“He who loves purity of heart, and whose lips are gracious, the King (HaShem) is his friend.” Proverbs 22:11
Corruption, deceit, lies, robbery, treachery, violence, immorality, debauchery, wickedness and fury. All of these words describes life in 2023, wouldn’t you agree? Probably many more adjectives could be added if we were to dwell on this more. No doubt, the state of the world today in 2023 is beyond what any of us could have imagined thirty years ago and it seems to fall more and more each and every day.
You may be thinking this is a very depressing way to begin a new Op, but I thought it to be important to acknowledge reality and to understand and accept that yes, life is indescribably bad for many people today, and as such, we each, myself included, need something to remind us in the face of this reality of just Who HaShem is and He has NOT forgotten us, hope still applies to each of us today! We just need help in seeing it and grabbing onto it! This will be a short Op as well.
I thought it best to integrate the most recent Torah portions into this Op i.e. Parashot Va’era and Bo, both of which encompass Shemot (Exodus) 6:2-13:16 and deeply describes the conditions in which Israel, living in slavery and bondage in Egypt, cried out to HaShem for deliverance and He heard their cries and acted. In His acting against Egypt, He levied a total of TEN specific judgments upon Egypt and their leader i.e. Pharaoh and shielded His people Israel at the same time. It is during these ten judgments He smashes and destroys the most powerful nation, economically and militarily, on the planet, and brings His people out and to Himself….hint hint hint!
We will be discussing these ten judgments among other important aspects of the number ten in His Word throughout this Op, but first, always remember and never lose hold of the following Scriptural facts of Who HaShem is:
- HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
- His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
- He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
- He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
- He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
- He says His Torah is the ONLY truth there is per Psalms 119:142
- He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
- He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
- He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
- He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
- He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
- He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
- He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
- He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
- He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
- He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
- He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
- He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
- He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
- He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
- He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
- He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
- He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
- He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
- He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
- He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
- He says Messiah Yeshua is the GOAL of His Torah, meaning without His Torah, Messiah cannot be known per Romans 10:4
- He says if we had believed Moshe/Torah, we would have believed Messiah per John 5:46
- He says His salvation is far from the wicked for they sought not His Torah per Psalms 119:155
- He says to hold fast to and guard His Torah, for it is our life per Proverbs 4:13
- He says His Torah is the bread of life per Proverbs 9:5
One of the most important verses to hold onto regarding how HaShem manages and rules His creation is found in Isaiah 46:10 which says “From the beginning I foretell the outcome (End), and from earlier times, what has not yet been, but I say and My plan will stand, and I will carry out My every desire.”
This verse here in Isaiah 46:10 absolutely destroys Christian Replacement Theology and thank HaShem it does! If HaShem reveals the end from the beginning, then how can the beginning be tossed away with and replaced with something brand new? Its utterly impossible! Keep this in mind as we proceed because it will be very important!
When reading HaShem Word from the beginning and all throughout the Tanakh (Erroneously called the Old Testament), we see the number ten shows up beyond calculation. HaShem must be communicating something to us, if we will just take the time to explore and learn!
A book I have titled ‘Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers’ by Levene Hartman and published by Artscroll, is an amazing book and based upon the Tanakh and the Talmud, both sets i.e. Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi. Let’s explore the significance of the number ten and see how each instance of its revealing is used and what HaShem may be telling us, especially how it may apply to each of us today in 2023!
The number ten as revealed by HaShem relates to an integrated system, meaning a full set of individual parts combines to make up a communal whole! Ten typifies kedushah (Holiness) as there are ten levels of kedushah, each level requiring a higher level of sanctity the closer one approaches to His Throne and the resting place of HaShem’s Divine Presence (Shechinah) in the Most Holy Place in the Temple. Ten is the pathway to reach spiritual perfection and to the World to Come. Ten is the basis of the Jewish (Biblical) numbering system. Now this seems kind of overwhelming, but hang on.
In the Tanakh it is recorded for us in Hebrew, HaShem spoke ten utterances in bringing forth all of Creation! The following from the ‘Perkei Avos’ (Ethics of our Fathers) 5.1 says “With ten utterances the world was created. The Rambam enumerates the ten Divine Utterances used to create our world. If you count the times the verse says ‘And He said’, Bereishis (Genesis) does not describe an utterance per se, it alludes to the creation of the heavens and the earth. It is as if the verse states that HaShem ‘said’ to create the heavens and the earth, for they too, needed an utterance to come into existence. We may ask, though, why does the Torah not say explicitly, ‘HaShem said that there should be a heaven and an earth?’ Why was the creation of the heavens and the earth different? The heavens and the earth, with everything in them, were brought into existence from complete and total nothingness right away, on the first day of Creation. The Hebrew word ‘Bara’ used in the first verse of the Torah hints at this, for it connotes a creation of something from nothing, as opposed to all the latter utterances, that are expressed as ‘And He said…’, which connotes something formed from an already existing entity. This follows the opinion of Rabbi Nechemiah, that on the first day of Creation the entire world came into being.” So, with ten utterances, HaShem brought forth the heavens and the earth and spread them out over six days!
The first generations of mankind were themselves grouped into two sets of ten i.e. ten generations from Adam to Noach and ten generations from Noach to Abraham! Remember, ten generations from Adam to Noach and then the flood which wiped out the earth because of sin! Perkei Avos 5.2 says “There were ten generations from Adam to Noach, to show the degree of His patience; for all those generations angered Him increasingly, until He brought upon them the waters of the Flood.”
Perkei Avos 5.4 says “Our forefather Abraham was tested with ten trials, and he withstood them all, to show the degree of our forefather Abraham’s love for HaShem!” Why is this so important? Because the Torah teaches us Abraham was the one who saved the world after HaShem had waited for so many generations. Abraham taught the world to do teshuvah (Repentance) and spread HaShem’s Name throughout Creation, something Adam was to do. This was the purpose for HaShem creating man in the first place i.e. to spread His Name throughout the world and to reflect the image of HaShem! Hint hint hint!! I seem to recall Yeshua being referred too as The Second Adam i.e. to reflect the image of HaShem and spread His Name while encouraging and teaching people to do teshuvah! Can you see, nothing changed and HaShem reveals the end from the beginning?
This weeks Torah portion i.e. Parashot Bo which is found in Shemot (Exodus) 10:1-13:16 and continues to give the account of how HaShem delivered Israel from the bondage and slavery of Egypt. He uses His Creation to wage war on His enemies, specifically ten judgments which are in order as follows:
- Wild Animals
- Death of the Firstborn
The Egyptians had deified all of creation and completely rejected HaShem, therefore HaShem used these elements of His Creation to show them the folly of their idolatry. Further it was to show them there is only One True King Who rules over all of His Creation and can use any element of His Creation for His purposes and there is nothing mankind can do about it!
What is astounding is the Ten Utterances of Creation correspond to these ten plagues which fell upon Egypt! The First Utterance of Creation i.e. ‘In the Beginning’ is the inverse of the Tenth Plague i.e. the Death of the Firstborn! The Second Utterance of Creation i.e. the creation of light is the inverse of the Ninth Plague i.e. Darkness!
Perkei Avos 5.5 tells us “Ten miracles were performed for our ancestors in Egypt, and ten miracles at the Sea. Ten plagues did the Holy One, Blessed is He, bring upon the Egyptians in Egypt and ten miracles at the Sea.”
All of these miracles were done to prepare Israel for meeting with HaShem at Mount Sinai where He would offer His Torah to the world, and they rejected it. He then offers His Torah to Israel who accept it. His Torah is condensed into the Ten Commandments which encapsulates the entirety of His Torah! We now know, it is through His Torah, which He uses as the tool to bring about His Creation!! Again, another gigantic example how His Torah cannot be done away with as Christendom teaches because to do away with Torah would be to destroy Creation!
Other examples of ten in His Word includes the Tenth Day of the month of Tishrei i.e. Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year! Prior to that, there are the Ten Days of Awe (Teshuvah) which begin at sunset on Rosh HaShanah and end on Yom Kippur!
During the Yom Kippur Temple Service performed by the Kohen HaGadol (High Priest), he utters the Four Letter Divine Name of HaShem a total of ten times…….Remember Yom Kippur is the most holy annual Feast of the year.
The tenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet is the letter ‘Yod’. Per the book ‘The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet’ published by Artscroll, it defines the letter Yod as the following: “The symbol of creation and the metaphysical. It is the numerical value of ten. Isaiah 26:4 says ‘For with His Name (Yah), HaShem is the Rock of the universe.’ Tractate Menachos 29b from the Talmud Bavli states ‘HaShem created the universe with the letters Yod and Hey which form the Divine Name ‘Yah’. With the letter Yod He created The World to Come and with the letter Hey He created this world.”
Remember, Yeshua Himself carries on this theme and likens the Kingdom of HaShem to ten virgins per Matthew 25 who carry their lamps going out to search for the Bridegroom.
Ten connects to creation, to deliverance and to HaShem and His Torah!! All of which we are commanded to remember and hold onto in our lives so we are not overwhelmed and overcome by the stress, frustration, anxiety, anger, debauchery, corruption and filth which we all are being constantly inundated with!
Can you see the mastery HaShem has over all of His creation just by this simple number ten and all it represents? If He reveals the end from the beginning, He is unchanging, and there is nothing new under the sun, then during this weeks Torah portion i.e. Bo, in which we read about HaShem using TEN plagues to deliver His people, then can we derive hope and confidence today HaShem will do so once again and very soon? Can we see these specific plagues HaShem uses against Egypt once more emerging in the world and America today?
Studying and learning His Torah and His Temple and then striving to apply what we are learning into our lives is the ONLY way we can develop a relationship with HaShem and know Who He is and know Who His Messiah really is. It has nothing to do with salvation, its all about relationship and in doing so, developing hope and confidence in Him in these very dark and troubling times we live in!
Something to consider and Shabbat Shalom!
- The Milstein Edition Isaiah by Artscroll
- Jewish Wisdom in the Numbers by Artscroll
- The Wisdom in the Hebrew Alphabet by Artscroll
- The Koren Talmud Bavli
- The Kehati Mishnah