We Do Not “Die to the Torah” פרשיות מטות- מסעי, Parshiyot Mattot/Massei, Bits of Torah Truths

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In this week’s Torah portion there is a recounting of the journey made from Egypt to the boarder of the promised Land, this descriptions begins in Bamidbar / Numbers 33:1, א אֵלֶּה מַסְעֵי בְנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יָצְאוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לְצִבְאֹתָם בְּיַד-מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן: 33:1 These are the journeys of the sons of Israel, by which they came out from the land of Egypt by their armies, under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. (NASB) In reading the recounting of the journey through the wilderness, we are reminded of the awesome and wondrous miracles that Israel had been given during their journey. Israel was in the wilderness forty years and God provided manna every day of their journey, bread which descended from heaven providing them nourishment. They journeyed to places in the desert where there was no natural way to live, it did not have figs, grapes, or pomegranates, there was no place to plant seed. The Torah describes this according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 29:5 as “Bread have you not eaten, neither fresh nor aged wine have you drunk.” The Lord God also provided for the people water for them to drink each day. These things, the manna, and the water were the kind of miracles that one could see with the eye every day. The Lord God however knew that these miracles would be affected by forgetfulness and denial, the sort of thing that affects all historical events. Rashi writes the following concerning the journey of the people through the wilderness.

Rashi on Bamidbar / Numbers 33:1 Part 1
אלה מסעי THESE ARE THE JOURNEYS (STAGES) [OF THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL] — Why are these stations recorded here? In order to make known the loving acts of the Omnipresent: that although He had decreed against them to make them move about and wander in the wilderness, you should not think that they wandered and moved about without cessation from one station to another station all the forty years, and that they had no rest, for you see that there are here only forty-two stages…

Rashi mentions 42 stages during their journey and this reminds us of what is written in the Zohar (Bereshit A31.319) the number 42 are said to be inscribed in Malchut (the Earth) and are combined to form names which then ascended into Binah (knowledge) and then descended into the world. He says when the 42 letters came out, the world was created, they joined Binah (knowledge) and formed the holy names, received Mochin (mind) and Malchut (the Earth) received them and the world was established. The Zohar Bereshit A31.320 states these letters struck the rod of the great serpent, where the great deep arose in darkness, darkness covered everything until light emerged through the darkness. These are events that are connected to the creation of the world being drawn in parallel to the light of the world being revealed by God through the nation of Israel. Rashi explains in the Torah portion Parashat Devarim on verse 1:46 that one might ask based upon the journey from Rismah until Mount Hor there were only nineteen journeys, thus there should have been just forty-one journeys. Rashi however explained that there were forty-two where the reason the Torah details all the various journeys of the Israelites here is to illustrate the innumerable acts of kindness performed by the Lord God Almighty for the people even in the midst of their sin. It is a testimony to the fact that in spite of having decreed death in the desert for the generation that had refused to go up and enter the Land of Canaan, they were not wandering aimlessly for 40 years but were constantly under His supervision and blessing.

The rabbis comment upon the phrase in Bamidbar / Numbers 33:1, א אֵלֶּה מַסְעֵי בְנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יָצְאוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לְצִבְאֹתָם בְּיַד-מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן: 33:1 These are the journeys of the sons of Israel, by which they came out from the land of Egypt by their armies, under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. (NASB) specifically, they say the word אֵלֶּה designates the journey of Israel through the wilderness as being spiritual and superior to any previous journeys. (Or HaChaim on Bamidbar / Numbers 33:1 Part 7) The emphasis is upon the journeys that occurred prior to the spies as opposed to the journeys following the people’s rejection of the Land of Canaan and God declaring that generation to die in the wilderness. The rabbinic literature draws out the context of the mercy of God demonstrated by His providing for the generation of people who were destined to die. Their rebelliousness and refusal to take upon themselves the Yoke of God’s Torah was given as a warning for us in future generations. This is similar to what the Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians regarding the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the Lord bringing the people through the Red Sea, and before the mountain of Sinai with the giving of the Torah.

1 Corinthians 9:24-10:14
9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 9:25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 9:26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 9:27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. 10:1 For I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud and all passed through the sea; 10:2 and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 and all ate the same spiritual food; 10:4 and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them; and the rock was Christ. 10:5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness. 10:6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 10:7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.’ 10:8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 10:9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10:10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 10:12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. 10:14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. (NASB)

Paul parallels God’s deliverance of Israel from Egypt, along with their wilderness journey to the gospel message, of God delivering His people, bringing them through the Red Sea as a form of baptism, saying in both the cloud (the glory of God) and in the sea. The people also ate the same spiritual food (manna, bread from heaven), and spiritual drink (water from the rock), and concludes this was all done in the anointed one of God (the Messiah, Christ). The example given in the Torah was meant for our instruction as Paul goes on to say, 10:6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 10:7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, ‘The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.’ 10:8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 10:9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10:10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 10:11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (NASB) Notice how Paul emphasizes the journeys and how this instructs us not to be craving evil things or to be involved in idolatry, immorality, complaining, or grumbling. We are to take heed such that we do not fall because these things are all common to man. It is easy to fall into these sorts of sins and it is difficult to get out. The Jewish commentaries ask the question “why the Torah chose to emphasize the journeys i.e. Israel breaking camp rather than ‘making camp’ i.e. they arrived at a destination?” (Or HaChaim on Bamidbar / Numbers 33:1 Part 3) This is described in a parable from Midrash Tanchuma, “A king had a son who was sick, so he took him to one health spa after another. When the son had finally been cured and the father took him back home, the father would reminisce with him about all the various places they had been together prior to the last one where the son had been cured.” If the Midrash correctly summarizes the reason why the Torah lists all these journeys, it surely would have been more appropriate to list the places where they stayed or stopped over, i.e. the “arrivals.” This may be alluded to the spiritual journey drawing a line of distinction between all of the journeys emphasizing the journey from Egypt to the mountain of Sinai. Paul describes why the Torah is so important for us to study each day, it is so we learn what had been done in the past and the consequences of our actions based upon God’s Word.

In the Greek language, the word for “law” is nomos, and so the Septuagint (Greek translation of the bible) chose to translate the Torah as nomos. When we translate the Hebrew text into another language we loose a level of depth and meaning. For example, the Greek translators chose to translate the Hebrew name of the last book of Moses (Devarim: דְּבָרִים, “words”) as “the Second Law” (Δευτερονόμιον, deutero + nomos, Deuteronomy). In most cases the Septuagint translates the word “Torah” (תּוֹרָה) as “nomos” (νόμος). According to the Greek translation of the Torah in Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:8, the word nomos is used to describe the entire collection of mishpatim, chukkim, and mitzvot representing all of Israel’s covenantal obligations before the LORD. This Greek translation of Torah to Nomos was also carried over to the Apostolic Writings (NT). In the NT, we find the following usages. James writes that the nomos refers to the moral will of God (James 2:9-11, 4:11). The John quotes Yeshua using the word nomos to refer to the Tanakh in general (see John 10:34; 15:25). The most frequent usage is to the 5 books of Moshe (Matthew 11:13, Luke 16:16, 24:44, John 12:34, Acts 13:15, 28:23). In addition, we are given reference to the Torah according to its moral and ceremonial aspects (Matthew 7:12, 22:40, Luke 2:22, 2:39, 8:5, John 1:17, 7:19, 7:23, etc.). The Apostle Paul also used the word nomos in a varied way as regarding the collective set of commandments (Romans 2:12-29, 3:19, 5:20, 7:7, Galatians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 9:8, 14:34). In other places, Paul refers to the entire Tanach (see Romans 3:19 and 1 Corinthians 14:21). In other cases, Paul uses nomos to refer to “principles” such as in Romans 7:23 and 8:2 in his descriptions of “law of sin and death” as opposed to the “law of the Spirit of life.” Paul also wrote about the central point of the Torah in ethics and loving your neighbor (see Galatians 5:14 and Romans 13:8-10). In each of these examples, Yeshua, the disciples, and Paul all use the word nomos in varied ways. In each case we have to be very careful to examine the flow of thought, usage, and context to understand the meaning and reasoning behind the use of the Greek word nomos which refers to the Torah. Similarly, in this week’s Torah portion, we are reminded to look at the Torah to understand the greater context, the point, and purpose of the Torah for each of our lives, and the deeper spiritual meaning, which draws in the context of the gospel message, and the power of God to deliver His people!

In this week’s Torah portion we are looking at Bamidbar / Numbers 33:1-49.

Bamidbar / Numbers 33:1-49
33:1 These are the journeys of the sons of Israel, by which they came out from the land of Egypt by their armies, under the leadership of Moses and Aaron. 33:2 Moses recorded their starting places according to their journeys by the command of the Lord, and these are their journeys according to their starting places. 33:3 They journeyed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the next day after the Passover the sons of Israel started out boldly in the sight of all the Egyptians, 33:4 while the Egyptians were burying all their firstborn whom the Lord had struck down among them. The Lord had also executed judgments on their gods. 33:5 Then the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses and camped in Succoth. 33:6 They journeyed from Succoth and camped in Etham, which is on the edge of the wilderness. 33:7 They journeyed from Etham and turned back to Pi-hahiroth, which faces Baal-zephon, and they camped before Migdol. 33:8 They journeyed from before Hahiroth and passed through the midst of the sea into the wilderness; and they went three days’ journey in the wilderness of Etham and camped at Marah. 33:9 They journeyed from Marah and came to Elim; and in Elim there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they camped there. 33:10 They journeyed from Elim and camped by the Red Sea. 33:11 They journeyed from the Red Sea and camped in the wilderness of Sin. 33:12 They journeyed from the wilderness of Sin and camped at Dophkah. 33:13 They journeyed from Dophkah and camped at Alush. 33:14 They journeyed from Alush and camped at Rephidim; now it was there that the people had no water to drink. 33:15 They journeyed from Rephidim and camped in the wilderness of Sinai. 33:16 They journeyed from the wilderness of Sinai and camped at Kibroth-hattaavah. 33:17 They journeyed from Kibroth-hattaavah and camped at Hazeroth. 33:18 They journeyed from Hazeroth and camped at Rithmah. 33:19 They journeyed from Rithmah and camped at Rimmon-perez. 33:20 They journeyed from Rimmon-perez and camped at Libnah. 33:21 They journeyed from Libnah and camped at Rissah. 33:22 They journeyed from Rissah and camped in Kehelathah. 33:23 They journeyed from Kehelathah and camped at Mount Shepher. 33:24 They journeyed from Mount Shepher and camped at Haradah. 33:25 They journeyed from Haradah and camped at Makheloth. 33:26 They journeyed from Makheloth and camped at Tahath. 33:27 They journeyed from Tahath and camped at Terah. 33:28 They journeyed from Terah and camped at Mithkah. 33:29 They journeyed from Mithkah and camped at Hashmonah. 33:30 They journeyed from Hashmonah and camped at Moseroth. 33:31 They journeyed from Moseroth and camped at Bene-jaakan. 33:32 They journeyed from Bene-jaakan and camped at Hor-haggidgad. 33:33 They journeyed from Hor-haggidgad and camped at Jotbathah. 33:34 They journeyed from Jotbathah and camped at Abronah. 33:35 They journeyed from Abronah and camped at Ezion-geber. 33:36 They journeyed from Ezion-geber and camped in the wilderness of Zin, that is, Kadesh. 33:37 They journeyed from Kadesh and camped at Mount Hor, at the edge of the land of Edom. 33:38 Then Aaron the priest went up to Mount Hor at the command of the Lord, and died there in the fortieth year after the sons of Israel had come from the land of Egypt, on the first day in the fifth month. 33:39 Aaron was one hundred twenty-three years old when he died on Mount Hor. 33:40 Now the Canaanite, the king of Arad who lived in the Negev in the land of Canaan, heard of the coming of the sons of Israel. 33:41 Then they journeyed from Mount Hor and camped at Zalmonah. 33:42 They journeyed from Zalmonah and camped at Punon. 33:43 They journeyed from Punon and camped at Oboth. 33:44 They journeyed from Oboth and camped at Iye-abarim, at the border of Moab. 33:45 They journeyed from Iyim and camped at Dibon-gad. 33:46 They journeyed from Dibon-gad and camped at Almon-diblathaim. 33:47 They journeyed from Almon-diblathaim and camped in the mountains of Abarim, before Nebo. 33:48 They journeyed from the mountains of Abarim and camped in the plains of Moab by the Jordan opposite Jericho. 33:49 They camped by the Jordan, from Beth-jeshimoth as far as Abel-shittim in the plains of Moab. (NASB)

א אֵלֶּה מַסְעֵי בְנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר יָצְאוּ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם לְצִבְאֹתָם בְּיַד-מֹשֶׁה וְאַהֲרֹן: ב וַיִּכְתֹּב מֹשֶׁה אֶת-מוֹצָאֵיהֶם לְמַסְעֵיהֶם עַל-פִּי יְהוָֹה וְאֵלֶּה מַסְעֵיהֶם לְמוֹצָאֵיהֶם: ג וַיִּסְעוּ מֵרַעְמְסֵס בַּחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן בַּחֲמִשָּׁה עָשָֹר יוֹם לַחֹדֶשׁ הָרִאשׁוֹן מִמָּחֳרַת הַפֶּסַח יָצְאוּ בְנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל בְּיָד רָמָה לְעֵינֵי כָּל-מִצְרָיִם: ד וּמִצְרַיִם מְקַבְּרִים אֵת אֲשֶׁר הִכָּה יְהוָֹה בָּהֶם כָּל-בְּכוֹר וּבֵאלֹהֵיהֶם עָשָֹה יְהוָֹה שְׁפָטִים: ה וַיִּסְעוּ בְנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל מֵרַעְמְסֵס וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּסֻכֹּת: ו וַיִּסְעוּ מִסֻּכֹּת וַיַּחֲנוּ בְאֵתָם אֲשֶׁר בִּקְצֵה הַמִּדְבָּר: ז וַיִּסְעוּ מֵאֵתָם וַיָּשָׁב עַל-פִּי הַחִירֹת אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי בַּעַל צְפוֹן וַיַּחֲנוּ לִפְנֵי מִגְדֹּל: ח וַיִּסְעוּ מִפְּנֵי הַחִירֹת וַיַּעַבְרוּ בְתוֹךְ-הַיָּם הַמִּדְבָּרָה וַיֵּלְכוּ דֶּרֶךְ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים בְּמִדְבַּר אֵתָם וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמָרָה: ט וַיִּסְעוּ מִמָּרָה וַיָּבֹאוּ אֵילִמָה וּבְאֵילִם שְׁתֵּים עֶשְֹרֵה עֵינֹת מַיִם וְשִׁבְעִים תְּמָרִים וַיַּחֲנוּ-שָׁם: י וַיִּסְעוּ מֵאֵילִם וַיַּחֲנוּ עַל-יַם-סוּף: [שני] יא וַיִּסְעוּ מִיַּם-סוּף וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמִדְבַּר-סִין: יב וַיִּסְעוּ מִמִּדְבַּר-סִין וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּדָפְקָה: יג וַיִּסְעוּ מִדָּפְקָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּאָלוּשׁ: יד וַיִּסְעוּ מֵאָלוּשׁ וַיַּחֲנוּ בִּרְפִידִם וְלֹא-הָיָה שָׁם מַיִם לָעָם לִשְׁתּוֹת: טו וַיִּסְעוּ מֵרְפִידִם וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמִדְבַּר סִינָי: טז וַיִּסְעוּ מִמִּדְבַּר סִינָי וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּקִבְרֹת הַתַּאֲוָה: יז וַיִּסְעוּ מִקִּבְרֹת הַתַּאֲוָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בַּחֲצֵרֹת: יח וַיִּסְעוּ מֵחֲצֵרֹת וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּרִתְמָה: יט וַיִּסְעוּ מֵרִתְמָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּרִמֹּן פָּרֶץ: כ וַיִּסְעוּ מֵרִמֹּן פָּרֶץ וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּלִבְנָה: כא וַיִּסְעוּ מִלִּבְנָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּרִסָּה: כב וַיִּסְעוּ מֵרִסָּה וַיַּחֲנוּ בִּקְהֵלָתָה: כג וַיִּסְעוּ מִקְּהֵלָתָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּהַר-שָׁפֶר: כד וַיִּסְעוּ מֵהַר-שָׁפֶר וַיַּחֲנוּ בַּחֲרָדָה: כה וַיִּסְעוּ מֵחֲרָדָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמַקְהֵלֹת: כו וַיִּסְעוּ מִמַּקְהֵלֹת וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּתָחַת: כז וַיִּסְעוּ מִתָּחַת וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּתָרַח: כח וַיִּסְעוּ מִתָּרַח וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמִתְקָה: כט וַיִּסְעוּ מִמִּתְקָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּחַשְׁמֹנָה: ל וַיִּסְעוּ מֵחַשְׁמֹנָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּמֹסֵרוֹת: לא וַיִּסְעוּ מִמֹּסֵרוֹת וַיַּחֲנוּ בִּבְנֵי יַעֲקָן: לב וַיִּסְעוּ מִבְּנֵי יַעֲקָן וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּחֹר הַגִּדְגָּד: לג וַיִּסְעוּ מֵחֹר הַגִּדְגָּד וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּיָטְבָתָה: לד וַיִּסְעוּ מִיָּטְבָתָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּעַבְרֹנָה: לה וַיִּסְעוּ מֵעַבְרֹנָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּעֶצְיֹן גָּבֶר: לו וַיִּסְעוּ מֵעֶצְיֹן גָּבֶר וַיַּחֲנוּ בְמִדְבַּר-צִן הִוא קָדֵשׁ: לז וַיִּסְעוּ מִקָּדֵשׁ וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּהֹר הָהָר בִּקְצֵה אֶרֶץ אֱדוֹם: לח וַיַּעַל אַהֲרֹן הַכֹּהֵן אֶל-הֹר הָהָר עַל-פִּי יְהוָֹה וַיָּמָת שָׁם בִּשְׁנַת הָאַרְבָּעִים לְצֵאת בְּנֵי-יִשְֹרָאֵל מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם בַּחֹדֶשׁ הַחֲמִישִׁי בְּאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ: לט וְאַהֲרֹן בֶּן-שָׁלֹשׁ וְעֶשְֹרִים וּמְאַת שָׁנָה בְּמֹתוֹ בְּהֹר הָהָר: ס מ וַיִּשְׁמַע הַכְּנַעֲנִי מֶלֶךְ עֲרָד וְהוּא-יֹשֵׁב בַּנֶּגֶב בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן בְּבֹא בְּנֵי יִשְֹרָאֵל: מא וַיִּסְעוּ מֵהֹר הָהָר וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּצַלְמֹנָה: מב וַיִּסְעוּ מִצַּלְמֹנָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּפוּנֹן: מג וַיִּסְעוּ מִפּוּנֹן וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּאֹבֹת: מד וַיִּסְעוּ מֵאֹבֹת וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּעִיֵּי הָעֲבָרִים בִּגְבוּל מוֹאָב: מה וַיִּסְעוּ מֵעִיִּים וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּדִיבֹן גָּד: מו וַיִּסְעוּ מִדִּיבֹן גָּד וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּעַלְמֹן דִּבְלָתָיְמָה: מז וַיִּסְעוּ מֵעַלְמֹן דִּבְלָתָיְמָה וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּהָרֵי הָעֲבָרִים לִפְנֵי נְבוֹ: מח וַיִּסְעוּ מֵהָרֵי הָעֲבָרִים וַיַּחֲנוּ בְּעַרְבֹת מוֹאָב עַל יַרְדֵּן יְרֵחוֹ: מט וַיַּחֲנוּ עַל-הַיַּרְדֵּן מִבֵּית הַיְשִׁמֹת עַד אָבֵל הַשִּׁטִּים בְּעַרְבֹת מוֹאָב:

In studying the flow and thought of the Torah along side of the gospel message (or all of the NT) we can easily understand how Yeshua, being a rabbi and teacher, continually affirmed the essential meaning of the Torah. He upheld the Shema (Devarim / Deuteronomy 6:4) and the corresponding verses of loving God (Devarim / Deuteronomy 6:5-10) and loving others (Vayikra / Leviticus 19, Matthew 22:36-40). In this respect, Yeshua taught a continuance of the foundational teaching of the Torah (Love God and Love others). The Apostolic Writings reveal how Yeshua further extended the meaning of the Torah command to that which comes from within in relation to one’s intent. Torah obedience is not simply a matter of obeying various external codes of conduct, but also, and most importantly, one must have a circumcised heart and perform a rigorous self examination of the heart and soul as to the intent (we need an innocent heart). The Torah commanded against murder, and Yeshua extended the meaning of this command to reach the intent of the heart. (i.e. Matthew 5:21 You have heard that it was said to the ancients, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 5:22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, ‘Raca,’ will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be subject to the fire of hell.…” NASB) Similarly, the Torah commands against the act of adultery. Yeshua extended this to not just the external action, but to one looking and longing upon a woman lustfully having already committed the act in the heart. (i.e. Matthew 5:28 but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. NASB) Yeshua looks to a form of idolatry that is found within the one who lusts after a woman in his heart. This speaks of what is the intention, that is coupled to the physical act of adultery or fornication. This fulfills the intent of the command against adultery and causes one to focus upon his relationship with others, with God, and with himself. The Torah speaks also on matters of divorce (Devarim / Deuteronomy 24:1-4), of the taking of oaths (Shemot / Exodus 20:16, Bamidbar / Numbers 30:2, Devarim / Deuteronomy 6:13), and on the idea of exacting retribution on others (see Shemot / Exodus 21:23-24, Vayikra / Leviticus 24:19-20, and Devarim / Deuteronomy 19:21). In addition, Yeshua extended the words of the Torah when something appeared permissible according to the letter of the law (see Matthew 5:31-47) raising the bar on topics such as divorce, making a vow, retaliation, and loving our enemies. Yeshua’s interpretation of the Torah was more demanding and rigorous than the interpretation given by the rabbis. Yeshua extended the reach of the commandment by identifying its ethical and moral intent. This led to a more heart centered approach in seeking forgiveness before God, having God’s instructions written upon our hearts (Circumcised heart, Devarim / Deuteronomy 30:6) and not on tablets of stone. (see Jeremiah 31:33 and 2 Corinthians 3:3-6). The point is on the relevancy of the Torah for our lives today in the Messiah Yeshua. We do not die to the “Torah” as some modern theologies have taught. We die to sin, and we are made alive in the Spirit (God’s Holy Spirit) that dwells within. We have a covenant with God made and established by Yeshua who extended the Torah command teaching us for example, “to bear one another’s burdens and to love one another.” (see Galatians 6:2 and John 13:34). We do not “die to the Torah” but walk it out in our lives in a manner that was taught by Yeshua and his disciples. (Matthew 5-7) The way we understand these things is that there is “Torah” (תּוֹרָה) and there is “covenant” (בְּרִית). The word Torah is a word that means “instruction” which is a function of the underlying covenant of which it is a part. One way of writing this in functional form from a mathematical perspective would be f(x) = Torah(covenant) or from object oriented programming perspective, the Torah is an inherited property of the covenant (i.e. Sub class inheriting from Base Class(Parent) –> class Child : public Parent {public int Torah; };). The Torah is a function of the underlying covenant of which it is a part. It can not be separated and done away with as is taught today by so many people. The followers of Yeshua are therefore not anti-Torah and this is so because Hebrews 8:6 description of a better covenant is not the doing away with the mosaic law. In the covenant that we have in Yeshua, we are called to live according to the Torah by living our lives according to God’s instruction as Yeshua interpreted God’s Holy Word. This is what it means to obey and why we find Paul writing in 2 Thessalonians 1:5-10, 1:5 This is a plain indication of God’s righteous judgment so that you will be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which indeed you are suffering. 1:6 For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 1:7 and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 1:8 dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 1:9 These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 1:10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed for our testimony to you was believed. (NASB) We are called to obedience to the Gospel Message. This obedience is related to the Torah and the New Covenant as they are coupled together. This is related to having faith and being faithful. We are called to have faith trusting, but also to be faithful in living our lives for the Lord. This is a very biblical concept, especially with Paul writing in both 1 Corinthians 9 and 2 Thessalonians 1 of being counted worthy and not being disqualified. Of course, we need God’s Help, we need Him to dwell in our midst, in our hearts, in order to empower us to overcome sin in our lives through repentance and walking in His ways by the power of His Spirit. This is the framework for the gospel that is laid out in the Torah. This is the point and purpose of the Torah in our lives, it is a way of life that we are led to according to the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God moving powerfully in our lives is also the Power of the Resurrection that Paul spoke of in Philippians 3:10 (“to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death…” NIV) This is the work of the God of Israel in our lives drawing us to Himself according to His Word!

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!