11 December 2016

Amona is Luz is Bet-el

Amona is Luz is Bet-el

The Regulation Law advances. What will be the fate of Amona? Amona was destroyed and rebuilt. Amona is a holy/magic city. Amona is a town where the people who live there “blossomed forth into meritorious acts and good deeds like a luz (nut-tree).”

My quote comes from Midrash Rabbah - Genesis 69:6:

“Thus Jacob came to Luz—that is, Bet-el—in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him” (Genesis 35:6)

Why was it called Luz? Said R. Abba b. Kahana: Because whoever entered it blossomed forth into meritorious acts and good deeds like a luz (nut-tree). The Rabbis said: As the nut has no mouth [opening], so no man could discover the entrance to the town. R. Simon said: A nut-tree stood at the entrance to the city. R. Leazar b. Merom said in the name of R. Phinehas b. Hama: A nut- tree stood at the entrance of a cave: this tree was hollow, and through it one entered the cave and through the cave the city. Thus it is written, “The House of Joseph, for their part, advanced against Bet-el, and the Lord was with them. While the House of Joseph were scouting at Bet-el (the name of the town was formerly Luz), their patrols saw a man leaving the town. They said to him, “Just show us how to get into the town, and we will treat you kindly.” He showed them how to get into the town; they put the town to the sword, but they let the man and all his relatives go free. The man went to the Hittite country. He founded a city and named it Luz, and that has been its name to this day. (Judges 1:22-26).

The Malbim explains on Judges 1:22-26

“The House of Joseph, for their part, advanced. They were lazy in conquering The Land. To add to their guilt [the Bible] introduces that the House of Joseph, they too, advanced, to conquer Bet-el; for then, they had evidence ראיה and wonder מופת that God was with them.”

At Luz Jacob renamed the city to Bet-el, anointed a pillar to serve as an altar, and made a vow, as written:

“Shaken, he said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven.” Early in the morning, Jacob took the stone that he had put under his head and set it up as a pillar and poured oil on the top of it. He named that site Bet-el; but previously the name of the city had been Luz.” (Genesis 28:17-19).

In the midrash Jacob sees destruction and rebuilding, what we see today.

Sifrei Deuteronomy 354:

“How awesome is this place! This teaches that Jacob our forefather saw the Beit Hamikdash built, destroyed, and built improved/elaborated משוכלל in the future.

According to the Malbim, Jacob changed the name of Luz only later when he came to Luz, after living 24 years in Padan Aram. When Jacob first came to Luz running from Esau and prayed there, the name Luz remained.

“He named that site Bet-el; but previously the name of the city had been Luz” (Genesis 28:19). In my opinion, the city close to that place was called then Luz. [Jacob] did not change then its name, but only until later, when he returned from Padan Aram. For it is written: “Thus Jacob came to Luz—that is, Bet-el—in the land of Canaan, he and all the people who were with him (Genesis 35:6). [Jacob] named the site that he rested at Bet-el, but the name of the city remain Luz as previous, that is, at first. The second time when [Jacob] returned from Padan Aram he changed the name of the city.”

Amona is Luz is Bet-el --- a holy city where God does wonders on behalf of those conquering the Land. We pray to see today evidence ראיה and wonder מופת that God is with the settlers in Amona. We see destruction and rebuilding in Amona. Jacob saw a vision of the complete redemption. May we be privileged to see in our lifetime the fulfillment of the prophecies of complete redemption.


Source: Professor Gerald Aranof [Professor of Accounting, Ariel University Center of Samaria, Israel.]

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