Parashah 52: Vayelekh (He went)
[In regular years read with Parashah 51, in leap years read separately]
31 Moshe went and spoke the following words to all Isra’el: 2 “I am 120 years old today. I can’t get around any longer; moreover, Adonai has said to me, ‘You will not cross this Yarden.’ 3 Adonai your God — he will cross over ahead of you. He will destroy these nations ahead of you, and you will dispossess them. Y’hoshua — he will cross over ahead of you, as Adonai has said. (LY: ii) 4 Adonai will do to them what he did to Sichon and ‘Og, the kings of the Emori, and to their land — he destroyed them. 5 Adonai will defeat them ahead of you, and you are to do to them just as I have ordered you to do. 6 Be strong, be bold, don’t be afraid or frightened of them, for Adonai your God is going with you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
(RY: v, LY: iii) 7 Next Moshe summoned Y’hoshua and, in the sight of all Isra’el, said to him, “Be strong, be bold, for you are going with this people into the land Adonai swore to their ancestors he would give them. You will be the one causing them to inherit it. 8 But Adonai — it is he who will go ahead of you. He will be with you. He will neither fail you nor abandon you, so don’t be afraid or downhearted.”
9 Then Moshe wrote down this Torah and gave it to the cohanim, the descendants of Levi who carried the ark with the covenant of Adonai, and to all the leaders of Isra’el. (LY: iv) 10 Moshe gave them these orders: “At the end of every seven years, during the festival of Sukkot in the year of sh’mittah, 11 when all Isra’el have come to appear in the presence of Adonai at the place he will choose, you are to read this Torah before all Isra’el, so that they can hear it. 12 Assemble the people — the men, the women, the little ones and the foreigners you have in your towns — so that they can hear, learn, fear Adonai your God and take care to obey all the words of this Torah; 13 and so that their children, who have not known, can hear and learn to fear Adonai your God, for as long as you live in the land you are crossing the Yarden to possess.”
(RY: vi, LY: v) 14 Adonai said to Moshe, “The time is coming for you to die. Summon Y’hoshua, and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, so that I can commission him.” Moshe and Y’hoshua went and presented themselves in the tent of meeting. 15 Adonai appeared in the tent in a column of cloud; the column of cloud stood above the entrance to the tent. 16 Adonai said to Moshe, “You are about to sleep with your ancestors. But this people will get up and offer themselves as prostitutes to the foreign gods of the land where they are going. When they are with those gods, they will abandon me and break my covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then my anger will flare up, and I will abandon them and hide my face from them. They will be devoured, and many calamities and troubles will come upon them. Then they will ask, ‘Haven’t these calamities come upon us because our God isn’t here with us?’ 18 But I will be hiding my face from them because of all the evil they will have done in turning to other gods.
19 “Therefore, write this song for yourselves, and teach it to the people of Isra’el. Have them learn it by heart, so that this song can be a witness for me against the people of Isra’el. (RY: vii, LY: vi) 20 For when I have brought them into the land I swore to their ancestors, flowing with milk and honey; and they have eaten their fill, grown fat and turned to other gods, serving them and despising me, and broken my covenant; 21 then, after many calamities and troubles have come upon them, this song will testify before them as a witness, because their descendants will still be reciting it and will not have forgotten it. For I know how they think even now, even before I have brought them into the land about which I swore.” 22 So Moshe wrote this song that same day and taught it to the people of Isra’el.
23 Adonai also commissioned Y’hoshua the son of Nun with these words: “Be strong and full of courage; for you are to bring the people of Isra’el into the land about which I swore to them; and I will be with you.”
24 Moshe kept writing the words of this Torah in a book until he was done. When he had finished, (LY: vii) 25 Moshe gave these orders to the L’vi’im who carried the ark with the covenant of Adonai: 26 “Take this book of the Torah and put it next to the ark with the covenant of Adonai your God, so that it can be there to witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stiffnecked you are! Here, even while I am still alive with you today, you have rebelled against Adonai; so how much more will you do so after my death? (Maftir) 28 Assemble for me all the leaders of your tribes and your officials, so that I can say these things in their hearing, calling heaven and earth to witness against them — 29 because I know that after my death you will become very corrupt and turn aside from the way that I have ordered you, and that disaster will come upon you in the acharit-hayamim, because you will do what Adonai sees as evil and provoke him by your deeds.”
30 Then Moshe spoke in the hearing of the whole assembly of Isra’el the words of this song, from beginning to end:
Haftarah Vayelekh: Hoshea (Hosea) 14:2(1)–10(9); Mikhah (Micah) 7:18–20; Yo’el (Joel) 2:15–27
B’rit Hadashah suggested reading for Parashah Vayelekh: Messianic Jews (Hebrews) 13:5–8
Hosea 14 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
14 (13:16) Shomron will bear her guilt, for she has rebelled against her God. They will fall by the sword, their little ones will be dashed to pieces and their pregnant women ripped open. 2 (1) Return, Isra’el, to Adonai your God, for your guilt has made you stumble. 3 (2) Take words with you, and return to Adonai; say to him, “Forgive all guilt, and accept what is good; we will pay instead of bulls [the offerings of] our lips. 4 (3) Ashur will not save us, we will not ride on horses, and we will no longer call what we made with our hands our gods. For it is only in you that the fatherless can find mercy.”
5 (4) “I will heal their disloyalty, I will love them freely; for my anger has turned from him. 6 (5) I will be like dew to Isra’el; he will blossom like a lily and strike roots like the L’vanon. 7 (6) His branches will spread out, his beauty be like an olive tree and his fragrance like the L’vanon. 8 (7) Again they will live in his shade and raise grain; they will blossom like a vine, and its aroma will be like the wine of the L’vanon. 9 (8) Efrayim [will say], ‘What have I to do any more with idols?’ And I, I answer and affirm him; I am like a fresh, green cypress tree; your fruitfulness comes from me.” 10 (9) Let the wise understand these things, and let the discerning know them. For the ways of Adonai are straight, And the righteous walk in them, but in them sinners stumble.
Micah 7:18-20 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
18 Who is a God like you, pardoning the sin and overlooking the crimes of the remnant of his heritage? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in grace. 19 He will again have compassion on us, he will subdue our iniquities. You will throw all their sins into the depths of the sea. 20 You will show truth to Ya‘akov and grace to Avraham, as you have sworn to our ancestors since days of long ago.
Joel 2:15-27 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
15 “Blow the shofar in Tziyon! Proclaim a holy fast, call for a solemn assembly.”
16 Gather the people; consecrate the congregation; assemble the leaders; gather the children, even infants sucking at the breast; let the bridegroom leave his room and the bride the bridal chamber. 17 Let the cohanim, who serve Adonai, stand weeping between the vestibule and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your people, Adonai! Don’t expose your heritage to mockery, or make them a byward among the Goyim. Why should the peoples say, ‘Where is their God?’”
18 Then Adonai will become jealous for his land and have pity on his people. 19 Here is how Adonai will answer his people: “I will send you grain, wine and olive oil, enough to satisfy you; and no longer will I make you a mockery among the Goyim. 20 No, I will take the northerner away, far away from you, and drive him to a land that is waste and barren; with his vanguard toward the eastern sea and his rearguard toward the western sea, his stench and his rottenness will rise, because he has done great things.”
21 Don’t fear, O soil; be glad! rejoice! for Adonai has done great things. 22 Don’t be afraid, wild animals; for the desert pastures are green, the trees are putting out their fruit, the fig tree and vine are giving full yield. 23 Be glad, people of Tziyon! rejoice in Adonai your God! For he is giving you the right amount of rain in the fall, he makes the rain come down for you, the fall and spring rains — this is what he does first. 24 Then the floors will be full of grain and the vats overflow with wine and olive oil.
25 “I will restore to you the years that the locusts ate, the grasshoppers, shearer-worms and cutter-worms, my great army that I sent against you. 26 You will eat until you are satisfied and will praise the name of Adonai your God, who has done with you such wonders. Then my people will never again be shamed. 27 You will know that I am with Isra’el and that I am Adonai your God, and that there is no other. Then my people will never again be shamed.
Hebrews 13:5-8 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
5 Keep your lives free from the love of money; and be satisfied with what you have; for God himself has said, “I will never fail you or abandon you.”[a] 6 Therefore, we say with confidence,
“Adonai is my helper; I will not be afraid — what can a human being do to me?”[b]
7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke God’s message to you. Reflect on the results of their way of life, and imitate their trust — 8 Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever.