- The third portion in the book of Deuteronomy is titled as 'Ekev' and that means 'because'. When I started reading the portion, I noticed my Bible says 'if' and not 'because'. I am certainly not an expert, but I think whether the word is 'if' or 'because' make a big difference to understand the sentence. 'If' and 'because' make a difference. I opened Complete Jewish Bible (OT and NT) by David H. Stern and it says 'because'. In Blue Letter Bible website, the original language Ekev is explained as 'because'.
- Deuteronomy 9 was very interesting. It shook my heart. The reason why the Israelite took possession of the promised land was not because of their righteousness or not even because their heart was so upright. Only because of God. This reminds me of Gideon's story in the book of Judges. He started out humble but towards the end of his life he sort of forgot who he was. His heart seems to rely on his own strength because he named his son 'a king's son', and it shows Gideon's heart. (per pastor David Jeremiah on the radio) When things go well, I, too, forget who I am. I don't want to, but I do. May I not forget who I am. I am merely one whom God has mercy on!
- I find Deuteronomy interesting because it is almost like a summary with a little commentary about their history. I like summaries. Sometimes I tell my kids to tell me the summary of the book they are reading because I don't want to read it...(lazy mom??)
- Moses went up to the mountain twice. When he went up there the second time, God told Moses to cut out the stones whereas God himself prepared the stones for the law when Moses went up for the first time.
- One new word I learned this week is 'keren' in Hebrew. I love Hebrew. I have a friend who likes Greek because it has much more vocabulary compared to Hebrew. But that makes me like Hebrew more. One Hebrew word has many different meanings sometimes and that may be why there aren't many vocabularies. 'Keren' is one of them. When Moses came down from the mountain, his face was shining. In the original language, 'keren' is used here. 'Keren means 'radiated light' or 'horns'. Interesting. Wikipedia website says that the translator at the time, Jerome, translated it as 'horns' and that could be why the sculpture of Moses has horns. I think I accept it even though smeone told me it was not true...
- The image of the Old Testament is old, strict laws that don't apply now, and so on. I learned in Deuteronomy 10 that God wants us to love him. That is what God wants from us now as well! Deut. 10:16 says 'Therefore, circumcise your heart.' I heard this verse in messages in the past, but I always thought the verse was in the New Testament. In the Old Testament, God was already looking for our loving, genuine hearts.
- In Matthew 4 (a part of this week's portion from NT), Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy, too, when he was tempted in the wilderness. 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord' is famous. Jesus said that, and it is written in the OT!
(edited from 8/26/2008)