Nehemia Gordon & Keith Johnson – Pearls from the Torah Portion – Nitzavim – Deuteronomy 29:9-30:20

Does the Hebrew word “alah” mean oath or curse? What does the phrase, “a root bearing bitterness and wormwood” mean? Is the covenant cut with us today? What does the word “kibbutz” mean? What are the revealed & secret things of Deuteronomy 29:29? “The watered land as well as the dry” or “the drunkard included with the sober”? Circumcised of heart…what does it say in Jeremiah 9:25-26? Why does David pray Psalm 119:18 if the Torah is not too difficult or mysterious?

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  1. Juli says

    Come on Keith, get on board with the the Prophets! We need you!
    It wouldn’t be the same without you.

  2. Susan Loats says

    Thank you for this teaching. It has brought me a great deal of peace and satisfaction.

    My husband and I currently work for a Christian ministry and today were called onto the carpet about our sharing the information we are learning about the Hebrew roots with others in the ministry who are upset by the truth.

    We were told by our employer that there are only 4 books in the Torah and the book of Deuteronomy was the Pentetuech (sp?) or Moses farewell address. After I responded by saying there were 5 books in the Torah, I was told that I should have known there were 4 instead of 5 books in the Torah.

    We were then told that we do not have to keep the Torah but that we merely are to know about it (specifically the feasts and festivals) but not necessarily do Torah.

    We had a panel of 5 people telling us how we are heading off into a dangerous direction and they are concerned for us. It truly felt like an inquisition.

    We listen to you guys all the time and we read the word to check everything. Needless to say, we were told that our time here is coming to a close and that we need an exit strategy.

    We are going to dive deep into this particular Torah portion so that we are able to answer those who would demand us to prove our position. Thank you again for this valuable information that has set us free to understand those truths we are supposed to know and do.

    Shalom ~ Susan

  3. Laurie Jo says

    Thank you SOOOO much for pointing out the “renewed covenant!”
    I am on my way to work, and will listen to the entirity tonight while I am preparing my Shabbat meal.
    When I come back, I’ll explain exactly what wormwood is, and how it was used back in the day, and still today. I hope Abba allows me to amaze you.
    Maybe I can teach the schollar something. 🙂

  4. Sandrew says

    wonderful and powerful torah pearl session. choose life….
    Thank you, Nehemia, Keith and Jono, Yehovah be with you all. baruch atah Yehovah.


  5. Raphael says

    Hi Susan

    I really have compassion for your situation. Christians do not want to hear the truth, as it will only mess up their lives. It is so much easier just following lies. I do hope you will be blessed by our Father with something much better. Please keep us up to date.


  6. Ed Welch says

    I will add my amen as Nehemia requested. This session/portion answered many questions to the truth. Blessed be YEHOVAH.

  7. Laurie Jo says

    I love Torah Pearls. So cool that we got a suprise pearl, in this portion, about the spiritually lost who will be called back! Wow. I am hoping you don’t delete these original Torah Pearls. I want to listen to them over and over again. If you can put together CD sets, I would buy one.

    About wormwood:
    Wormwood is an herb. I have heard Wormwood is the second most bitter herb on earth, second to Rue; but I beg to differ. I thin it is the MOST bitter! Actually I grow wormwood and if you would like a tiny sample, I can send you some organic, dried leaves. Wormwood has been used forever medicinally. I use is as a de-wormer for my critters, and as a heavy metal detox for myself. Wormwood kills worms and has many other uses.
    It is commonly used as a tincture (liquid), and also a tea. Wormwood contains Thujone.
    Speaking as to the Scriptures and the use of the word wormwood or gall, wormwood can be used medicinally in place of gall for those who have gall bladder problems.
    Also, Wormwood was strewn “on the floors in chambers” long ago to keep away moths and other insects.
    WARNING: Wormwood can cause spontaneous abortion. In other words, “Wormwood can cause thigh-rot in pregnant women.” Wormwood should never be taken by pregnant women!
    By now you may have grasped the relationship to Wormwood, and the “curse of the adulterous bride” who was taken to the priest in the Torah, and also Wormwood’s relationship with the fact that Yahushua was offered wormwood, most likely for pain, while he was being hanged on the post.
    To help connect the dots, Wormwood’s latin name is Artemesia pontica. The pagan godess Diana, mentioned in Acts 19:24-27 was named Artemis in Greek, but she was a Roman godess as well!
    Connect the dots and be blessed with wisdom that only Abba can give.

  8. Gavin Birch says

    Guys, I do not understand why you would want to look for the new moon from Eilat? As far as I am aware, Yahshua will set his feet on the Mount of Olives and since Yom Teruah is a shadow of His coming, this sighting is inappropriate if sighted from anywhere else.

  9. Gavin Birch says

    Jono, thanks for keeping this weeks portion under 50MB. I need to be on wifi to load off iTunes as my single load limit is 50MB on GSM

  10. Miriam says

    Every week I think to myself that this was the most powerful Torah Pearl’s I’ve heard so far, then came today!! This program was outstanding and I am always blessed by the hebrew meanings and idioms.
    May Yehovah protect Nehemiah and Keith in Israel as you look for the new moon of the seventh month for us to celebrate Yom Teruah.
    Also, thanks Laurie Jo for your info on wormwood.

  11. Sharon Fulton says

    Thank you, Jono, Nehemia and Keith for all the time you give to bring us these pearls. Today’s portion was one of my favorites – it was shout worthy!


  12. J R ISRAEL says


    Like you I was a Missionary in a Christian ministry for almost four years. When I ask for the Shabbat off I was told I had come to serve “The Lord” not have a “vacation”. When I ask why this was as YHVH had instucted us to take a full day of rest…I was informed by an Elder, that I repected, that “this was a law for The Jews not us”Because my mother was of Jewish descent I did not feel comfortable with this excuse..In searching the scriptures I came accross the truth in Exodus 34:21 “Six days you will work, but on the seventh day you are to rest–even in plowing time and harvest season you are to rest”. Now most of those I worked with believed that this was “the harvest time the close of the age” so I reasoned even in this harvest time we were to take a full day of rest and hold it as Holy. Well, I was finally granted half a day on Sunday. So I labored on but after three years I began to have health issues. Finally I left the mission and it took me two good years to gain my health and energy back. This was a lesson hard learned. I now seek secular work where I can have the Shabbat off. Even then there are many Saturday fund raisers, meetings, etc that I am encouraged to attend. I just explain that I am commanded to keep the Shabbat Holy and my husband and I neither buy not sale nor
    work on this day. This has been a great opportunity to speak of HIs designated times. Blessings and prayers as you seek to keep and live His commandments.

  13. jono vandor says

    Gavin, just to clarify, in Zechariah 14:3-4 it says Yehovah, not Yeshua, will set His feet upon the Mount of Olives.

  14. Gavin Birch says

    Thanks Jono, I love that! Also, thanks for all the pearls.

  15. Wendy Sprague says

    Juli is right!!!

  16. Jane says

    just saw on the news that there was a panda birth at the national zoo in Washindgton DC. Curious coincidence with your panda loga for your trip. best wishes.

  17. Dan says

    Not that I agree with the prosperity gospel, in fact quite the contrary, but the hebrew word Vehotircha is mentioned in Strong’s concordance as yathar (H3498) in Deuteronomy 30:9, and it means to remain, to excel, or to have an excess, according to Brown-Driver-Briggs; the verse later talks about God rejoicing of course.

    Did I miss something? I would really appreciate some clarification, and thank you all for this amazing and inspiring Torah portion

  18. Krisi says

    I’m not trying to be ugly at all but in all seriousness is this alah that means curse the same word the Muslims call on? Or does it have another meaning in Arabic?

    Also, I was wondering what Nehemia means when he says they only heard the Torah once every 7 years? I thought they were to read the law in the synogogue every Sabbath and also on the Feast Days. Thanks.

  19. David says

    My wife and I went to a conservative Jewish Synagogue to visit and learn more about our brother Judah. We enjoyed our visit immensely and loved meeting all the great people who attended that day. They had a cantor that would bring a tear to anyone’s eye, such a beautiful singer! We had a meeting with the Rabbi after our visit. The Rabbi was so glad that we came and enjoyed our visit, and asked about our religious background. He was ok with us previously being Christians, but when he found out that we were Messianic Believers, his attitude quickly changed. We were told that they really enjoyed having us there and they would love to have us back, HOWEVER if we continue to go to Messianic congregations we were not welcome there. We were also informed that while they were tolerant of most religions, Messianic Believers profane both Christianity and Judaism. We were absolutely crushed, we didn’t mention anything to anyone in the congregation about Yeshua or about the New Testament. Such an unfortunate situation.

  20. Janine says

    How do I observe the sabbath? No eating out or shopping?
    Thank you.

  21. George says

    Jono, I was a little surprised to hear that the NT original Hebrew was questioned. There is a mountain of evidence for it. I’ll try to fit it in a shorthand message and not flood your blog with a long essay.
    Crucifixion note is written in Greek, Latin and Hebrew, so it was certainly not Aramaic. A language that came from Babylon (biblically speaking, what good came out of Babylon, ever?) . The Essenes used the Aramaic square script as well, but wrote the name of the creator in Paleo Hebrew.
    John starts with “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, …” Zephaniah 3:9 says “For then will I turn to the people a pure language …” All points to Hebrew. “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” That makes sense in Hebrew only. All other Hebrew word puns could be explained much better by NG.
    Jesus explained his parable by stating the the seed is the Word of God.
    Genesis 3 has two seeds mentioned, so one is obviously the Word of God, his teachings, his Torah and the other is the word, teaching from the serpent aka satan. What makes one a member of the commonwealth of Israel is not blood but who’s seed he/she has in the heart. The behavior, actions are the fruit. As it is written, the seed is in the fruit.
    Shalom Alecheim

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