Devarim "Words" Part Two
What's going on with the fallen angels and the giants in Scripture? In Part One of Devarim that described "Flaky Faith," a choice was posed in the chiasm's heart of Deuteronomy 1:1. Israel may choose "Laban," who tested Jacob's faith and was the driving force that returned him to the Land of Israel, the Land of his fathers: Abraham and Isaac. The hardship purified Jacob and made him white.
The alternative is to merely be smeared over with un-tempered plaster,
tophel ( see "c" in the chiasm of Part One, Flaky Faith). Ezekiel 13:10-15 and 22:28 describe this whitewash as insufficient for Israel's purification. If one's faith was only a watery, flaky whitewash, the wrath of the Lamb will expose it. If the testing of one's faith has driven him or her back to the faith of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it is the "white" repentance.
Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have a special connection to the Garden through Hebron, for this is where they are buried, at the traditional location of the entrance back to the Garden of Eden, known as the Lower Garden or Paradise. It was watered by the Great River that flowed from beneath the Throne of the Upper Garden. Adam and Eve are also believed to be buried that at Hebron, which is known as Kiriath-Arbah.
If a person returns to the faith of his fathers, then his destination is also Hebron where two cherubim stand guard at the gate. For Adam and Eve, their burial location has the sense of "First out, first in." The patriarchs and matriarchs are those with whom one dines in the Kingdom, or Lower Garden, a Jewish principle that Yeshua teaches in the Gospels. The Israelites' struggles to enter the Land are a prophecy of the journey back to the Lower Garden, and eventually, resurrection, for "going up" is the key. One always ascends to Jerusalem and goes down to everywhere else.
King Solomon pictured the entrance back to the Garden in the Temple, even the cherubim who guarded it:
So he made two doors of olive wood, and he carved on them
carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold; and he spread the gold on the cherubim and on the palm trees. (1 Ki 6:32)
In Devarim, Moses reminds the Israelites of their history in which they failed to "go up" to the Land when they were first commanded.
The LORD our God spoke to us at Horeb, saying, 'You have stayed long enough at this mountain.Turn and set your journey [toward Israel], and go to the hill country of the Amorites, and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negev and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river,
the river Euphrates.
 See, I have GIVEN the land before you; go in and possess the land which the LORD swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to them and their descendants after them.' (Dt 1:6-8)
Rashi comments on this passage, "Had they not sent spies, they would not have needed weapons." They could enter without the battle had they obeyed at this point. This explains how Moses invited the people to possess the land before they had conquered it. In Yeshua, those who have not yet "conquered" can also enter the Lower Garden, for Yeshua tells the thief on the cross, "This day you shall be with me in Paradise [Lower Garden]."
There is a Messianic privilege of Yeshua's repentant sheep, and through his Door they may enter and be taught, for Miriam in the resurrection Garden says, "Rabboni!", My Teacher! Likewise, in Rashi's commentary on this portion, he points out that upon hearing Moses' plan to appoint judges, they should have responded, "Our Teacher!" instead of eagerly accepting intermediaries to prepare them for Garden living.
Moses reminds the Israelites about their spiritual heritage in the patriarchs and matriarchs:
I said to you, 'You have come to the hill country of the Amorites which the LORD our God is about to give us. See, the LORD your God has placed the land before you; go up [
aleh, resurrect, ascend spiritually] take possession, as the LORD, the God of your fathers [Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob] has spoken to you. Do not fear or be dismayed.' Then all of you approached me and said, 'Let us send men before us, that they may search out the land for us, and
bring back to us word of the way by which we should go up and the cities which we shall enter. (1:20-22)
Moses says the matter was good in his [Moses'] eyes, implying not Adonai's eyes. Yeshua's early disciples were called The Way, and Yeshua describes only one entrance, the golden door of The Way:
Jesus said to him, '
I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.' (Jn 14:6)
Yeshua was the Angel of the Presence going before the Camp, a pillar of cloud and fire, so the Israelites didn't need "a word" of the way which they should go. All they had to do was to obey the Word. The text of Deuteronomy 1:8 implies that had they only obeyed without sending spies, the Land would have fallen to them
without lifting a hand, just as in Egypt: "See, I have given the land before; come and take possession of the land..." A single act of faith can obviate the need for many years of tiresome, futile, self-assuring works.
Deuteronomy 1:19 describes the "great and awesome wilderness" of the journey. The commentary of
Sifrei 18 says that the Clouds of Glory, also known at Sukkot of Glory, under which the Israelites traveled in the wilderness,
 would kill the snakes and scorpions that lay in the path of the Israelites, except when they complained. Yeshua told his disciples, The Way, that they could take up serpents:
...they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. (Mk 16:18)
It was the "men of war" who died in the wilderness (Dt. 2:14, 16), those who lost heart and complained "in your tents" at the report of the spies. The serpents and scorpions, among other judgments, felled them in the great wilderness of their youthful journey, one that began in love (Je 2:2), but soured because of unrepentance. This Israelite is described in Jewish literature as a "widow" who needs to repent:
The Jewish nation is compared to a 'living widow,' a woman longing to return to her husband and to the relationship they once had, to the love of their youth.
She admits her misdeeds that caused the separation and estrangement. Her husband is pained by her pain, and recognizes the qualities that brought about their original union.
She is still his wife and he is still her husband, and he will return to her in the future. (Weinrib, Y.)
John quotes from Isaiah concerning the widow in Revelation:
To the degree that she glorified herself and
lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, 'I SIT as A QUEEN AND
I AM NOT A WIDOW, and
will never see mourning.' (Re 18:7)
The principle of measure for measure is applied to the one who refuses to mourn for the lost relationship with her husband. She refuses to repent of her misdeeds. The ten Northern Tribes of Israel were "divorced" from Adonai, but He never records a bill of divorce from Judah. She may be the "living widow," some of them confessing sin and awaiting His return, and others who feel no need to repent or to mourn the loss of the relationship.
Isaiah 50:1 asks, "Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement, whom I have put away?"
 There is no recorded divorce of Judah, and Paul writes that for those who believe on Yeshua, the bill of divorce is canceled (Romans 7:1-3), for through Yeshua's death, her husband "no longer lives," yet Yeshua resurrected to "marry" his Bride.
Isaiah, however, places the "Queen" prophecy upon
Babylon, who has been the instrument of oppressing Israel:
Yet you said, 'I will be a queen forever.' These things you did not consider nor remember the outcome of them. Now, then, hear this,
you sensual one, who dwells securely, who says in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one besides me.
I will not sit as a widow, nor know loss of children.' (Is 47:8)
Babylon is the archetype of the collective nations, for it was from the Tower of Bavel that the languages and peoples emerged. Whether an unrepentant "Jew" or an unrepentant person from among the nations,
all will be dealt judgment measure-for-measure before the Sukkot Feast of the Nations.
Throughout the portion, as throughout the Torah and Writings, giants are mentioned. The giants' role in the Torah and the Writings is to hold and guard spiritually significant territory. Their evil assignment is to prevent the faithful from entering Israel, the physical representation of its sister spiritual realm, the Garden.
The portion Devarim has extensive information on the defeat of the descendants of the Nephilim, called variously Horites, Anakim, Zamzumim, Rephaim... Although they existed throughout the Land and even across the Jordan, their defeat at Hebron, the gateway to the Garden, is emphasized:
When they had gone up into the Negev, they came to Hebron where Ahiman, Sheshai and Talmai, the descendants of Anak were. (Now Hebron was built seven years before Zoan in Egypt.) [Nu 13:22]
"Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified [and] very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there. [Nu 13:28]
"There also we saw the Nephilim (the sons of Anak are part of the Nephilim); and we became like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight." [Num 13:33]
...a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know and of whom you have heard [it said,] 'Who can stand before the sons of Anak?' [Dt 9:2 NASB]
Now he gave to Caleb the son of Jephunneh a portion among the sons of Judah, according to the command of the LORD to Joshua, [namely,] Kiriath-arba, [Arba being] the father of Anak (that is, Hebron). [Jos 15:13]
Caleb drove out from there the three sons of Anak: Sheshai and Ahiman and Talmai, the children of Anak. [Jos 15:14]
Thus they gave them Kiriath-arba, [Arba being] the father of Anak (that is, Hebron), in the hill country of Judah, with its surrounding pasture lands. [Jos 21:11]
Then they gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had promised; and he drove out from there the three sons of Anak. [Jdg 1:20]
Although the Caleb and Joshua had a different spirit, the rest of the spies and men of war declined to go up to the Land of Israel. They had ascended, walked the length and breadth of the Israel, seen the gigantic fruits of the Lower Garden, retrieved a sample from Eshkol, and even though their journey proved it was possible to ascend, their report was that it was not possible. Why say it can't be done when they just did it?
For some reason, the giants scared all the men but Caleb and Joshua. Significantly, Caleb went to Hebron, confronted the giants, and came away victorious. He was assigned this very plot of land as his inheritance for his faithfulness.
The giants may be the key.
Jewish tradition says that certain angels knew that Adam was destined to fall from his high stature, and that God would forgive him. This angered many of the angels. One of them went so far as to cause the fall of Adam and Eve to prove to God that He was mistaken in creating man. Many angels approached and proclaimed, 'Lord what is man that You know him, the son of man that You think of him" (Ps 144:3). The Holy One, responded to those angels by saying that if they were to descend into the physical realm upon Earth, they would sin even worse than man.
Some angels wanted to prove that God was wrong. They left their home in the spiritual abode and abandoned their posts. They descended to Earth to prove their point, but they were dreadfully mistaken. God was, of course, right. These angels immediately experienced human lust. Unable to overcome it, they cohabited with human women who bore superhuman children whom the Bible (Genesis 6) calls the Nefilim, the fallen ones. They caused the destruction of the Earth by the waters of the flood. The Bible teaches that the Nephilim survived the flood, and lasted until the days of Moses (Numbers 13:33). "Physically they were giants; the smallest were over ten feet tall. Goliath, who fought with young David, was of the last of this fallen race." (Bar Tzadok, p. 172)
The evil spies saw themselves the same way that the fallen angels saw humans, as little grasshoppers. They believed the doctrine of fallen angels and giants, not the reassurance of their Father in Heaven that He would provide a Way back to the Garden. Perhaps this is why the giants fought so hard to prevent the Israelites from going up to the Land, especially Hebron, the "entrance."
The challenge of the rebellious angels was that they could resist the temptation of the natural, created realm, whereas the humans could not. The angels were wrong, and they, too, became
The evil spies saw that although they ascended the mountain and came to the Valley of Eshkol, the giants were there, proof that even angels couldn't resist sin, (1:24-25), and the spies descended with the proof, gigantic grapes from Eshkol. Eshkol is a cluster, mentioned in the resurrection handbook, Song of Songs 1:14:
My beloved is like a cluster [Eshkol] of henna [copher] in the vineyard of Ein Gedi.
The explanation of the verse from Rabbi Weir is: "My Beloved (Hashem) is like the cluster of henna-flowers in the vineyard of Ein-Gedi, whose fragrance is long lasting and far-reaching, like the miracles and forgiveness He has bestowed upon me." Miracles and forgiveness! The Way back to the Garden, Yeshua. No, the fallen ones and their giant descendants did not overcome, but Israel had The Name going before them in the pillar of cloud.
The secret in the wilderness was the Angel of the Presence in whom was The Name, performing miracles and granting forgiveness to overcome sensuality. The way for Israel is still Yeshua's miracles and forgiveness! The secret was to be the "widow," mourning for the lost relationship with her husband and repenting so that he would return.
The "henna" in the vineyard was traditionally used to paint decorative designs on the bride for her marriage day. In Hebrew, it is
copher, or "redemption." Instead of seeing Eshkol's gigantic grapes as proof that we cannot overcome sensuality and attain holiness to enter, through Yeshua, Israel sees the
eshkol of a bride's beautiful henna covering her, Yeshua's miracles and forgiveness. In this way she will enter the Garden.
Both Jude and Peter write about these fallen angels and their descendant giants, and like Caleb and Joshua, they encourage believers in Yeshua to be faithful. We must believe that Yeshua's miracles and forgiveness open the way to holiness so that we can grow and learn, so that we can enter the Lower Garden through him when we die:
For certain persons have crept in unnoticed, those who were long beforehand marked out for this condemnation,
ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe.
And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in
gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire. (Jude 4-7)
What keeps us from "going up" to the Garden is sensuality and the belief that we cannot overcome it. Alternatively, it is believing that we can indulge in gross immorality because Yeshua's grace gives us a blank check to sin. Moses reminds the Israelites that the spies 1) ascended 2) retrieved the massive fruit 3) descended safely. The "fruit" of Eden was so great compared to their natural, "grasshopper" stature. The men of war did not believe that they could make war against the sensuality of the flesh, even though Yeshua went before them.
Peter also gives the key:
Many will follow their sensuality
, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep. For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to pits of darkness, reserved for judgment; and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven others, when He brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment, and especially those who indulge the flesh in its corrupt desires and despise authority. (2 Pe 2:2-9)
That's the key. "The LORD knows how" to rescue the repentant soul. Does this sound like the Lord's Prayer...lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil? We can overcome sensuality through the transformation of the Word and the Spirit. We do know the way to go. We can ascend. The giants are proof that we CAN, not that we can't. Repentance will open the gates because Yeshua forgives. He makes miracles in our hearts that increase our holiness while he teaches us how to live in Paradise.
He knows how.
Perat River is the "Great" River Euphrates, spiritual source River of Eden from the Throne