind to them.  Now when a ‘new’ king arose who knew not Yosef, the minister states that he believes this was an Egyptian Pharaoh who ‘knew’ not Yosef and since this Egyptian Pharaoh had taken over the power from the Hyksos leadership, he began to see how numbered the Israelites were and got afraid that they would side with the enemy, ‘the Hyksos’ and try to overthrow the Egyptians again from being in power.  It could be said another way I believe; that this ‘new regime’ of leadership saw the Israelites as a ‘threat’ to national security.  Hint hint.

I wanted to share that because I thought it was interesting.  I personally just can’t see how a ‘new’ Pharaoh arises and doesn’t know Yosef and how he hasn’t heard the stories of how Yah used Yosef to preserve life.   I don’t believe that we are talking about many many years that have gone by where Yosef is forgotten about and only the ‘old timers’ remember him and are left hanging out down at the coffee shop telling  stories about Yosef.  So I just wanted to mention that bit of history that the minister shared and it seems to make sense as to why the ‘new’ Pharaoh knew not Yosef.  So with that said I do need to make a disclaimer here and say that I wasn’t teaching that as doctrine.  I just shared it for the purpose of being thought provoking and it seemed to make sense so if you have another perspective I would love to hear it as well.

Now I’ve pointed out before about the pattern in the life of Yaakov and Yosef and it seems to be a pattern that Moshe endures as well.  What would that pattern be?  It would be that pattern that I taught about in previous commentaries called the school of hardnocks.  Before I go there I would also like to touch briefly on something else.  This portion is titled ‘names’ so we might be able to find something in a name or two in the portion right?

And these are the names of the children of Yisra’ĕl who came to Mitsrayim with Yaʽaqoḇ, each one with his household: Exodus 1:1

Here beginning with the first letter in Exodus, which is the word ‘and’, we see it’s basically a Vav which means that it is a connector or is being used to connect Genesis with Exodus or it could be said it’s just a continuation from Genesis.  So what does a name have to do with anything?  Well what about Moshe’s parents name?  Do their names mean anything?

And Amram took for himself Yokebeḏ, his father’s sister, as wife.  And she bore him Aharon and Mosheh. And the years of the life of Amram were one hundred and thirty-seven. Exodus 6:20

Amram in Hebrew means exalted people and Yokebed means the esteem of Y’hovah.  What fitting names of the parents of Moshe.  Do we see something here in this picture of the coming together of these two?  So when the ‘exalted people’, Amram, is joined to the ‘esteem of Yah’, Yokebed, as in a marriage in this case it brought forth redemption or a redeemer.  Could this as well been the reason as to why there was an edict put forth to kill all the male children and even in the days when Y’shua (salvation of Yahweh) was born an edict was put forth by Herod as well.  Is there something to this pattern?  Is this the reason why abortion is so rampant and just purely evil in the United States?  Is the enemy working overtime in order to ‘disrupt’ the redeemers from coming forth?  Is there a generation out there that is possibly like a Moshe, Caleb and Joshua and because of this the edict has been put forth to wipe them out?  Now I mentioned the United States because that is what I am familiar with and am not putting any special emphasis on the U.S. because in the end it’s just a nation like the rest of the nations.  When we read about Israel and the ‘nations’ I throw the U.S. into that heap with the rest of the nations; I know some Americans might take issue with that but I just don’t see in Scripture the U.S. as being the ‘apple of His eye’.

Let’s continue on with another name.  We are all familiar with the name Moses but if we remember it was given to him by Pharaoh’s daughter.

And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, then I shall pay your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him. And the child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Mosheh, saying, “Because I have drawn him out of the water.”Exodus 2:9-10

So what Hebrew name was he given by his parents?  Well the text doesn’t really say word for word what his name is but I think we are possibly given a clue.  If we remember in Scripture when children were given names many times it gives a description to us of what that name means.  For example:

And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now this time my husband is joined to me, because I have borne him three sons.” So his name was called Lĕwi. And she conceived again and bore a son, and said, “Now I praise יהוה.” So she called his name Yehudah. And she ceased bearing. Genesis 29:34, 36

So what does the text seem to point to as Moshe’s possible Hebrew name?  The answer is Tobe or Tobi.  What in the world does Tobe mean?  Let’s look at the text.

And the woman conceived and bore a son. And she saw that he was a lovely (KJV says goodly) child, and she hid him three months. Exodus 2:2

Jeff Benner gives us a great picture of what Tobe means by using the ancient pictographs and I quote:

The pictograph  for the letter Tet is a picture of a basket, used to contain or surround something. The pictograph for Beit is a picture of a tent or house. Combined these mean “surround the house”. The house is surrounded by grace, beauty, love, health and prosperity, something that is functional.”

What anawesome picture we are given here about Moshe’s name.  He was sent/anointed for the purpose of going and not only just gathering but surrounding the house of Yah if you will in the sense that the words that he spoke weren’t his words but the Father’s Words and it was in those words that the house was surrounded or covered by the grace and mercy and when the members of the house would follow the Words then the house functioned properly.  Does this sound familiar to us?  Does Moshe’s possible Hebrew name give us a picture of the role of Elohim or the role of Y’shua in that he was good and sent to re-gather the house of Yah by bringing them back into the house through using the words of His Father who sent him?  So this word ‘tobe’ carries the connotation of something that is in the right place at the right time in order to functions properly in order to fulfill a purpose.  In our movement today, can we say that it is functioning properly?  From what I have seen and continue to see, I think it’s safe to say that there seems to be more dysfunction going on than function.  So I guess we should be asking ourselves are we truly following the example the our forefathers left us?  When I am using the term forefathers, I am referring to folks like Abraham, Yitzhak, Yaakov, Moshe, Elijah, Y’shua and so forth and so on.  If so then we should be functioning properly within the house.  One area where I see the problem at is I think we’re just as the children of Yisrael in the desert and are stiff necked and have issues with fully submitting ourselves to the words of the Father and just as our natural house when a child is rebellious it brings chaos disorder and disunity thus the house doesn’t function properly.  I think we can all look around and see this to be the case many times today but why not focus on ourselves and dealing with the rebellion that is within us before we go and try to correct the rest of the house.  That’s just a suggestion that I think all of us need to focus on.

Sheep herder 

So with that said let’s look at the school of hardnocks.  In the seventh chapter of Acts, Stephen begins to tell of the stories of the patriarchs and in verse twenty two begins to share about Moshe.  At age forty is when we see Moshe feeling the call.  I can relate whole heartedly with Moshe in what happened to him and continue learning on a daily basis.  How many of us have stepped out in ministry or something that we really felt like we wanted to do or were called to do and completely fell right on our faces?  I know I have more than once.  What was going on here?  Did we miss YHVH?  What happened?  I believe many times it comes down to a timing issue.  Let me explain what I mean.  We see here in Acts chapter seven Moshe feeling the call when he was forty years old and stepping out trying to walk in that call.  What happened is he made a complete mess of the situation.  Moshe was trying to walk out his calling before the appointed time had come.  What I mean is that Moshe got ahead of YHVH.  He had not gone to the same ‘ministry school’, the school of hard knocks, as Yaakov or Yosef.  You know to add injury to insult there were two guys that Moshe saw the next day and he counseled them to stop fighting.  Again this would be another aspect of Moshe’s ministry.  Yah placed the call of a deliverer in Moshe’s heart and he was just doing what felt right and natural to him.  These Hebrew men probably didn’t know what they were saying but the words that came out of their mouth even confirmed the calling of Moshe.  They asked him who made him a ruler and judge over them?

I am sure on the inside Moshe was saying that’s exactly right.  That’s what I am feeling but why the struggle here why so much opposition and resistance?  Again I submit that I believe that it was not really opposition so much as it was a timing issue.  Moshe had to go live in the desert for forty years and not only the desert but we find that it was the backside of the desert where the Creator finally spoke to him.

Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. Exodus 3:1

How old was Moshe when this event took place?

And when forty years were expired, there appeared to him in the wilderness of mount Sina an angel of the Lord in a flame of fire in a bush. Acts 7:30

That’s right Moshe was eighty years old.  Isn’t it interesting that Moshe was forty years old when he felt the call and had to wait another forty years before he could walk out that call?  I believe there is an explanation for that.  The explanation is found in the seventh chapter of Acts verse twenty two.  Moshe was instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians for forty years I might add.  Is it a coincidence that Moshe was trained forty years in Egyptian ways and he is now eighty years old when Yah speaks to him?  I do not think so.  I believe that it took forty years to get Egypt out of Moshe.

Moshe was indoctrinated for forty years with Egyptian culture, history, and ways thus YHVH took him to the desert i.e. the dry hot miserable place, the place where Yahweh speaks to us in order to remove Egypt from us.  What a better way to teach Moshe by having him herd stinky not so intelligent sheep all along the way.  I think that this was part of his training because I have animals as well and there are a lot of lessons to be learned from observing and being responsible for those animals.  Moshe while in the desert was enrolled in the school of hard knocks.  See we were told in verse twenty two of Acts seven that Moshe was mighty in words and works.  The way I see that passage is that Moshe probably was prideful.  Isn’t it interesting how the desert experience deals with our pride?  It was the desert experience for Moshe that allowed him to go from a prideful man to becoming the most humble man that lived.  The desert is a healthy place for us all!

Seed and fruit

I see something also interesting in Exodus chapter three.

And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt? And he said, certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain. Exodus 3:11-12

We are given the picture of not only the seed of Yah but what that seed should produce.  Yahweh says this is the sign: when you have brought the people out of Egypt which is a reference to the blood on the doorposts, YOU ARE to SERVE Him on this mountain i.e. the mountain is a reference to where the commandments or instructions of the Eternal were given.  So the seed of Yah produces the fruit of keeping the commandments simply put.

Another beautiful place can be found in Genesis twenty six verses four and five where Yah tells Abraham this is the seed and this is what that seed produces.  It is very interesting that the seed that was in Abraham produced the fruit of Abraham obeying the voice the Yah, keeping the charge of YHVH, keeping the commands, keeping the torah, and keeping Yah’s laws.  I have heard folks say that the Torah of YHVH was first given at Mt. Sinai.  It seems to me that statement needs to be re-stated and a better look needs to be taken at what the Scriptures really teach versus what man teaches.  May we examine everything that we have been taught to make sure that our faith has been built upon a foundation that cannot be shaken!  So why not return to the true foundation, His Word in the beginning, and begin to obey it so that we all might function as one big happy family and exhibit the esteem of our Creator to those who we live around.