Parshat Eikev Summary

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Parshat Eikev is the 3rd parsha in Sefer Devarim (also known as Deuteronomy).

This parsha is verses Deuteronomy 7:12 – 11:25, or a total of 111 verses.

Here is a brief summary for each aliyah.

Aliyah 1: Deuteronomy 7:12 – 8:10, 25 verses

Moses reminds the Jewish people that their key to success is obeying God’s commandments.

The nations living in the Land of Canaan have a larger population than the Children of Israel. Even so, God will drive them out before His people. He will drive them out slowly so that the Land will not be overwhelmed by wild animals.

The Land of Israel is a special place. God has blessed it with wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives, and date honey.

Aliyah 2: Deuteronomy 8:11 – 9:3, 13 verses

God took care of the Jewish people in the wilderness. It was a wilderness filled with snakes and scorpions and without abundant water sources. So too, God will take care of His people when they are in the Land of Israel.

We should never think that our wealth and security is due to our efforts. It is God who gives us the ability to thrive. But we must continue to observe His law.

Aliyah 3: Deuteronomy 9:4 – 9:29, 26 verses

The Jewish people should never think that God favors them because they are more righteous than other nations. It’s true that the nations God drove out of Canaan were wicked.

However, the Jewish people frequently provoked God.

At Mount Sinai God gave the Torah to His people. While Moses was on the mount, the people made a golden calf which they worshiped. God wanted to destroy them at this time. Moses prayed for them and God permitted them to live.

Moses mentions the aftermath of the incident with the spies. God wanted to bring the people into the Land of Israel. They rebelled and again God threatened to destroy them and start over with Moses.

Moses prayed to God. He told God that by destroying the Jewish people the other nations would conclude that God could not bring them into the Land.

Aliyah 4: Deuteronomy 10:1 – 10:11, 11 verses

After the incident of the Golden Calf, God invited Moses back up to Mount Sinai. God told him to carve two stone tablets like the first set.

Moses carved the tablets and carried them up to the top of Mount Sinai. God wrote the 10 Commandments on this new set of tablets. Moses placed these tablets into a wooden chest that he had constructed.

Aliyah 5: Deuteronomy 10:12 – 11:9, 20 verses

Moses presents to the Jewish people the “simple” thing God asks of us: fear God, love God, serve God, observe His commandments.

God does not show favor. He judges the rich and poor the same. He loves the convert. We are to love converts because we were strangers in Egypt.

Moses reminds the people of many acts God did for His people up to this time:

  • the signs He performed in Egypt
  • He destroyed the Egyptian army at the crossing of the sea
  • He preserved the people in the wilderness
  • He stopped the rebellion of Korach’s followers by having the earth swallow them

Aliyah 6: Deuteronomy 11:10 – 11:21, 12 verses

The Land of Israel is not like Egypt. The Land depends upon God bringing rain at the proper season. God is paying attention to the Land of Israel throughout the year.

Verses 11:13 – 21 are the second paragraph of the Shema, which we recite twice per day.

man wearing tefillin
Jewish man wearing tefillin while praying at the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Here are some of what we are commanded and promised in these verses:

  • love God
  • serve God
  • then God will give the Land rain
  • we will have abundant crops
  • don’t serve other gods
  • serving other gods brings drought and famine, then exile
  • place these words on your arm and between your eyes (tefillin)
  • teach the Torah to the children
  • write these words on the doorposts (mezzuzah)
  • performing these commandments brings long life in the Land

Aliyah 7: Deuteronomy 11:22 – 11:25, 4 verses

Moses finishes with a Divine promise to the people who are about to enter the Land. When they observe God’s commandments, He will drive out the foreign nations from Canaan. No person will be able to stand before them.

Haftarah Summary

Isaiah 49:14 – 51:3

This haftarah does not relate directly to the parsha. Rather it is one of the seven haftarahs of consolation that are read after Tisha B’Av. All of these haftarahs are taken from Isaiah.

Zion claims that God has forsaken her. God responds that He is always paying close attention to her. All that is required is for the Jewish people to repent.

Further Reading

The giving of the Torah is discussed in Parshat Yitro.

The incident of the spies is recorded in Parshat Shelach.

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