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B'resheet/Genesis 28:10 Ya'akov went out from Be'er-Sheva and travelled toward Haran (CJB)
Why does the Torah tell us both that Ya'akov left Be'er Sheva and that he went to Haran?Rashi suggests that the first clause is to reconnect the narrative with 28:5, because it was interrupted by the story of Esav taking a wife from the house of Ishmael. The Dubno Maggid, on the other hand, points out that a person makes a journey for one of two reasons: either he is obliged to leave one place, or he wishes to go to another. In Ya'akov's case, his mother Rivka told him that Esav was looking to kill him (27:32), while his father Yitz'khak told him to go and take a wife from the family at Padan Aram (28:2). So Ya'akov both 'went out' and 'went to'.
When Kefa wrote to our people in the Diaspora he said that G-d has "called us out of darkness into His wonderful light" (1 Peter 2:9, CJB). See the two directions at work again: out of darkness, into the light. Remember also the words of the man blind from birth whose sight had been restored by Yeshua when he was being questioned by the P'rushim; he said, "One thing I do know: I was blind, now I see" (John 9:25, CJB). Again, we can clearly see the two states of before and after, with the blind man having been taken from one world (that of blindness) to another (the world of sight).
Rav Sha'ul also speaks to this in his first letter to the believers in Corinth. After listing some the lifestyles that mark those who will not share in the Kingdom of G-d he writes, "Some of you used to do these things. But you have cleansed yourselves, you have been set apart for G-d, you have come to be counted righteous through the power of the L-rd Yeshua the Messiah and the Spirit of our G-d" (1 Cor 6:11, CJB). Here, Sha'ul is extending the principle to the spiritual realm: believers have been called out of lives of sin - which we were all in, to greater or lesser extent (Rom 3:23) - into a life of "righteousness, shalom and joy in the Ruach HaKodesh" (Rom 14:17).
Yeshua said that, "whoever hears what I am saying and trusts the One who sent Me has eternal life ... he has already crossed over from death to life" (John 5:24). The only question to ask is - have we done this, and do we live in the good of it, or have we failed to leave our old lives behind?
Further Study: Isaiah 42:14-17; Acts 26:16-18
Application: Are you living the new life, the true life, the real life of freedom and righteousness in Messiah Yeshua, or are you still half-living in the old life of the past? Ask G-d to show you where you stand today.
© Jonathan Allen, 2003
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