The Hidden Valley Tribes
Matot-Masei "Tribes-Journeys of"
Numbers 30:2-36:13
Jeremiah 1:1-2:2; 2:4-28; 3:4
Psalm 111; 49
James 5:12
Valley from Be'er Sheva to Hebron Hills

The name of the portion is  Matot or tribes, for Numbers 30:1:   

"Then  Moses spoke to the heads of the  tribes  of the sons of Israel, saying,  'This  is the word which the LORD has  commanded.'"

Tribes ( matot ) is Strong's #4294  מַטֶּה

It is from:   נָטָה (H5186 natah

Where did we just see this root word that describes the tribes of Israel?  We saw it in the Torah portion Pinchas, which describes the root of the problem in Matot.  In Matot, Moses has to raise a double army to take revenge on the Midianite, Moabites, and Bilaam for seducing the men of Israel.  The simple English translation misses the doubled Hebrew text of Number 31:4:

"A thousand from each tribe of all the tribes of Israel you shall send to the war."    

אֶלֶף לַמַּטֶּה אֶלֶף לַמַּטֶּה  לְכֹל מַטֹּות יִשְׂרָאֵל תִּשְׁלְחוּ לַצָּבָֽא׃

"A thousand to a tribe a thousand to a tribe..."

Keep that doubled number in mind, but let's go back to Bilaam's prophecy upon Israel.  Bilaam did not settle for a loss when Adonai did not let him curse Israel.  He plotted to teach the Midianite and Moabites a different way to bring destruction to Israel: seduction.  Ironically, though, the double army that Moses levies to punish the conspirators reflects the double blessings in Bilaam's prophecy:

How  fair are your tents, O  Jacob, your  dwellings, O Israel ! Like valleys  that stretch  out, like  gardens beside the  river, like  aloes planted by the  LORD, like  cedars beside the  waters.  Water  will flow from his  buckets, and  his seed will be by many  waters, and  his king shall be higher than  Agag , and  his kingdom shall be exalted . (Nu 24:5-7)

The Hebrew word for "stretch out," natah, describes the valleys like Israel. The "stretching" valley is the same root as "tribe":

Jewish sages say that this is two prophecies of two stages and expansion: the Wilderness Tabernacle and the Jerualem Temple.  If we break it down into an easy chart, the pattern stands out:

The "stretched" valleys are a clue.  Two valleys are mentioned specifically in the Torah, other than the Jordan  Valley.  The first two valleys are identified with "temporary" dwelling:

The Eshkol Valley, the place where the ten spies became discouraged and formulated an evil report.

The  Arnon  Valley of Moab where the battle for the Land of Israel began, the place of a supernatural deliverance and the Song of the Well.

The Valley of Eshkol is identified with Abraham's friends, specifically, a brother of  Mamre . I Genesis 14:24,  Mamre  is mentioned as the name of one of Abraham's allies, who in 14:13 is described as the brother of  Eshkol  and  Aner The  name of the grove of trees is considered as derived from Mamre The "oaks" of  Mamre  where Abram the sojourner pitched his tent (Ge14:13; Ge 18:1) are described (Ge 13:18) as "in Hebron." Machpelah is "before" Mamre " (Ge 23:17; 25:9; 49:30; 50:13), and  Mamre  is identified with Hebron itself (Ge 23:19).

The Valley of Eshkol connects Jerusalem to Hebron.  The ancient road called the Path of the Patriarchs runs along an adjacent ridge.  The entrance back to the Garden of Eden "faces" Jerusalem and Bethlehem through the Valley of Eshkol.   It was from here that the Israelites presumably saw the giants reported by the spies and their enormous grapes.  You can see the valley on this map, and the Path of the Patriarchs runs roughly along the modern Highway 60:

When the Israelites return after their temporary sojourn in the wilderness, Caleb conquers Hebron and re-takes it from the giants, opening the pathway of the Valley of Eshkol to the Jerusalem.  The valley had conquered them before, but now it is conquered.   This occurs after  they've defeated outlying enemies in the Valley of  Arnon .   The two stretching valleys establish the return from the temporary wilderness to the permanence and expansiveness of inheritance in the Land.

* How fair are your tents, O fugitive  Jacob, in the wilderness, transforms to your dwellings, O prevailing  Israel in the Temple in Jerusalem

* Like Eshkol and Arnon  valleys  that stretched  out to receive Abraham and their ancestors' sojourning tents, now they return in faith to be resurrected and replanted,  like  gardens planted in the valleys beside the R iver  in the Garden of Eden.  

*L ike  aloes  planted by the  LORD that thrive in wilderness sand with little water and are easily transplanted, so they will be  like  cedars.  Cedars  beside the  waters last hundreds of years, and in the Temple, the "cedars" last for eternity.

* Water will flow from his  buckets, for the water had to be drawn from Miriam's well in the wilderness, but  his seed will be by the  many  waters in the Rivers of Eden

*H is  king  shall be higher than  Agag,  the Amalekite's whose serpents attacked in the wilderness, and  his eternal  kingdom  shall be eternally  exalted above the serpent.

Haman, may his name be blotted out, was a descendent of Agag and Amalek, whose name is destined to be blotted out from under Heaven at the end of days.  The wicked spirit of Amalek goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden.  It is a spirit that desires to spoil the purpose of the Garden, which was to provide a setting for the precious, fiery stones of Israel to fulfill their mission of filling, subduing, and ruling over the earth according to the Word of the Holy One. 

The textual first mention of Haman the descendant of Agag is among the "slanders" of the fall from Eden and the tree in Genesis 3:11, when Elohim asks the hiding Adam and Eve who told them they were naked:

וַיֹּאמֶר מִי הִגִּיד לְךָ כִּי עֵירֹם אָתָּה  הֲמִן־הָעֵץ

Without the vowel points, it reads, "Haman the tree" instead of "from the tree," a play-on word that will later explain who Haman, may his name be blotted out, thinks he is.  He wants to be THE tree, the authority of the Garden. 

The giants took up residence in the Valley of Eshkol in order to block the Israelites' journey to their ultimate destination, Jerusalem.  By holding Hebron, they thought to block access to the tombs of the patriarchs and matriarchs, who were buried in the Cave of Machpelah, the traditional entrance back to the Garden of Eden.  The Patriarch's Path from Hebron to Jerusalem was ancient, and it was used by Abraham to escort Isaac to his virtual resurrection on Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount.  Isaac used it. Jacob used it.  And Israel.

The Patriarch's Path through the Valley of Eshkol was used by millions of Israelites to make their annual pilgrimages at Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot each year.  The ancient mikvaot (ritual immersion baths) may still be seen along the way, and the Romans later set mile posts along the path.  The stretched-out Valley of Eshkol has never been hidden.  It was used from ancient times to travel to Jerusalem for the appointed times.

The patriarchs and matriarchs were buried in Hebron because of their faith in the resurrection.  They knew that we are mere sojourners in this fallen earth, but Resurrection was coming, and he would do more than conquer death. He would resurrect his faithful, gather them back to the Rivers of Eden, and He would reign forever from Jerusalem.  And with them would go lots of Abraham's friends and descendants, all stretched out in the valleys of return within the tribes of Israel.

So why pick a double army to take revenge on Balak the Destroyer and Bilaam the wicked prophet?  It reminds the reader to continue reading the Word on two levels:  immediate and prophetic.  The Word answers immediate problems, but it never lets us forget the future full redemption.  It never lets us forget that the ultimate goal is resurrection and restoration to our original home.  The valley is only impossible, blocked, or hidden to those who look for immediate answers, not the Kingdom.

Which direction does your valley path lead?  Time to stretch.

Spotlight on Sukkot in Israel 2019
October 10-22, 2019
Barry and Audrey Miller

With each trip or tour to Israel, we meet amazing people and build lifetime friendships.  We'd like to highlight some of those people that have been such a blessing to the tours and The Creation Gospel ministry.  Two of those incredible servants of Adonai are Barry and Audrey Miller of Pennsylvania. Audrey shares with us their experience:

"Although we grew up in a place far removed from the Promised Land, God saw to it that we each had a close family member who taught us God's Word as a child, a person who also loved and supported his nation and his Land, Israel. Our road to Israel began with them. We are forever grateful.
We attended our first Passover seder as a young, married couple. Seeing Yeshua perfectly outlined (shadowed) by that celebration sharpened the focus of our lives.  If Yeshua is the Word made flesh, that means he's the Torah too! (Luke 24:27, John 1:14)
Initial trips to Israel occurred during our young adult years.  More recently, we traveled to Israel in 2017 and 2018 with Dr. Hollisa Alewine on her tours coordinated through Blossoming Rose.  For me, Audrey, the unplanned moments and unexpected stops on Dr. Alewine's tours have significance in a crystallizing instant, a moment's realization that God has just presented a gift.
One such unexpected stop occurred near Jericho to visit an elderly woman who lived an almost solitary existence with her orchard of pomegranate trees.  She made a living selling pomegranate juice, among other things.  She felt her calling was to hold and watch over the area where the Israelites crossed into the Land under Joshua.  Who knew I was going to end up in her "backyard"?!  Standing there, I was practically speechless. Just prior to departing for Israel that time, I taught a class on Joshua 3-5, the Israelites' crossing into the Land.  Now, quite unexpectedly, I stood and gazed upon the very spot myself.
After our tour's 2018 Passover seder at Biblical Tamar Park, I stepped outside, into the night, into the enveloping stillness of a desert oasis. Breathing in deeply, I looked up.  The full moon at Passover in Israel--there's nothing like seeing it firsthand with one's feet firmly standing in the Land.  Nothing.
Another stop not on a printed itinerary was Rachel's tomb.  Nonchalantly, I stepped inside with the detached aloofness of taking a brief look and leaving again.  Nevertheless, while standing at the back of the room, the clear and quiet words came, "Pray for her children to come home." (Jer. 31:15-40)  So, I did.  Indeed, the prophets say all Israelwill be restored; that includes Rachel's long-lost offspring.
Barry and I look forward to joining Dr. Alewine on tour this fall to celebrate Feast of Tabernacles.  Marching in the streets of Jerusalem with the Parade of Nations during Sukkot in fulfillment of Zechariah 14:16 has been Barry's dream.  The restoration of David's tabernacle and the nations, the Gentiles, who join it is something to celebrate!  (Amos 9:11-12, Acts 15:13-17)
Barry would like to issue a special invitation to men who are contemplating the Sukkot tour this year:  Men, Sukkot is a time to set aside our creative enterprises, our usual work.  It is a time to gather, to hear from God and each other.  The Sukkot tour this year is at least a partial fulfillment of the following passage from Jeremiah regarding the new covenant:
"At that time," declares the LORD, "I will be the God of all the families of Israel,  and they will be My people."  Thus says the LORD, "The people who
survived the sword found grace in the wilderness-Israel when it went to find its rest." (Jer. 31:1-2, emphasis added)
The upcoming Sukkot tour will be wonderful and the time spent in Biblical Tamar Park in the Aravah (the wilderness) will yield a connection to God and to each other that will not be forgotten.  We look forward to meeting many new and old friends in the wilderness. 
In our experience, the people who join Dr. Alewine's tours are kindred spirits on a journey of the heart.  While on tour, you will find yourself among a close-knit family, albiet one with ancient roots of faith.   Please join us.  Come and be prepared for amazing insights from Dr. Alewine, Kisha Gallagher, tour guides, and your newly-befriended fellow travelers.  With your own two feet firmly planted in the Land, simply see and experience it for yourself.  Yes, the Land is good!" 
Barry L. Miller is the author of  Know the Time, Change Your World, The Reappearance of the Seven- and Fifty-Year Biblical Cycles,Creation House, Lake Mary, FL (2015).  
If you haven't decided where to spend Sukkot this year, dust off your passport and click on  SUKKOT IN ISRAEL  to read the itinerary.   

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