Parashah 53 – Ha’azinu

Parashah 53 – Ha’azinu (Hear)

Deuteronomy 32:1–52

32:1 “Hear, oh heavens, as I speak!
Listen, earth, to the words from my mouth!
May my teaching fall like rain.
May my speech condense like dew,
like light rain on blades of grass,
or showers on growing plants.

“For I will proclaim the name of Yehovah.
Come, declare the greatness of our God!
The Rock! His work is perfect,
for all his ways are just.
A trustworthy God who does no wrong,
he is righteous and straight.

“He is not corrupt; the defect is in his children,
a crooked and perverted generation.
You foolish people, so lacking in wisdom,
is this how you repay Yehovah?
He is your father, who made you his!
It was he who formed and prepared you!

(ii) “Remember how the old days were;
think of the years through all the ages.
Ask your father — he will tell you;
your leaders too — they will inform you.
“When ‘Elyon gave each nation its heritage,
when he divided the human race,
he assigned the boundaries of peoples
according to Isra’el’s population;
but Yehovah’s share was his own people,
Ya‘akov his allotted heritage.

10 “He found his people in desert country,
in a howling, wasted wilderness.
He protected him and cared for him,
guarded him like the pupil of his eye,
11 like an eagle that stirs up her nest,
hovers over her young,
spreads out her wings, takes them
and carries them as she flies.

12 Yehovah alone led his people;
no alien god was with him.
(iii) 13 He made them ride on the heights of the earth.
They ate the produce of the fields.
He had them suck honey from the rocks
and olive oil from the crags,
14 curds from the cows and milk from the sheep,
with lamb fat, rams from Bashan and goats,
with the finest wheat flour;
and you drank sparkling wine from the blood of grapes.

15 “But Yeshurun grew fat and kicked
(you grew fat, thick, gross!).
He abandoned God his Maker;
he scorned the Rock, his salvation.
16 They roused him to jealousy with alien gods,
provoked him with abominations.
17 They sacrificed to demons, non-gods,
gods that they had never known,
new gods that had come up lately,
which your ancestors had not feared.
18 You ignored the Rock who fathered you,
you forgot God, who gave you birth.

(iv) 19 Yehovah saw and was filled with scorn
at his sons’ and daughters’ provocation.
20 He said, ‘I will hide my face from them
and see what will become of them;
for they are a perverse generation,
untrustworthy children.
21 They aroused my jealousy with a non-god
and provoked me with their vanities;
I will arouse their jealousy with a non-people
and provoke them with a vile nation.

22 “‘For my anger has been fired up.
It burns to the depths of Sh’ol,
devouring the earth and its crops,
kindling the very roots of the hills.
23 I will heap disasters on them
and use up all my arrows against them.

24 “‘Fatigued by hunger, they will be
consumed by fever and bitter defeat;
I will send them the fangs of wild beasts,
and the poison of reptiles crawling in the dust.
25 Outside, the sword makes parents childless;
inside, there is panic,
as young men and girls alike are slain,
sucklings and graybeards together.

26 “‘I considered putting an end to them,
erasing their memory from the human race;
27 but I feared the insolence of their enemy,
feared that their foes would mistakenly think,
“We ourselves accomplished this;
Yehovah had nothing to do with it.”

28 “‘They are a nation without common sense,
utterly lacking in discernment.
(v) 29 If they were wise they could figure it out
and understand their destiny.
30 After all, how can one chase a thousand
and two put ten thousand to rout,
unless their Rock sells them to their enemies,
unless Yehovah hands them over?
31 For our enemies have no rock like our Rock —
even they can see that!

32 “‘Rather, their vine is from the vine of S’dom,
from the fields of ‘Amora —
their grapes are poisonous,
their clusters are bitter;
33 their wine is snake poison,
the cruel venom of vipers.
34     “‘Isn’t this hidden with me,
sealed in my storehouses?

35 Vengeance and payback are mine
for the time when their foot slips;
for the day of their calamity is coming soon,
their doom is rushing upon them.’

36 “Yes, Yehovah will judge his people,
taking pity on his servants,
when he sees that their strength is gone,
that no one is left, slave or free.
37 Then he will ask, ‘Where are their gods,
the rock in whom they trusted?
38 Who ate the fat of their sacrifices
and drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let him get up and help you,
let him protect you!
39 See now that I, yes, I, am he;
and there is no god beside me.
I put to death, and I make alive;
I wound, and I heal;
no one saves anyone from my hand!

(vi) 40 “‘For I lift up my hand to heaven and swear,
“As surely as I am alive forever,
41 if I sharpen my flashing sword
and set my hand to judgment,
I will render vengeance to my foes,
repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
my sword will devour flesh —
the blood of the slain and the captives,
flesh from the wild-haired heads of the enemy.”’

43 “Sing out, you nations, about his people!
For he will avenge the blood of his servants.
He will render vengeance to his adversaries
and make atonement for the land of his people.”

(vii) 44 Moshe came and proclaimed all the words of this song in the hearing of the people and of Hoshea the son of Nun.

45 When he had finished speaking all these words to all Isra’el, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words of my testimony against you today, so that you can use them in charging your children to be careful to obey all the words of this Torah. 47 For this is not a trivial matter for you; on the contrary, it is your life! Through it you will live long in the land you are crossing the Yarden to possess.”

(Maftir) 48 That same day Yehovah said to Moshe, 49 “Go up into the ‘Avarim Range, to Mount N’vo, in the land of Mo’av across from Yericho; and look out over the land of Kena‘an, which I am giving the people of Isra’el as a possession. 50 On the mountain you are ascending you will die and be gathered to your people, just as Aharon your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people. 51 The reason for this is that both of you broke faith with me there among the people of Isra’el at the M’rivat-Kadesh Spring, in the Tzin Desert; you failed to demonstrate my holiness there among the people of Isra’el. 52 So you will see the land from a distance, but you will not enter the land I am giving to the people of Isra’el.”

2 Samuel 22:1-51

22:1 David said the words of this song to Yehovah on the day Yehovah delivered him from the power of all his enemies and from the power of Sha’ul. He said:

Yehovah is my Rock, my fortress and deliverer,
the God who is my Rock, in whom I find shelter,
my shield, the power that saves me,
my stronghold and my refuge.
My savior, you have saved me from violence.
I call on Yehovah, who is worthy of praise;
and I am saved from my enemies.

“For death’s breakers were closing over me,
the floods of B’liya‘al terrified me,
the ropes of Sh’ol were wrapped around me,
the snares of death lay there before me.
In my distress I called to Yehovah;
yes, I called to my God.
Out of his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry entered his ears.

“Then the earth quaked and shook,
the foundations of heaven trembled.
They were shaken because he was angry.
Smoke arose in his nostrils;
and from his mouth, devouring fire,
with coals blazing from it.
10 He lowered heaven and came down
with thick darkness under his feet.
11 He rode on a keruv and flew,
he was seen on the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness his canopy around him,
thick clouds in the skies dense with water.
13 From the brightness before him,
fiery coals flamed out.

14 Yehovah thundered from heaven,
Ha‘Elyon sounded his voice.
15 He sent out arrows and scattered them;
with lightning he routed them.
16 The channels of the sea appeared,
the foundations of the world were exposed
at Yehovah’s rebuke,
at the blast of breath from his nostrils.

17 “He sent from on high, he took me
and pulled me out of deep water;
18 he rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from those who hated me, for they were stronger than I.
19 They came against me on my day of calamity,
but Yehovah was my support.

20 “He brought me out to an open place;
he rescued me, because he took pleasure in me.
21 Yehovah rewarded me for my uprightness,
he repaid me because my hands were clean.

22 “For I have kept the ways of Yehovah,
I have not done evil by leaving my God;
23 for all his rulings were before me,
I did not depart from his regulations.
24 I was pure-hearted toward him
and kept myself from my sin.

25 “Hence Yehovah repaid me for my uprightness,
according to my purity in his view.
26 With the merciful, you are merciful;
with the champion of purity, you are pure;
27 with the honest, you are honest;
but with the crooked you are cunning.
28 People afflicted, you save;
but when your eyes are on the haughty, you humble them.

29 “For you, Yehovah, are my lamp;
Yehovah lights up my darkness.
30 With you I can run through a whole troop of men,
with my God I can leap a wall.

31 “As for God, his way is perfect,
the word of Yehovah has been tested by fire;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
32 For who is God but Yehovah,
and who is a Rock but our God?

33 “God is my strength and protection;
he makes my way go straight.
34 He makes me swift and sure-footed as a deer
and enables me to stand on my high places.
35 He trains my hands for war
until my arms can bend a bow of bronze;
36 You give me your shield, which is salvation;
your answers make me great.
37 You lengthen the steps I can take,
yet my ankles do not turn.

38 “I pursued my enemies and wiped them out,
without turning back until they were destroyed.
39 I destroyed them, crushed them; they can’t get up;
they have fallen under my feet.

40 “For you braced me with strength for the battle
and bent down my adversaries beneath me.
41 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight,
so that I could destroy those who hate me.

42 “They looked, but there was no one to help,
even to Yehovah, but he didn’t answer.
43 I pulverized them like dust on the ground,
pounded and stamped on them like mud in the streets.

44 “You also freed me from the quarrels of my people.
You kept me to be the head of the nations;
a people I did not know now serve me.
45 Foreigners come cringing to me;
the moment they hear of me, they obey me.
46 Foreigners lose heart as they stagger from their fortresses.

47 Yehovah is alive! Blessed is my Rock!
Exalted be God, the Rock of my salvation,
48 the God who gives me vengeance
and makes peoples submit to me.
49 He brings me out from my enemies.
You raise me over those who rebel against me,
you rescue me from violent men.

50 “So I give thanks to you, Yehovah, among the nations;
I sing praises to your name.
51 He is a tower of salvation for his king;
he displays grace to his anointed,
to David and his descendants forever.”

Romans 10:17-21

17 So trust comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through a word proclaimed about the Messiah.

18 “But, I say, isn’t it rather that they didn’t hear?” No, they did hear —

“Their voice has gone out throughout the whole world
and their words to the ends of the earth.”[a]

19 “But, I say, isn’t it rather that Isra’el didn’t understand?”

“I will provoke you to jealousy over a non-nation,
over a nation void of understanding I will make you angry.”[b]

20 Moreover, Yesha‘yahu boldly says,

“I was found by those who were not looking for me,
I became known to those who did not ask for me”;[c]

21 but to Isra’el he says,

“All day long I held out my hands
to a people who kept disobeying and contradicting.”[d]

11:1 “In that case, I say, isn’t it that God has repudiated his people?” Heaven forbid! For I myself am a son of Isra’el, from the seed of Avraham,[a] of the tribe of Binyamin. God has not repudiated his people,[b] whom he chose in advance. Or don’t you know what the Tanakh says about Eliyahu? He pleads with God against Isra’el, Yehovah, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars, and I’m the only one left, and now they want to kill me too!”[c] But what is God’s answer to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not knelt down to Ba‘al.”[d] It’s the same way in the present age: there is a remnant, chosen by grace. (Now if it is by grace, it is accordingly not based on legalistic works; if it were otherwise, grace would no longer be grace.) What follows is that Isra’el has not attained the goal for which she is striving. The ones chosen have obtained it, but the rest have been made stonelike, just as the Tanakh says,

“God has given them a spirit of dullness
eyes that do not see
and ears that do not hear,
right down to the present day.”[e]

And David says,

“Let their dining table become for them
a snare and a trap, a pitfall and a punishment.
10 Let their eyes be darkened, so that they can’t see,
with their backs bent continually.”[f]

11 “In that case, I say, isn’t it that they have stumbled with the result that they have permanently fallen away?” Heaven forbid! Quite the contrary, it is by means of their stumbling that the deliverance has come to the Gentiles, in order to provoke them to jealousy.[g] 12 Moreover, if their stumbling is bringing riches to the world — that is, if Isra’el’s being placed temporarily in a condition less favored than that of the Gentiles is bringing riches to the latter — how much greater riches will Isra’el in its fullness bring them!

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