The Covenant at Moab
For me, one of the most striking locations of the Aleph Tav is found in Deuteronomy 29. This was shared with me but I have lost the credit for this awesome teaching. Here, at the conclusion of The King’s decree we know as the book of Deuteronomy, Moses records for us the mysterious covenant made by YaHuWaH at Moab. A covenant given for Elohim’s people in the last days.
After all the covenants were given by Elohim to Noah, Abraham and to Yisra’El at Sinai, each involved a blood offering be provided as a ratification of each covenant. The covenant of Moab did not, and we need to explore why because it is critical to understanding what Messiah Yahusha did for us at the “place of the skull” that many call Calvary. The story of the covenant of Moab did not stop in Deuteronomy, it only started there. The clue to this understanding is the fact that the altar sacrifice is missing within the narrative. To understand what is going on we need to know where the Moab covenant is mentioned again. When we do that we will know when the ratification of the covenant at Moab occurred.
When Noah received the covenant sign of the rainbow, Noah offered a sacrifice of clean animals. Folks that means there was no Easter ham at Noah’s offering to Elohim. When Elohim gave His covenant to Abraham, He promised to make the descendants of Abraham a great nation, a people that would bless all the nations of the world and Elohim also promised the Land as an inheritance the descendants of Abraham. Notice that when Abraham asked our heavenly Father how he would know that he would inherit the land, Abraham was instructed to sacrifice a heifer, a goat, a ram, a turtledove and a pigeon. Abraham placed their pieces on the altar and Elohim himself walked among the pieces as a smoking, fiery oven. It is important to recognize that Abraham did not participate in this burnt sacrifice; Abraham did not even light a fire…. Elohim did. The covenant given Moses and the people Yisra’El and the stranger and sojourners among them also included a burnt sacrifice.
So why did the mysterious Moab covenant not include a description of its ratification by blood sacrifice on an altar? Moses gives us a clue to a future ratification when he describes that this Moab covenant is made not only for those present in the wilderness but “with him who is not here with us today.“
“Yet YaHuWaH has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear…” Moses closes the description of the Moab covenant by describing it as a mystery – a secret that belongs to YaHuWaH.
“The secret things belong to YaHuWaH our Elohim, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29:29
Let’s read the full text of the covenant given at Moab and look at the important placements of the Aleph Tav:
“These are the words of the covenant which YaHuWaH commanded Moses to make with the children of Yisra’El in the land of Moab, besides the covenant which He made with them in Horeb. Now Moses called all Yisra’El and said to them: “You have seen all that YaHuWaH did before your eyes in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land — the great trials which your eyes have seen, the signs, and those great wonders. Yet YaHuWaH has not given you a heart to perceive and eyes to see and ears to hear, to this very day. And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet. You have not eaten bread, nor have you drunk wine or similar drink, that you may know that I am YaHuWaH your Elohim. And when you came to this place, Sihon king of Heshbon and Og king of Bashan came out against us to battle, and we conquered them. We took their land and gave it as an inheritance to the Reubenites, to the Gadites, and to half the tribe of Manasseh. Therefore keep the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do. “All of you stand today before the YaHuWaH your Elohim: your leaders and your tribes and your elders and your officers, all the men of Yisra’El, your little ones and your wives–also the stranger who is in your camp, from the one who cuts your wood to the one who draws your water– that you may enter into covenant with the YaHuWaH your Elohim, and into His oath, which YaHuWaH your Elohim makes with you today, that He may establish you today as a people for Himself, and that He may be Elohim to you, just as He has spoken to you, and just as He has sworn to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
“I make this covenant and this oath, not with you alone, but with him who stands here with us today before the YaHuWaH your Elohim, as well as with him who is not here with us today for you know that we dwelt in the land of Egypt and that we came through the nations which you passed by, and you saw their abominations and their idols which were among them–wood and stone and silver and gold); so that there may not be among you man or woman or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the YaHuWaH your Elohim, to go and serve the gods of these nations, and that there may not be among you a root bearing bitterness or wormwood; and so it may not happen, when he hears the words of this curse, that he blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall have peace, even though I *follow the dictates of my heart’– as though the drunkard could be included with the sober. “YaHuWaH would not spare him; for then the anger of YaHuWaH and His jealousy would burn against that man, and every curse that is written in this book would settle on him, and YaHuWaH would blot out his name from under heaven. And YaHuWaH would separate him from all the tribes of Yisra’El for adversity, according to all the curses of the covenant that are written in this Book of the Law, so that the coming generation of your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a far land, would say, when they see the plagues of that land and the sicknesses which YaHuWaH has laid on it: ‘The whole land is brimstone, salt, and burning; it is not sown, nor does it bear, nor does any grass grow there, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which YaHuWaH overthrew in His anger and His wrath.’ All nations would say, ‘Why has YaHuWaH done so to this land? What does the heat of this great anger mean?’ Then people would say: ‘Because they have forsaken the covenant of the YaHuWaH Elohim of their fathers, which He made with them when He brought them out of the land of Egypt; for they went and served other gods and worshiped them, gods that they did not know and that He had not given to them. Then the anger of YaHuWaH was aroused against this land, to bring on it every curse that is written in this book. And YaHuWaH uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.’ “The secret things belong to the YaHuWaH our Elohim, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Deuteronomy 29 1-29
Where is the Altar offering that ratified this covenant? For the answer, let’s look in the book of Mark at the story of the Passover meal, there we will see the ratification, the confirmation of the Covenant of Moab that was made by Messiah Yahusha himself. He gave Himself as the covenant sacrifice the very next day.
“He said to them, “This is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many. Most assuredly I tell you, I will no more drink of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it anew in the Reign of Elohim.” When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Mark 14:24-26
Think about it, Yahusha’s announcement was the mystery, the secret that was hidden for thousands of years was now revealed to all forever that we may do the words of this covenant at Moab:
“The secret things belong to YaHuWaH our Elohim, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
YaHuWaH himself [the strength of the stake] would be the ultimate offering for the ratification of the covenant made at Moab. Only He, as Elohim could provide the great sacrifice for all mankind. The result a new heart for the believer and deliverance.
Did you know that within forty years of Yahusha’s resurrection, all Temple sacrifices ceased in the Land to this day. The prophets pre-recorded the events of this great event! Balaam even foretold of this as seen in Numbers 24:17: “I shall see him, but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Yisra’El, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.” Moses records the promise in Deut 18:18-19 “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him.”
Hundreds of years before His birth, Micah tells of Messiah’s birthplace in Micah 5:1-3 “Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops: he hath laid siege against us: they shall smite the judge of Yisra’El with a rod upon the cheek. But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, [though] thou be little among the thousands of Judah, [yet] out of thee shall he come forth unto me [that is] to be ruler in Yisra’El; whose goings forth [have been] from of old, from everlasting. Therefore will he give them up, until the time [that] she which travailed hath brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return unto the children of Yisra’El.
The great prophet described His Jubilee ministry in Isaiah 61:1-2 “The Spirit of YaHuWaH [is] upon me; because YaHuWaH hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to [them that are] bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of YaHuWaH, and the day of vengeance of our Elohim; to comfort all that mourn;”
The prophet Daniel even describes the exact time that Messiah was to first come in Daniel 9:25-26. Other great prophecies describe His week of Passover fulfillment:
His betrayal for thirty pieces of silver Zechariah 11:12
His death Psalms 22:16
His pierced side Zechariah 12:10
His resurrection Psalms 16:10
His ascension to the right hand Psalms 68:18
His return Daniel 7:13-14
It is amazing but not surprising that we see the Aleph Tav in Isaiah 53, where the prophet records the great prophecy of twelve characteristics of Messiah’s identity (yes that is 12 just like the tribes of Yisra’El and the disciples of Messiah):
1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of YaHuWaH been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by Elohim, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And YaHuWaH has laid [on Him] the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And *they made His grave with the wicked– But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased YaHuWaH to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief. When You make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days, And the pleasure of YaHuWaH shall prosper in His hand.
11 *He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great, And He shall divide the spoil with the strong, Because He poured out His soul unto death, And He was numbered with the transgressors, And He bore the sin of many, And made intercession for the transgressors.