“Tell the children of Israel, ‘if a woman conceives and gives birth to a boy.’”

– Leviticus 12:2

A literal rendering of the verse would be “a woman will conceive, and she gave birth to a male child.” Notice the switch in the verb tense from future to past tense. Ohr HaChayim explains that this is meant to draw our attention to the verse. For, it is a general principle, in regard to Torah study, that such a striking use of verb tenses implies a meaning, beyond the literal rendering of the verse. He notes, that there are various reasons given; yet, one implication concerning this passage is in regard to Moshiach (Messiah):

The use of the past tense, infers reference to an event sure to occur, as if it already happened. Moreover, when H’Shem says, “speak to the Children of Israel,” this is referring to B’nei Yisrael from whom Moshiach will be born; i.e., in plain language, the woman who will conceive is Israel from whom Moshiach will be born. “I will raise them up a prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee [Moses]; and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him” (Deuteronomy 18:18, JPS 1917 Tanach).

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