The Song of Moses, Final, The call to rejoice
Aug 26, 2013
We have come now to the final section of the Song of Moses. Deuteronomy 32:43 says,
43 Rejoice, O nations [goyim] , with His people;
For He will avenge [naqam] the blood of His servants,
And will render vengeance [naqam] on His adversaries,
And will atone [kaphar, “cover”] for His land and His people.
This is Section A2, which runs parallel to Section A (verses 1-6).
Section A was the “Call to Hear;” Section A2 is the “Call to Rejoice,” which is the result of hearing.
This rejoicing is not merely directly toward Israel but to the “nations.” Many today are of the viewpoint that in the end a God of Vengeance will destroy the nations while defending the Jewish state. But Moses says no such thing. When God renders “vengeance on His adversaries,” the nations will rejoice. This is consistent with Psalm 67:1-7,
1 God be gracious to us and bless us, and cause His face [paniym, “face, presence”] to shine upon us— Selah. 2 That Thy way may be known on the earth, Thy salvation [Yeshua] among all nations… 4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy; for Thou wilt judge the peoples with uprightness, and guide the nations on the earth. Selah…. 7 God blesses us, that all the ends of the earth may fear [reverence] Him.
Thus, David prophesies of the fulfillment of Tabernacles, when God’s face (presence) shines upon us—that is, in our faces—in order that His ways and His Yeshua may be revealed in us to all. Paul, too, refers to this in 2 Thessalonians 1:10,
10 When He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed.
This is the manifestation of the sons of God. It is the unveiling of His “face” in our face, patterned after Moses’ transfiguration in the Mount, when his face glowed with the presence of God (Exodus 34:29).
And so, the Song of Moses concludes with the success and final outcome of the New Covenant, when all nations see the oath of God fulfilled in us. When the overcomers receive God’s “face” and fully manifest the presence of God in their bodies, all nations will rejoice, knowing that these are but the first-fruits of God’s promise. Paul puts it another way in Romans 8:19-21,
19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing [apokalupsis, “unveiling, manifestation”] of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
All nations and creation itself has a stake in this great event, for all will benefit from it. Even as Christ’s resurrection gives the believer hope (1 Corinthians 15:20), so also does the manifestation of the sons of God give the rest of creation hope. Both are said to be first-fruits, the token offering that sanctifies the rest of the harvest. Therefore, this is the cause of rejoicing among the nations and all the ends of the earth. The success of the New Covenant, the fulfillment of God’s oath, is proven by the first-fruits who manifest the presence of God. They are the proof that God can indeed fulfill His oath. This gives all nations and creation itself hope (expectation) of entering into that same experience in the harvest yet to come.
The Hebrew word for “nations” is goyim, which is derived from the root word gevah, “back, behind.” It pictures the nations turning their backs on God and His law. These are the ones who will yet rejoice when God’s oath is fully implemented among the nations.
And yet Moses once again uses terms that most people misunderstand, because they do not know the mind of God. The nations were to rejoice, “for He will avenge the blood of His servants.” The term “avenge” is naqam, as we have already explained. It is a legal term showing that God brings justice to His servants and to all men. He balances the books to restore the lawful order, harmony, and peace (shalom).
In fact, naqam is written as נפמ, or nun-koof-mem. The nun means “a swarm of fish,” signifying life. Koof means the back of the head, signifying that which follows. Mem means water, signifying chaos, disorder. The word, then, can be literally interpreted, “life following chaos.” Divine vengeance, then, is God’s restoration of the lawful order, bringing life out of the chaos caused by injustice.
We know that God’s heart is to “overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21), rather than to render evil for evil. If God rendered evil for evil, all men would be lost and the oath of God would remain forever unfulfilled. True vengeance is not to destroy creation but to redeem it and turn the hearts of the people to Christ. This is accomplished, not by ignoring the injustice of men on earth, but by paying its penalty on the cross and also by holding unbelievers accountable to the law.
In Revelation 19:1, 2 we read,
1 … Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God; 2 because His judgments are true and righteous; for He has judged the great harlot who was corrupting the earth with her immorality, and He has avenged the blood of His bond-servants on her.
In the previous verse, Revelation 18:24, we read,
24 And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.
The harlot is the false bride, “the great harlot,” the corrupter of all nations and the one who has murdered the prophets and saints since the beginning of time. Many are her manifestations, but Jesus focused upon the old Jerusalem itself, telling us in Matthew 23:29-37,
29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, 30 and say, “If we had been living in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partners with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.” 31 Consequently, you bear witness against yourselves, that you are the sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up then the measure of the guilt of your fathers…. 34 Therefore, behold, I am sending you prophets and wise men and scribes; some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city, 35 that upon you may fall the guilt of all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I say to you, all these things shall come upon this generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who I sent to her! …
While many believe that God will save the Old Jerusalem and “marry” her, Jesus said that all the blood of the martyrs, beginning with Abel himself and continuing through the prophets, will be laid at the feet of Jerusalem. John tells us in Revelation 18:24 that this great harlot is to be held legally responsible for “the blood of prophets and of saints and of all who have been slain on the earth.”
In other words, the old Jerusalem is the great harlot, and all who consider her to be their spiritual “mother” are children of the flesh. She is contrasted with the true Bride, which is the New Jerusalem. This is the “Hephzibah” in Isaiah 62:4, KJV, who is called the Bride. Paul tells us that the earthly Jerusalem is Hagar (Galatians 4:25), whose “sons” are the children of the flesh that persecute the true inheritors of Sarah, the New Jerusalem.
We understand, then, that the old Jerusalem itself must be “cast out” (Galatians 4:30) in order for the true inheritors to be established and recognized legally in their calling. When the city of Jerusalem is destroyed as prophesied in Jeremiah 19:11 and again in Isaiah 29:1-6, God will then restore the lawful order to the earth. The harlot will be exposed as the false bride who seduced the whole world by her carnality and immorality.
Of course, the harlot is the city and its oppressive system of government. It is a counterfeit of the true Kingdom of God. When she is exposed and cast out, her children, the children of the flesh (Galatians 4:29), will also be set free from the bonds of their own mother. They will then begin to realize that they must claim Sarah as their mother in order to enjoy the freedom of the sons of God.
Hence, the destruction of the “harlot” does not mean that all of her children are destroyed with her, but that they will be set free from the power of the flesh. No longer will they be mesmerized by the great harlot. Like the apostle Paul himself when he was converted to Christ, they will all recognize a new mother, so that they may become part of the Isaac company, the children of promise (Galatians 4:28).
Moses also says that “He will atone for His land and His people.” The Hebrew word kaphar means “to cover.” It is spelled as כפר with three Hebrew letters, kaph-pey-resh. The kaph itself is an open hand (used to cover something), pey is a mouth, and resh is a head. It literally pictures an open hand covering the mouth or head.
When used of sacrifice, atonement uses blood to cover sin on the altar. Jesus fulfilled the law of sacrifice when He died on the cross to cover sin. In the second work of Christ, He actually removes sin. These two works of Christ were pictured each year on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, where two goats served this purpose (Leviticus 16:8). The first was killed and its blood sprinkled on the mercy seat in the temple to cover sin. The second removed sin from all men into the wilderness to a place without inhabitant.
Moses’ reference to God providing atonement, then, prophesied of the coming of Christ to die on the cross to cover sin, not only for His people, but also for His land. We cannot take this in a limited fulfillment, because His people include the Egyptians (Isaiah 19:25), and His land includes the whole earth that He has created.
The Song of Moses thus reaches its climax at the end, picturing the lawful order being restored through divine “vengeance,” as God overcomes evil with good. The nations turn to God, no longer having their backs toward Him. The two works of Christ are completed, first by covering sin and later by removing all sin from our bodies and from the creation itself.
In other words, the Song of Moses ends with the Restoration of All Things.
This is the final part of a series titled "The Song of Moses." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones