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The revealing Torah and Haftarah readings during President Bush’s Israel and Middle East visits – Bill Koenig

The Torah reading for the week of January 5
Exodus 6:2-9

The Haftarah reading for the week of January 5
Ezekiel: 28:25-29:21

The Torah and Haftarah readings for the weeks of January 5 and January 12 are very revealing.

President Bush traveled to Israel from January 9 to January 11. He then traveled to Kuwait, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and is arriving in Saudi Arabia on Monday for three days and two nights before traveling to Sharm al Sheikh, Egypt on Wednesday, January 16. He leaves for Washington later that evening.

When President Bush was in Israel, the Torah teachings were God’s reminder to Moses that He had established a covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give them the land of Canaan; God stated that He remembered that covenant; He would take them to be His people; He would release them from the burdens of the Egyptians; and He will bring them to the land that He gave them for their heritage.

In the Haftarah teachings, the Lord says they shall dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob. And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.


The Torah reading for the week of January 12
Exodus 10:1-13:16

The Haftarah reading for the week of January 12
Jeremiah 46: 13-28

As President Bush will be visiting five Middle Eastern Arab countries to discuss the land of Israel, Iran, and Middle East democracy, the Torah and Haftarah speaks of plagues and judgment.

How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast: And they shall cover the face of the earth, that one cannot be able to see the earth: and they shall eat the residue of that which is escaped, which remaineth unto you from the hail, and shall eat every tree which groweth for you out of the field:

And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the land of Egypt for the locusts, that they may come up upon the land of Egypt, and eat every herb of the land, even all that the hail hath left. And Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the LORD brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts.


The Haftarah reading stated, The word that the LORD spake to Jeremiah the prophet, how Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon should come and smite the land of Egypt but destruction cometh; it cometh out of the north.

The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saith; Behold, I will punish the multitude of No, and Pharaoh, and Egypt, with their gods, and their kings; even Pharaoh, and all them that trust in him: And I will deliver them into the hand of those that seek their lives,

O Israel: for, behold, I will save thee from afar off, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and be in rest and at ease, and none shall make him afraid.


As we shared with you this week, Deuteronomy 1:3,8 was also very relevant.

President Bush came to Israel on a very significant date to discuss the division of the covenant land and the eventual division of Jerusalem.

If you look at the Hebrew Calendar Tuesday - Wednesday, Jan 8-9, 2008, sunset to sunset, was a New Moon, which is very significant on the biblical calendar. It was the date of Shevat 1. The first day of the 11th month. The New Moon is always sanctified or set apart. But look at the biblical significance of it not only being just the first of any particular month, but what happened on this very day, the first day of the 11th month, 3400 yrs ago:

Deuteronomy 1:3,8 And it happened, in the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses spoke to the sons of Israel according to all that God had commanded him concerning them; Behold, I have set before you the land; go in and possess the land which the LORD has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their seed after them.

It just so happens, this is not only just the first day of the eleventh month, but it is also in the fortieth year since Jerusalem recaptured in 1967!!

Further suggested reading, Zechariah 12-14.