One Torah for All


One Torah shall be to him that is home-born, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.

Exodus 12:49



Into the Wilderness

Every single person goes through at least one type of wilderness experience during his lifetime.  However, our focus today is not upon an individual wilderness experience, but rather, upon a collective wilderness experience; specifically, the wilderness experience of reunited Israel.  Scriptures speak of a wilderness experience of Israel that is still future tense.  The challenge today is to understand when and where this wilderness experience shall occur.

Hoshea 2:14 
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak upon her heart.”

This passage brings to mind two main questions.  One question is, when does this happen?  In addition, another question is, where is this wilderness?  Let us examine Scripture to see what YHWH says in answer to these questions.

Please note that in the above passage the speaker is YHWH Himself.  He is speaking about Israel, all twelve tribes.  How do we know this?

Hoshea 2:2 (in English Bibles 1:11) 
And the children of Y’hudah and the children of Israel shall be gathered together, and they shall appoint themselves one head, and shall go up from the land; for great shall be the day of Yizre’el.

In the beginning of this section of Scripture, YHWH states that He is speaking about both houses, the house of Yehudah and the house of Israel.  The house of Yehudah consists of the two tribes in the south that was Yehudah, Benyamin, and most of Levi.  The house of Israel then consisted of the other ten tribes.

Notice that after being gathered together and selecting for themselves a head, the two houses of Israel then go up from the land.  The phrase here is #r<a'_h'-!mi – “min-ha’aretz” which means from the land.  The word מִן means, “to separate from the whole”; in this case, “to separate from the land.”  The question that this brings to mind is, to which land is YHWH referring in this passage?  Is YHWH referring to the land of Israel, or the land into which they have been scattered? 

In the first two verses of this passage, Hoshea 2:1-2 (in English Bibles 1:10-11), YHWH gives a summary statement which is followed by a detailed explanation in 2:3-22 (in English Bibles 2:1-20).  Notice in verses 3 and 4, that YHWH has put her away because of her idolatry (spiritual adultery).  Then in the next verse, He makes her like a wilderness.  That has already happened and that is where Israel currently finds herself, in the wilderness.  Perhaps more specifically, she currently finds herself still scattered among the nations.  Verse 2:5 (in English Bibles 2:3) then speaks to the question of when this is going to happen.  It seems that perhaps this is in the process of happening now, for as YHWH is waking up His people to return to YHWH as our Elohim, we are finding that we are, in fact, in the wilderness, i.e., separated from the land of Israel, scattered among the nations.  However, as YHWH took Israel into the wilderness from the land of Egypt previously, Egypt was not really considered to be the wilderness, at least not by Egyptians.  Those who have been scattered, and are about to be gathered again in order for YHWH to enter into a covenant with them, and then lead them once again back into the land, are not fully in the wilderness, even though they are not yet in the land of Israel.

However, please notice what Scripture says about the situation in which those who YHWH wakes up will find themselves.

Hoshea 2:9 (in English Bibles 2:7) 
“And she shall pursue after her lovers, but she shall not overtake them; and she shall seek them, but shall not find them; then shall she say, ‘I will go and return to my first husband; for then was it better with me than now.’ ”

Notice that as she (12 tribe Israel) comes to her senses, she desires to return to her first husband, who is YHWH Tzava’ot.  It is for this reason that she then separates herself from her idolatrous lovers.  Notice what her sons and daughters are to say to her.

Hoshea 2:4 (in English Bibles 2:2) 
“Contend with your mother, contend; for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband; and let her put away her whoredoms from her face, and her adulteries from between her breasts;”

As the descendants of Israel are waking up, we are contending with one another as to what is idolatrous in the eyes of YHWH and what is not idolatrous.  It is a very ardent undertaking, since Israel has been so long engaged in the worship of pagan deities.  Many of the things we do in our world today have their origins in distant times past, and were used in the worship of gods whose names we no longer even know.  This can make it difficult and trying to let go of those things we hold dear, things that are not pleasing to YHWH!

It was for this very reason YHWH scattered us among the nations in the first place, for the idolatry of our fathers.  This is where we find ourselves today.  This portion of Scripture seems to suggest that YHWH will gather us together in one place before we enter the land.  Does He give us any clues in this portion of Scripture?

Hoshea 2:17 (in English Bibles 2:15) 
“And I will give her her vineyards from there, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope; and she shall make answer there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.”

Notice that it will be from this place that YHWH will once again give us our vineyards.  YHWH seems to be saying that the entrance back into the land will be the valley of Achor.  The valley of Achor was where Achor had hidden his loot from the taking of Yericho under the leadership of Yehoshua (Joshua).  Achor had taken things for himself that YHWH had placed under the ban.  As a result, Israel failed to take the city of Ai.  Therefore, this allusion to the valley of Achor seems to be two-fold.  First, YHWH is saying that we need to get rid of all those things He has placed under the ban.  Otherwise, like Achor, we will be facing the death penalty!  Each person can choose to get rid of the pagan practices and influences in his life or YHWH will do it for him.  If YHWH does it, a person may be so attached to his things that it brings about his death.

In addition, YHWH could mean it in a literal sense, as well.  Please consider this passage.

Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 1:9 
That which has been is that which shall be; and that which has been done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun.

Kohelet (Ecclesiastes) 3:15 
That which is has been long ago; and that which is to be has long ago been; and Elohim seeks again that which is passed away.

In both of these passages, we see that YHWH works in cycles.  As Scripture says, YHWH is the same yesterday, today, and forever, for which we can be eternally thankful!  As such, YHWH does again and again what He has already done.  Therefore, YHWH says concerning the gathering together again of Israel, that it will be like when He took Israel out of Egypt the first time.  Could He be saying that He will once again bring us to the mountain of Sinai?  It is quite possible.

We know that when Israel entered into the land and camped in the land before they took Yericho, they camped just south of the city between Yericho and the Dead Sea.  Notice in this map that the Valley of Achor is actually the southern part of that plain in which Israel camped after they had crossed the Yarden River.

It is not hard to envision that this valley, which now bears the name of Achor, was where he was camped and where he died because of his sin.


It is quite possible that YHWH is saying that when He once again enters into a covenant relationship with Israel, He will once again bring them into His land via the same route by which  He brought them into the land the first time.

It is important to note that being in Egypt was a type of wilderness experience.  YHWH just relocated Israel within the wilderness; specifically He took them away from the pagan influences so He could deal with them, personally.  However, what we want to take note of is that He entered into a covenant relationship before bringing Israel into His land, before bringing her into His house.

There is one other aspect of being in the wilderness that we would like to bring out, and that concerns the word “wilderness” itself.  The Hebrew word is מִדְבַּר – “midbar,” which is the base word of the parasha B’midbar.  However, what one may not realize is the word from which מִדְבַּר comes.  It comes from דַבַר – “davar” which means word, among other things.  The root דבר literally means to combine separate items into one.  So when the prefix מ (mem), which is short for מִן , is added to the beginning of דבר giving us מדבר , we have the combined meanings of to combine  separate items into one, preceded by the meaning of to separate from the whole.  The idea then expressed by the combination of מ and דבר is that which was whole and complete is no longer whole and complete.  Thus, the idea of wilderness is expressed; for one who is in the wilderness, either actual or metaphorical, is one who is not whole or complete, but who is hopefully seeking after that wholeness.

ABBA YHWH, do what it takes to bring us out of the wilderness unto Yourself, and make us whole and complete; in the name of Yeshua our Mashiach.  Amein.

Shabbat Shalom
Zerubbabel ben Emunah


© All material is copyrighted and no part may be changed, added to, shortened or edited; however, the entirety of the article may be reproduced as long as the author’s name remains attached to the article.  It is encouraged and a blessing for others to forward these teachings to others, and permission is hereby granted for this as long as the teaching is kept wholly intact, which includes the author’s name and contact information, the “One Torah For All” header, and this copyright paragraph.  Furthermore, it must be passed on without any cost whatsoever to those who receive it.  The act of forwarding or sharing this teaching in any way constitutes agreement by the party forwarding it that he agrees to the terms and conditions of this paragraph.