“If one turns his ear aside from hearing the Torah, his prayer, too, will be considered an abomination.” Proverbs 28:9

Everyone one of us today in this life at some point or another will be challenged in some way or another and at some point all of us will be confronted with a situation likened to the Bitter Waters! What am I referring too? This Op is going to address this…I hope anyways. For your information: This weeks Torah portion, as I prepare this Op, is ‘Beshalach’ found in Exodus 13:17-17:16 and it is here the Bitter Waters are discussed!

What is the single most common objection uttered today from Replacement Theology Christendom as it pertains to the Torah of HaShem? “Oh, you are teaching a works based salvation, one must keep the Torah in order to earn their salvation!” This accusation is absolutely, one hundred thousand percent false! HaShem reveals this many times and through many different ways in His Word via different persons, circumstances and challenges. First, He saves, THEN He presents His Torah, not to obtain salvation, but BECAUSE we are saved so we can know Him, know how to serve Him and know how to live in this life here and now with regards to how we interact with others!

We will see this concept shortly as it pertains to the Bitter Waters. However, as always, never forget the eternal, unchanging characteristics of HaShem as He reveals Himself in His Word:

  • 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

In order to fully understand what the significance is regarding the topic of this Op i.e. the Bitter Waters, we first must completely understand HaShem’s Torah is likened to fresh, clean, drinkable water! Isaiah 55:1 says “Ho, everyone who is thirsty, go to the water (Torah), even one with no money, go, buy and eat; go and buy wine and milk (Torah is likened to wine and milk) without money and without price.” The commentary on this verse says “Water is a metaphor for Torah and wisdom, for just as the world cannot exist without water, it cannot exist without the Torah. Furthermore, just as one who is thirsty yearns for water, a wise soul yearns for Torah and wisdom. Torah is compared to water to teach that just as water leaves heights and flows to lower places, Torah wisdom can only remain in one who is humble. A humble person realizes that he has much to learn. He will not let pride prevent him from learning from others or from asking questions that will expose his lack of knowledge.” Keep this in mind!

With this said, lets jump into examining the topic of this Op. At this point in the Torah portion, HaShem has miraculously delivered Israel from Egyptian bondage, brought them through the Sea of Reeds, drowned the Egyptian army and is leading them into the Wilderness. Israel is singing and praising HaShem for His miracles, kindness and salvation! On a quick side note, notice already, if we are paying attention, we would see through this example of the Exodus from Egypt, HaShem FIRST saves and THEN He offers the Torah after salvation has been granted. He didn’t Tell Israel, “Here is My Torah, if you do it perfectly for a month, I will deliver you!” What He did say is He would first deliver Israel, destroy Egypt, take Israel to Himself as His people and then offer them the Torah! Once more destroys Christendom’s anti-Torah doctrine! Moving on.

Exodus 15:22-24 says “Moshe caused Israel to journey from the Sea of Reeds and they went out to the Wilderness of Shur; they went for a THREE DAY period in the Wilderness, but they did not find water. They came to Marah (Hebrew Word meaning ‘Bitter’), but they could not drink the waters of Marah, because they were bitter (Poisonous); therefore they called its name Marah. The people complained against Moshe, saying, ‘What shall we drink?'”

There is much to glean from these verses which we can apply to our lives today and I will explain. Understand, at this point in the Wilderness, Israel still had not received the whole Torah yet, but HaShem had given them bits and pieces to hold onto, study, learn and apply to their lives.

The commentary on these verses are very enlightening. It says “The word ‘Water’ hints to Torah. Thus, when our pasuk (Verse) says that the Jews went for a three day period…but they did not find water, it means that they went three days without studying Torah. Since they did not study Torah for three days, they became spiritually exhausted.”

One of the concepts of the Exodus from Egypt which we can apply to each of ourselves today is the concept of Egypt representing our ‘Yetzer Hara’ i.e. our Evil Inclination, in which we are constantly battling against and enslaved too every day. The ‘Yetzer Hara’ is what each of us today battles down i.e. fending off temptations, giving in to sin in all its disastrous forms! Did Israel destroy Egypt themselves through their own efforts? Of course not! It was HaShem Who destroyed Egypt and delivered Israel because only He can do so! Baruch HaShem!! Just like the Egyptians, our Yetzer Hara seeks to keep each of us separated from HaShem and certainly wants us to steer clear and reject His Torah and why? Consider this little nugget from the Chumash on Exodus 15:22 which says “The ONLY way to overcome the Yetzer Hara is by studying Torah! Since the Jews did not study Torah for three days, they became exhausted and could not fight against their Yetzer Hara!” Thus what happened? Per Exodus 15:24 it says “The people complained against Moshe, saying, ‘What shall we drink?'”

Here is Israel, they have just experienced and witnessed HaShem’s miraculous deliverance from Egypt, HaShem has destroyed Egypt, led Israel through the Sea of Reeds and provided for and sustained Israel, and what is their response to the Bitter Waters? They complain against Moshe! They should have trusted in HaShem to provide a way!

How many times have we been in a situation, which is extremely nerve wracking, our stress is through the roof because we don’t know how the situation can be resolved in our favor, and HaShem suddenly acts in a manner we didn’t even think of, and then just a few days later, we are already complaining against Him? I know personally I have fallen into that trap many, many times and then feel horrible afterwards because I know I have failed Him once more. I had allowed my weak, fleshly desires i.e. my Yetzer Hara get the better of me. But, thank HaShem, His mercies are fresh and anew every morning. This doesn’t give a free license to sin, on the contrary, we are to strive to fight off our Yetzer Hara and hold onto the hope in HaShem, in which one day, hopefully soon, the Final Redemption will occur and we will be forever delivered from the bondage of our Egypt i.e. Yetzer Hara!

This doesn’t in any way diminish what Yeshua accomplished on Pesach (Passover) with His death and resurrection, on the contrary it further explains what He did! He didn’t die to release us from the Torah, if He claimed to do so, He just disqualified Himself as being Messiah and would qualify as the Adversary. In reality, He died as the Agent of HaShem to restore and renew the marriage contract between HaShem and His bride i.e. Israel! Keep this in mind as we proceed.

Consider what Tractate Bava Kamma 82a from the Talmud Bavli says “The Gemara teaches that the Evil Inclination renews itself and threatens to overpower a person every day. Nevertheless, HaShem provided the Torah as an antidote. However, when a person goes three days without learning the Torah, he becomes spiritually exhausted i.e. weakened, and then even Torah study will not readily enable him to break the Evil Inclination’s grip.”

So, here is Moshe, standing with Israel, at the spring of bitter water, has absolutely no idea what to do or how to fix the issue. The people need water desperately and so he calls out to HaShem for help. Exodus 15:25 says “He (Moshe) cried out to HaShem, and HaShem showed him a tree; he threw it into the water and the water became sweet. There He established for the nation a decree and an ordinance, and there He tested it.”

What is HaShem teaching us here through this verse? Moshe was shown a tree, HaShem commanded Moshe to take a branch and throw it into the Bitter Waters and the waters became sweet i.e. pure, clean and drinkable! This tree is a picture of the Tree of Life and the Torah of HaShem!! He says His Torah is an eternal Tree of Life to those who take hold of it per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160!

Now here is the crux of the matter: Exodus 15:26 says “He (HaShem) said, ‘If you (Israel) hearken diligently to the Voice of HaShem, your Elohim, and do what is just in His eyes, give ear to His commandments and observe all His decrees, then any of the diseases that I placed in Egypt, I will not bring upon you, for I am HaShem, your Healer.'”

The commentary on this verse says “HaShem promises, any of the diseases I placed in Egypt, I will not bring upon you, for I am HaShem, your Healer. But if HaShem will not bring diseases upon the Jews, there is no need to heal anything. So why did HaShem say, for I am your Healer? This phrase is a continuation of the beginning of the verse, ‘If you will hearken diligently to the Voice of HaShem.’ The verse means, if you will hearken, etc, then, any of the diseases I placed in Egypt I will not bring upon you. But if you will not listen to Me, I will place these diseases upon you. Nevertheless, once you repent and obey My commands I will cure those diseases, for I am HaShem, your Healer.”

So, very quickly, what is the gist of this Op? The gist is the fact we all, no matter who we are, or where we are at, WILL come into phases of our lives where we will be faced with having to drink the Bitter Waters and will see no other way. Our choices are to complain and search to go back where we came from or stop, take a breath, remember Who HaShem is and all of His eternal, unchanging characteristics, and call out to Him for help. He will then answer and He will make a way to purify those Bitter Waters, and make them clean and drinkable in only the way He can!

Will we follow Him diligently and consistently? Sadly no, we won’t, because we are still weak and succumb to our Yetzer Hara! Our hope is in Him while our salvation is secure in Messiah Yeshua! Remember, FIRST He saves/redeems and THEN He offers His Torah! I can guarantee you, when you first start looking into the Torah of HaShem, it truly is and very literally like drinking in a glass of cold, fresh, sweet water, in which you will realize you knew you have been missing something in life, but you never knew what it was until that moment! Then from that moment on, you drink more and more and you see, you want more and more!

Consider this last thought from the book I have entitled ‘My Father, My King’ which states “Hear your Father, your King, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe, saying to you: ‘When you are engaged in doing My will, the difficulty increases the merit of your deeds. If it is difficult for you to study Torah and you do so anyway, the difficulty increases the reward. If you are trying to pray and find it difficult, the difficulty increases the reward. If you try to do an act of kindness and it is difficult, the difficulty increases the reward. The more difficult it is for you to do My will, the greater the love for Me that your deeds express. And the reward will be commensurate. When it is difficult to do a mitzvah, realize that I am the One Who has created the difficulty. And just as it is I Who created that difficulty, I also created your ability to overcome it. Ask Me for My help and I will be with you. With My help no obstacle will be too difficult for you to overcome. No mountain will be too high and no river will be too wide to keep you away from doing My will.'”

Much to consider.


  • The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
  • My Father, My King by Artscroll
  • Talmud Bavli by Artscroll
  • The Prophets by Artscroll
  • The Milstein Edition of The Chumash with the teaching of the Talmud by Artscroll

Published by DShalom

A Torah observant servant of the Elohim of Avraham, Yitzhak and Ya'akov, the Elohim of Yisra'el and His Mashiach Yeshua.

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