Whereas most English text translate the title of this parasha: 'When you enter...', the literal Hebrew says: 'When you come...'. It may not make much difference except for this.
In a previous parasha called 'Bo', Hashem tells Moses to 'come' to Egypt. The word 'Bo', meaning 'Come'. (Ex 10:1) usually also translated as 'Go'. The difference is of geography. When we tell someone, 'go', they go away from us as we are staying put. But when we tell someone 'come', we are telling them to come to us to the place where we are waiting for them.
The parasha this week tells us that:
יקימך יהוה לו לעם קדושׁ כאשׁר נשׁבע־לך כי תשׁמר את־מצות יהוה אלהיך והלכת בדרכיו׃
Adonai will establish you as a people separated for himself, as he has sworn to you, "if you will observe the mitzvot of Adonai your God and follow his ways," (Deut 7;12)
When he says 'come', it means 'follow me; walk in my ways'. We are to follow Him. In Ex 10:1, he tells Moshe, 'Come to Egypt' because he is already there (Ex 3:8). In Deut 26:1, he says, 'When you come to the Land...', because he is already there waiting for them. Its the fact that the Children of the Children of Israel can take all the way 'to the bank'! Taking was a part of walking in His ways.
The messianic Promises are coming to a close. As It turns towards this second Exodus, the Voice of Messiah is heard in the Land and It tells us, 'When you come to the Land ...'.
We are commanded to come in the Land, but this command lies under the same conditions as those given to the Children of Israel who came from the desert. It is disobedience to the Torah that evicted the Children of Israel from the land 2,000 years ago. Part of Yeshua's messianic role was to be the last prophet before the Great Exile, which could have been averted had they listened to His message. In his teaching to the Galatians, Paul speaks of 'The curse of the Torah'. Christian interpretation has understood this as the Torah being cursed but how could that be when,
The Torah of Adonai is perfect, restoring the inner person. The instruction of Adonai is sure, making wise the thoughtless. The precepts of Adonai are right, rejoicing the heart. The mitzvah of Adonai is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of Adonai is clean, enduring forever. The rulings of Adonai are true, they are righteous altogether, more desirable than gold, than much fine gold, also sweeter than honey or drippings from the honeycomb. Through them your servant is warned; in obeying them there is great reward.
(Psa 19:7-11 CJB)
What Paul refers to in Gal 3:10, 13, is to the curse upon he who disobeys. Its like a father saying, 'If you do such and such, you'll get a spanking. Same with the law. If we do such and such, we go to jail'. It is not the rule that is the curse. The rule is for our benefit. The curse is the punishment for disobedience to the rule, a punishment that is often self-afflicted as in 'if you eat too much candy, you will have cavities.' Some people's religion these days is one where there should be no retribution for sin, and we see where that leads.
Here is the list of curses from Deut 27:15-26. I will add some applications in between the verses.
- 'A curse on anyone who makes a carved or metal image, something Adonai detests, the handiwork of a craftsman, and sets it up in secret!' IDOLATRY: GIVING THE WORKS OF OUR OWN HANDS A HIGHER PRIORITY THAN OUR DUTY TO HASHEM. 'IN SECRET': WHILE HYPOCRITICALLY MAKING EXCUSES AND PRETENDING TO LOVE HASHEM FIRST.
- 'A curse on anyone who dishonors his father or mother.' SPEAKINGBAD OF OUR PARENTS, ESPECIALLY IN FRONT OF OTHERS, SUCH AS BEFORE OUR CHILDREN.
- 'A curse on anyone who moves his neighbor's boundary marker.'APPROPRIATING GROUND THAT IS NOT OURS; CHANGING THE ESTABLISHED DIVINE LAW/EXPECTING PEOPLE TO DO ABOVE AND BEYOND WHAT THEY ARE ABLE TO.
- 'A curse on anyone who causes a blind person to lose his way on the road.' BEING IRRESPONSIBLE IN TEACHING TORAH, THUS LEADING PEOPLE ASTRAY.
- 'A curse on anyone who interferes with justice for the foreigner, orphan or widow.' HAVING THE SAME AVAILABILITY OF JUSTICE FOR THE RICH, THE POOR, AND THE FOREIGNER WHO TAKES REFUGE IN OUR LAND.
- 'A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with his father's wife, because he has violated his father's rights.' NO COMMENT. OBVIOUS
- 'A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with any kind of animal.' NO COMMENT. OBVIOUS
- 'A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with his sister, no matter whether she is the daughter of his father or of his mother.' NO COMMENT. OBVIOUS
- 'A curse on anyone who has sexual relations with his mother-in-law.'NO COMMENT. OBVIOUS
- 'A curse on anyone who secretly attacks a fellow member of the community.' WE ARE NOT TO SPEAK EVIL OF PEOPLE BEHIND THEIR BACK.
- 'A curse on anyone who accepts a bribe to kill an innocent person.' EITHER PHYSICALLY KILL, OR RECEIVING SOME SORT OF BENEFITS FOR ALLOWING THE CHARACTER ASSASSINATION OF SOMEONE.
- 'A curse on anyone who does not confirm the words of this Torah by putting them into practice.' HERE IS THE CURSE OF GALATIANS 3.
As I was trying to challenge my school Bible students one time, I told them, "I have the solution for all the worlds social and economic problems. It is simple, it doesn't cost any money, and anybody can do it. All you have to do is live by the 10 commandments. Can you imagine a world where no-one lies, cheat, steals, covets your stuff? A world where everyone obeys their parents and love God? It would be Heaven right? SO WHY DON'T WE DO IT?
Our Master Yeshua said that the Kingdom is within us. Why are we therefore waiting for the Kingdom of Heaven to be geographically and politically established on earth in order to follow its social, interpersonal, and spiritual lifestyle? Remember, He waits for us there; He says, "כי תבא When you come ...'
Let us try to answer this question as we introspect in preparation for the Fall Festivals.