Throughout the Torah, and particularly in Bereshit, there is great deal of significance associated with names. A name is not merely a way to call someone but, rather, it encapsulates the essence of the individual.


The rule: A different name will be used for the same person depending upon the context.

The example: The Patriarch Jacob (Yaakov) / Israel.

The meaning: He was called Yaakov (derived from ‘heel‘) because when he was born, his hand was holding Esau’s heel[1]. He was also called Israel (meaning ‘head’ or ‘exalted one’) because he had triumphed over an angel.[2] Thus his original name connotes a lowly, subservient nature while the one given him later in life implies strength and victory.


Malbim tells us that the name Yaakov always describes the Jewish masses, the common folk. Israel denotes the elite, the  aristocracy, the scholars and saints who guide the masses.[3]


Rabbeinu Bachya[4] gives us the following insight into the use of these two names:


The plain meaning of why the Torah suddenly calls Yaakov by his alternate name Israel again instead of writing “the time approached for Yaakov to die”, (which would have been the natural sequence to the line: “Yaakov lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years”) is that ever since he had been given the additional name the Torah uses both names interchangeably. Throughout the Torah the names Yaakov and Israel are used intermittently.


From a more rational or scientific point of view we may detect a distinct pattern in the Torah sometimes choosing to refer to Yaakov by his original name and sometimes by his additional name. The name Yaakov applies to the physical part of Yaakov’s personality, matters connected to his terrestrial existence, whereas the name Israel refers to spiritual aspects of his personality, matters connected to his eternal existence in celestial regions. When Yaakov had first been given the name “Yaakov” the Torah stated that this reflected his holding on to the heel of his brother Esau.[5] We find the name Israel first used in connection with Yaakov having successfully contended with the celestial force representing his brother Esau.[6] It is therefore clear that the additional name Israel was intended principally to reflect Yaakov’s spiritual accomplishments. Seeing that it is impossible for a human being while part of a body to divest himself totally of bodily needs and concerns, we can appreciate what our Sages said that, contrary to the name Avraham which replaced the name Avram, the name Israel did not replace the name Yaakov. It reflected the fact that this Yaakov had attained an additional dimension in his personality development, according to Kli Yakar, as reflected in the Talmud:


Berachoth 13a GEMARA. It has been taught: Ben Zoma said to the Sages: Will the Exodus from Egypt be mentioned in the days of the Messiah? Was it not long ago said: Therefore behold the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say: As the Lord liveth that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; but, As the Lord liveth that brought up and that led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country and from all the countries whither I had driven them?[7] They replied: This does not mean that the mention of the exodus from Egypt shall be obliterated, but that the [deliverance from] subjection to the other kingdoms shall take the first place and the exodus from Egypt shall become secondary. Similarly you read: Thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name.[8] This does not mean that the name Jacob shall be obliterated, but that Israel shall be the principal name and Jacob a secondary one. And so it says: Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old[9]. ‘Remember ye not the former things’: this refers to the subjections to the other nations; ‘Neither consider the things of old’: this refers to the exodus from Egypt.


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis XLVI:8 NEITHER SHALL THY NAME ANY MORE BE CALLED ABRAM, BUT THY NAME SHALL BE ABRAHAM (XVII, 5). Bar Kappara said: Whoever calls Abraham ‘Abram’, violates a positive commandment. R. Levi said: A positive commandment and a negative commandment. NEITHER SHALL THY NAME ANY MORE BE CALLED ABRAM--that is a negative command; BUT THY NAME SHALL BE ABRAHAM--that is a positive command. But surely the men of the Great Assembly called him Abram, as it is written, Thou... who didst choose Abram (Neh. IX, 7). There it is different, as it means that He chose him while he was yet Abram. Then, by analogy, does one who calls Sarah ‘Sarai’ infringe a positive command? No, for only he [Abraham] was enjoined respecting her. Again, by analogy, if one calls Israel, ‘Jacob,’ does one infringe a positive command? [No, for] it was taught: It was not intended that the name Jacob should disappear, but that ‘Israel’ should be his principal name, while ‘Jacob’ should be a secondary one. R. Zebida interpreted in R. Aha’s name: At all events, Thy name is Jacob, save that, But Israel [too] shall be thy name (Gen. XXXV, 10): ‘Jacob’ will be the principal name, while ‘Israel’ will be an additional one.


The name Yaakov henceforth became subordinate to that of Israel. The use of these names teaches amongst other matters that if someone makes his spiritual dimension subordinate to his physical, terrestrial concerns this “kills” him, leads to his death sooner or later. This is what David had in mind when he said:


Tehillim (Psalms) 22:30 all those who in full vigor shall eat and prostrate themselves, all those at death’s door whose spirit lag, shall bend the knee before Him.


David refers to people who make a point of first tasting all the pleasures of terrestrial life before prostrating themselves before HaShem as having their priorities reversed. As a result, such people experience death in a very real sense of the word. In the verse we just quoted the word “they will bend the knee” does not refer to something similar to “prostrating” oneself (before HaShem); rather, it is similar to Tehillim (Psalms) 20:9. In that psalm it is used as meaning falling down and not rising up again. This is the punishment for having had one’s priorities mixed up. When the people mentioned in Psalm 22 finally decide to “give to Caesar what is Caesar’s[10]“, i.e. to also make an obeisance to HaShem as an afterthought, it is too late. They had not lifted a finger to secure their share in eternity while there was time .


Upon closer examination you will find that when the Torah employs the name Yaakov to describe our patriarch it refers to his terrestrial concerns (the feminine attribute), concerns which are indispensable for any human being, whereas when it switches by calling him Israel it refers to his spiritual concerns, matters which are largely abstract. This is what the prophet had in mind when he said:


Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 43:1 who created you O Yaakov, who formed you O Israel?


In connection with the name Yaakov, the prophet only mentioned the word “Bara – Created”, a primitive kind of creation, whereas in connection with spiritual parts of man the prophet speaks of a more sophisticated product, one that has undergone an advanced stage of formation. You will note that at the revelation of the Torah at Mount Sinai HaShem says to Moses:


Shemot (Exodus) 19:3 So shall you say to the house of Yaakov and relate to the children of Israel.


The name Yaakov referred to the women, the word Israel to the men. [Perhaps the fact that Adam had described Eve as “bones of my bones and flesh of my flesh,” but not as “spirit of my spirit”[11], is the reason that woman symbolizes primarily the physical part of the human being. We have written extensively on this subject in: Marriageact. Yeshayahu had something similar in mind when he wrote:


Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 43:22 But you have not worshipped Me, O Yaakov, that you should be weary of me O Israel.


He meant that while you Yaakov were concerned with your terrestrial matters you did not really worship Me (even if you paid lip-service). As to worshipping Me as “Israel,” you indicated that it was too wearisome for you.


When our Parshah commences by referring to Yaakov’s existence on earth by calling him Yaakov (twice in Bereshit 47:28), this is in keeping with what we have explained. In Bereshit 47:29 however, when the Torah commences to speak of “death” of the body, it switches to using the name “Israel” seeing that the death of a righteous person is but the necessary preamble to his taking his place in eternal life. Whenever preparations for death are described, including the very mention of the bed on which Yaakov lay sick, the Torah describes him as Israel. As soon as the Torah finishes describing his preparations for the life in the hereafter by blessing Joseph and his brothers, it reverts to the use of the name Yaakov. The Torah never describes Yaakov as having died. Only Israel is described as having died. The embalmers are described as embalming Israel (Bereshit 50:1). As soon as Yaakov had made the physical preparations for death, i.e. “he gathered in his feet to the bed,” the Torah calls him Israel again. As of that moment he had entered eternal life. When we find, in Bereshit 49:1, that the Torah refers to Yaakov suddenly again as Yaakov, the reason is that at that moment HaShem withheld from him the visions of the redemption and what precedes it which he had intended to reveal to his sons. In other words, at that moment he had become primarily physical, his spiritual dimension having temporarily become subordinate. There is another instance where we could question why the Torah suddenly reverts to the use of the name Yaakov. This is, in Bereshit 48:3, where he explains to Joseph where and when he had his first communication from HaShem, i.e. at Luz. The reason that the Torah calls him Yaakov at that point in our chapter is because he referred to a time in his life prior to his having the name Israel added to his regular name. in other words, we detect the following pattern. When the Torah indicates that Yaakov had not yet established mutual communication with HaShem he is called Yaakov. When, even after he had established such communication, this channel of communication had been interrupted, he is also called Yaakov instead of Israel.


Rabbi Frand


No more clearly do we see this than in the chapter of the Blessings. In that chapter the verse says:


Bereshit (Genesis) 27:9 Go please to the flocks.


The Midrash says Rivka is hinting “Go take care of the needs of the nation, which is compared to sheep.”


Midrash Rabbah - Genesis LXV:14 AND REBEKAH SPOKE UNTO JACOB HER SON... BRING ME VENISON... NOW THEREFORE, MY SON, HEARKEN TO MY VOICE... GO NOW TO THE FLOCK (XXVII, 6-9). R. Levi said: [She bade him], ‘ Go and anticipate [the blessings on behalf of] the people that is compared to a flock,’ as you read, And ye My sheep, the sheep of My pasture (Ezek. XXXIV, 31).

AND FETCH ME FROM THENCE TWO GOOD KIDS OF THE GOATS (ib.). R. Helbo said: [She said thus to him]: ‘If thou findest [of thy father’s], ‘tis well; if not, bring them to me out of my dowry.’ For R. Helbo said that he [Isaac] had engaged to provide her with two kids daily. GOOD: R. Berekiah commented in R. Helbo’s name: They are good for thee and good for thy descendants. Good for thee, since thou wilt receive the blessings through them; and good for thy descendants, who will be pardoned through them on the Day of Atonement, as it is written, For on this day shall atonement be made for you, etc. (Lev. XVI, 30).2


Performing this masquerade and deceitful act sets the stage. The actions of the forefathers foreshadow the actions of the children. Your children, Rivka says, are sometimes going to have to deal with the more powerful Esav, with the Roman Empire, with the nations of the world. Sometimes, as a nation, we will have to resort to surreptitious types of acts. Why? Because the Torah tells us that there are times when that has to use the behavior of Yaakov.


But, points out Rav Elie Munk, Yaakov undergoes two name changes in the Torah. First, Yaakov is changed to Israel. Rashi, over there, says that ‘Yaakov’ refers to a person who waits in ambush, but there will come a time when you will be called ‘Israel’, connoting an officer and a prince. You will then be able to deal with Esav, no longer surreptitiously, but as an equal.


However, we find, that even after Yaakov was called Israel, the Torah still, sometimes refers to him as ‘Yaakov’ and sometimes refers to him as ‘Israel.’ Why? Because Yaakov can not yet totally abandon the practices of ‘Yaakov’. Throughout Jewish history, there were times when we as a people had to fall back on the tactics of ‘Yaakov’ and could not go with the name ‘Israel.’ When we are surrounded by 140 million people wishing to destroy us, we cannot always go with the ‘high-road’ behavior. We have to come back to the practices of ‘Yaakov.’


In the End of Days, however, our Sages tell us that Yaakov will go from the name of Yaakov and Israel to the name of Yeshurun, meaning straight (from the word ‘yashar’). When the nations of the world will finally come to recognize the greatness of Israel, then Yaakov can be transformed into the name Yeshurun and will no longer have to deal with Esav with deceit and tricks.


This is what Yeshayahu HaNavi means when he says:


Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 40:4 ... and the crooked will be made straight...


Rav Munk says this refers to the name Yaakov becoming the name Yeshurun. We will abandon the practices which were forced upon us, those of ‘Yaakov’ and will strictly conduct ourselves according to the practices of ‘Yeshurun’ (straightness).


* * *


The Torah portion, Vayishlach, narrates Yaakov’s victorious struggle with the angel and the subsequent changing of his name to Israel.


Bereshit (Genesis) 32:28) Not Yaakov shall your name any more be called, but Israel, for you have striven with G-d and with men, and prevailed.

The names “Yaakov” and “Israel” are used to refer to the entire Jewish people; each of the two terms emphasizes a particular characteristic of the Jewish nation. According to Chasidic philosophy, “Yaakov” and “Israel” symbolize two levels in the Jew’s relationship with HaShem.


Jews are referred to as both servants of HaShem and as HaShem’s sons. As “servants,” they are called “Yaakov”--”Hearken unto Me, Yaakov my servant.” As “sons,” they are called “Israel”--”My son, My firstborn, Israel.”


The difference between a servant and a son is obvious. When a son fulfills his father’s wishes, he does so happily and out of love. A servant, however, is not necessarily overjoyed at the opportunity to carry out his master’s command, quite frequently doing so only because he has no choice in the matter.


Both situations apply to our own lives, in our own personal service of HaShem. A Jew can pray, learn Torah, observe the mitzvot and serve his Father like a son, or he can perform the very same actions without joy, like a servant serves his Master. When a Jew stands on the level of “Israel,” he willingly fulfills his Father’s commands, experiencing no inner conflict with the Evil Inclination. When, however, a Jew is on the level of “Yaakov,” it means he is forced to grapple with the Evil Inclination in order to properly fulfill his Master’s command, quite frequently doing so only out of a sense of obligation and submission.


Obviously, the level of “Israel” is the one toward which we all strive, yet one cannot reach this level without first passing through the level of “Yaakov”. If a Jew is not always enthusiastic in his service, sometimes finding it difficult to serve HaShem properly, he should know that this is only natural when one embarks upon a new course. The Evil Inclination is not vanquished all at once, and it takes time to transform the will of HaShem into one’s own personal will. At first (and this stage may last for years!), the Evil Inclination howls in protest, attempting to divert the Jew. But when a Jew consistently stands up for what is right and refuses to despair, the Evil Inclination is eventually conquered.

* * *


(“Jacob” and “Israel” occur in the same verse 73 times.)


Bereshit (Genesis) 32:23-28 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.”


Bereshit (Genesis) 35:6-13 Jacob and all the people with him came to Luz (that is, Bethel) in the land of Canaan. There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother. Now Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak below Bethel. So it was named Allon Bacuth. After Jacob returned from Paddan Aram, God appeared to him again and blessed him. God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but you will no longer be called Jacob; your name will be Israel.” So he named him Israel. And God said to him, “I am God Almighty; be fruitful and increase in number. A nation and a community of nations will come from you, and kings will come from your body. The land I gave to Abraham and Isaac I also give to you, and I will give this land to your descendants after you.” Then God went up from him at the place where he had talked with him.


Bereshit (Genesis) 35:21-26 Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father’s concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it. Jacob had twelve sons: The sons of Leah: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar and Zebulun. The sons of Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. The sons of Rachel’s maidservant Bilhah: Dan and Naphtali. The sons of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah: Gad and Asher. These were the sons of Jacob, who were born to him in Paddan Aram.


Bereshit (Genesis) 46:1-8 So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, “Jacob! Jacob!” “Here I am,” he replied. “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.” Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. They also took with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan, and Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt. He took with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters--all his offspring. These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob.


Bereshit (Genesis) 48:1-4 Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed. Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me And said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and will increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’


Bereshit (Genesis) 49:1-7 Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come. “Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel. “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it. “Simeon and Levi are brothers--their swords are weapons of violence. Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly, for they have killed men in their anger and hamstrung oxen as they pleased. Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.


Bereshit (Genesis) 49:22-26 “Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall. With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility. But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, Because of your father’s God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb. Your father’s blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers.


Shemot (Exodus) 1:1-5 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt with Jacob, each with his family: Reuben, Simeon, Levi and Judah; Issachar, Zebulun and Benjamin; Dan and Naphtali; Gad and Asher. The descendants of Jacob numbered seventy in all; Joseph was already in Egypt.


Shemot (Exodus) 19:1-6 In the third month after the Israelites left Egypt--on the very day--they came to the Desert of Sinai. After they set out from Rephidim, they entered the Desert of Sinai, and Israel camped there in the desert in front of the mountain. Then Moses went up to God, and HaShem called to him from the mountain and said, “This is what you are to say to the house of Jacob and what you are to tell the people of Israel: ‘You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, You will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”


Bamidbar (Numbers) 23:5-10 HaShem put a message in Balaam’s mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this message.” So he went back to him and found him standing beside his offering, with all the princes of Moab. Then Balaam uttered his oracle: “Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.’ How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom HaShem has not denounced? From the rocky peaks I see them, from the heights I view them. I see a people who live apart and do not consider themselves one of the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob or number the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and may my end be like theirs!”


Bamidbar (Numbers) 23:16-24 HaShem met with Balaam and put a message in his mouth and said, “Go back to Balak and give him this message.” So he went to him and found him standing beside his offering, with the princes of Moab. Balak asked him, “What did HaShem say?” Then he uttered his oracle: “Arise, Balak, and listen; hear me, son of Zippor. God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? I have received a command to bless; he has blessed, and I cannot change it. “No misfortune is seen in Jacob, no misery observed in Israel. HaShem their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them. God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. There is no sorcery against Jacob, no divination against Israel. It will now be said of Jacob and of Israel, ‘See what God has done!’ The people rise like a lioness; they rouse themselves like a lion that does not rest till he devours his prey and drinks the blood of his victims.”


Bamidbar (Numbers) 24:1-9 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased HaShem to bless Israel, he did not resort to sorcery as at other times, but turned his face toward the desert. When Balaam looked out and saw Israel encamped tribe by tribe, the Spirit of God came upon him And he uttered his oracle: “The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of one whose eye sees clearly, The oracle of one who hears the words of God, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened: “How beautiful are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel! “Like valleys they spread out, like gardens beside a river, like aloes planted by HaShem, like cedars beside the waters. Water will flow from their buckets; their seed will have abundant water. “Their king will be greater than Agag; their kingdom will be exalted. “God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox. They devour hostile nations and break their bones in pieces; with their arrows they pierce them. Like a lion they crouch and lie down, like a lioness--who dares to rouse them? “May those who bless you be blessed and those who curse you be cursed!”


Bamidbar (Numbers) 24:15-19 Then he uttered his oracle: “The oracle of Balaam son of Beor, the oracle of one whose eye sees clearly, The oracle of one who hears the words of God, who has knowledge from the Most High, who sees a vision from the Almighty, who falls prostrate, and whose eyes are opened: “I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near. A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel. He will crush the foreheads of Moab, the skulls of all the sons of Sheth. Edom will be conquered; Seir, his enemy, will be conquered, but Israel will grow strong. A ruler will come out of Jacob and destroy the survivors of the city.”


Devarim (Deuteronomy) 33:8-11 About Levi he said: “Your Thummim and Urim belong to the man you favored. You tested him at Massah; you contended with him at the waters of Meribah. He said of his father and mother, ‘I have no regard for them.’ He did not recognize his brothers or acknowledge his own children, but he watched over your word and guarded your covenant. He teaches your precepts to Jacob and your law to Israel. He offers incense before you and whole burnt offerings on your altar. Bless all his skills, HaShem, and be pleased with the work of his hands. Smite the loins of those who rise up against him; strike his foes till they rise no more.”


I Melakim (Kings) 18:30-38 Then Elijah said to all the people, “Come here to me.” They came to him, and he repaired the altar of HaShem, which was in ruins. Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of HaShem had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” With the stones he built an altar in the name of HaShem, and he dug a trench around it large enough to hold two seahs of seed. He arranged the wood, cut the bull into pieces and laid it on the wood. Then he said to them, “Fill four large jars with water and pour it on the offering and on the wood.” “Do it again,” he said, and they did it again. “Do it a third time,” he ordered, and they did it the third time. The water ran down around the altar and even filled the trench. At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “HaShem, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, HaShem, answer me, so these people will know that you, HaShem, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of HaShem fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.


II Melakim (Kings) 17:32-39 They worshiped HaShem, but they also appointed all sorts of their own people to officiate for them as priests in the shrines at the high places. They worshiped HaShem, but they also served their own gods in accordance with the customs of the nations from which they had been brought. To this day they persist in their former practices. They neither worship HaShem nor adhere to the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands that HaShem gave the descendants of Jacob, whom he named Israel. When HaShem made a covenant with the Israelites, he commanded them: “Do not worship any other gods or bow down to them, serve them or sacrifice to them. But HaShem, who brought you up out of Egypt with mighty power and outstretched arm, is the one you must worship. To him you shall bow down and to him offer sacrifices. You must always be careful to keep the decrees and ordinances, the laws and commands he wrote for you. Do not worship other gods. Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and do not worship other gods. Rather, worship HaShem your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.”


I Divrei HaYamim (Chronicles) 16:11-18 Look to HaShem and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, O descendants of Israel his servant, O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is HaShem our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations, The covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.”


Tehillim (Psalms) 14:1-7 {For the director of music. Of David.} The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. HaShem looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Will evildoers never learn--those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on HaShem? There they are, overwhelmed with dread, for God is present in the company of the righteous. You evildoers frustrate the plans of the poor, but HaShem is their refuge. Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When HaShem restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!


Tehillim (Psalms) 22:14-24 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. But you, HaShem, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me. Deliver my life from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dogs. Rescue me from the mouth of the lions; save me from the horns of the wild oxen. I will declare your name to my brothers; in the congregation I will praise you. You who fear HaShem, praise him! All you descendants of Jacob, honor him! Revere him, all you descendants of Israel! For he has not despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help.


Tehillim (Psalms) 53:1-6 {For the director of music. According to <mahalath.> A <maskil> of David.} The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good. God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Everyone has turned away, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one. Will the evildoers never learn--those who devour my people as men eat bread and who do not call on God? There they were, overwhelmed with dread, where there was nothing to dread. God scattered the bones of those who attacked you; you put them to shame, for God despised them. Oh, that salvation for Israel would come out of Zion! When God restores the fortunes of his people, let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad!


Tehillim (Psalms) 78:1-22 {A <maskil> of Asaph.} O my people, hear my teaching; listen to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things, things from of old-- What we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of HaShem, his power, and the wonders he has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which he commanded our forefathers to teach their children, So the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. They would not be like their forefathers--a stubborn and rebellious generation, whose hearts were not loyal to God, whose spirits were not faithful to him. The men of Ephraim, though armed with bows, turned back on the day of battle; They did not keep God’s covenant and refused to live by his law. They forgot what he had done, the wonders he had shown them. He did miracles in the sight of their fathers in the land of Egypt, in the region of Zoan. He divided the sea and led them through; he made the water stand firm like a wall. He guided them with the cloud by day and with light from the fire all night. He split the rocks in the desert and gave them water as abundant as the seas; He brought streams out of a rocky crag and made water flow down like rivers. But they continued to sin against him, rebelling in the desert against the Most High. They willfully put God to the test by demanding the food they craved. They spoke against God, saying, “Can God spread a table in the desert? When he struck the rock, water gushed out, and streams flowed abundantly. But can he also give us food? Can he supply meat for his people?” When HaShem heard them, he was very angry; his fire broke out against Jacob, and his wrath rose against Israel, For they did not believe in God or trust in his deliverance.


Tehillim (Psalms) 78:67-72 Then he rejected the tents of Joseph, he did not choose the tribe of Ephraim; But he chose the tribe of Judah, Mount Zion, which he loved. He built his sanctuary like the heights, like the earth that he established forever. He chose David his servant and took him from the sheep pens; From tending the sheep he brought him to be the shepherd of his people Jacob, of Israel his inheritance. And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them.


Tehillim (Psalms) 81:1-5 {For the director of music. According to <gittith.> Of Asaph.} Sing for joy to God our strength; shout aloud to the God of Jacob! Begin the music, strike the tambourine, play the melodious harp and lyre. Sound the ram’s horn at the New Moon, and when the moon is full, on the day of our Feast; This is a decree for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob. He established it as a statute for Joseph when he went out against Egypt, where we heard a language we did not understand.


Tehillim (Psalms) 105:1-11 Give thanks to HaShem, call on His name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek HaShem rejoice. Look to HaShem and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, O descendants of Abraham his servant, O sons of Jacob, his chosen ones. He is HaShem our God; his judgments are in all the earth. He remembers his covenant forever, the word he commanded, for a thousand generations, The covenant he made with Abraham, the oath he swore to Isaac. He confirmed it to Jacob as a decree, to Israel as an everlasting covenant: “To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.”


Tehillim (Psalms) 105:16-23 He called down famine on the land and destroyed all their supplies of food; And he sent a man before them--Joseph, sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with shackles, his neck was put in irons, Till what he foretold came to pass, till the word of HaShem proved him true. The king sent and released him, the ruler of peoples set him free. He made him master of his household, ruler over all he possessed, To instruct his princes as he pleased and teach his elders wisdom. Then Israel entered Egypt; Jacob lived as an alien in the land of Ham.


Tehillim (Psalms) 114:1-8 When Israel came out of Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of foreign tongue, Judah became God’s sanctuary, Israel his dominion. The sea looked and fled, the Jordan turned back; The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs. Why was it, O sea, that you fled, O Jordan, that you turned back, You mountains, that you skipped like rams, you hills, like lambs? Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, Who turned the rock into a pool, the hard rock into springs of water.


Tehillim (Psalms) 135:1-4 Praise HaShem. Praise the name of HaShem; praise him, you servants of HaShem, You who minister in the house of HaShem, in the courts of the house of our God. Praise HaShem, for HaShem is good; sing praise to his name, for that is pleasant. For HaShem has chosen Jacob to be his own, Israel to be his treasured possession.


Tehillim (Psalms) 147:12-20 Extol HaShem, O Jerusalem; praise your God, O Zion, For he strengthens the bars of your gates and blesses your people within you. He grants peace to your borders and satisfies you with the finest of wheat. He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly. He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes. He hurls down his hail like pebbles. Who can withstand his icy blast? He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. He has revealed his word to Jacob, his laws and decrees to Israel. He has done this for no other nation; they do not know his laws. Praise HaShem.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 9:8-13 The Lord has sent a message against Jacob; it will fall on Israel. All the people will know it--Ephraim and the inhabitants of Samaria--who say with pride and arrogance of heart, “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with dressed stone; the fig trees have been felled, but we will replace them with cedars.” But HaShem has strengthened Rezin’s foes against them and has spurred their enemies on. Arameans from the east and Philistines from the west have devoured Israel with open mouth. Yet for all this, his anger is not turned away, his hand is still upraised. But the people have not returned to him who struck them, nor have they sought HaShem Almighty.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 10:16-23 Therefore, the Lord, HaShem Almighty, will send a wasting disease upon his sturdy warriors; under his pomp a fire will be kindled like a blazing flame. The Light of Israel will become a fire, their Holy One a flame; in a single day it will burn and consume his thorns and his briers. The splendor of his forests and fertile fields it will completely destroy, as when a sick man wastes away. And the remaining trees of his forests will be so few that a child could write them down. In that day the remnant of Israel, the survivors of the house of Jacob, will no longer rely on him who struck them down but will truly rely on HaShem, the Holy One of Israel. A remnant will return, a remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. Though your people, O Israel, be like the sand by the sea, only a remnant will return. Destruction has been decreed, overwhelming and righteous. The Lord, HaShem Almighty, will carry out the destruction decreed upon the whole land.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 14:1-4 HaShem will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land. Aliens will join them and unite with the house of Jacob. Nations will take them and bring them to their own place. And the house of Israel will possess the nations as menservants and maidservants in HaShem’s land. They will make captives of their captors and rule over their oppressors. On the day HaShem gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage, You will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 27:1-6 In that day, HaShem will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea. In that day--”Sing about a fruitful vineyard: I, HaShem, watch over it; I water it continually. I guard it day and night so that no one may harm it. I am not angry. If only there were briers and thorns confronting me! I would march against them in battle; I would set them all on fire. Or else let them come to me for refuge; let them make peace with me, yes, let them make peace with me.” In days to come Jacob will take root, Israel will bud and blossom and fill all the world with fruit.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 29:22-24 Therefore this is what HaShem, who redeemed Abraham, says to the house of Jacob: “No longer will Jacob be ashamed; no longer will their faces grow pale. When they see among them their children, the work of my hands, they will keep my name holy; they will acknowledge the holiness of the Holy One of Jacob, and will stand in awe of the God of Israel. Those who are wayward in spirit will gain understanding; those who complain will accept instruction.”


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 40:21-31 Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. “To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from HaShem; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? HaShem is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; But those who hope in HaShem will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 41:4-16 Who has done this and carried it through, calling forth the generations from the beginning? I, HaShem--with the first of them and with the last--I am he.” The islands have seen it and fear; the ends of the earth tremble. They approach and come forward; Each helps the other and says to his brother, “Be strong!” The craftsman encourages the goldsmith, and he who smooths with the hammer spurs on him who strikes the anvil. He says of the welding, “It is good.” He nails down the idol so it will not topple. “But you, O Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend, I took you from the ends of the earth, from its farthest corners I called you. I said, ‘You are my servant’; I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. “All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am HaShem, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel, for I myself will help you,” declares HaShem, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. “See, I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff. You will winnow them, the wind will pick them up, and a gale will blow them away. But you will rejoice in HaShem and glory in the Holy One of Israel.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 42:24 - 43:4 Who handed Jacob over to become loot, and Israel to the plunderers? Was it not HaShem, against whom we have sinned? For they would not follow his ways; they did not obey his law. So he poured out on them his burning anger, the violence of war. It enveloped them in flames, yet they did not understand; it consumed them, but they did not take it to heart. But now, this is what HaShem says--he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am HaShem, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; I give Egypt for your ransom, Cush and Seba in your stead. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give men in exchange for you, and people in exchange for your life.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 43:18-28 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. The wild animals honor me, the jackals and the owls, because I provide water in the desert and streams in the wasteland, to give drink to my people, my chosen, The people I formed for myself that they may proclaim my praise. “Yet you have not called upon me, O Jacob, you have not wearied yourselves for me, O Israel. You have not brought me sheep for burnt offerings, nor honored me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with grain offerings nor wearied you with demands for incense. You have not bought any fragrant calamus for me, or lavished on me the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened me with your sins and wearied me with your offenses. “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more. Review the past for me, let us argue the matter together; state the case for your innocence. Your first father sinned; your spokesmen rebelled against me. So I will disgrace the dignitaries of your temple, and I will consign Jacob to destruction and Israel to scorn.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 44:1-6 “But now listen, O Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen. This is what HaShem says--he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, O Jacob, my servant, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams. One will say, ‘I belong to HaShem’; another will call himself by the name of Jacob; still another will write on his hand, ‘HaShem’s,’ and will take the name Israel. “This is what HaShem says--Israel’s King and Redeemer, HaShem Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 44:19-28 No one stops to think, no one has the knowledge or understanding to say, “Half of it I used for fuel; I even baked bread over its coals, I roasted meat and I ate. Shall I make a detestable thing from what is left? Shall I bow down to a block of wood?” He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, “Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?” “Remember these things, O Jacob, for you are my servant, O Israel. I have made you, you are my servant; O Israel, I will not forget you. I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you.” Sing for joy, O heavens, for HaShem has done this; shout aloud, O earth beneath. Burst into song, you mountains, you forests and all your trees, for HaShem has redeemed Jacob, he displays his glory in Israel. “This is what HaShem says--your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb: I am HaShem, who has made all things, who alone stretched out the heavens, who spread out the earth by myself, Who foils the signs of false prophets and makes fools of diviners, who overthrows the learning of the wise and turns it into nonsense, Who carries out the words of his servants and fulfills the predictions of his messengers, who says of Jerusalem, ‘It shall be inhabited,’ of the towns of Judah, ‘They shall be built,’ and of their ruins, ‘I will restore them,’ Who says to the watery deep, ‘Be dry, and I will dry up your streams,’ Who says of Cyrus, ‘He is my shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, “Let it be rebuilt,” and of the temple, “Let its foundations be laid.”‘


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 45:1-6 “This is what HaShem says to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am HaShem, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me. I am HaShem, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged me, So that from the rising of the sun to the place of its setting men may know there is none besides me. I am HaShem, and there is no other.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 46:1-4 Bel bows down, Nebo stoops low; their idols are borne by beasts of burden. The images that are carried about are burdensome, a burden for the weary. They stoop and bow down together; unable to rescue the burden, they themselves go off into captivity. “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all you who remain of the house of Israel, you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, an have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 48:1-4 “Listen to this, O house of Jacob, you who are called by the name of Israel and come from the line of Judah, you who take oaths in the name of HaShem and invoke the God of Israel--but not in truth or righteousness-- You who call yourselves citizens of the holy city and rely on the God of Israel--HaShem Almighty is his name: I foretold the former things long ago, my mouth announced them and I made them known; then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass. For I knew how stubborn you were; the sinews of your neck were iron, your forehead was bronze.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 48:9-13 For my own name’s sake I delay my wrath; for the sake of my praise I hold it back from you, so as not to cut you off. See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do this. How can I let myself be defamed? I will not yield my glory to another. “Listen to me, O Jacob, Israel, whom I have called: I am he; I am the first and I am the last. My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens; when I summon them, they all stand up together.


Yeshayah (Isaiah) 49:1-6 Listen to me, you islands; hear this, you distant nations: Before I was born HaShem called me; from my birth he has made mention of my name. He made my mouth like a sharpened sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me into a polished arrow and concealed me in his quiver. He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will display my splendor.” But I said, “I have labored to no purpose; I have spent my strength in vain and for nothing. Yet what is due me is in HaShem’s hand, and my reward is with my God.” And now HaShem says--he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of HaShem and my God has been my strength­­ He says: “It is too small a thing for you to be my servant to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back those of Israel I have kept. I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring my salvation to the ends of the earth.”


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 2:1-6 The word of HaShem came to me: “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: “‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown. Israel was holy to HaShem, the firstfruits of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,’“ declares HaShem. Hear the word of HaShem, O house of Jacob, all you clans of the house of Israel. This is what HaShem says: “What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. They did not ask, ‘Where is HaShem, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and rifts, a land of drought and darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives?’


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 30:6-11 Ask and see: Can a man bear children? Then why do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor, every face turned deathly pale? How awful that day will be! None will be like it. It will be a time of trouble for Jacob, but he will be saved out of it. “‘In that day,’ declares HaShem Almighty, ‘I will break the yoke off their necks and will tear off their bonds; no longer will foreigners enslave them. Instead, they will serve HaShem their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them. “‘So do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel,’ declares HaShem. ‘I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid. I am with you and will save you,’ declares HaShem. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 31:1-8 “At that time,” declares HaShem, “I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they will be my people.” This is what HaShem says: “The people who survive the sword will find favor in the desert; I will come to give rest to Israel.” HaShem appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. I will build you up again and you will be rebuilt, O Virgin Israel. Again you will take up your tambourines and go out to dance with the joyful. Again you will plant vineyards on the hills of Samaria; the farmers will plant them and enjoy their fruit. There will be a day when watchmen cry out on the hills of Ephraim, ‘Come, let us go up to Zion, to HaShem our God.’“ This is what HaShem says: “Sing with joy for Jacob; shout for the foremost of the nations. Make your praises heard, and say, ‘HaShem, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’ See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, expectant mothers and women in labor; a great throng will return.


Yirimiyah (Jeremiah) 46:23-28 They will chop down her forest,” declares HaShem, “dense though it be. They are more numerous than locusts, they cannot be counted. The Daughter of Egypt will be put to shame, handed over to the people of the north.” HaShem Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “I am about to bring punishment on Amon god of Thebes, on Pharaoh, on Egypt and her gods and her kings, and on those who rely on Pharaoh. I will hand them over to those who seek their lives, to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and his officers. Later, however, Egypt will be inhabited as in times past,” declares HaShem. “Do not fear, O Jacob my servant; do not be dismayed, O Israel. I will surely save you out of a distant place, your descendants from the land of their exile. Jacob will again have peace and security, and no one will make him afraid. Do not fear, O Jacob my servant, for I am with you,” declares HaShem. “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”


Eichah (Lamentations) 2:3 In fierce anger he has cut off every horn of Israel. He has withdrawn his right hand at the approach of the enemy. He has burned in Jacob like a flaming fire that consumes everything around it.


Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 20:4-6 “Will you judge them? Will you judge them, son of man? Then confront them with the detestable practices of their fathers And say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign HaShem says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore with uplifted hand to the descendants of the house of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, “I am HaShem your God.” On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands.


Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 28:25-26 “‘This is what the Sovereign HaShem says: When I gather the people of Israel from the nations where they have been scattered, I will show myself holy among them in the sight of the nations. Then they will live in their own land, which I gave to my servant Jacob. They will live there in safety and will build houses and plant vineyards; they will live in safety when I inflict punishment on all their neighbors who maligned them. Then they will know that I am HaShem their God.’“


Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 39:25 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign HaShem says: I will now bring Jacob back from captivity and will have compassion on all the people of Israel, and I will be zealous for my holy name.


Hoshea (Hosea) 12:11-13 Is Gilead wicked? Its people are worthless! Do they sacrifice bulls in Gilgal? Their altars will be like piles of stones on a plowed field. Jacob fled to the country of Aram; Israel served to get a wife, and to pay for her he tended sheep. HaShem used a prophet to bring Israel up from Egypt, by a prophet he cared for him.


Micah 2:12 - 3:4 “I will surely gather all of you, O Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people. One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, HaShem at their head.” Then I said, “Listen, you leaders of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel. Should you not know justice, You who hate good and love evil; who tear the skin from my people and the flesh from their bones; Who eat my people’s flesh, strip off their skin and break their bones in pieces; who chop them up like meat for the pan, like flesh for the pot?” Then they will cry out to HaShem, but he will not answer them. At that time he will hide his face from them because of the evil they have done.


Micah 3:5-12 This is what HaShem says: “As for the prophets who lead my people astray, if one feeds them, they proclaim ‘peace’; if he does not, they prepare to wage war against him. Therefore night will come over you, without visions, and darkness, without divination. The sun will set for the prophets, and the day will go dark for them. The seers will be ashamed and the diviners disgraced. They will all cover their faces because there is no answer from God.” But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of HaShem, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression, to Israel his sin. Hear this, you leaders of the house of Jacob, you rulers of the house of Israel, who despise justice and distort all that is right; Who build Zion with bloodshed, and Jerusalem with wickedness. Her leaders judge for a bribe, her priests teach for a price, and her prophets tell fortunes for money. Yet they lean upon HaShem and say, “Is not HaShem among us? No disaster will come upon us.” Therefore because of you, Zion will be plowed like a field, Jerusalem will become a heap of rubble, the temple hill a mound overgrown with thickets.


Nahum 2:1-4 An attacker advances against you, [Nineveh]. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength! HaShem will restore the splendor of Jacob like the splendor of Israel, though destroyers have laid them waste and have ruined their vines. The shields of his soldiers are red; the warriors are clad in scarlet. The metal on the chariots flashes on the day they are made ready; the spears of pine are brandished. The chariots storm through the streets, rushing back and forth through the squares. They look like flaming torches; they dart about like lightning.


* * *


This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

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Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

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[1] Bereshit (Genesis) 25:26

[2] Esau’s guardian angel. Bereshit (Genesis) 32:29

[3] The ArtScroll Tanach Series, Tehillim, A new translation with a commentary anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and rabbinic sources. Commentary by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer, Translation by Rabbi Avrohom Chaim Feuer in collaboration with Rabbi Nosson Scherman. See pg 182 on Psalm 14.

[4] From a “Torah Commentary” by Rabbi Bachya ben Asher

[5] Bereshit (Genesis) 25,26

[6] Bereshit (Genesis) 32,29

[7] Yeremiyahu (Jeremiah) 23:7-8

[8] Bereshit (Genesis) 35:10

[9] Yeshayahu (Isaiah) 43:18

[10] Matitiyahu (Matthew) 22:21

[11] Bereshit (Genesis) 2:23