The Torah and its Blessings are Accessible

Deuteronomy 30:11-20

Just in case everything he has told them seems impossible, Moses tells the people that the Torah is imminently accessible to all of them. It is not in heaven or across the sea, where they would need someone to fetch it for them, but it is a choice which God has given to each person.

 

Moses explains they must choose between good and life or evil and death, but urges them to choose life. If they choose poorly, all the terrible things he has described will come about, but if they choose wisely, loving and serving God, they will prosper in the land which God has promised them and their forefathers. Moses calls upon the heavens and the earth to bear witness to the choice he has placed before the Children of Israel.

 

The Israel Bible connects this passage with modern Israel’s Independence Day. Each year, the celebration is preceded by Yom Hazikaron, or Memorial Day, remembering the country’s fallen soldiers. The contrast between the two days, commemorated back-to-back, brings into sharp relief the fact that without the sacrifice of Israel’s soldiers today, the people would not be able to live securely in the land God promised their forefathers.

 

Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think Moses calls on the heavens and the earth to bear witness to the covenant?

Comments ( 12 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Damian Sco

    Because it IS a Covenant. Both parties have their responsibilities :

    29 God, our God, will take care of the hidden things but the revealed things are our business. It’s up to us and our children to attend to all the terms in this Revelation.

  • Again I like everyone comments and again I would add that to have heaven and earth to witness means everyone. There isn't anyone else. However the angels watch how God is dealing with us in rapt interest. So they are witness to his glory.

  • For setling things 2 witnesses are needed. As G-d is the Highest there is no one for HIM to swear to. So that what HE created is called to bear witness. A witness has to see if things are going well. The heavens are called to bear witness . Heavens (G-ds environment) stands for everything of the invisible world. The earth (second witness, our environment) relates to our human setting. They see to it that things are best and well executed or not. The y are witnesses to this covenant.

  • Thank you all, I agree. To add, Moshe called upon heaven and earth as witnesses, because in the preceding chapters we are told that the covenant was being made with also those that were not present (people like me and you) who would live many generations thereon, as biological seed or as grafted into the commonwealth of Israel. Heaven and earth would be the best witnesses because they transcend generations.

    • I agree. The earth is the seen, physical and to our human form the Heavens are unseen.

  • I agree if anyone breaks the Covenant with GOD then there will be no place anywhere in the world or universes that the person or people can hide, for the Heavens would know where the person or person are in the universe and if on earth the earth will know where the person or persons are hiding.

  • Thank you for your insights, Jesse and Sheila! I think those are both interesting observations, and taken together, add new layers of appreciation for this passage.

  • Sheila

    The Lord is swearing to act upon Israel’s decision. He is the one and only true God and therefore invokes His creation “the heavens and the earth” as his two witnesses. The awesomeness of God as Creator is a continuous revelation of His wisdom, power and glory revealing th His people that He truely stands by His agreement and word.

  • Jesse

    There can be witnesses to many things: crimes, legal cases, weddings, etc. However, in this case, the covenant between God and Israel is a marriage contract and the witnesses are very expansive. Essentially, if anybody were to break covenant, it wouldn’t matter where you were, you would be seen because the heavens and the earth are everywhere we are.

  • Jayne

    Two witnesses were required in Jewish law in the making of a covenant – at least one for each party.

    • That’s true…any thoughts on why those witnesses in this case would be heaven and earth? Thanks for participating!

      • There is no one else that is holier and higher than HaShem. So the only possibility is to call upon heaven and earth to be HIS witnesses.

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