Parashat Ekev

Parashat Ekev

This Torah portion is a beautiful summary of what the Israelites have walked through and most importantly it speaks to the covenant Adonai Elohim has established with His people - a covenant that comes with walking in obedience and sh’ma-ing each day. This is about a relationship of sh’ma-ing and blessing.

What is interesting is how these chapters begin. The word ekev means because, following or as a result of but what we need to see here too is that the literal meaning of this word is ‘heel’. This is the root word of Ya’akov (Jacob) which means ‘he will use the heel’.

What is HaShem saying at the beginning of a conversation that is all about His covenant relationship with Israel?

The heel is something we become familiar with way back in the first few chapters of Genesis, when Chava (Eve) eats of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and her and Adam have to face the consequences of their sin in front of the Almighty.

Do you remember the words spoken by HaShem?

And I will put enmity between you, and the woman, and between your seed, and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel {ekev}”

Genesis 3:15

The use in this word is a Hebrew idiom, a figurative way of saying 'on the heels of', which is an English idiom for ‘following, and as a result of’. It can also mean, and is sometimes translated, if, when, and/or because.

The heel is the part of your body that connects with the earth and is often referred to as the soul or the nefesh. The eyes on the other hand are the part of the body that is associated with your spirit – this is what keeps you focused on Father and walking His ways. Unfortunately, the heel is not very happy with being led by the spirit and many times wants to lead the way – imagine walking on your hands and using your heels to guide you? Well, the reality is, this is the truth for us all and it is something we need to resist each day. We know that when we are led by our nefesh we often fall into situations that lead to pain and struggle – they don’t always happen over night but ultimately out flesh (or heel) will lead us to sin and lack of vision. No-one is going to have spiritual vision with their eyes to the ground and their heels to the heavens!

So, it is with a deeper meaning that we see the word ekev over and over again in these chapters – HaShem is talking about our choices, our choice to keep our heels on the ground and our eyes on the Ancient of Days so that we can walk with spiritual vision and choose to walk in the steps that He has chosen for us. These are the steps that lead to blessing and abundance. When you read these chapters, you can see the love and generosity that our Heavenly Father desires to lavish over His children.

What does it mean for Adonai to ‘keep with us the covenant’ He made with our forefathers and ‘the loving kindness’ He promised to them?

It means that Adonai will love you and bless you and multiply you.

Ahav refers to a passionate, deep-seated kind of love one feels for someone who is the fulfilment of their deepest desires.

This is the love the text is speaking of – this is the love HaShem has for each us.

It means He will rejoice over us, cherish us, and consciously choose His relationship with us as His most precious relationship. It means He will aggressively pursue fellowship and constant interaction with us, with the goal of creating an everlasting bond between us.

Ahav mans to pant after…

Psalm 42:1 - 2

As the deer pants after the channels of water, so my soul pants after You, O Elohim. My soul thirsts for Elohim, for the living Elohim; when shall I come and see the face of Elohim?

The word our English Bibles translate as “bless” is barach.

Barach [to release from restrictions and limitations.; to infuse the object of blessing with unlimited potential and empowerment.]

The Hebrew verb translated as ‘multiply’ is a form of the verb root rabah.

This verb means to become many, to become numerous, to multiply.

This word means that HaShem will see to it that our numbers will grow exponentially, no matter what famines, plagues, persecutions or holocausts we may face.

Moshe tells us we will experience economic prosperity beyond any natural explanation. He also shares that HaShem will supernaturally bless our physical bodies, deliver all our enemies into our hands and give us the power of life and death over those who wish to end our lives.

All these blessings are only promised to us TO THE EXTENT THAT WE CONTINUE TO CLING TO ADONAI AS OUR ONLY ELOHIM! [Deuteronomy 7:12-16]

This is what lies in each of our hands – CHOICE.

When we stand at the crossroads as in Jeremiah 6:16 what we will choose?

Will we choose these ancient paths that Moshe is speaking of right here in Deuteronomy or will we choose the labyrinth of the world?

The times we are living through right now are calling each of us to step up in our reverence for HaShem, our obedience to His Word and daily repentance. There is no time for us to live in compromise with our heels in the air and our eyes on the ground. I pray that each of us will examine the state of our hearts and walk in spirit and in truth for the sake of His love for each of us. That none of us would be left asleep.

Baruch HaShem and may this week be blessed and filled with HaShem’s wisdom.


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