Are the commandments (Torah) as were given to Moseh on Har (Mt.) Sinai relevant for today?
This study looks at what is meant by a commandment: p1
Adoption: what is meant by adoption into The Family of Yahweh: p4
The Family of Yahweh: p6
Rav. Sha`ul’s (Paul) approach to the Good News Message: p10
Written Law v Oral Law: p14
Written Law: what is meant by this term: p15
Oral Law: what is meant by this term: p16
Rav. Sha`uls’ use of both Written and Oral Law: p17
Covenant obedience: p19
Is the Law relevant to Believers of 21st. Century: fringes p20, dietary laws including Shimon Kefa’s (Simon Peter’s) vision of the food p22, cannibalism , eating of blood, Shabbat observance p25, phylacteries p27:
References and Credits: p28
For this discussion the word ‘commandment’ is meant to include charge, law, statute, ruling regulation, etc. “For if you believed Moshe, you would believe me; for he wrote about me.” (John 5:46). It is my belief that all commandments have their fulfilment in Messiah Yehshuah. That is, they all point to some aspect of His life, ministry, death, resurrection and exaltation. Whilst not every commandment is relevant to all people, at all times and in all places (FFOZ), it is my further belief in that the studying and understanding of all commandments are vitally important if the fullness of Messiah is to be grasped.
“יְהֹוָה `Elohiym blessed them. יְהֹוָה `Elohiym said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ יְהֹוָה `Elohiym said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb yielding seed, which is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree, which bears fruit yielding seed. It will be your food.’” (Gen. 1:28). In any discussing regarding commandments, the over-arching consideration must be as to why the commandments were given. The above verse is the first commandment in Scripture. It requires obedience and there is a blessing in order to carry it out. It is also instructing Mankind that יְהֹוָה `Elohiym will supply all that is necessary to comply with the command.
“My little children…This is how we know that we know Him: if we keep His commandments. One who says, ‘I know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, יְהֹוָה ‘s love has most assuredly been perfected in him. This is how we know that we are in Him: he who says he remains in Him ought himself also to walk just like He walked.” (1 John 2:1-6). Yochanan writes to Believers the importance of keeping the commandments; is that we may know for certain that a Believer knows and accepts Messiah as their Saviour is that they are capable of following His perfect example. When the Master lived on earth, He was fully obedient to יְהֹוָה. The commandments that are mentioned here must, therefore, be those found in the TaNaKh.
“So that the law has become our tutor to bring us to Messiah, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24). There is not a single commandment that states compliance can bring about salvation. Every single commandment, regulation, rule, ordinance etc. points to Messiah and through Him, a direct revelation of יְהֹוָה. It is my belief that it is not the obedience to the commandment that brings salvation but by the faith to what the commandment points. Adam, the Patriarchs, Moshe, David, the prophets etc. came to a faith that brought salvation by looking forward to Messiah. Believers can come to the same faith that brings salvation by looking back to the accomplished work of Messiah. It is the same faith that secures salvation. Torah is the teacher that introduces and brings the hearer to Messiah. This must be timeless as those who lived before the Messiah’s Incarnation could still be saved by believing in the future work of Messiah. When the hearer fully understands the need for and puts trust in the work of Messiah, He then becomes the goal of Torah.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of commentators and teachers, both Jewish and Gentile, describe Torah as being a system of legalistic requirements (a regime of do’s and do not’s), and a codified means of living. Yes, within Torah there are details of יְהֹוָה commandments, but far from being a means of keeping people away from Him, it is a means of showing how desperate and desolate a person is without knowing יְהֹוָה’s salvation. The full application of Torah (all Scripture, TaNaKh and Renewed Covenant) has been described as “a wholesome approach to life that comes from a full apprehension of the will of God for the well-being of human beings made in God’s image” (Robertson).
“Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of יְהֹוָה. Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in His sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.” (Rom. 3:19, 20). Likewise, v19 is usually quoted to say that all who are ‘under’ the law are guilty before יְהֹוָה as Messiah has done away with the Law and any who place themselves’ under’ the Law are returning to their pre-salvation state. However, the word ‘under’ #G1772 ἐν en that is a primary preposition that can be translated in, by, with, among, at, on, through under etc. The use of in as the translation is over 21/2 times more common than all the others put together.
V20 states in the above translation that as the requirements of the Law have been annulled by the work of Messiah the Law cannot justify (save) a person. This has never been the case. Avraham is often quoted in the Renewed Covenant as being a person who was saved outside of (before) the Law. Justification can only come as a result of both of the following:
a) Hearing and understanding the word of יְהֹוָה;
b) Taking what יְהֹוָה has said and manifesting that understanding by correct action.
“So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of יְהֹוָה.” (Rom. 10:17). The hearing of the Good News must also be accompanied an act of obedience in the same way the ‘Shema’ Hear Oh Yisra`el! Love יְהֹוָה your `Elohiym….
“For most assuredly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.” (Matt. 5:18). #G3551 νόμος nomos law is the word the Septuagint (LXX) usually translates as Torah. This has several meanings: the Book of Moshe (Gen. – Deut.); all of the TaNaKh (Old Testament); entire Word of יְהֹוָה (TaNaKh and Renewed Covenant). As the passage refers to ‘all things’ this would indicate that it means all Scripture. This must mean, therefore, that all Scripture remains in force.
“Now the Chief Priests, the Zakenim (Sanhedrin), and the whole council sought false testimony against Yehshuah, that they might put Him to death; and they found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward… ‘Nevertheless, I (Yehshuah) tell you, henceforth you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky.’ Then the High Priest tore his clothing, saying, ‘He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any
more witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy. What do you think?’ They answered, ‘He is worthy of death!’” (Matt. 26:59-66). At His trial, the Master’s accusers could not bring any charge (truthfully or falsely) of Him having broken any laws/Torah. It was only the statement regarding the Son of Man that eventually led to the Master being condemned. If this was not so, the accusers would have charged Him accordingly. Therefore, the Master must have obediently and faithfully followed all the requirements of Torah. As Messiah’s ‘Betrothed’ Bride, it must be incumbent upon all Believers to follow His ways.
“For the assembly, there shall be one statute for you, and for the stranger who lives as a foreigner with you, a statute forever throughout your generations: as you are, so shall the foreigner be before יְהֹוָה.” (Num. 15:15). In this verse the assembly means Yisra`el (equating to all Believers) and the foreigner refers to all non-Believers requiring to be Torah observant for all generations. Just because non-Believers do not acknowledge Torah does not negate the necessity for them to be so. יְהֹוָה is the `Elohiym over all people, Believers and non-Believers alike.
“Or is יְהֹוָה the `Elohiym of Yehudim only? Isn’t He the `Elohiym of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,” (Rom. 3:9). Just because non-Believers do not acknowledge Him as `Elohiym does not negate the fact He is who He is.
This study hopes to show how Sh`aul compares the legal requirements of 1st. Century Roman with that of the Biblical view of adoption.
For the purposes of this discussion son and child means both male and female.
#G5206 υἱοθεσία huiothesia from the compound word #G5207 υἱός huios – son and #G5087 τίθημι tithemi – III.B to establish or ordain. Therefore υἱοθεσία means to make someone a son.
A slave could not be adopted. “Yehshua answered them, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the slave to sin.’” (John 8:34). “For יְהֹוָה has ransomed Ya`akov, and redeemed him from the hand of him who[it that] was stronger than he,” (Jer. 31:11). “knowing that you were redeemed, not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, from the useless way of life handed down from your fathers, but with precious blood, as of a Lamb without spot, the blood of Messiah,” (1 Pt. 1:18, 19). Therefore, in order for a slave to be adopted, he must first become a freeman. This meant that the adoptive father had first to buy (emancipate) the slave and them make him a freeman. The adoptive father could then formally adopt the former slave (www.carolashby.com).
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of יְהֹוָה, these are children of יְהֹוָה. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of יְהֹוָה; and if children, then heirs; heirs of יְהֹוָה, and joint-heirs with Messiah; if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Rom. 8:14-17).
When Rav Sha’ul wrote to the Assembly at Rome, he likens the Kingdom of יְהֹוָה as being in יְהֹוָה’s family. However, there is only one true Son, Yehshua (John 3:16), and every born-again Believer is adopted into this Family. The recipients of Sha`ul’s letter would have recalled the exact status of an adoptee:
1) Under Roman law a father had complete authority over his children throughout their entire lives (http://www.academia.edu). This was termed patria potestas (possession of the father). “And being found in human form, He humbled Himself, becoming obedient to death, yes, the death of the cross.” (Phil. 2:8). “For as through the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One will many be made righteous.” (Rom. 15:9). Yehshua, the natural Son, obeyed the Father in every aspect of His life. This would be expected of all ‘adopted’ children.
2) The adoption of children was very rare but that of adult males was common. “For יְהֹוָה so loved the world, that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). Salvation can only come (except to those with learning difficulties) by a full realisation of what Messiah has done for the individual. Although young children may be capable of making a true decision, it is rare amongst the very young.
3) In the adoption process, the transfer of patria potestas had to be witnessed by seven people. This ensured that there would always be a living witness within reason. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of יְהֹוָה;” (Rom. 8:16). As the Spirit is eternal, there is no need for multiple witnesses.
“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father.’ “And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of the future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” (Rom. 8:15, 23 NLT). #H553 ἀπεκδέχομαι apekdechomai – to assiduously and patiently waiting for and fully expecting. During the raising of the adopted child, the child may come into its inheritance in stages. It would not be sensible to give a young child the full provision of the familial estate. However, on reaching full maturity, the adopted child would have all the benefits of the natural family (all excepting that which can only come upon the father’s death). The adoptive rights of a Believer are not based upon any merit of their own or any rightness in the adoption, but solely upon the promises of יְהֹוָה. “that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherited the promises.” (Heb. 6:12).
“remembering without ceasing your work of faith and labour of love and
patience of hope in our Master Yehshua the Messiah, before our `Elohiym and Father.” (1 Thess. 1:3). The wait is not a period of idleness. Believers must be about Father’s work until His Son returns. The promises are based upon the assurance of and a Believer’s trust in His return.
Many Roman children (natural or adopted) were often treated little better than the slaves until their maturity. A child remained the total possession of the father until marriage (a girl became the possession of her husband’s father) or the death of the father. “At the end of the days I, Nevukhadnetztar, lifted up my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me, and I blessed Ha`Elyon, and I praised and honoured Him who lives forever; for His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His Kingdom from generation to generation.” (Dan. 4:34).
There was a means by which a son could leave the family by emancipation. All ties were severed by the son but there were severe consequences as the son became disenfranchised and no longer came under the family protection and provision.
4) The adoptee lost all legal rights to their previous family and all aspects of their former lives were erased. All debts were cancelled as though they never existed. “The master of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.” (Matt. 18:27). “I [יְהֹוָה], even I, am He who blots out your transgressions for my own sake; I will not remember your sins.” (Isa. 45:25). “For this is the Covenant that I will make with the House of Yisra`el, ‘After those days,’ says יְהֹוָה, ‘I will put my Laws into their mind, I will also write them on their heart. I will be to them an `Elohiym [Father], And they will be to me a people [sons].’” “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness. I will remember their sins and lawless deeds no more.” (Heb. 8:10, 12).
“Therefore if anyone is in Messiah, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17). There are many verses detailing how past sins are remembered no more.
5) The adoptee gained full rights of their new family and the new family’s history was then considered as that of the adoptee’s. The adoptee became an heir to the father’s estate and was to be considered an equal to all natural children. “and if children, then heirs; heirs of יְהֹוָה, and joint-heirs with Messiah; if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified with Him.” (Rom. 8:17). A Believer shares in all that happens to the Family.
“So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son, and if a son, then an heir of יְהֹוָה through Messiah,” (Gal. 4:7). This states the status of the adopted son. Like the natural son, there is a process of maturing with the ultimate promise of a close relationship with Father.
6) The father chose or elected the adopted son. The adoptee did nothing to deserve being chosen. “But we are bound to always give thanks to יְהֹוָה for you, brothers loved by the Master, because יְהֹוָה chose you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief in the truth;” (2 Thess. 2:13). Even before birth, the Believer has been chosen by יְהֹוָה.
For those about to be adopted, knowledge of the ‘new’ family would be scant and would rely upon third party information and hearsay and of the father even more so. When the child moves into the ‘new’ family they would seek to get to know the ‘new’ father more intimately both out of gratitude for the adoption and out of respect for the father who now has patria potestas over the child. Before salvation, knowledge of Father was based upon similar scarcity of information and third party knowledge. However, after salvation, a Believer should want to know Father more intimately. This requires studying His Word (self-revelation) and takes effort and sacrifice that is well-pleasing to Him. This self-revelation is made even more clear, deeper and meaningful by the leading of the Ruach of Father.
“However, at that time, not knowing יְהֹוָה, you were in bondage to those who by nature were not gods.” (Gal. 4:8).
“You are of your father, the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. It was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in it. When it speaks a lie, it speaks on its own; for it is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44). This is the family into which all people are born. The father of lies deceives everyone and all fall into bondage.
“But when He saw many of the Perushim and Tzedukim coming for His immersion, He said to them, ‘You offspring of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?’ Do not think to yourselves, ‘We have Avraham for our father,’ for I tell you that יְהֹוָה is able to raise up children to Avraham from these stones.” (Matt. 3:7, 9). The Master warned the Jewish people, through their leaders, that a natural descent from Avraham was not a guarantee of their eternal status (refer to Rom. 11:17 below). The teaching of the leaders was poison to their listeners.
“There is neither Yehudi (Jew) nor Yevanit (Greek), there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Messiah Yehshua. If you are Messiah’s, then you are Avraham’s seed and heirs according to promise.” (Gal. 3:28, 29). There is only one Family in the Kingdom of `Elohim. The three couples cover all of humanity. There can only be Believers regardless of ethnicity, social status or gender. In a family there can only be one set of rules regardless of background. Eternal status is dependent upon spiritual descent (faith) and not upon physical descent.
“Noach went into the ark with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, because of the waters of the flood.” (Gen. 7:7). It is commonly understood that the ark is a type of the Kingdom of `Elohim and there was only one family considered righteous and saved from the wrath of `Elohim. Likewise, at the Day of Wrath, when Messiah returns to Mount Olivet, He will find only one righteous family (all Believers) and not two (Jewish Believers and Gentile Believers).
“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them, and became partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree;” (Rom. 11:17). The process of grafting-in a wild branch into a cultivated tree was an unnatural state as it normally produces inferior fruit. However, that seems to be the whole point of Sha`ul’s analogy (Sanday & Headlam). In the natural world, this would never occur, but in the supernatural world the wild olive (gentiles) has been grafted-in to the cultivated tree and enjoys the same blessings. #G4791 συγκοινωνός sygkoinōnos refers to a participant, partaker or joint partner (heir AENT). There is only one tree and one Root. Any branch that does not bear (righteous) fruit, will be pruned hard back and thrown away and burnt. Descent from Avraham is no guarantee of good fruit, so it should be of no surprise that the (spiritually) dead branches are cast away.
“Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4, 5). Here the Master gives the reason that the wild olive has been grafted into the cultivated tree. It is so that both enjoy the richness of the Root. There is only one Root that supplies all that is required to bear righteous fruit.
“For most assuredly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.” (Matt. 5:18). #G3551 νόμος nomos – law is the word the Septuagint (LXX) usually translates as torah. This has several meanings: the Book of Moshe (Gen. – Deut.); all of the TaNaKh (Old Testament); entire Word of יְהֹוָה (TaNaKh and Renewed Covenant). As the passage refers to ‘all things’ this would indicate that it means all Scripture. This must mean, therefore, that all Scripture remains in force.
“Now the chief Priests, the Elders, and the whole council sought false testimony against Yehshua, that they might put Him to death; and they found none. Even though many false witnesses came forward, they found none. But at last two false witnesses came forward… ‘Nevertheless, I (Yehshua) tell you, henceforth you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of the sky.’” Then the Kohen Gadol tore his clothing, saying, ‘He has spoken blasphemy! Why do we need any more witnesses? Behold, now you have heard his blasphemy. What do you think?’ They answered, ‘He is worthy of death!’” (Matt. 26:59-66). At His trial, the Master’s accusers could not bring any charge (truthfully or falsely) of Him having broke any laws/Torah, false teaching or false prophesy. It was only the statement regarding the Son of Man that eventually led to the Master being condemned. If this was not so, the accusers would have charged Him accordingly. Therefore, the Master must have obediently and faithfully followed all the requirements of Torah.
“Be therefore imitators of יְהֹוָה, as beloved children.” (Eph. 5:1). “Yehshua said to him, ‘Have I been with you such a long time, and do you not know me, Pilipos? He who has seen me has seen the Father. How do you say, ‘Show us the Father?’’”(John 14:9). As Messiah’s little brothers and sisters, it must be incumbent upon all Believers to follow His perfect example. He has shown how it is possible to perfectly obey Father. All Believers must strive to reach this standard and have no excuse not to try.
“Therefore remember that once you, the Goyim (Gentiles) in the flesh, who are called “uncircumcision” by that which is called “circumcision,” (in the flesh, made by hands); that you were at that time separate from Messiah, alienated from the commonwealth of Yisra’el, and strangers from the covenants of the promise, having no hope and without יְהֹוָה in the world. But now in Messiah Yehshua you who once were far off are made near in the blood of Messiah.” (Eph. 2:11-13). #G4174 πολιτεία politeia a commonwealth is a group of people linked by something that they all have in common (BLB Thesaurus). In this case, the group is all Believers in Messiah brought together by their faith in His shed Blood. There is only one group and one Messiah.
“I have other sheep, which are not of this fold I must bring them in also and they will hear my voice. They will become one flock with one Shepherd.” (John 10:16). There is only one group with only one Shepherd that is Messiah. The Master was addressing a group of people who were Jews. Therefore, He is talking about a group of people other than Jews i.e. Gentiles. The Gentiles were to be called after the Jews but into the same fold as the Jews. The Jews were not called to be a part of the ‘Christian’ fold.
“He said, ‘Your name will no longer be called ‘Ya`akov,’ but, ‘Yisra`el,’ for you have fought with יְהֹוָה and with men, and have prevailed.’” (Gen. 32:28). In Scripture after this time, when the name Yisra’el is used it is in conjunction with spiritual matters. When the name Ya`akov is used, it is in relation to the flesh or the tribes, including Yehuda. It is into the (spiritual) family of Yisra`el that Gentiles are grafted. It is into the commonwealth of Yisra`el that all Believers, Jew and Gentile alike, now belong. יְהֹוָה calls Yisra`el to comply with His law, He is speaking to Jew and Gentile. יְהֹוָה is not calling Gentiles to become members of the (carnal) family of Ya`akov thus becoming Jews, but to become members of the (spiritual) family of Yisra`el. Hence the requirement of circumcision is not relevant to Gentile Believers.
Ya`akov was the father of 12 sons and a daughter and was so named in conjunction with his children, all of whom except Binyamin were born before the P`ni-El experience. Taking into account the Law of First Mention, this is the first time Yisra`el is mentioned. “יְהֹוָה said to him, “Your name is Ya`akov. Your name shall not be Ya`akov any more, but your name will be Yisra`el.” He named him Yisra`el.” (Gen. 35:10). Ya`akov’s name is changed here to Yisra`el because of his personal encounter with (the Messenger of) יְהֹוָה at P`ni-El. Hereafter, apart from a few isolated verses (e.g. Deut. 33:10 where poetic parallelism is used) the name of Ya`akov is used with regard to matters of the flesh and Yisra`el with matters of the Ruach.
“After that, his brother came out, and his hand had hold on Esav’s heel. He was named Ya`akov. Yitzchak was sixty years old when she bore them.” (Gen. 25:26). #H3290 יַעֲקֹב Ya`akov the name meaning heel grasper or supplanter with the implication of deceitfulness or subtly and cunning. This can be seen in the accounts of Esav losing his birthright (Gen. 25:29-34) and his blessings (Gen. 27:1-40) both to Ya`akov by cunning means. “Now the serpent was more subtle than any animal of the field which the יְהֹוָה `Elohiym had made.” (Gen. 3:1a). #H6175 עָרוּם `aruwm that which filled Ya`akov had also filled the serpent in Gan Eden. The Adversary’s aim was to supplantיְהֹוָה `Elohiym with itself in the role of Sovereign of the Universe by the use of deceit and cunning.
“יְהֹוָה said to him, ‘I am El Shaddai. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations will be from you, and kings will come out of your loins. The land which I gave to Avraham and Yitzchak, I will give it to you, and to your seed after you will I give the land.’” (Gen. 35:11, 12). It was while Yisra`el was at Beit-El that יְהֹוָה conferred the blessings first given to Avraham and then onto Yitz`chak and then onto Yisra`el.
“When the יְהֹוָה your `Elohiym shall bring you into the land where you go to possess it, and shall cast out many nations before you… neither shall you make marriages with them; your daughter you shall not give to his son, nor his daughter shall you take to your son. For he will turn away your son from following me, that they may serve other gods: so will the anger of the יְהֹוָה be kindled against you, and He will destroy you quickly.” (Deut. 7:1-4). This passage forms the Torah basis upon which a person is to be considered Jewish or not (www.chabad.org/library…601092 ; www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman…968282 ). A child born to a Jewish woman is recognised as being Jewish irrespective of the father’s lineage; a child born to a non-Jewish woman is recognised as being a Gentile irrespective of the father’s lineage (www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8114 ).
“Ya`akov said to Yosef, ‘El Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in the land of Kana`an, and blessed me… Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Mitzrayim before I came to you into Mitzrayim, are mine; Efrayim and M`nasheh, even as Re`uven and Shim`on, will be mine. Your issue, who you become the father of after them, will be yours. They will be called after the name of their brothers in their inheritance.’” (Gen. 48:3-6). Although the Torah had not yet been formally codified, I do believe that this passage was looking forward to Duet.7:1-4. Yosef’s two sons were born to him by the Egyptian woman, Osnat (Gen. 41:50) and accordingly would not have been considered as being Jewish. However, upon his deathbed Yisra’el adopted Efrayim and M`nasheh. From this time forth the descendants of Yosef’s two sons were considered to be sons of Yisra`el. This would not now make Efrayim and M`nasheh Jewish but they inherited every part of יְהֹוָה’s blessings upon Avraham. Yitz`chak and Ya`akov/Yisra`el and through them and the other birth-sons of Ya`akov unto the people that were to be called Yisra`elites. Thus all became sons of the promise.
The Yisra`elites were to be split up after the death of King Shlomo into the nation of Yahudah and Yisra`el (1 Kgs. 12:1-33). Although thereafter, it was only the tribes of Yahudah and Binyamin that were called Yisra`elites, the other tribes were Yisra`elites, no matter where in the Diaspora they were to settle.
“Yehshuah saw Natan`el coming to Him, and said about him, ‘Behold, an Yisra`elite indeed, in whom is no deceit!’” (John 1:47). Unlike Ya`akov (and the Serpent), Natan`el was called a true Yisra`elite by the Master and was verified by the follow-on declaration by Natan`el, “Natan`el answered Him, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of יְהֹוָה! You are King of Yisra`el!’” (John 1:49) long before Shimon Kefa’s declaration (Mark 8:29).
“For I would wish that I myself were accursed from Messiah for my brothers’ sake, my relatives according to the flesh, who are Yisra`elites; whose is the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service, and the promises… But it is not as though the word of יְהֹוָה has come to nothing. For they are not all Yisra`el, that are of Yisra`el. That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of יְהֹוָה, but the children of the promise are counted as a seed… For being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of יְהֹוָה according to election might stand, not of works, but of him who calls… Even as it is written, ‘Ya`akov I loved, but Esav I hated.’ For He said to Moshe, ‘I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of יְהֹוָה who has mercy.” (Rom. 9:3-16). In this and the surrounding chapters (Rom. 8-12) Rav Sha`ul clearly defines who is a son (and daughter) of יְהֹוָה. His fellow Jews after the flesh are in exactly the same position as Gentiles; in need of a Saviour. It is not a flesh-centred birth that qualifies a person as a child of יְהֹוָה, but a Messiah-centred new birth by His Ruach that constitutes a child of יְהֹוָה. It is clear that not every professing Jew would automatically gain entrance in the Kingdom of יְהֹוָה (cf Matt. 7:21).
“For in Messiah Yehshuah neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. As many as walk by this rule, shalom and mercy be on them, and on יְהֹוָה ‘s Yisra`el.” (Gal. 6:15, 16). Throughout Scripture the phrase Yisra`el’s Deity (`Elohiym of Yisra`el) indicating that it was Yisra`el’s choice to have יְהֹוָה as their `Elohiym. In this passage, Sha`ul refers to Yisra’el as having been chosen by יְהֹוָה as ‘Father’ to be His people and is of a spiritual nature. It must be noted that the insertion of יְהֹוָה in v16 shows that there is another Yisra`el, that of the flesh and after their ‘father’ Ya`akov.
It is my belief that all Believers should be referred to as Yisra`elites; Jewish Believers as the natural olive tree and Gentile Believers as the grafted-in wild branch (Rom. 11:16-24). It cannot be stressed strongly enough that I am NOT saying that Gentile Believers are the ‘Ten Lost Tribes’. These are all Jewish people who will all be brought back to the land of Yisra`el in the End Times (Mark 13:27).
Rav Sha`ul’s Good News Message
“I ask then, did they stumble that they (Yisra`el) might fall? May it never be! But by their fall salvation has come to the Gentiles, to provoke them to jealousy. Now if their fall is the riches of the world, and their loss the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness? For I speak to you who are Gentiles. Since then as I am an apostle to Gentiles, I glorify my ministry; if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh, and may save some of them.” (Rom. 11:11-14). Rav Sha`ul (Paul) was called to a ministry to the non-Jewish world. In his early life, it can clearly be seen how יְהֹוָה was preparing him for such a ministry. He was born of a Jewish family, a Roman citizen, educated in the Law (Written and Oral) and able to speak the common languages of the region. His initial starting point at each town he visited was the Jewish community and in preaching and teaching to the community both Jew and Gentile heard the Good News of salvation. However, in his ministry to the Gentiles, Sha`ul never lost the view that ‘those who are after my flesh’ (Jews) needed to hear the Good News. By instructing Gentiles in how to live a righteous life according to the Word of יְהֹוָה, he was showing how it was possible, and indeed preferable, to fulfil the commandments that Yisra`el found impossible even with the Temple sacrifices.
All this was to enable him to fulfil the above passage and was encouraging Gentiles to witness to the Jews in order to ‘provoke to jealousy’ #G3863 παραζηλόω parazeloo. Sha`ul wants to incite the Jews to emulate the Gentiles who were capable of fulfilling the applicable Torah. The two matters that the Jewish people lacked that Believers (both Jewish and Gentile) have in order to comply with Torah was the knowledge of the Risen Messiah and the indwelling Ruach HaKodesh.
“For though I was free from all, I brought myself under bondage to all, that I might gain the more. To the Yahudim I became as a Yahudi, that I might gain Yahudim; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain those who are under the law; to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward יְהֹוָה, but under law toward Messiah), that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became as weak, that I might gain the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some.” (1 Cor. 9:19-22). In his ministry, Sha`ul was willing ‘by all (or any) means’ to preach the Good News. In order to win those ‘under the Law’ (that is Jew) and ‘without the Law’ (that is Gentile), Sha`ul fulfilled all relevant commandments. This then shows that Sha`ul followed Torah, not out of a need for salvation, but in faith so that he could emulate Messiah Yehshuah and thus please יְהֹוָה and win others to Him.
In both of the above Scripture passages, it seems that Sha`ul was willing to do anything in order to propagate the Good News. However, this does not mean that he was willing to sin. Would he murder? Would he blaspheme? Would he dishonour his parents? The answer to these, of course, is most certainly no. Therefore, it is not likely that other commandments such as regarding food, Shabbat observance, fringes etc. would be neglected. How can the Ruach HaKodesh convict a person of sin when the vehicle of the Good News is obviously sinning? The answer is that He cannot. It is for this reason that it is clear that Sha`ul obeyed all those commandments that were relevant to himself.
“But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of יְהֹוָה, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the יְהֹוָה, the Spirit.” (2 Cor. 3:18). The word ‘glory’ #G1391 δόξα doxa is used three times in this verse. However, there are two distinct states; 1) a permanent state of Messiah that is eternal and 2) a transient state of Believers. Unlike the mirrors of today, the readers of this Letter would understand this to be a highly burnished metal, usually bronze. The readers would also have known that even the very best of mirrors would be but a poor representation of the actual subject. As a result, they would understand Sha`ul saying that even a Believer’s greatest estimation of the majesty of Messiah, fell well below the reality. Nevertheless, it does not stop Believers from having knowledge of Messiah as their goal, imperfect as this would be. However, this knowledge can only come from the study of all Scripture and the leading by the Ruach HaKodesh in these studies.
“I fed you with milk, not with meat; for you were not yet ready. Indeed, not even now are you ready,” (1 Cor. 3:2). In his First Letter to the Corinthians, Sha`ul says that the Believers were not ready to receive more in-depth teaching regarding spiritual matters. The inference here is that Believers move from a state of immaturity to one of increasing maturity. As a Believer is taught, there is more discerning the glory of Messiah. Yet, as the Believer comes to know more of this heavenly state, the Believer comes to understand that the standard for a Believer’s glory has moved ever so slightly closer to Messiah. A good analogy of this is with the burnished mirror. In a dull mirror, the reality is constant but the image is very blurred and hardly recognisable. Still, if an effort is made to polish up the mirror, although the reality remains constant, the image becomes a little clearer. With more effort, the image becomes clearer still. However, no amount of burnishing of the metal will ever reveal a perfect image of the reality. Likewise for a Believer, no amount of studying the Scriptures can ever reveal the true glory of Messiah.
“For we know in part, and we prophesy in part; but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known.” (1 Cor. 13:9-12). Sha`ul clearly shows this maturing later on in his First Letter and states that only when Messiah returns and Believers see Him ‘face to face’ will there be a no need of a mirror and the Reality and the Image become one.
“For when by reason of the time you ought to be teachers, you again need to have someone teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of יְהֹוָה. You have come to need milk, and not solid food.” (Heb. 5:12). In writing to the Hebrews in the Diaspora, Rav Sha`ul (Roth AENT) informed them that they were not maturing and so still in need of ‘milk’. In expecting all Believers to be in a state of constant maturing, he recognised that the Hebrew Believers should be starting from a position in advance of Gentile Believers. Having grown up with Torah, the Jews should have been in a position to teach the Gentiles. However, due to the Hellenistic influences, they seemed to be ignoring the Torah of their childhood and Sha`ul was having to remind them of their heritage.
The transient state (glory to glory) is sometimes called progressive sanctification. This is a process by which Believers are brought into the likeness of Messiah and set apart for the work of יְהֹוָה to which the Believer has been called. This must not be confused with righteousness which is defined as having met a standard. Righteousness #H6663 צָדַק tsadaq *1879 sadeq, #G1342 δίκαιος dikaios – that which is right, just, true (as in weights and measures meeting a required standard), יְהֹוָה attribute as Sovereign. The meaning of righteousness under consideration is “‘justifying righteousness’ which He bestows on us sinful men, and which, when laid hold of by faith, makes them fit to appear in His holy presence” (Brown). In scriptural terms it is having met the standard laid down by יְהֹוָה and can be seen in the Word of יְהֹוָה and that Word becoming flesh (John 1:14). Due to the sin in a person’s life, it is impossible to meet this standard. “Therefore, as Torah was impotent through the weakness of the flesh, Elohiym sent His Son in the likeness of sinful flesh on account of sin; that he might, in His flesh, condemn sin; so that the righteousness of Torah might be fulfilled in us, since it is not in the flesh we walk, but in the Spirit.” (Rom 8:3, 4 AENT). Fortunately this standard has been met by Messiah Yehshuah and is imputed to all Believers upon salvation. However, this righteousness can be lost due to sin in a Believer’s life but upon repentance can once again be attributed to the Believer.
The starting point of sanctification is salvation and the in-dwelling of the Ruach HaKodesh from which the Believer can mature. Scripture identifies two ways that a Believer can mature:
1) Through pruning (John 15:1-17) where those areas of a Believer’s life that does not bear fruit are cut away;
2) Through refining (Isa. 48:10) whereby the dross is skimmed off the good metal in a furnace.
Both these processes show that the unproductive parts of a Believer’s life have to be removed to ensure a more abundant crop or more useful metal. As a Believer matures, what was acceptable last year may no longer be acceptable now and what is acceptable now may not be acceptable in the future. This is because as a Believer studies the Bible, truth will be progressively revealed. Reading a particular passage last year may have revealed one truth but re-reading it today may reveal another truth that shines a light on an area that may be pruned away. This is most evident in studying the commandments. A Believer may not be expected to know everything at the very beginning, but must approach Scripture prayerfully and with a teachable mind so that as truth is revealed after truth a Believer may apply it to their everyday life (glory to glory).
Some years ago, the Ruach gave me a vision to pass onto the assembly that I was then attending, but, as with all things of the Ruach, is good for all time. The message was: ‘that Yahua, by His Ruach, was going to change Believer’s. It can be as the Potter caressing and carefully moulding the clay in His hands. It can also be as the Blacksmith repeatedly heating the metal in the furnace and hammering the white-hot metal into shape. What way was it going to be? We had a choice.’ Since that time, I have been through both types of change; always for my perfecting.
There must be a distinction drawn between sin and its effects. The fruits of sin, in a person, is manifest in trespasses (Jukes). It is the role of Torah to highlight trespasses for what they are and to show what must be done to escape sin and its consequences. “…Make me know my disobedience and my sin.” (Job 13:23b). In the depth of his trials, Job sought the reason for his condition. This word ‘disobedience’ #H6588 פֶּשַׁע pehshah *1846 pesha` means transgression which is translated as rebellion in the KJV. The outcome of this rebellion is that Man tends to try and hide or at least justify the sin (Harris et al). “For the wages of sin is death…” (Rom. 6:23a). It is my belief that there is only one sin – disobedience. What are normally considered as ‘sins’ are in reality the outworking of disobedience.
This may not necessarily be an actual breaking of a commandment but in not obeying יְהֹוָה fully, could be considered as sin. “Take the rod, and assemble the congregation, you, and `Aharon your brother, and speak you to the rock before their eyes, that it give forth its water; and you shall bring forth to them water out of the rock; so you shall give the congregation and their cattle drink… Moshe lifted up his hand, and struck the rock with his rod twice: and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle. יְהֹוָה said to Moshe and `Aharon, Because you didn’t believe in me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Yisra`el, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” (Num. 20:8, 11, 12). In this account, Moshe disobeyed יְהֹוָה instructions. It may seem harsh that after all that he had done and was about to do, Moshe was not allowed to lead the Yisra`elites into the Promised Land. However, due to Moshe’s close relationship, much more was required of him. Believers must mature and what was considered acceptable last year may not be acceptable today, even though it is not directly breaking any commandments. In maturing, a Believer becomes more and more reliant upon יְהֹוָה Word and the leading of His Ruach. The Ruach instructs a Believer in a specific way preparing the Believer for a particular calling or task. By refusing to listen or follow may result in being disciplined by יְהֹוָה.
Written Law v. Oral Law
In the passage Matt. 15: 1-21, the Master is teaching from Yesh`yahu (Isa. 29:13) upon primacy of the Written Law as opposed to the Oral Law (or masortey ha`avot, tradition of the fathers). He illustrates this with a parable regarding n`tilat yadayim or ritual hand washing and does not refer to food at all. Part of the common misunderstanding with regards to commandments is down to distinguishing what the inspired writers were saying about the Written Law (Law of Moshe) and criticism of Oral Law. The Oral Law came about when the early rabbis in the Babylonian Exile were questioned about how to uphold the Written Law. The exiles were conscious of the fact that their exile was a direct result of disobeying Torah and did not want further punishment. In order to ensure that the people did not contravene the Written Law, a system of rulings were developed over time by the sages/rabbis that were intended to put a barrier or ‘hedge’ around the Written Law. An example of this is as follows:
Written Law – do not put your hand in the fire. This Law was to prevent physical hurt to a person.
Oral Law – do not go near the fire. This was a ruling that prevented a person from approaching the fire much less put a hand in it.
As it can be seen from this simplistic example, the Oral Law or ruling was a safeguard against breaking the Written Law. However, over time, the Oral Law became to have the same authority or primacy that belonged to the Written Law. There is nothing wrong with the Oral Law as such. In fact, in its original intention, the Oral Law has a lot to commend it. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I tell you that everyone who gazes at a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matt. 5:27, 28).
This is one of several passages where the Master uses a ‘hedge’. The Written Law is “You shall not commit adultery.” (Exod. 20:14). The ‘hedge’ is “Do not look at a woman with lust.” This was used by the Master to instruct His listeners how to live out the Written Law not to burden people with additional commandments. “saying, ‘The Sofrim (scribes) and the Perushim (Pharisees) sat on Moshe’s seat. All things therefore whatever they tell you to observe, observe and do, but don’t do their works; for they say, and don’t do. For they bind heavy burdens that are grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not lift a finger to help them.’” (Matt. 23:2-4). In this passage (and Ch. 23 in general), the Master does not criticise what the scribes and Pharisees taught as He recognises their right to do so. The sign of their authority was being seated on the seat or throne of Moshe. What He did criticise was their lifestyle.
“For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt. 11:30). “For it seemed good to the Ruach HaKodesh, and to us, to lay no greater burden on you than these necessary things:” (Acts 15:28). Nevertheless, the Master severely censors the scribes and Pharisees for the loading up of the Oral Law upon the people. This is in stark contrast to how the Master, The Ruach HaKodesh and the Apostles regarded the Written Law and its application for the people.
Tradition has it that Moshe received the Oral Law at the same time as the Written Law. These instructions were passed down verbally throughout the subsequent generations to the sages and rabbis who used them to assist the people in living a set apart life. During the 2nd. Century C.E. (Common Era) these oral instructions were codified and written down to form the Mishnah. Commentaries were compiled to form the Gemara and it was these combined with the Mishnah during the 5th. Century C.E. that now forms the Talmudic Law and is considered to be Law in its entirety (www.jewfaq.org/torah.htm) . The Talmud’s aim was for scholars and sages to debate the minutiae in order to arrive at an exact meaning in order to interpret it for the lay person.
Sha`ul (Paul) of Tarsus was trained as a rabbi in Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) under Rabban Gamaliel the Elder and was well versed in the Torah, its applications to everyday life (halakhah) and to the finer points of jurisprudence. In his Letters, Sha`ul was generally replying to enquiries from the various assemblies in the out-living (midrash) of the TaNaKh, the Hebrew Scriptures (up to that date) and using other Scriptures as proof texts (Barnett). Many of the 21st. Century C.E. questions did not arise in the 1st. Century C.E. as the modern difficulties would have been common knowledge when Sha`ul penned the Letters. If he was debating with other rabbis, the methodology of the Letters would have been much different. However, these were general letters and, as such, were not intended for debate but to instruct. ‘The New Testament as written text is both a continuation of and a commentary on or explanation of Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible’ (Schulam). Likewise, the inspired writers of the other Books of the Renewed Covenant were instructing their readers in how to live an acceptable, set apart life. The exception to this is obviously The Revelation of our Master Yehshuah the Mashiyach by Yochanan bar Zawdi, Schlicha (AENT Roth).
The main difference between the midrash of the Renewed Covenant and the mishnah of the Jewish sages is that all the Writers of the Renewed Covenant were witnesses of the Risen Messiah. Even Sha’ul would have been fully aware of the teachings of the Master although he was not then a Follower. “But the Counselor, the Ruach HaKodesh, whom the Father will send in my name, He will teach you all things, and will remind you of all that I said to you.” (John 14:26). It is my belief that each of these Writers, being filled with the Ruach, were dictating rather than interpreting Scripture.
Therefore, it is the commandments of the TaNaKh and of the Renewed Covenant that is under consideration in the following discussion and for simplicity I have called these the Written Law.
“For most assuredly, I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not even one smallest letter or one tiny pen stroke shall in any way pass away from the law, until all things are accomplished.” (Matt. 5:18). It is my understanding that the word ‘law’ #G3551 νόμος nomos, when heard by the audience of the time, would have taken this to be Torah (written not oral). However, I believe that when the Master said this, He was including all Scripture; that written and that yet to be written. My reading of this is that the law will stand in its entirety until heaven and earth are finished with. “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth have passed away, and the sea is no more.” (Rev. 21:1).
This will take place at the very end of history.
“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” (Rom. 10:4 KJV). #G3551 νόμος nomos is a catch-all word for legislation in general covering the specific Torah. It would be senseless to say that the work of the Master has done away with all forms of legislation. This is the proof verse that is cited when stating that when the Master came, the law was done away with. However ‘end’ – #G5056 τέλος telos can mean the termination, but it can also mean the end to which all things relate, the aim, purpose or goal.
“but the end of the charge is love, out of a pure heart and a good conscience and unfeigned faith;” (1 Tim. 1:5). The word ‘purpose’ is also telos but it does not make sense to say the commandment to teach sound doctrine is terminated by love! “As I exhorted you to stay at Ephesus when I was going into Macedonia, that you might charge certain men not to teach a different doctrine,” (1 Tim. 1:3).
“But now being made free from sin, and become servants to יְהֹוָה, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” (Rom. 6:22 KJV). Again, it does not make sense that the fruit of holiness has done away with eternal life.
“Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be! No, we establish the law.” (Rom. 3:31). Rav Sha`ul is often quoted as stating that all the commandments in the TaNaKh have been made void, brought to a complete finish by the work of Messiah. However, in this יְהֹוָה place, keep and stand by the law.
“Don’t think that I came to destroy the law or the prophets. I didn’t come to destroy, but to fulfill.” (Matt. 5:17). The Master’s own words tell us that He came to fulfil – #G4137 πληρόω plēroō (Aramaic amala). The Law was given that the Will of יְהֹוָה is clearly transmitted to His creation. The fulfilment takes place when the hearer fully understands יְהֹוָה’s Will for Mankind. The Master’s role was to make the Will of יְהֹוָה known in its entirety so that Mankind would have no excuse in not accepting His redemption.
The word ‘destroy’ #G2647 καταλύω kataluo (Aramaic d’ashrea) has the meaning of to loosen, release or unravel in the context that when one person is divorced from another, they are released from the marriage vows and the marriage bond is spoken of as being unravelled, broken or destroyed. Therefore, the correct meaning of the Master’s words would be:
“Do not think that I have come to unravel the Torah or Prophets. I tell you I have not come to unravel but to give a proper interpretation of them.”
“You shall be set apart to me: for I, יְהֹוָה, am Set Apart, and have set you apart from the peoples, that you should be mine.” (Lev. 20:26). The giving of Torah through Moshe to the Yisra`elites has been liken to a כתובה ketubah or wedding contract or covenant (www.chabad.org/library…477336) where the Groom (יְהֹוָה) outlines His obligations to His new Bride (Yisra`elites/Believers).
“But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them, and became partaker with them of the root and of the richness of the olive tree;” (Rom. 11:17). “that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of his promise in Messiah Yehshuah through the Good News,” (Eph. 3:6). “But when the fullness of the time had come, יְהֹוָה sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, יְהֹוָה has sent forth the Ruach of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of יְהֹוָה through Messiah.” (Gal. 4:4-7). In Sha`ul’s writings to the assemblies of Rome and Galatia, he informed Gentile Believers that by putting their faith in the Messiah Yehshuah, they have been adopted into the common-wealth of Yisra`el. Only by the grace of יְהֹוָה has He made people out of those who were not His people (Shulam).
If I had a natural son and then adopted another son, I would treat both equally, showing them the same love, giving them the same rules to follow, the same punishment for breaking the rules, the same protection. In other words, there would be no difference in how I would regard one or the other. Likewise, I would expect no difference in the respect, responsibilities and duties shown back to me. How much more so would Abba Father look upon those that He has adopted into His people and His sons to love Him back. Therefore, I believe that all the promises made available to Yisra`el are to be considered for both Jew and Gentile Believers alike. Consequently, all that is required of Jewish Believers in the form of commandments are to be required of Gentile Believers.
“For God does find fault with the people when he says, ‘See! The days are coming,’ says Adonai, ‘when I will establish over the house of Isra`el and over the house of Y`hudah a new covenant. By using the term ‘new’ he has made the first covenant ‘old’; and something being made old, something in the process of aging, is on its way to vanishing altogether.” (Heb. 8:8, 13 CJB). Here, the inspired writer of the letter to Jewish Believers quotes the prophet Yiremeyahu (Jer. 31:31-34). It would appear that considerable misunderstanding has arisen over the word ‘new’. The Greek new #G2537 καινός kainos has the same meaning as the Hebrew #H2319 חָדָשׁ chadash (from #H2318 *613 cause to repair), that is to refresh or renew that which has faded or diminished. This has the same connotation as the term ‘new’ moon when the moon appears to be renewed after it wanes fully.
“by the way which He dedicated for us, a new and living way, through the veil, that is to say, His flesh;” (Heb. 10:20). Here, the writer uses the word new #H4372 πρόσφατος prosphatos to refer to a completely newly made way of living. Prior to the Resurrection of Messiah Yehshuah, all commandments pointed to Him and salvation was secured upon the forward-looking faith in His Sacrifice. This was the only way to salvation when the Good News was so dramatically shown to Adam and Chavah (Gen. 3:7, 21). This is that Man has sinned and the penalty is death; Man is incapable of doing anything to atone for the sin and a substitute must die in order that the sin be covered. I believe that this Good News was transmitted down throughout the generations as there are numerous scriptural accounts of sacrifices being carried out. However, with the vast numbers of people living at the time of the Exodus (and for all future generations) a more codified and written form of Good News was required. It must be stressed that salvation was still to be based on a forward-looking faith. After the Resurrection, salvation was still accomplished by the same means as prior but people had the benefit of a backward-looking faith based upon the testimonies of eye-witnesses. This backward-looking faith was further enhanced with the coming and guidance of the Ruach HaKodesh. It is the life of backward-looking faith and the work of the Ruach that the inspired writer refers to as ‘new’.
“If you walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them… I will have respect to you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, and will establish my covenant with you… But if you will not listen to me, and will not do all
these commandments… then I will walk contrary to you in wrath; and I also will chastise you seven times for your sins… These are the statutes and ordinances and laws, which יְהֹוָה made between him and the children of Yisra`el in Mount Sinai by Moshe.” (Lev. 26:3-46). Although Deut. 28 is generally accepted to be the ‘Blessings and Curses’ chapter, it is really only an expansion of this passage in Vayikra (Leviticus). יְהֹוָה upholds those who keeps His commandments but chastises those who do not.
“Cursed be he who does not confirm the words of this law to do them. All the people shall say, Amein.” (Deut. 27:26). This is a stern warning to all Believers that Torah needs to be confirmed by actions. It is faith that moves a Believer into action and the same faith that allows the Ruach HaKodesh to empower the Believer into accomplishing the act.
“For I am יְהֹוָה who brought you up out of the land of Mitzrayim (Egypt), to be your `Elohiym. You shall therefore be set apart, for I am Set Apart. ‘This is the law of the animal, and of the bird, and of every living creature that moves in the waters, and of every creature that creeps on the land to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living thing that may be eaten and the living thing that may not be eaten.’” (Lev. 11:45-47). At the end of this chapter, יְהֹוָה gives a reason why He wants Believers to obey His commandments: that we may be set apart from the nations. “You shall keep my statutes, and do them. I am יְהֹוָה who sanctifies you.” (Lev. 20:8). It is the Believers role to obey and יְהֹוָה who then sets us apart.
“Now, Yisra`el, listen to the statutes and to the ordinances, which I teach you, to do them; that you may live, and go in and possess the land which יְהֹוָה, the יְהֹוָה of your fathers, gives you… You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish from it, that you may keep the commandments of יְהֹוָה your `Elohiym which I command you…Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people. For what great nation is there, that has a god so near to them, as the יְהֹוָה our `Elohiym is whenever we call on him? What great nation is there, that has statutes and ordinances so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?… He declared to you His covenant, which He commanded you to perform, even the ten commandments; and He wrote them on two tables of stone.” (Deut. 4:1-13). In this passage, יְהֹוָה clear states two reasons why Believers must obey His commandments: that being set apart for Him, the nations will envy us and that we may have life in the land He has promised us. To יְהֹוָה, these commandments were considered attractive and were given to bring near Non-Believers; not to repulse them.
Two vital factors must be noted here:
a) That the land is not Heaven. The ‘Promised Land’ was over the River Yarden but after crossing there were battles to be fought. It is my belief that the Yarden is a type of Baptism in the Ruach and Kena`an is a type of Believers ministries. Keeping the commandments cannot and was never given for salvation but for dependence upon יְהֹוָה;
b) That nothing is to be added or taken from these commandments. The Oral Law was given as a guide or ‘hedge’ but was never intended to have the same authority as the Written Law.
“Know therefore that יְהֹוָה your `Elohiym, He is יְהֹוָה, the faithful `Elohiym, who keeps covenant and lovingkindness with them who love Him and keep His commandments to a thousand generations… and repays those who hate Him to their face… You shall therefore keep the command, and the statutes, and the ordinances, which I command you this day, to do them… and He will love you, and bless you, and multiply you; He will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground… You shall be blessed above all peoples: there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle… יְהֹוָה will take away from you all sickness… for the יְהֹוָה your `Elohiym is in the midst of you, a great and awesome `Elohiym” (Deut. 7:9-21). יְהֹוָה expected His commandments to still be in force over three thousand years after they were given through Moshe. This whole chapter is given over to the benefits of obedience to יְהֹוָה Word.
“יְהֹוָה commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the יְהֹוָה our `Elohiym, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive, as at this day. It shall be righteousness to us, if we observe to do all this command before the יְהֹוָה our `Elohiym, as He has commanded us.” (Deut. 6:24, 25). On the face of it, this passage seems to say that salvation can come through the Law. It is my belief that righteousness can come through obedience. However, there is a qualifying word ‘if’. If there was no sin in a person’s life, this may be possible. “You know that He (Messiah) was revealed to take away our sins, and in Him is no sin.” (1 John 3:5). “When He has come, He will convict the world about sin, about righteousness, and about judgment;” (John 16:8). “For if by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one; so much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the One, Yehshuah the Messiah.” (Rom. 5:17). Herein lies the power to obey the commandments: IF One could be found to be righteous, without sin and fully obedient, He would be able to obey all commandments. “For as through the one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the one will many be made righteous.” (Rom. 5:19). The Master followed the Law fully and completely, not so that He would be saved, but wholly in obedience to Father.
“Speak to the children of Yisra`el, and bid those who they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put on the fringes of each border a cord of blue:” (Num. 15:38). The phrase
‘throughout their generations’ #H1755 דּוֹר dowr *418c dor cannot mean just a few but for all coming generations. Therefore the children of Yisra`el shall keep the Shabbat, to observe the Shabbat throughout their generations (dowr), for a perpetual covenant.” (Exod. 31:16). Here dowr is equated to ‘perpetual’ #H5769 עוֹלָם olam. “יְהֹוָה said, ‘This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual (olam) generations (dowr):’” (Gen.9:12). There has never been any mention, that I have come across, which teaches that the Sabbath and the rainbow have ever been annulled. Therefore, I have difficulty in understanding why the commandment to wear fringes would be considered to have been annulled.
My wife, Ann, has knitted me a prayer shawl that I use in my quiet-time prayers to which fringes are attached to each corner. It could just have easily been a tee-shirt to which the fringes were attached. The shawl does not give greater efficacy to my prayers anymore than it gives me a better or quicker access to the Throne Room of the Almighty. It is the commandment to wear fringes that I am observing and not any tradition to wear a prayer shawl.
My shawl is rectangular so that the fringes can be attached to each corner by a single knot. This is not as the traditional Tallit that has the 613 knots/commandments which I believe are according to Oral Law and Written Law and not only for the Written Law. My shawl has only four knots that, for me, represent the four ‘Love Commandments’ representing יְהֹוָה, all people and the fulfilment of all Laws:
1) “Hear, Yisra`el: יְהֹוָה is our `Elohiym; יְהֹוָה is one: and all you shall love יְהֹוָה your `Elohiym with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. These words which I command you this day, shall be on your heart;” (Deut. 6:4-6).
2) “A second likewise is this, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39).
3) “But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father who is in Heaven. For He makes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and unjust.” (Matt. 5:44, 45).
4) “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of יְהֹוָה; and everyone who loves יְהֹוָה is born of יְהֹוָה and knows.” (1 John 4:7).
The wool is white:
“‘Come now, and let us reason together,’ says יְהֹוָה: ‘Though your sins be as scarlet. They shall be as white as snow. Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’” (Isa. 1:18). White is the colour of righteousness that is of the Law (Rev. 20:11). It is the colour of the garments of the glorified Messiah (Dan. 7:9; Matt. 17:2) who fulfilled the requirements fully for all people. “For Messiah is the fulfilment of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Rom 10:4).
“For Him who knew no sin He made to be sin on our behalf; so that in Him we might become the righteousness of יְהֹוָה.” (2 Cor. 5:21). In believing that Messiah took upon Himself the sins of the sinner, has the effect of exchanging the sinner’s filthy self-righteousness for the pure white righteousness of Messiah (Isa. 64:6).
The white wool signifies the requirement of the Law.
A blue strand in each fringe:
“You shall make the robe of the efod all of blue.” (Exod. 28:31). The Tabernacle was constructed in order that a sinner can offer sacrifices in order to temporarily cover their sin. However, all the components are types of Messiah and blue, the colour of divinity grace, is seen throughout all the fabrics (Slemming).
The blue strand signifies that it is only by the divine intervention of grace in the Person of Messiah Yehshuah that the requirements of the Law were fulfilled.
Three blue bands at each end:
“Now in the things which we are saying, the main point is this. We have such a High Priest, who sat down on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens,” (Heb. 8:1).
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a set apart nation, a people for יְהֹוָה ‘s own possession, that you may show forth the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.” (1 Peter 2:9). We are called to serve the Set Apart Trinity of Father, Son and Ruach.
“A voice came to him, ‘Rise, Shim`on (Shimon Keefa), kill and eat!’ But Shim`on said, ‘Not so, יְהֹוָה; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.’ (Acts 10:13, 14). This is one of the often quoted passages (Acts 10:1-11:18) that is referred to when discussing kashrut or dietary law. There is no reference to Shimon Keefa eating unclean food at this point or at any other time in his life. This passage does not in fact have anything to do with eating but is about entering a Gentile’s home which was considered unclean, even though Qurnelius was a יְהֹוָה -fearing man (Friedman). This is clearly stated in Shimon Keefa’s own explanation of the incident. “He said to them, ‘You yourselves know how it is an unlawful thing for a man who is a Yahudi (Jew) to join himself or come to one of another nation, but יְהֹוָה has shown me that I should not call any man unholy or unclean.’” (Acts 10:28).
Why then does יְהֹוָה order Shimon Keefa to eat apparently contrary to His own commandments? There are a couple points to consider:
1) As explained above, the passage does not refer to food;
2) יְהֹוָה is testing the faith of Shimon Keefa.
In testing the Apostle, is there a precedent in Scripture that shows יְהֹוָה testing Man by ordering him to actually disobey His commandments? I believe that there is. “‘Bring the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this,’ says יְהֹוָה of hosts, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for.” (Mal. 3:10). Here, יְהֹוָה calls upon the prophet to try Him. “You shall not put the LORD your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.” (Deut. 6:16 ESV). I believe that these episodes are given as illustrations upon how a Believer should live by faith (Hab. 2:4). At Massah, the Israelites moaned when there was no water to drink and complained that יְהֹוָה was no longer with them although they had recent experience to the contrary. Likewise, Mal`akhi reminded the priests of Levi’s blessings for his faithful walk with יְהֹוָה (Mal. 2:4-6). Shimon Keefa had experienced several miracles of the Master involving food so would know that יְהֹוָה would meet all his needs.
“That which enters into the mouth does not defile the man; but that which proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man.” (Matt. 15:11). This is another passage that is quoted to show that the Master Himself stated that the dietary laws have been annulled (see above).
“Every moving thing that lives will be food for you. As the green herb, I have given everything to you.” (Gen. 9:3). Here יְהֹוָה instructs Noach that it is permissible to eat any animal. It is probable that since Adam, יְהֹוָה has taught Mankind what animals would be acceptable for sacrifice to Him. Therefore, there is a distinction between acceptable (clean or uncontaminated #H2889 *792d טָהוֹר tahor) and unacceptable (unclean or contaminated #H2930 * 809 טָמֵא tamey/tame) animals that entered the ark. However, if Noach had eaten any of the unclean animals, this would have meant the extinction of that species.
Why then has יְהֹוָה commanded the Israelites to eat only clean animals? “For I am יְהֹוָה your `Elohiym. Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be set apart; for I am Set Apart…” (Lev.11:44) and “to make a distinction between the unclean and the clean, and between the living thing that may be eaten and the living thing that may not be eaten.” (Lev. 11:47). As with all the Torah, there are additional benefits (in health, finances etc.) in obeying יְהֹוָה commandments but these are secondary to the benefits in obeying Him for who He is. It is noteworthy that Islam has usurped some commandments and in particular the dietary laws and circumcision to lessen the effect of Yisra`el being a Set Apart (to יְהֹוָה) people.
“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but not all things build up.” (1 Cor. 10:23). In Gen. 9:3 יְהֹוָה allowed the eating of any living creature. However, a distinction must be made as to what יְהֹוָה permits and what He requires. This should be considered alongside other texts that are often quoted showing יְהֹוָה permits slavery (Exod. 12:44), divorce (Deut. 14:1) and celibacy (1 Cor. 7:38). What יְהֹוָה allows should not be taken as that course of action which יְהֹוָה wants people to follow. As with many, many verses taken singularly and out of context, it is possible to twist their meanings. All verses must be taken in context (and this may require reading back a chapter or two to get the setting). יְהֹוָה gave laws regarding slavery so as to ensure that slaves are treated properly as יְהֹוָה abhors the practise (Exod. 3:7). He knew that not all marriages were to be successful and divorce regulations were given to prevent adultery and spousal abuse as He also abhors divorce (1 Cor. 7:2). Likewise celibacy was condoned so that a ministry may flourish or to prevent fornication. יְהֹוָה `Elohiym’s first command to Man was to be fruitful (Gen. 1:28).
If Gen. 9:3 is to be taken as the proof text that the dietary laws of Lev. 11 have been annulled as this came prior to the giving of Torah, then this must be considered as regressive revelation as chronologically and scripturally Gen. 9 takes place before Lev. 11, then why was the later revelation given? If this was indeed true, then it would appear that it would be acceptable to eat human flesh, given that the following restrictions on eating meat have been met and that the dead person had not been murdered by the eater.
1) “But flesh with the life of it, the blood of it, you shall not eat.” (Gen. 9:4);
2) “That which dies of itself, or is torn by animals, he shall not eat, defiling himself by it. I am the יְהֹוָה.” (Lev. 22:8);
3) “You shall be set apart men to me, therefore you shall not eat any flesh that is torn by animals in the field. You shall cast it to the dogs.” (Exod. 22:31);
4) “You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.” (Exod 34:26b);
5) “The fat of that which dies of itself, and the fat of that which is torn of animals, may be used for any other service, but you shall in no way eat of it.” (Lev. 7:24);
6) “but that we write to them that they abstain from the pollution of idols, from sexual immorality, from what is strangled, and from blood.” (Acts 15:20).
There are many accounts of human cannibalism in order to survive. The wreck of the whale ship Essex in 1819 (www.whaleshipessexwreck.blogspot.com) and the Andean airplane crash of Oct. 1972 (www.viven.com.uy) are just two well-known accounts. It is my belief that anyone who obeys the dietary law commandments would, by faith, be rescued or sustained prior to resorting to cannibalism. Consequently, those who consider the laws have been negated, have no faith to fall back upon.
“And the LORD said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.’” (Gen. 1:29 KJV). It is my belief that part of the misunderstanding on this topic is the traditional and wide use of the King James Version as highlighted in this verse. The word meat #H402 אָכְלָה ‘oklah and its various derivatives that can be meat but is generally translated as food or cereals but *85b renders it as anything that יְהֹוָה considers edible. All of the commonly translated (in the KJV) words translated as meat, all have the wider meaning of food or eating (e.g. #H3978 *85d מַאֲכָל ma’akal). This is also carried over into the Renewed Covenant where Greek words are translated as meat but are more commonly rendered as food or provisions (#G1033 βρῶμα broma, #G5160 τροφή trophe).
“Every moving thing that lives will be food for you. As the green herb, I have given everything to you.” (Gen.9:3). Prior to the dietary laws of Lev. 11:1-47, any animal was considered edible but not acceptable for sacrifices. “But flesh with the life of it, the blood of it, you shall not eat.”(Gen. 9:4). “It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations in all your dwellings, that you shall eat neither fat nor blood.” (Lev. 3:17).
“You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well. Farewell.” (Acts 15:29 – NLT). Of important note is the prohibition of eating anything containing blood. יְהֹוָה commanded Noach, re-affirmed it through Moshe and inspired Ya`akov (James) to include it in the letter from Yerushalayim (Council) to Gentile Believers in Asia. The passage in Genesis is re-affirmed in the Law of Moshe and again by the Council at Yerushalayim. For the prohibition to be stated pre-Law, Law and post-Resurrection, then it clearly is of utmost importance.
“יְהֹוָה `Elohiym blessed the seventh day, and made it set apart. You shall labour six days, because He rested in it from all His work which He had created and made.” (Gen. 2:2). יְהֹוָה `Elohim put into place all of Creation in six days. “Remember the day of Shabbat, to keep it set apart. You shall labour six days, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat to יְהֹוָה your `Elohiym. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your man-servant, nor your maid-servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates; for in six days יְהֹוָה made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore יְהֹוָה blessed the day of Shabbat, and made it set apart.” (Exod. 20:8-11). Man is to ‘clear his diary’ for the Seventh Day as יְהֹוָה has already done this from the very first Seventh Day. For Mankind to pass this opportunity by, is to, at best waste a special time with Abba Father; at worst relegate יְהֹוָה `Elohim behind common chores.
There is a common belief that יְהֹוָה `Elohim is available at all times to meet with us. This gives rise to the assumption that Man can call any day ‘Sabbath’ or that every day can be called ‘Sabbath’. However, this is equivalent to Man renaming one or more of the days ‘Sabbath’ which usurps יְהֹוָה `Elohim’s privilege. “He said to them, ‘The Shabbat was made for man, not man for the Shabbat.’” (Mark 2:27). יְהֹוָה `Elohim could have set in place a six day cycle or left the Seventh Day for the creation of Man. However, He did not. יְהֹוָה `Elohim made the Seventh Day and He set it apart as an appointed time to meet with Man.
The substitution of the Seventh Day Shabbat with the ‘Lord’s Day’ (Sun-day) is derived from the second century Church Fathers and subsequent ratification by the Council of Laodicea (360 CE) and Pope Gregory I (597 CE) (Roth AENT). In the above section regarding Matt. 15:1-21, Believers should heed the warning of the Master Himself where the religious leaders put more emphasis on the Oral Law than on the Written Law. The tradition of the (church) fathers cannot supersede that of the Word of our Heavenly Abba Father.
“Then said יְהֹוָה to Moshe, ‘Behold, I will rain bread from the sky for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law, or not. It shall come to pass on the sixth day, that they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily.’” (Exod. 16:4, 5). After working six days gathering food, the Israelites had to rely on יְהֹוָה provision for the Seventh Day Shabbat. The man collected on each of the first set of six days perished by the morning. Those who had faith in the Word of יְהֹוָה through Moshe were satisfied whereas those who doubted found no man available. Thus the Israelites came to trust that יְהֹוָה would provide for them on the Shabbat.
“יְהֹוָה spoke to Moshe in Mount Sinai, saying, ‘Speak to the children of Yisra`el, and tell them, When you come into the land which I give you, then shall the land keep a Shabbat to יְהֹוָה. Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather in the fruits of it; but in the seventh year shall be a Shabbat of solemn rest for the land, a Shabbat to יְהֹוָה: you shall neither sow your field, nor prune your vineyard.’” (Lev. 25:1-4). The Seventh Year or Shemittah is a year of rest for the land. During the Shemittah, however, the Israelites had to trust the provision of יְהֹוָה for their wellbeing.
“You shall number seven Shabbatot of years to you, seven times seven years; and there shall be to you the days of seven Shabbatot of years, even forty-nine years…A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be to you: you shall not sow, neither reap that which grows of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of the undressed vines…For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy to you: you shall eat the increase of it out of the field…Therefore you shall do my statutes, and keep my ordinances and do them; and you shall dwell in the land in safety…If you shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? Behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase…then I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for the three years.” (Lev. 25:8-21). After seven lots of Shemittah, the people had to leave the land untended for two years and had to wait a further year before the crops could be harvested. The people had to trust in the provision of יְהֹוָה for the whole three years. This Jubilee or Shanat HaYovel also had the additional commandments that allowed for:
1) The release of all slaves (Lev. 25:40, 41);
2) The return of the land to its rightful owner (Lev. 25:28);
3) The forgiveness of all debts (Lev. 25:54).
It is my belief that Shabbat is a type of eternal rest that all Believers enter into when accepting Messiah Yehshuah as Saviour. Each person ‘works’ for the ‘six years’ during their life. Upon salvation, faith is required to believe in the provision of יְהֹוָה of their eternal life. This is shown in the Seventh Day Shabbat, the Shemittah and particularly in the Yovel.
“Yehshuah answered them, ‘Most assuredly I tell you, everyone who commits sin is the bondservant (slave) of sin.’” (John 8:34). “So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of יְהֹוָה through Messiah.” (Gal.4:7). The Believer is set free upon salvation but sin has a strong pull on the flesh and is a constant struggle. This struggle is finally overcome when Believers enter into יְהֹוָה eternal rest. “A Psalm by David. The earth is the יְהֹוָה ‘s, with its fullness; The world, and those who dwell therein.” (Psa. 24:1). When
Messiah returns, He will reclaim His land. “You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses (debts),” (Col. 2:13). The basis of a Believer’s faith in their salvation is that their sin has been paid for by the death of Messiah Yehshuah.
“There remains therefore a Shabbat rest for the people of יְהֹוָה. For he who has entered into his rest has himself also rested from his works, as יְהֹוָה did from His” (Heb. 4:9, 10). The whole chapter (Heb. 4:1-16) describes the eternal rest found through belief in the provision of יְהֹוָה through His Son, Messiah Yehshuah.
Attention is drawn to Shabbat’s other than the seventh day. These are: Pesach (Lev. 23:3 – Passover), Shavu`ot (Lev. 23: 21 – Pentecost), Yom Teruah (Lev. 23: 24 – Day of Trumpets), Yom Kippur (Lev. 23:27 – Day of Atonement), Sukkot (Lev. 23: 35 – Tabernacles) and Shemini Atzeret (Lev. 23:36 – Eighth Day). All these are set apart days and like the seventh day Shabbats are a type of rest that Believers will experience in eternity. They are special as Yahua wants everyone to know the significance of these especially important days.
The present form of tefillin have only been known in the Common Era and is thought to have developed from amulets (www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12125 ).
“Hear, Yisra`el: the יְהֹוָה is our `Elohiym; יְהֹוָה is one: and you shall love the יְהֹוָה your `Elohiym with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. These words, which I command you this day, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them for a sign on your hand, and they shall be for symbols between your eyes.” (Deut. 6:4-8). This is the passage that is normally placed into phylacteries or tefillin and is taken literally to bind it upon a person. The word ‘bind’ #H7194 *2090 קָשַׁר qashar does have a sense of physically attaching two things together. However, the more common use in the TaNaKh is to conspire
(Strong 1996). Although this is usually thought of negatively (an illegal act) it also has the meaning of working together or combine (www.collinsdictionary.com) to be more effective.
“My son, keep your father’s commandment, And don’t forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them continually on your heart. Tie them around your neck. When you walk, it will lead you. When you sleep, it will watch over you. When you awake, it will talk with you.
For the commandment is a lamp, And the law is light. Reproofs of instruction are the way
of life,” (Prov. 6:20-23). Sefer Mishlei (Proverbs) instructs a person on real life, every day issues and how to live in a sinful world (Murphy). In the D`varim (Deuteronomy) passage above the issue, I believe, is one of having the primacy of the Written Law in all that is in one’s thoughts (head) and in all that one does (hand). This is replicated in the Mishlei passage where it is stated that the commandments should be bound (qashar) to the heart.
“What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can that faith save him?” (Jam. 2:14). Therefore, I believe that all that a person thinks and does should be done according to and in combination with יְהֹוָה Word. This is faith in action.
References and Credits
Barnett C.K. (1987) The First Epistle to the Corinthians, Hendrickson, Peabody, Ma.
Brown D. (1983) ISRAEL In The Plan of God, Kregel, Grand Rapids, MI.
FFOZ Torah Club, Vol.5, Simchat Torah, First Fruits of Zion, Littleton, CO.
Friedman D. (2001) They Loved The Torah, Lederer Books, Clarkesville, Md.
Harris R.L., Archer G.L., Thoelogical Wordbook of the Old Testament, Moody, Chicago, Waltke B.K. (1980) Il.
Jukes A. (1954) The Law of the Offerings, Lamp Press, London.
Kasdan B. (1996) God’s Appointed Customs, Lederer Books, Baltimore, Md.
Murphy R.E. (1990) The Tree of Life, Doubleday, New York, NY.
Robertson O.P. (2015) The Flow of Psalms; Discovering their structure and theology,
P&R Publishing, Phillipsburg, NJ.
Roth A.G. (2011) The Aramaic English New Testament, 4th ed., Netzari Press, USA.
Sanday W. &
Headlam A.C. (1968) Romans, T&T Clark, Edinburgh.
Schulman J. (1997) A Commentary on the Jewish Roots of Romans, Lederer Books, Baltimore Md.
Slemming C.A. (1974) These Are The Garments, G.L.C., Fort Washington, PA.
Stern D.H. (1998) Complete Jewish Bible, Jewish New Testament Pub., Clarksville, Md.
Strong J. (1994) Strong’s New Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, World Bible Publishers Inc., Madison.
Strong J. (1996) The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, Thomas Nelson, Nashville.
AENT “Scripture taken from the Aramaic English New Testament Copyright 2008. Used by permission of Netzari Press.”
ESV “Scripture quotations are from the Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001, 2007 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”
HNV The Hebrew Names Version is based off the World English Bible, an update of the American Standard Version of 1901. This version of the Bible is in the public domain.
KJV The Authorized Version or King James Version (KJV), 1611, 1769. Outside of the United Kingdom, the KJV is in the public domain. Within the United Kingdom, the rights to the KJV are vested in the Crown.
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