Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
Deuteronomy 31:26 (KJV)
Book of the law – There’s considerable study in comparative analysis with the relationship of the Israelites to their surrounding cultures.* One interesting conclusion is that deity and kings never legislated actual law. This is difficult to comprehend and I may not do it justice here, but suffice it to say, covenant is different than law and it behooves us to understand how. Continue reading “Covenant or Law”
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon?
Mark 6:3 (KJV)
Carpenter – Have you ever been to Israel? If not, then this verse probably holds no real challenge, but if you have, or have studied the environment, you might take issue with Yeshua’s occupation. Continue reading “An Impossible Occupation”
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Fool – What is the difference between “raca” and “fool” in this context? Why does one result in a different punishment from the other? Can you ascertain the difference from just reading the text in English? Of course not. You have to go further. It requires study. What is Yeshua really saying here? Continue reading “Relationship, Relationship, Relationship”
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Exodus 31:18 (KJV)
Two tables of testimony – The 10 commandments are amazing. They were written by the finger of God on two tablets of stone. The legend is that the stone was made of sapphire, the tablets were cut from a perfect cube measuring 18″ x 18″ x 18″, and that cube was split in half so that each of the commandments was 18″ tall by 18″ wide and 9″ thick. The writing from God was said to have gone all the way through the stone so that if one looked at it, you could see through the other side. But if you flipped the tablet over, it didn’t show the text in reverse as one might imagine, but showed the text the same as the front. Continue reading “Various Structures in the 10 Commandments”
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one that useth divination, a soothsayer, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer,
11 or a charmer, or one that consulteth a ghost or a familiar spirit, or a necromancer.
12 For whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto the LORD; and because of these abominations the LORD thy God is driving them out from before thee.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (JPS)
When I explain that seeing the dead is not a good thing based on the example of Saul, the witch, and Samuel from 1 Samuel 28, some will counteract my argument with the New Testament example of Yeshua and the mount of transfiguration when He conversed with Moses & Elijah. Their example is given to justify interaction with the dead despite being completely forbidden in God’s law. Continue reading “The Difference Between Yeshua and Saul Regarding the Dead”
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jeremiah 31:33 (KJV)
Write it in their hearts – Comparative exploration would have us look at these words very differently than we do today. In John H. Walton’s book, he defines comparative study as: Continue reading “Written on the Heart”
But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Matthew 15:24 (KJV)
Lost sheep of the house of Israel – This is what it’s all about. If we don’t understand this, then we don’t understand why Yeshua was sent. Despite the claims of anyone else, Yeshua Himself states that He was only sent for the lost sheep of the house of Israel. No one else. Continue reading “What It’s All About”
Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Genesis 11:9 (KJV)
Language – According to Lera Boroditsky, a cognitive scientist, she states there are over 7,000 languages spoken worldwide. Why is this important? Language is a driving factor in how you think. Without speaking the same language as those who authored the Bible, we’re likely not going to think the same way they did. Lera explains this disconnect based on how different cultures use language. Continue reading “Language Influences Your Thought”
“Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!”
Matthew 15:2 (NIV)
Before they eat – There’s a lot going on here that non-Jews may not realize. In fact there’s a lot going on which the NIV completely misses and therefor misinterprets. It all has to do with the Jewish halacha (Talmudic law) of washing hands before/after eating a meal that involved bread. Continue reading “Washing Hands”
And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God […]
Deuteronomy 16:10 (KJV)
Weeks – This holy day that recently passed is called the Feast of Weeks. It’s not called Spirit Day even though Christians recognize it as the day the Holy Spirit descended on the Apostles and believers. It’s not called Torah Day even though Jews recognize it as the day God gave the Torah to Israel. But the Feast of Weeks is a unique blend of both of these events, and when reviewing the weeks up to this day we find an interesting association to both the Spirit and the Torah. Continue reading “Two Omers are Better than One”