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The Haftarah (prophetic portion) promises that God will allure Israel, bring her back to the Land, and that the relationship between God and Israel would be, once again, like a healthy marriage. To understand the themes of marriage, betrayal and redemption in Hosea, we must understand Hosea’s situation. God instructed him to take a harlot for a wife—a woman who was seemingly destined to be unfaithful to him. The rabbis, in fact, believe that Hosea’s resulting domestic tragedy was actually ordained by God
This Parasha models community living, especially in regard to serving the Lord. When we live and work together in community, and everyone has their own assigned tasks so that each carries part of the load, the burden does not fall too heavily on a few key individuals. This is the ideal behind the communal lifestyle of the Israeli kibbutz movement. It's also the lifestyle of the early kehillah – the early community of Believers.
Three groups expressed discontentment with the leadership of Moses and Aaron: Korach (a Levite), Dathan and Abiram (from the tribe of Reuven), and 250 Israelite leaders who were appointed members of the council. In the end, God vindicated Moses and Aaron and severely punished those who joined the rebellion by swallowing them up into the earth. It was as if God had created a small earthquake to end strife in the community.
Words are powerful. Although today, we tend to minimize the power of the words we speak, during the time of Moses and Balaam, the entire ancient world believed in the very real power of blessings and curses. In fact, the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) clearly says that the tongue has the power of life and death (Proverbs 18:21).
Because the Moabites were unable to curse Israel directly, they instead ensnared the Israelites in sin (Numbers 25:18). According to rabbinic tradition, Balaam understood that Israel had to be lured to destruction through sexual immorality, since he knew that he could not utter a curse against them.
When Israel arrived by the Jordan at Jericho, their wanderings had come to an end, so God gave Moses directives regarding their imminent entry into the Promised Land. The very first command was to “drive out all the inhabitants of the land before you.... Take possession of the land and settle it, for I have given you that land to possess. (Numbers 33:52–53)” God warned Israel that there would be consequences if they failed to drive out the inhabitants of the land. He also delineated Israel's borders (Numbers 34:1–10). These border certainly contrast the borders that the nations of the world have in mind for Israel today.