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14 Elul 5768/14 September 2008


Kol HaTor Weekly

Restoration update


Ten Tribes Malbim ii

Audio Newss


The two latest audio teachings by Stephen Allen that have been aired on KMLS  FM101.9 American Jewish Messianic Radio:


Why Sha'ul Wrote About the Olive Tree


Sha'ul wrote about the olive tree in Romans 11, but why did he write about it in the first place? Do you know why? He was writing to combat numerous erroneous ideas and attitudes that were rampant within the Roman Messianic assemblies. Do you know what wrong beliefs and arrogant opinions he was correcting? If not, then this audio lesson is for you! (download) (streaming audio)


The Olive Tree in Romans 11


Sha'ul's olive tree metaphor in Romans 11 explained in the context of Israelite history, in the context of the prophecies found in Yirmeyahu [Jeremiah] and Yechezqel [Ezekiel], and in the context of Sha'ul's entire letter to the Romans. What is the tree? Which branches have been broken off? Which branches have the opportunity of being grafted back in? What determines whether a branch is attached to the tree or not? Do you know for sure?

(download) (streaming audio)




Words highlighted in blue represent KolHaTor compiling editor’s comments.

PB091 The Mountains of Israel

The Mountains of Israel (Paperback)

by Norma Parrish Archbold

Reviewer Pieter “Toypo”


This brilliant little book provides an excellent Biblical perspective to the events that have been unfolding in the Middle East, and what is to come. The author explores the striking similarity between developments there and chapters 35 and 36 of the book Ezekiel. In truth, there are remarkable correspondences and it means mostly good news for Israel.

The text, illuminated by maps throughout, explains that the so-called West Bank is called the Mountains of Israel in the Bible. This land had been promised to Abraham's descendants through Jacob (Israel) from the time of Genesis. This promise is unconditional and will be fulfilled, just like the restoration of Israel has been fulfilled.

In the chapter The Desolate Land, the neglected condition of the land prior to the return of large numbers of Jews is investigated, with reference to the reports of visitors like Mark Twain (
The Innocents Abroad) in the 1860s, W M Thompson in 1866 and Samuel Manning in 1874. It also looks at the Ottoman Turkish occupation of this land from 1516 to 1917.

The chapter Promises deals with the return of Jews to Israel from the mid 19th century, the League of Nations' designation of Palestine as a homeland for the Jewish people and the return from various Arab countries, Ethiopia and Russia. Mount Seir explains the identity of the Biblical Esau and Edom and contains genealogical charts of Arab and Jewish ancestors. The rest of the nations around Israel are also discussed here.

The next chapter looks at the ancient historical roots of the hatred for Israel, the creation of Transjordan in 1922 and the UN vote to create Israel in 1947. On its day of birth in 1948, six Arab states moved to destroy the infant state. The outnumbered and poorly armed Israel repulsed them, although Jordan occupied most of Judea and Samaria. It is difficult not to see this as a miracle.

Again in 1967, Israel repulsed numerically superior Arab armies and finally gained control of the mountains of Israel, plus the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. Although caught by surprise, Israel in 1973 again triumphed over its enemies in the Yom Kippur war. Only the wilfully blind will refuse to admit that some kind of intervention took place here.

The chapter They Boasted Against The Lord discusses the statements of Arab leaders from the 1930s and the continued slander against Israel that is now increasing in intensity. This chapter also discusses the Palestinian refugees in a compassionate way and compares the absorption of Jewish refugees from Arab lands to the situation of Palestinian refugees today.

In Balaam And The First Exodus, the author remarks that this story of Balaam and his donkey is so well known for a definite purpose, and points out how the scenario is repeating itself. The United Nations has been condemning Israel for its every move, whilst ignoring atrocities and genocide worldwide, like those in Chechnya and Sudan. Western leaders ought to take note too. It is unwise to try and force dangerous "Auschwitz" borders on Israel.

The text includes Ezekiel 35 and 36, an extensive bibliography, and three indices: by year, by Biblical books and alphabetical. The maps and illustrations make the text come alive and easy to understand. This book is probably the most informative and enlightening source on the history of modern day Israel. Not only does it clear up the ignorance and dispel the myths, it also establishes an undeniable link between Biblical prophecy and ME history of the last few decades. What's more, it points toward some awesome developments that will take place in that area in coming decades, events that will have an effect on the whole world.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to argue that the establishment of Israel, its victories in 1948, 1967 and 1973 and the return of its people from all corners of the globe have happened by accident. Also, the increase in Anti-Semitism and the demented hatred of Israel and the USA in certain quarters are hard to ignore. These phenomena become clear in the context of this book.

The Mountains Of Israel will increase the knowledge of practicing Christians and Jews and will give open-minded secularists a lot of food for thought. May the reader be blessed with insight and understanding.

Product Details

·                     Paperback: 120 pages

·                     Publisher: Phoebe's Song (August 20, 1993)

·                     ISBN-10: 9659010001

·                     ISBN-13: 978-9659010004

·                     Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 0.4 inches





Interpretations By Malbim On The Return Of The portraitfullsizeTribes Of Israel.

This week we will focus a bit on Malbim.


Meïr Leibush ben Jehiel Michel Weiser (March 7, 1809 - September 18, 1879), better known by the acronym Malbim, was a Russian Rabbi, preacher, and Bible Commentator.


The name "Malbim" is derived from the Hebrew initials of his name, and became his surname by frequent usage. 


Extracts from the:

Torah Commentary on Parshas Vayeitzei

by Rabbi Pinchas Winston

Words in blue highlighted by KolHaTor- team.


Perceptions Leaving Ya’akov For Yisroel

Ya’akov left Be’er Sheba in the direction of Charan. (Bereishis 28:10)


Ya’akov’s true purpose for leaving home: To marry the twin sisters of Lavan, Rachel and Leah, and to start building his own Bayis Ne’eman b’Yisroel — the 12 Tribes. Ya’akov was a man who was happy to sit in the Bais Midrash 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, which was fine except that he had things to do for the sake of history. Therefore, Divine Providence used the events of his life as a way to move him around from place to place.


In addition, Ya’akov had to leave Eretz Yisroel and spend 36 years away from home in order to bring about the most important transition of all: change from Ya’akov to Yisroel. For, as we see from the next two parshios, though he left Eretz Yisroel as Ya’akov Avinu, he returned 24 years later as Yisroel. For, it was at the border of Eretz Yisroel, while crossing the Yabok River, that Ya’akov fought with the angel and prevailed, earning his new name, Yisroel:


“Your name shall no longer be called Ya’akov, but Yisroel, for you have struggled with a heavenly being and with man, and have prevailed.” (Bereishis 32:29)


True, the name change was not final, as the Talmud explains:


Bar Kafra said: Anyone who calls him (Avraham) “Avram” instead of Avraham, transgresses a positive commandment, as it says, “But your name shall be Avraham” (Bereishis 17:5) . .


According to this, if one calls Ya’akov, “Ya’akov” instead of Yisroel, should we not say the same thing? It is different because the Torah itself repeats his name later as Ya’akov, as it says, “And


G-d said to Yisroel in the vision of the night saying, ‘Ya’akov’ . . . ‘Ya’akov’ ” (Bereishis 46:2). (Brochos 13a)


This only seems to apply to his descendants, for as the Torah states:


Ya’akov came complete to the city of Shechem . . . (Bereishis 33:18)


Complete? Even Rashi was compelled to explain the meaning of this word, saying that the Torah is telling us that Ya’akov arrived healthy, wealthy, and wise. However, the Arizal goes a bit deeper, explaining that the word “shalaim” (complete), alludes to a state of being that can be summed up by one word: Yisroel. He taught:


Rashi – “A man who only performs (Positive) mitzvos merits the [level of soul called] Nefesh . . . However, [at this stage] he is similar to a woman whose husband has gone overseas and has left her without clothing, food, or drink. If this person then tries to learn Torah, constantly learning it and teaching Oral Law for altruistic reasons, then he will merit [the level of soul called] Ruach . . . He will then be like the woman whose husband has arrived to live with her forever in her house — clothing her, feeding her, giving her to drink, and bringing her to a higher level. If a person then endeavors to learn the Hidden Wisdom (the secrets of Torah), then he will merit to receive [the level of soul called] Neshamah . . . Then he is called Adam Shalaim (Complete Person) to whom the verse refers when it says: G-d made man in His image (Bereishis 1:26). The sod is as follows: when a person only possesses Nefesh, then he is only affected by the Name [of G-d spelled]: Aleph-Dalet-Nun-Yud. When he learns Torah altruistically, then he merits [the level of] Ruach, which comes from the Name [spelled]: Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh. When all three Names come together in the person they total the gematria of 112, the numerical value of Yabok (Yud- Bais-Kuf).” (Sha’ar HaGilgulim, Ch. 18)


And, of course it is no coincidence that the letters of Yabok are three of the four letters that spell Ya’akov, and that the fourth letter is an Ayin, the importance of which we have spoken about many times before, especially in connection with the concept of redemption. Indeed, the Zohar says that the three letters of Yabok each stand for a different word that comprises the phrase: y’anainu b’yom karainu — He will answer us on that day. Which day? The day of the Final Redemption.


Perhaps the yabok in Ya’akov represents the potential of Ya’akov to become Yisroel; the actual crossing of the river, whether it was a physical act or a spiritual one, or both, was the realization of that potential. By the time he achieved this tremendous level of completion, Ya’akov Avinu had already fathered eleven of the twelve sons, with the last one, Binyomin, already on his way. And, as we see from the events that followed, the brothers still had much left to do before reaching the greatness of their father.


Indeed, we shall learn, the rest of Jewish history is really the process of completing that which Ya’akov had begun, but had yet to see to completion before his death. And our generation may very well be the final act in this long saga which, as of this year (2005), has consumed 3,560 years.


For thus said Hashem: Sing, O Ya’akov, with gladness, exult on the peaks of the nations; announce, laud [God], and say, “O Hashem, save Your people, the remnant of Yisroel!” Behold, I will bring them from the land of the North and gather them from the ends of the earth. Among them will be the blind and the lame, the pregnant and birthing together; a great congregation will return here. With weeping they will come and through supplications I will bring them; I will guide them on streams of water, on a direct path in which they will not stumble; for I have been a father to Israel, and Ephraim is My firstborn. (Yirmiyahu 31:6-8)


These pesukim are from the Haftarah for the second day of Rosh Hashanah. They are part of Yirmiyahu’s vision of the future, when G-d will finally bring an end to this multi-millennia exile and bring the exiles of the Jewish people home, back to Eretz Yisroel in great joy and tranquility.


However, based upon the Malbim’s (Rabbi Meir Levush, 1809-1879) interpretation, he offers an important insight relevant to our discussion. In fact, one could ask why it is that Yisroel needs to ask for salvation if the nation has already escaped oppression? The Malbim provides more than one answer to this question:


At the end of their exile, the oppression will be removed from them, and they will be joyous because they will be on the peak of the nations. The gentiles will give them honor and they will be at the heads of the nations, instead of being disgraced and lowered amongst them as they were previously. Ya’akov will be the masses of the people, and the lesser amongst them; Yisroel the great ones. The joyousness from being at the peak of the nations will be Ya’akov’s only, and not Yisroel’s, because they will want to return His Presence to Tzion. However, at that time they will “announce” and publicly proclaim, and “praise” Hashem when they say;


“O Hashem, save Your [righteous] people, the remnant of Yisroel,” because they will want the true salvation of the ingathering of the exiles and return to Tzion. Then it will be like that, that Hashem will return them: Behold, I will bring them . . . (Malbim, q.v. v’Tzahalu B’Rosh HaGoyim, Daniel 12:11)


Thus, the Malbim sees a division that will occur in the Jewish people at the end of days, one which will not occur along traditional lines. There will be two camps amongst the Jews, one called Ya’akov and the other called Yisroel, and the difference between the two will be based upon the desire, or lack thereof to reject acceptance amongst the gentiles as sufficient redemption.

Apparently it is the Ya’akov side of the Jewish people — the masses — who will be joyous about staying in the Diaspora, enjoying acceptance amongst the gentiles and even positions of leadership. On the other hand, this will not be satisfactory for the Yisroel camp of the Jewish people, and they will publicly long for the ideal form of redemption, for the return to Eretz Yisroel and to Tzion — true Tzion. It will be a great Kiddush Hashem, and apparently trigger the final stages of the Final Redemption.


This is a new spin on the name Yisroel. According to the Malbim, it is a name that signifies a specific attitude of the Jew at the end of days, one that leaves a Jew yearning for the complete and final redemption in every sense of the term. Whereas Ya’akov is satisfied with new-found freedoms and high positions amongst the gentiles, Yisroel only sees that stage of redemption as an intermediary one, on the way to the final return of the Jewish people to the their land, and more importantly, the return of the Divine Presence to Eretz Yisroel.


In the late 1980s we witnessed the end of thousands of years of oppression when Russia, the last nation to physically oppress Jews on a mass scale, imploded and allowed Jews to migrate. We may not appreciate it, but our ancestors waited for thousands of years to witness this period in history, though the overall exile has not come to an end — yet.

Furthermore, the positions of leadership and authority that the Jewish people enjoy today within the gentile world are also unprecedented. We do not only have the ability to move around freely, but we have even been allowed to shape the policy of governments, or the financial institutions upon which they rely. Again, our ancestors would have had difficulty believing how far we have come in just two millennia!


Therefore, two out of three conditions of the Malbim’s interpretation have been fulfilled to day, leaving one more to be realized: a split in the Jewish people. For thousands of years the Jewish people have been traveling a single road, in spite of other ideological differences. But, explains the Malbim, it is a path that at the end of days will reach a fork with one road called Yisroel leading in the direction of Eretz Yisroel, and the other path leading to ongoing life in the Diaspora.

And, let’s not forget what David HaMelech wrote about that period of history:


You will arise and show Tzion mercy, for the time to favor her, for the appointed time will have come. For your servants have CHERISHED her stones and FAVOR her dust. (Tehillim 102:14-15)


Just like the Malbim said.


Ya’akov sent for Rachel and Leah to the field where his flocks were. He said to them, “Your father’s face is not to me as it was before.” (Bereishis 31:4-5)


The difference between a Ya’akov attitude and a Yisroel attitude may be the key to surviving anti-Semitism. “Anti-Semitism,” it is said, “never really dies. It just goes underground, only to surface at a more opportune time.” And though the Jewish people have yet to perfect themselves, we would still be tolerable if it wasn’t for anti-Semitism, which is why so many Jews overlook the signs and get caught when it does rear its ugly and destructive head.


Not Ya’akov Avinu, or should we say Yisroel. He may have still been called Ya’akov, but he was on his way to being called Yisroel. It was in him. It was the way he looked at the world. The process of transformation was well under way, having begun after Ya’akov first bought the birthright from Esav, and subsequently acquired his blessings. As Ya’akov stood there before his father, he had already become a hybrid, a unique creation and a combination of Ya’akov and Eisav that eventually would be called, “Yisroel.” In the meantime, he was described by his father in the following terms:


“It is the voice of Ya’akov, but the hands of Eisav.” (Bereishis 27:22)


And Yitzchak meant it, and not just because the man who stood before him to receive the blessings seemed to have hairy arms like Eisav, and a religious tone like Ya’akov, but because the overall perspective of how to function in the world seemed to be a combination of both sons. There before him was a man of action that was shaped by the realization of Divine Providence, and for this he was completely worthy of the blessings.


Not everyone would have reacted to the face of the anti-Semite the same way Ya’akov did in his time, nor would they react that way now. His reaction to Lavan’s slight change of attitude suggested a certain sensitivity to Heavenly changes, allowing Ya’akov to read Lavan’s change of face as a sign from Heaven that it was time to return home. Where others saw a moody human being, Ya’akov saw a message from G-d that his time in Padan Aram had come to an end; his mission there was complete.


It is a message that one can only see and accept if moving on was always part of the game plan. If everywhere a person goes, points in the direction of Jerusalem, then every stop along the way is exactly that, just a stop along the way. It allows a person to remain flexible, since he never allows his roots to sink too deeply into the local soil. He can afford to pay attention to the currents of history and the smiles and frowns of the nations that are only his temporary host.


The time has come for kibbutz golios, the ingathering of the exiles. The oppression has ended, and we have succeeded in rising to the top of the gentile world, in one way or another. Yet, anti-Semitism has returned, and politics are forcing Jews to make strange relationships, and to become dependent upon people who, in many cases, want our end. What does it mean?

That all depends upon whether you are looking at all of it through the eyes of a Ya’akov, or of a Yisroel.


And if after these [negative occurrences] you will not be chastised toward Me, and you behave casually (kerry) with Me, then I too will behave toward you with casualness (b’kerry); and I will strike you, even I, seven ways for your sins. (Vayikra 26:23-24)


This is what the Torah means by these pesukim. G-d throws pitches to the Jewish people: sometimes to the outside of the plate, and sometimes inside, forcing us to decide how to strike it. Unlike human pitchers, He never misses His mark, and knows each batter better than the batter knows himself. And, as that ball crosses the plate, it creates a moment of crisis, leaving room only for a quick choice how to respond to the pitch.


A strike means missing the point of the event, of the Hashgochah Pratis. It is, in the language of the posuk, dealing with events b’kerry, as if Heaven has little if anything to do with what is happening. A home run means picking up the message Heaven has sent, and responding to it in the way G-d wanted, in a way that allows us to become partners in the fulfillment of the purpose of Creation.


As history winds down, technology allows us to do so much more, good and bad. It allows us to become aware of so much more, much faster than ever before. There are so many people in the world doing so much all around the clock, but as the Talmud says:


No punishment comes to the world except for Israel, as it says, “I have eliminated nations, their TOWERS have become desolate” (Tzephaniah 3:6), and it says, “Just fear Me, accept chastisement.” (Ibid. 7). (Yevamos 63a)


But all of it is just a different facet to one question: Are you Ya’akov, or are you Yisroel?


Ya’akov is a name that implies we live our lives holding onto the heel of our twin brother, Eisav. Whereas Yisroel is a name that means we fight against the highest and lowest in Creation, and still come out on top. Ya’akov is a follower; Yisroel is a leader. Ya’akov, says the Malbim, is the lesser element of Klal Yisroel, accepting a partial redemption as the complete one. Whereas Yisroel settles for nothing less than the real thing: kibbutz golios and the return of Divine Providence to Eretz Yisroel, once again returning to the Temple that was, and will be soon again, G-d willing — the vital link between Heaven and earth.


The Kabbalists also point out that if you take the first letter of the Ten Sefiros, add up their numerical values and include the kollel (adding one for each of the five letters of Yisroel), the total value is the gematria of Yisroel. This serves to emphasize how the concept of Yisroel is the sole reason for Creation to exist, and by becoming a Yisroel one actually achieves this tikun on a personal level.


It all depends upon where Creation is holding at any given moment in time. It all depends upon what G-d wants from Creation at any moment in history, which has everything to do with where we are holding in the struggle to be transformed from the depths of Ya’akov to the Heavenly heights of Yisroel.







Extracts of a Teaching on Hoshea – Chapter 2 and 14


From: : “Trei Asar Twelve Prophets – A Teacher’s Guide”

Prepared by Shira Smiles in conjunction with Yael Goldwaser


Comments by compiling editor will be in blue.


(The Book “Trei Asar” contains the writings of the Twelve Minor Prophets in 12 separate books.)




(This introduction is based partly on the Da’at Mikra commentary’s introduction to Hoshea.)( Da’at Miqra is a series of volumes of Hebrew language biblical commentary published by the Jerusalem-based Rav Kook Institute and constitutes a cornerstone of contemporary Israeli Orthodox bible scholarship.)


Hoshea ben Be’eri was a prophet who prophesied in the days of four kings of Yehudah, and the days of Yerovam II, king of Israel. His prophecies – both good and bad – comprise some of the strongest expressions among the prophets.


There are two parts to the book of Hoshea: The first part – chapters 1-3which deal with Hoshea being required to marry a woman known to be unfaithful and to have children from her, and the second part – chapters 4-14which contains mainly rebuke to the people of Israel, and a call for repentance. We will be studying in depth two chapters, one from each part.


In order to understand chapter 2, it is necessary to read chapter 1.  It is a singular story: Hashem commands Hoshea to marry an eshet zenunim – a woman known to be unfaithful – and to have children from her. As each child is born, Hashem tells him what to name the child – names which have negative connotations: Yizre’el (where Yehu killed all the descendants of Achav – Melachim II 9-10), Lo Ruchama (“One who has not been loved/not been shown mercy”), and Lo Ami (“One who is not my nation”).  


What is the Lesson?


The relationship between Hashem and the people of Israel has been likened in many places in Tanach to the relationship between husband and wife. Accordingly, the imagery used for the Children of Israel worshipping idols is that of an unfaithful wife. But, as with a wife, neither the covenant nor the emotional relationship can be broken completely, once the two sides have bound themselves to it.  Hashem loves the Children of Israel, no matter how wayfaring they may become. The theme of zenut – of straying from the path – repeats itself countless times in the book of Hoshea. Israel strays, thus angering Hashem very much, but never to the point of breaking off the relationship. Israel will always be welcomed back – teshuva will always be accepted – and that is the second main theme of the book of Hoshea.


Hoshea found this unconditional acceptance of teshuva hard to understand, and his idea of justice was that Hashem should choose Himself a different nation in place of the Children of Israel. So Hashem showed him that even in plain human relations there can be situations where “love conquers all”: After marrying this unfaithful woman, Hoshea cannot bring himself to leave her, and so he understands that he was wrong in his suggestion that Hashem leave the Children of Israel, and also wrong about the role of the prophet: the prophet should always pray for the people, and not just berate them.  A prophet is always responsible for the welfare of the people.


In Chapter 2, the metaphor of Israel as an unfaithful wife is extended and elaborated upon. The text moves back and forth between this metaphor and the actual situation it is discussing, but most of the time the issues are discussed metaphorically and not literally.




Verse 1: “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured or numbered. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, ‘You are not My people, there it shall be said to them, ‘You are sons of the living G-d.’”


1.    Hoshea had realized that he had sinned in his suggestion of– replace them with some other nation. Therefore, this chapter starts out with a conciliatory prophecy, blessing the people. (Yalkut Shimoni 515, Rashi)


2.    This good prophecy is referring to the End of the Days – to acharit hayamim. (Metzudat David) (This is a work of Rabbi ben Solomon ibn Zimra, also called Radbaz. “Metzudat David” means “The Bulwork of David” – revealing reasons for the 613 commandments according to the 4 methods of explanation known as the “Pardes System.”)


3.    * The Children of Israel are compared to the sand beneath the sea, not to the sand on the seashore. The sand beneath the sea is endless, cannot be reached, and so cannot be counted. Likewise, it will be impossible to count the Jews because of their large number and because of their dispersion among the nations of the world  (to the point of their not even being recognized as Jews). (Malbim)


1.    At the time of this prophecy (as brought in chapter 1, verse 9), they were considered by Hashem to be “not My nation”; in the future, when they do teshuva, Hashem will return the exiles and He will once again consider them to be His nation (see Devarim 30:1-11). (Radak)


* They will be known as the “children of the living G-d”, as opposed to being the worshippers of lifeless gods. (Radak)


2.    They will be considered the most beloved nation of Hashem. (Metzudat David)


3.    * Instead of the experience of exile and hester panim – Hashem hiding His face from them – the people will begin to recognize the special hashgacha (Divine Providence) that enabled them to survive during this period. It will be known throughout the nations that the Jews are the blessed nation of Hashem. (Malbim)


Verse 2: “Then the children of Judah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and appoint for themselves one head; and they shall come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel!”


In the times of the Second Temple, only the tribes of Yehudah and Binyamin returned to the Land of Israel. Therefore, this prophecy, which tells of all of the tribes joining together and returning, must be referring to the times of the Mashiach (the Messiah). (Radak)


1.    This “one leader” will be Melech Hamashiach. (Metzudat David)


2.    * This will be Mashiach ben Yosef, who will come before Mashiach ben David, and who will gather everyone together in order to fight Gog and Magog. (Abarbanel)


3.    This is Eliyahu Hanavi, who will lead the Jews out of exile, and bring them to the Land of Israel. (Radak)


1.    The exile is compared to the scattering of seeds. The day of the gathering of all of these scattered seeds – kibbutz galuyot – will be great. (Metzudat David)


2.    The length of time that the Jews will be “planted” in other lands will be great. (Radak, bringing his father’s commentary)


3.    The Jews’ sojourn in other lands is compared to seeds planted deeply in the ground. These seeds seem to rot and disappear, only to sprout as a fresh crop. Likewise, the Jews that seemed to be “planted” and lost will all come back to Israel, together with many converts. This day will be great because of all the miracles that will happen on it. (Malbim) (Remember the words of the prophet Ezekiel in Ezek. 37:15-23 where he spoke of the return of both houses of Israel with their companions to the land of Israel, becoming One Kingdom in the hand of HaShem.)


Verse 3: “Say to your brethren, ‘My people, ’and to your sisters, ‘Mercy is shown.’


Yehudah and Binyamin will say to their brothers, the Ten Tribes, who were exiled quickly, that they are once again the nation of Hashem. Likewise, to their sisters, the women of the Ten Tribes, they should say that Hashem has had mercy on them. This is in contrast to the previous statements, in 1:6, and 1:9. (Metzudat David)


Verse 4:  Bring charges against your mother, bring charges; for she is not My wife, nor am I her Husband! Let her put away her harlotries from her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts;”


1.    The exile is compared to the scattering of seeds. The day of the gathering of all of these scattered seeds – kibbutz galuyot – will be great. (Metzudat David)


2.    The entire generation is referred to as the “mother”. The righteous people should challenge this generation and rebuke them for their ways. For the moment, since the generation has left the path of Hashem, Hashem will no longer provide for its needs. (Metzudat David)


3.    The “sons” are the prophets who are supposed to rebuke the nation. (Malbim)



1.     * The “sons” are all the individuals of the nation: each one is to rebuke his brothers. (Radak)


2.    The imagery used here for the “mother” is that of a zonah – a prostitute. The “sons” should tell the “mother” that she should stop this behavior, namely, that she should refrain from putting on makeup and perfume for her lovers. (Metzudat David)


3.    The mother should remove the zenut – the external worship of idols – from her face, and the na’afufim – the internal desire for this idol-worship – from her heart. (Malbim)


Verse 5: “Lest I strip her naked and expose her, as in the day she was born, and make her like a wilderness, and set her like a dry land, and slay her with thirst.”


1.    If the “mother” does not improve her ways, then Hashem will disgrace her – “strip her of her clothes”. (Metzudat David)


2.    When Hashem first found the “mother” – the nation of Israel – she was unclothed and wallowing in  blood (see Yechezkel 16:4-14). Hashem then dressed her. Now Hashem is prepared to put her back into the original state in which he found her – that of nakedness. (Malbim)


1.     The punishment of this sinful “mother” will be that she will be put in a state of dereliction – hefker – like a dry desert. (Metzudat David)


2.    The desert symbolizes the exile among the nations. The nation of Israel will wallow there in the blood of persecution, since its “clothes” – the Divine Providence protecting it – will be removed from it. (Malbim)


Verse 6: “I will not have mercy on her children, for they are the children of harlotry.”


1.    Although the righteous people did not sin, they will be punished with the rest of the nation, just like the children of a prostitute bear the stain of their mother’s behavior.


(Metzudat David)The entire nation is judged according to the behavior of its majority. (Malbim)


2.    The children referred to here are the individuals, who will be punished. Or else, the prophet is saying that the individuals in later generations who will follow the practices of this generation will also be punished. (Radak)


Verse 7: “For their mother has played the harlot; she who conceived them has behaved shamefully.  For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers, who give me my bread and my water, my wool and my linen, my oil and my drink.’”


1.    The majority of the nation turned away from HHashem. The “mother” of the nation (in other words, the nation as a whole) performed shameful acts. (Metzudat David)


2.    The teachers of the people did shameful acts. They would teach the people not to steal, and then they themselves would steal. (Rashi)


1.     The nation followed in the ways of its “lovers” – the ma’arechet hashamayim (the heavenly bodies), thinking that they were the ones who bestowed gifts on it. (Metzudat David)


2.    * The people put their trust in their foreign alliances – with Assyria and Egypt, whom they had bribed. This gave them the peace they needed to till the land, and so it was through these nations that the people’s needs were provided. (Radak)


3.    The verse lists the basic needs of mankind: food, clothing and drinks to enjoy. (Malbim)


Verse 8: “Therefore, behold, I will hedge up your way with thorns, and wall her in, so that she cannot find her paths.”


1.    The path, or strategy, that brings down the influence of the heavenly bodies will be blocked to the people. (Metzudat David)


2.    This verse describes the various ways Hashem will try to stop the people from consorting with their “lovers”, the same way a husband sets up obstacles in the path of his wife so that she will find it hard to consort with her lover. Hashem will sabotage the various idolatrous practices that the people had been using, so that they will bring curses upon themselves instead of blessings. He will create dissonance between the Jews and their allies, so that they will not be able to trust other nations anymore, and will refrain from contact with them. (Malbim)


3.    The people will not be able to leave the city because of the siege, and the allies will therefore be of no help. (Radak)


Verse 9: “She will chase her lovers, but not overtake them; yes, she will seek them but not find them.  Then she will say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better for me than now.’


1.    Although the people will try to offer incense to the heavenly bodies, they will not be able to bring down the good they desire. (Metzudat David)


2.    Hashem will cause the heavenly bodies and the human allies to distance themselves. Therefore, all the efforts of the people to “catch” these possible helpers will be for naught. (Malbim)


3.    The other nations will not offer the desired help. (Radak)


1.    The heavenly bodies and the human allies will distance themselves to the point that the people will no longer be able to find them. (Malbim)


2.    This is a repetition of the idea brought in the previous phrase, in different words. (Metzudat David)


1.    The people at that point will decide to put their trust in Hashem, since the times when they trusted in Hashem were the best they had ever had. (Metzudat David)


2.    This statement of teshuva on the part of the people must be the one they will make after being in exile (see Devarim 30:1-2).


Had the people made this statement while still in the Land of Israel, they never would have been exiled. (Radak)


3.    Although the people will return to Hashem (even before being exiled), they will be doing so only because their at the moment is bad – going back to the “husband” – to Hashem, is better than remaining in their present predicament, when all the “lovers” have disappeared and do not help. But they will not regret their past misdeeds, and once they think the stars are smiling upon them again, they will go back to worshipping them. (Malbim)


Verse 10: “For she did not know, that I gave her grain, new wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold – which they prepared for Baal.”


1.    From the very outset, the Jews did not pay attention to the fact that it is Hashem that provides their needs, not the constellations. (Metzudat David)


The Jews never realized that all the good things that they had, even when they worshipped the constellations, came from Hashem. (Malbim)


2.    The “wife” acted as if she did not know that it all comes from Hashem. (Rashi)


1.    The leaders and the false prophets used to deceive the people that all the blessings came from other sources, not from Hashem. (Radak)


2.    It was the wealth that caused them to reject Hashem. See Devarim 32:15. (Radak)


3.    The Jews took the wealth that Hashem gave them and used it to adorn the Ba’al (see Yirmiyahu 10:4). (Metzudat David)


Verse 11:  “Therefore I will return and take away My grain in its time and My new wine in its season, and will take back My wool and My linen, given to cover her nakedness.”


1.    As a result of the actions of the faithless “wife”, Hashem will remove His blessing from her. Plagues and hail will descend upon the people at the end of each season, and destroy their crops. (Metzudat David)


2.    The manner in which Hashem chooses to punish the people is in itself a lesson: Hashem will give their rain and produce, but at the end of the process He will take it away from them. This will show them that the constellations have no control over Hashem. (Malbim)


Hashem will kill the sheep, and have the flax crop fail, so they will not have any clothes to wear. (Metzudat David)


Verse 12: “Now I will uncover her lewdness in the sight of her lovers, and no one shall deliver her from My hand.”


1.    Hashem will strip the clothes off the unfaithful wife. Her lovers – the heavenly bodies – will see her in all her ugliness. (Metzudat David)


2.    Hashem will hide His face from the Jews, thus exposing them, and so their ugliness and their bad deeds will be seen by all the other nations. (Radak)


1.    No one can bestow good on the Children of Israel, without it being the will of Hashem. The heavenly bodies will be of no help to them. (Metzudat David)


2.    This was the end of the merit of the forefathers (which had protected the people up to this point). (Rashi)


Verse 13: “I will also cause all her mirth to cease, her feast days, her New Moons, her Sabbaths – all her appointed feasts.”


1.    Hashem will abolish the joy of the holidays. (Metzudat David)


2.    The people thought that the holidays were times of good fortune for them – times when they would receive the blessings from the heavenly bodies. Hashem will therefore turn the holidays into times of trouble, to show that He is in control, not the heavenly bodies. (Malbim)


3.    In times of trouble there are can be no joyous holidays. The troubles that Hashem will bring upon the Jews will prevent them from celebrating any holidays with joy. (Radak)

וכל מועדה

1.    The mo’adim referred to here are Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Shemini Atzeret. These are not included among the chagim mentioned above. (Metzudat David)


2.    This is referring to any joyous occasion (not necessarily one of the set chagim). (Radak)


Verse 14: “And I will destroy her vines and her fig trees, of which she has said, ‘These are my wages that my lovers have given me.’ So I will make them a forest, and the beasts of the fields shall eat them.”


1.    Hashem will destroy the vineyards and the fig trees. (Metzudat David)

Not only the produce, but the land itself will be destroyed. (Malbim)


2.    Hashem will destroy the produce that the Jews claimed came from their “lovers” – that way they will know whether it came from Him or from those “lovers. (Radak)


An etnan is the payment a mistress receives from her lover. In a continuation of this imagery of the Jews being like a promiscuous woman, the good which they thought came from their benefactors, is presented as such a payment. (Metzudat David)


1.    The orchards will become desolate like a wild forest, and the enemies will be able to consume the produce. (Metzudat David)


2.    Literally, as a result of the destruction of the land, animals will come to live there and eat the fruits. (Rashi)


Verse 15: I will punish her for the days of the Baals to which she burned incense.  She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, and went after her lovers; but Me she forgot,” says HaShem”


1.    Hashem will remember the times that they served the Ba’al idols and punish them for them. (Metzudat David)


2.    The sins of those who worshipped idols will be added on to the sins of the exiled generations who, though they will not worship idols, will still not serve Hashem wholeheartedly. And so, the combined punishment will be a longer exile. (Radak)



1.    The worship of the heavenly bodies is described as being like adorning oneself – like a woman trying to be attractive to her lover. (Metzudat David)


2.    The people never learned their lesson. Even in the times of Hoshea ben Ela (the last king of Israel before the destruction of Shomron), they still sought an alliance with Egypt, and engaged in idolatry (thus continuing, in the imagery of the prophet, to pursue the “lovers”). (Malbim)


3.    She did not turn her heart to the worship of Hashem. (Metzudat David)


Verse 16: “Therefore, behold, I will allure her, will bring her into the wilderness, and speak comfort to her.”


1.    After trying to show the people that the punishments coming on them come from Him, Hashem is forced to entice them into exile – to a desert, where they will suffer hunger and thirst, and be surrounded by snakes and scorpions. Under such conditions, all the nations will distance themselves from the people, and that way they will feel themselves more under Hashem’s own Divine Providence. (Malbim)


2.    While in exile, Hashem will entice the Jews to do teshuva. He will encourage them not to run after their hearts’ desires, but rather to change their ways. (Radak)


1.    Hashem will try to convince the Children of Israel to come back to Him. (Malbim)


2.    Hashem will comfort them in their suffering in exile. (Radak)


Verse 17: “I will give her vineyards from there, and the Valley of Achor as a door of hope; she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, as in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.”


1.    While in exile, the Jews lack many things, particularly material possessions. They survive only because of Divine Providence. Hashem is saying that at this point he will return the material possessions to the Jews. (Malbim)


2.    Hashem will comfort those Jews who will remain after the nation has been decontaminated, promising them that they will be returned to the Land of Israel. (Radak)


1.    In the depths of the exile, there is a ray of hope; for, as a result of the exile, the Jews will return to Hashem. (Rashi)


2.    The valleys that became wasteland while the Jews were in exile will again be attractive places to live – like an attractive doorway beckoning people to enter. (Metzudat David)


3.    At the end of the period of exile, the Jews will find favor in the eyes of the other nations, and begin to look forward to the final redemption. (Malbim)


1.    She will live there and then, just as the Jews called out to be redeemed from Egypt, so they will call out while in exile, to be redeemed. (Rashi)


2.    The Jews will sing to Hashem, praising Him for the great miracles that he will perform, like they did after the splitting of the Red Sea. (Radak, Metzudat David)


Verse 18: “And it shall be, in that day,” says HaShem, “That you will call Me ‘My Husband,’ and no longer call Me My Master,’”


1.    In the future, we will serve Hashem out of love and not out of fear. (Rashi)


2.    Since Ba’al is the name of a type of idolatry (though also a term for husband), we will not use it at all, even to refer to our relationship with our “husband” – Hashem. (Metzudat David)


Verse 19: “For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals, and they shall be remembered by their name no more.”


1.    Hashem will help the Jews serve him solely:– Once a person wants to purify himself, Hashem helps him to do so. (Radak)


Verse 20:  “In that day I will make a covenant for them with the beasts of the field, with the birds of the air, and with the creeping things of the ground. Bows and sword of battle I will shatter from the earth, to make them lie down safely.”


1.    The relationship with the wild animals will be as if a covenant of peace had been signed with them. (Metzudat David)


2.    This is the same as Yeshayahu’s prophecy: (See Yeshayahu 11:6). (Radak)


Verse 21: “I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me in righteousness and justice, in lovingkindness and mercy;”


1.    Hashem will be engaged to us forever, and will never send us away again. (Metzudat David)


2.    Unlike the present relationship, that of an eshet zenunim – an unfaithful wife, this will be an everlasting, faithful relationship of marriage. (Radak)


3.    It says וארשתיך three times, referring to the three exiles: Egypt, Babylon and Edom. After each exile, Hashem renews His commitment to us. (Radak)


1.    As a consequence of our engaging in justice, Hashem will treat us with mercy and lovingkindness. (Metzudat David)


2.    Mishpat means doing acts that we are required to do, while tzedek is doing acts which are beyond the letter of the law. (Clearly this is a typical rabbinical expression which Paul used in his letters in Rom. 2:29:” but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from G-d.” and in   2 Cor. 3:6: “who also made us sufficient as ministers of the renewed covenant, not of the letter but of the spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”) Accordingly, for our doing mishpat Hashem rewards us with having mercy on us – with rachamim, and for our doing tzedek we are rewarded with His chesed – goodness beyond what we really deserve. (Malbim)


Verse 22: “I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, and you shall know HaShem.”


1.    As a reward for having faith in Hashem, the people will achieve a high level of knowledge of Him. (Metzudat David) (This is exactly what Paul’s desire was in his prayer in Colossians 1:9 “… and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding”)


2.    As a result of having faith in Hashem, the people will reach a level of clear knowledge of Him. (Malbim)


Verse 23: “It shall come to pass in that day that I will answer,” says HaShem; “I will answer the heavens, and they shall answer the earth.”


1.    It will be as if the heavens are asking that it should rain, and Hashem will accede to their request. (Metzudat David)


2.    Hashem will send down bountiful rain that will be an expression of His will. (Radak)


The land will also ask for rain, and the heavens will respond, on the order from Hashem, and send down rain. (Metzudat David)


Verse 24: “The earth shall answer with grain, with new wine, and with oil; they shall answer Jezreel.”


Because of the abundance of food and all manner of goodness, there will be many more people in the land, who will demand more food. (Radak)


Verse 25: “Then I will sow her for Myself in the earth, and I will have mercy on her who had not obtained mercy; Then I will say to those who were not My people, ‘You are My people!’ And they shall say, ‘You are my G-d!’”


The Jews, who had been planted in exile, will now be planted in the Land of Israel. (Metzudat David)




Verse 1: “Samaria is held guilty. For she has rebelled against her G-d.  They shall fall by the sword, their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child ripped open.”


1.    Shomron will be destroyed because of its sins. (Metzudat David)


Verse 2: “O Israel, return to HaShem your G-d.” For you have stumbled because of your iniquity;”


1.    This is a call to Yehuda to return, so that they will be saved from the fate that befell the kingdom of Israel and its capital – Shomron. (Rashi)


2.    This is a call to the Children of Israel to do teshuva, because the punishment for their sins is coming. (Malbim)


1.    Up to Hashem” refers to the distance between Israel and Hashem. Israel needs to leave its sinful ways and return to Hashem. (Malbim)


2.    * One should return to Hashem while He is still dealing with one with mercy (midat harachamim). If not, one will be judged according to the strict law (midat hadin). (Rashi)


            Chazal say that repentance is so great that it reaches up to the Holy Throne. (Radak)


1.    As a result of one’s sins, one encounters many stumbling blocks, which bring on more sins. (Rashi, according to the Gra)


2.    Since one sees that one has stumbled in sinning, one should do teshuva. (Radak)


3.    The Children of Israel were misled by the kings of Shomron, and therefore they are considered to have sinned unintentionally, and can easily do teshuva. (Malbim) (In this context we are reminded of Peter’s words in Acts 3:17-21: “Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which G-d foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Messiah would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of HaShem, and that He may send Y’shua Messiah, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which G-d has spoken by the mount of all His holy prophets since the world began.” Paul also alleged to this in Acts 17:30: “Truly, these times of ignorance G-d overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.”)  


1.    If one does teshuva out of fear, then one’s intentional sins become like accidental ones. (Yoma  86b)


2.    A Jew is by essence good, and can never really sin. If we were really able to grasp how great Hashem is, we would never sin. Therefore, any sin we do is as if we are only stumbling – making a mistake. (Netivot Shalom II, Section 8 – “Et Ratzon”, p. 159)


3.    It is precisely through our stumbling that we get the impetus to do teshuva. Therefore, the two parts of the verse are connected: Your teshuva is a result of your sins. (R. Chaim Shmuelevitz)


Verse 3: “Take words with you, and return to HaShem.  Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity; receive us graciously, for we will offer the sacrifices of our lips.”


1.    All that is required in order to repent is a confession of the sins (vidui devarim) – it is not necessary to bring sacrifices. (Metzudat David) (The author of the book of Hebrews clearly also understood that in a time with no Temple and sacrifices, this has to be the method of repentance as stated in Heb. 13:15: “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to G-d, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”)


2.    Once one has returned “up to” Hashem, one should take Hashem’s words of Torah and mitzvot to heart, in order to come even closer to Him. This is the process of teshuva from love. And then, one’s intentional sins are actually added on in one’s favor as merits (Yoma 86b). (Malbim)


1.    One has to pray to Hashem, as part of the process of repentance, asking Him for forgiveness for one’s sins. (Metzudat David)


2.    Hashem should forgive everyone’s sins. (Radak)


1.    We should ask that Hashem should teach us the good way. (Rashi)


2.    We should ask that Hashem should take the few good deeds that we have and judge us according to them. (Rashi)


3.    Hashem should choose the good deeds and the good hearts, and not the bad ones. (Radak)dddddd


1.    The people will ask for forgiveness with their lips, instead of bringing sacrifices of oxen. (Rashi)


2.    The main aspect of teshuva – even when a sacrifice is brought – is the vidui – the verbal confession. (Radak) (The apostle John, a disciple of the Jewish Rabbi Y’shua also had this understanding, as per his words in 1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”)


Verse 4: “Assyria shall not save us, we will not ride on horses, nor will we say anymore to the work of our hands, ‘You are our gods.’ For in You the fatherless finds mercy.”


1.    This is part of the confession of the people. They recognize that Assyria will not be the source of their salvation; only Hashem will be. Therefore, they will not send horses to Assyria in order to get help from them. (Radak)


2.    The people state that they won’t go to Assyria or to Egypt (symbolized by horses), to get help. (Rashi)


The people will state that the idol which they created with their own hands is useless. (Metzudat David)


1.    The people state that they put their trust only in Hashem, Who has compassion on orphans. (Rashi)


2.    The people realize that it is Hashem who gives strength to weak people, exemplified by orphans; therefore He can give the people strength too. (Radak)


Verse 5: “I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely, for My anger has turned away from him.”


When the people will express the above feelings, Hashem will forgive them for rebelling against Him. Although the vidui only removes the anger that Hashem feels toward a sinner, in this case Hashem will not only stop being angry at them, but will immediately turn to them with a love which will be given freely, similar to His original love. (Metzudat David)


Verse 6: “I will be like the dew to Israel; He shall grow like the lily, and lengthen his roots like Lebanon.”


Just like there is always dew (unlike rain), Hashem’s showering of love on the people will never cease. (Metzudat David)


These verses refer to the future, when the Jews will return to the Land of Israel. (Radak)


1.    A shoshana (lily) blooms quickly. (Ibn Ezra)


2.    The Jewish people are compared to a beautiful lily. (Radak)


Although the shoshana has weak roots and can be uprooted easily, Hashem will implant the people on their land with strong roots, similar to those of the cedar tree. (Radak)


Verse 7:  “His branches shall spread; his beauty shall be like an olive tree, and his fragrance like Lebanon.”


1.    Israel’s branches will extend outward, and its beauty will resemble that of the olive tree, which is fresh all year round. (Metzudat David)


2.    The branches of a tree symbolize the goodness that will be given to the people every day: it will always be fresh, like the moist olive tree. (Radak)


3.    The sons and daughters (who suckle) will increase, and resemble the beauty of the menorah in the Temple. (Rashi, based on the Targum)



1.    Lebanon is very fragrant, because of all the trees and flowers that grow there. Likewise, the Jewish People will be blessed with much goodness. (Metzudat David)


2.    The good name of the Jewish People will spread throughout the world (like a fragrance). (Radak)


3.    The Jewish children will be as fragrant as the incense that was brought in the Temple. (Rashi) (The apostle Paul was also familiar with this imagery – 2 Cor. 2:15-16 “Now thanks be to G-d who always leads us in triumph in Messiah, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  For we are to G-d the frangrance of Messiah among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”)


Verse 8: “Those who dwell under his shadow shall return; they shall be revived like grain, and grow like a vine. Their scent shall be like the wine of Lebanon.”


1.    The people will return to the land, and sit there in the “shade” of Hashem’s protection. (Radak)


2.    * There will be many people who will choose to settle in the Land of Israel, in order to be in the shade of the Levanon – meaning the aura of holiness and purity that exists in the Land of Israel. (Malbim)


1.    The people will live on mitzvot the same way people in general live on bread. However, the good will never end; it will not be like a wheat crop that needs to be replanted every year, but it will flourish year after year like a grapevine. (Radak)


2.    The people will live on bread, which will be found in great quantities, and they will also multiply like a growing, spreading vine. (Malbim)


1.    The Jews will have a good reputation and name among the nations. (Radak)


2.    The wine of Lebanon is known for its good quality. (Metzudat David)


3.    Even the Jews who opt not to return to the Land will always have Jerusalem at the forefront of their minds, like the wine from Lebanon, the taste of which is always remembered by its drinker. They will remember the Temple Mount  in all their prayers, and in all times of joy. (Malbim)


Verse 9: “Ephraim shall say, ‘What have I to do anymore with idols?’ I have heard and observed him. I am like a green cypress tree; Your fruit is found in Me.”


1.    This is the statement that Efrayim will make: “I no longer need to worship idols.” (Metzudat David


2.    * Hashem will say to Efrayim: How much longer must I warn you not to worship idols? (Abarbanel)


1.    When Efrayim makes this statement, Hashem will respond to His people, and give them whatever they need. He will look down and see what they are lacking. (Metzudat David)


2.    * Hashem says that He has spoken to them many times, telling them not to worship idols, and He will keep close watch to see if they revert back to their old ways. (Abarbanel)


1.    A brosh is a moist tree which can be bent all the way down to the earth. Likewise, Hashem watches over us from above, in order to grant our needs. All our successful endeavors are a result of Hashem’s help. (Metzudat David)       


2.    * Hashem never changes – like a brosh, which always remains fresh. The fruits of the people’s efforts depend on their deeds (and not on Hashem changing his attitude). (Abarbanel)


Verse 10: “Who is wise? Let him understand these things.  Who is prudent? Let him know them. For the ways of HaShem are right; the righteous walk in them, but transgressor stumble in them.”


This is a statement summarizing Hoshea’s words of rebuke: The wise person will heed these words and repent.


1.    All the ways of Hashem are just. If one sees a righteous person suffering, it is either because we do not perceive correctly who is really a righteous person, or else he is getting punished in this world in order to get rewarded in the next. Likewise, an evil person is repaid in this world for whatever good deeds he has, so that he will not receive any reward in the world to come. (Radak) (In a typical rabbinical way Messiah also taught this in Matt. 6:2-4: “Therefore when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.”)


2.    The righteous people who walk in the ways of Hashem will enter Gan Eden, and the evil people will go down to Gehinnom for not following those ways. (Targum Yonatan)


3.    The righteous will be able to follow the ways of Hashem without stumbling. The evil people, who follow the dictates of their inclinations, will stumble on the path of life. (Metzudat David)




Generation AliYah!

Judah and Ephraim are coming home!

Until next week from the Kol HaTor team!





Compiling editor:  Agatha van der Merwe

Content control:  OvadYah Avrahami

Participating editors:  Dr Robert Mock, Geoffrey Meservy-Norman, Stephen Spykerman

Torah Guidance:  Rabbi Avraham Feld


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