B'hukotai: A Summary of the Parashah
God enumerates the rewards for keeping the commandments and the punishments for violating them; the laws of tithes are then listed.
The following article is reprinted with permission from Jewish Family & Life!
God says: If you follow My laws and faithfully observe My commandments, I will grant rain so that the earth shall yield its produce and the trees their fruit. I will grant peace and you shall sleep with no fear. I will cause vicious beasts to withdraw from the land and your enemies will fall before you.
I, your God, will look with favor upon you and make you fertile and multiply. I will establish My covenant with you. I will place My Sanctuary among you and My Spirit will not reject you. I will walk among you, I will be God to you, and you will be a people to Me. I, who broke the bonds of your slavery and taught you to walk upright.
But if you will not listen to Me, if your soul rejects My laws and if you do not carry out My commandments and break My covenant, then I will do the same to you. I will bring upon you illness that fills the spirit with grief. You will then sow your seed in vain. I will set My countenance against you and you will be beaten by your enemies. Those that hate you will rule over you and you will flee even though no one pursues you.
If you still will not heed Me, then I shall punish you further. I will break the pride of your might. I will make your heaven like iron and your land like copper. Your strength will be spent in vain; your land will not give produce and your trees will not bear fruit. And if you walk with Me only by chance or walk contrary unto Me, I will add yet another blow. I will let loose wild beasts to rob you of your children and destroy your cattle, and your roads will become desolate.
If you still walk with Me only by chance or walk contrary unto Me then I, too, will walk with you only by chance and walk contrary unto you. I will strike you seven times for your sins. I will avenge the covenant and I will deliver you into the hand of the enemy. I will send a pestilence. You will eat your food but will not be satisfied. And if you still walk with me only by chance, I will walk with you in the random fury of chance, then chastise you seven times for your sins.
I will destroy your lofty buildings and decimate your sun idols and place your remains beside the remains of your monstrous gods. My Spirit will reject you. I will make your sanctuaries desolate and will no longer accept your expressions of compliance. I will scatter you among the nations and your land will remain desolate and your cities in ruins.
In desolation, the land will finally rest to compensate for when you dwelled upon the land during the sabbatical years.
Those survivors among you shall be heartsick. They will confess their sin and the sin of their ancestors for the treachery with which they betrayed Me and walked with Me only by chance.
I, too, will walk with them only by chance and bring them to the land of their enemies. Perhaps then their unyielding heart will bow and be humbled and punishment will be paid for their sins. Then I shall remember My covenant with Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham, and I will remember the land. I will remember how they despised Me and how I have not despised or rejected them or broken My covenant with them, for I, God, am still their God.
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