When he sent — בְּשַׁלַּח
When I was a child, my parents used to take my siblings and me to a lake in Indiana called Deam Lake. Out in the lake was a concrete structure that housed diving boards and seats for lifeguards with mega horns and whistles. One year, my brother and I discovered that we could swim under the concrete structure, and there was a space where we could breathe and hold on to an iron pole. No one could see us under there. We played tricks on other children. To the onlookers, we could hold our breath forever. Sometimes I would float on my back and lounge under the protective covering.
One day, I was tired from swimming and sunshine and did not tell anyone where I was going. Exhausted, I walked to the parking lot, opened the door to our station wagon, and fell fast asleep. I think I was around 9 or 10? Unbeknownst to me, after some time, divers were looking for me and even dragging the lake. My brother told them of how I liked to go underneath and hide. As people searched frantically for me, combing the waters with their eyes, I slept.
Oh, the stories I could share! LOL
Now, I want you to picture yourself, childlike, hiding in the water and allowing the water to HOLD YOU UP and allowing the water to be a wall protecting you on every side. When the sun gets too hot and your skin becomes a pruned mess, you sleep in perfect peace, like a child without a care in the world.
In this Torah portion, we read of water that stands in a heap. We read of waters that become a wall.
Aaron had a brother-in-law named Nahshon. This man and his name are pretty interesting. Nahshon means serpent. Etymology (nahash), serpent, bronze or oracle. Abarim publications add more curiousness to the name.
- Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names reads Enchanter and demands rather hysterically that the enchanting done by “the Gentiles of the old world” had to do with snakes.
- BDB Theological Dictionary doesn’t interpret our name Nahshon but does list it under the root נחש (nhsh I), where the snake words come from. If we were to boldly extrapolate BDB’s suggestion, the name Nahshon would mean something like Snake-Guy.
- Spiros Zodhiates (The Complete Word Study Dictionary) makes no suggestion as to where the name Nahshon might come from but submits Diviner as its translation. (Abarim Publications)
Nahshon became Boaz’s grandson, and legend has it that he took a leap of faith and plunged himself into the sea. The rabbis teach that Nahshon earned merit for the entire tribe of Judah when he leaped into the sea: “Nahshon jumped into the midst of the waves of the sea, followed by his tribe. Therefore, the tribe of Judah merited the kingdom.” (Mechilta).
Nahshon’s name, and its meaning, reminded me of a Diviners Rod. What is a divining rod?
A forked rod, or branch of a tree, that in the hands of certain people is said to indicate, by means of spasmodic movements of varying intensity, the presence of water and minerals underground. Traditionally the rod is of hazelwood and V-shaped. The ends are held by the operator. Other materials such as right-angle wire rods are claimed to be equally effective. Diviners claim that under the effect of “rhabdic force,” the rod twists or revolves when the operator passes over underground water or minerals. Mention of the rod used for purposes of divination are to be found in the records of ancient Egypt. Cicero and Tacitus both wrote of the rod “virgula divina.” This ancient divining rod was a form of rhabdomancy or divination by means of little pieces of stick. HERE
The Bible is full of idols and mysteries. How does an axe head float? How does throwing a branch in the water cause a reaction? Sometimes the snakes, dragons, and mystical language used in the writings makes us wonder what it would look like for a snake charmer to see his snake like deception swallowed up by the “Word” or the “water” or One drawn out of water. Below is a list of things to ponder:
- Abraham’s father was an idol maker who sold them in the market. (Joshua 24:2).
- Laban (Jacob’s maternal uncle) had idols that Rachel took and hid. (Gen. 31:34).
- After Jacob’s sons wreak havoc on the men of Shechem for the sexual assault of their sister, we learn they have idols: “So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you and purify yourselves and change your garments. Then let us arise and go up to Bethel, so that I may make there an altar to the God who answers me in the day of my distress and has been with me wherever I have gone.” So they gave to Jacob all the foreign gods that they had, and the rings that were in their ears. Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree that was near Shechem.” (Genesis 35:2-)
Whether Joseph uses the divination cup is unclear, but he has one.
- “And put my cup, the silver cup, in the opening of the sack of the youngest, and his money for the grain.” And he did as Joseph had told him. As soon as it was light, the men were sent away, they with their donkeys. They had just left the city, and were not far away, when Joseph said to his house steward, “Up, follow the men; and when you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid evil for good? Is this not that from which my lord drinks, and which he indeed uses for divination? You have done wrong in doing this!’” (Gen. 44:2).
We also have the casting lots:
The Urim and Thummim (Heb. אוּרִים וְתֻמִּים) was a priestly device for obtaining oracles. On the high priest’s ephod (an apron-like garment) lay a breastpiece (חֹשֶׁן) – a pouch inlaid with 12 precious stones engraved with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel – that held the Urim and Thummim (Ex. 28:15–30; Lev. 8:8). By means of the Urim, the priest inquired of YHWH. (Jewish Encyclopedia)
The lots were cast in the Newer Testament to replace Judas.
- “And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” Acts 1:26.
We have staffs that become snakes and staff’s that swallow snakes. Regardless of how its explained or explained away, many things in His Word, make ya go “huh?”
In Beshalach, we read about waters dividing into a “heap.” Men walk on dry ground. We read about a similar story in Joshua. The holy Priest carrying the ark take a step into the Jordan, and the water stands in a heap as the soles of their feet touch the dry ground.
- “And it will come about when the soles of the feet of the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan will be cut off, that is, the waters which are flowing down from above; and they will stand in one heap.” Joshua 3:13.
Have you ever? I’ve never seen such a sight. The Creator divided the upper waters from the lower waters on day 2 of creation. “And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters, to separate the waters from the waters.” Genesis 1:6). The Creator of all the earth made the sea monsters and one serpent at sea called Leviathan. It does not matter how big the sea is or how many crocodiles or alligators reside in the swampy land, with Adonia’s Strong Right Hand, He holds them all back and so men, men who have waited for centuries to be free WALK on DRY ground and the Water clothes them in VICTORY.
- “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the LORD drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the people of Israel went into the midst of the sea on dry ground, the waters being a wall to them on their right hand and on their left” (Exodus 14:21-22).
- “At the blast of Your nostrils the waters were piled up, The flowing waters stood up like a heap” (Exodus 15:8).
- He divided the sea, and caused them to pass through; and he made the waters to stand as an heap” (Psalm 78:13).
May we dive into the healing waters. May we hide under His Canopy. May we rest like a child in His arms.
The Father can cause His Ruach wind to blow with such strength that it stands at attention at the Holy One’s command. Is anything too difficult for Him? No.