Torah Study Questions
Beshalach - When he sent
Mark R. Ensign, Adot Adonai, Amarillo, Texas
Introductory questions -- Brief answers, not for extended discussion:
1. At what point in history does this parsha unfold?
2. Where does this parsha take place geographically? What are the setting and environment?
3. Who are the primary actors in the parsha and what role or roles does each play? What is the significance of each role? Identify any secondary actors and what roles do they play? What is the significance of their roles?
4. What is the overall theme of this parsha? What are the subdivisions, if any?
Parsha Specific Questions -- for extended discussion:
Which way did Elohim lead Bnei Yisrael out of Egypt? What factors did Elohim consider in this decision? What did he expect Bnei Yisrael to do if they went the short way? What did Moshe take with him and why? What is the first location mentioned from which Bnei Yisrael journeyed and what is the meaning in Hebrew? How are they led during the day and during the night?
Where did YHVH instruct Moshe to have Bnei Yisrael camp and what was the physical setting? What was the purpose of Elohim for this instruction? When Pharaoh was told that Bnei Yisrael had fled, how was his reaction expressed in words and in deeds. In this hot pursuit, where did the Egyptian army encounter Bnei Yisrael? What was the reaction of Bnei Yisrael to the approach of the Egyptians? What did they say to Moshe? What was his response to them and what did he project would be the consequences to the Egyptians and who would do this?
For what did YHVH reprove Moshe by his initial question in v. 15? How can we distinguish between a time for prayer and a time for action? What did YHVH instruct Moshe to say and do? What would be the consequences to Pharaoh and the benefits to YHVH and Bnei Yisrael? Describe the repositioning of the angel of Elohim and the pillar of cloud. What was the benefit to Bnei Yisrael and the detriment to the Egyptians. What happened when Moshe obeyed the instruction of YHVH and what did Bnei Yisrael do? How did Pharaoh and his army act and how did YHVH intervene? What did the Egyptians try to do and how did YHVH conquer them? Who survived? What happened to Bnei Yisrael? What assurance did they have that the Egyptian army was defeated? Who did they understand had done this marvelous thing? How did it affect their relationship with YHVH and Moshe?
What did Rav Sha'ul write to the Corinthians about this method of salvation of Bnei Yisrael and it's symbolism? What is the relationship between that act of YHVH, the mikveh immersion of Bnei Yisrael since then, and the actions of believers in Y'shua as their savior? What is demonstrated and proclaimed by such actions?
How did Bnei Yisrael celebrate and proclaim the new relationship with YHVH and Moshe? Verse 2 contains the most significant statement regarding this relationship; what is it? What do you understand the significance of this statement to be? What do vs. 11 through 13 add to your understanding of the relationship? What do vs. 17 and 18 add? What is the purpose of vs. 14 to 16? What additional understanding and application does Rav Sha'ul add in his letter to the Corinthians? What does all this motivate you to do and be? Distinguish between those who serve YHVH and are Torah observant and those who serve "my god." What often happens to those who worship, serve, and proclaim allegiance to "my god"?
At the conclusion of the song in v. 18, what does v. 19 confirm? Who led the response of the women and how did she instruct them? What did they do besides singing their praises to YHVH? How far into the wilderness did they travel and what was their biggest concern? When they located the water, what was the problem? How did Moshe respond and what was the instruction of YHVH? What happened when Moshe was obedient? What were the words of YHVH through Moshe to Bnei Yisrael? Describe the significance of v. 26 and the conditional promise of YHVH. How did YHVH reward them at the next stop?
What was their next stop and when they arrived, what was the first thing that Bnei Yisrael did at that location? What did they say to Moshe and Aharon? How did YHVH instruct Moshe and what essential observance is contained in the instructions? What was it that Moshe and Aharon told Bnei Yisrael they would know in the evening and in the morning? How would this come to pass? Against whom were the complaints of Bnei Yisrael actually directed? After Moshe assembled the entire congregation, what happened when Aharon spoke to them? What did YHVH speak to Moshe How did this come to pass?
Describe the extent of the coverage and the response of Bnei Yisrael. What happened to those who collected too much or too little? What was the significance of this? What happened when people tried to hoard the manna until the next day? What happened on the sixth day and how did Moshe explain this to the people's leaders? The next morning, what was different from other mornings when people attempted to hoard the food? What was not present in the field on that day? Why did YHVH require gathering every day but none on the seventh day? What important question did YHVH ask Moshe and what essential instruction did he give to Bnei Yisrael?
Describe the food from heaven. What evidence did Moshe preserve through the generations of YHVH's provision in the wilderness and how did Aharon do this? How long did Bnei Yisrael keep getting the daily food from heaven? When did it stop? How do you think you would have responded to this daily provision? Would you have been satisfied with the meat in the evening and the manna in the morning?
What lesson can we learn for today from the provision of YHVH for his people? How does Rav Sha'ul confirm this in his letter to the Philippians? Reflect upon the parallels between the manna and Y'shua HaMashiach and how these apply to your relationship with him.
At the next stop in the journey of Bnei Yisrael, where did they camp and what was the problem? What did they demand of Moshe and how did he respond to their complaints? How did he approach YHVH and what was the instruction he received? What was the significance of the object he was instructed to use and the action he was to take and what were the parallels to a similar event in Egypt? What is the meaning of the name Moshe gave to this place and why did he so name it? How does Rav Sha'ul relate the source of the water to Y'shua HaMashiach? How did Yochanan liken Y'shua HaMashiach to a rock? What parallels and confirmations of the statements of Rav Sha'ul and Yochanan do we find in the rabbinical writings?
Who came to fight Yisrael and where? Who did Moshe pick to lead the battle and how did he instruct him? What position did Moshe take, with what instrument, and with whom? Describe what he did, what the consequences were, and the assistance his companions gave. What was the result? What instruction did YHVH give to Moshe as a result of this battle? How did Moshe respond, what name did he give it and why?
Closing Questions: For Personal Introspection
Why do you believe our loving Father provided us with this particular portion of his words? What was his purpose and objective in preserving this portion of the Scriptures to this day? What benefit do they have for Torah observant believers today?
What other insights has the Ruach HaKodesh given you in your study of this portion that you would like to share with the group?
What questions from this portion have you had that have not been answered by the study?
What impact do you think the study of the words from your Father in this portion will have on your life? How do you plan to implement his instructions in this parsha in your life?
Silently pray for the Ruach HaKodesh to implant his words like seeds, to nurture their growth in your heart, and to enable you to respond fully as they do.