February 7, 2015 Shabbat Bible Study
©2015 Mark Pitrone and Fulfilling Torah Ministries
Year 2 Sabbath 45 – 11 Feb 2012
Leviticus 25:39 – 26:2 – Isaiah 24:2 – Psalm 89 – Galatians 4:1- 5:1
Vayikra 25:39 – 26:2 – Last week we saw the ‘kinsman-redeemer’ and how that was to be played out. Basically, if your kinsman needed money, he could lease you his land for it’s market price divided by the number of years to either the Sh’mithah or Yovel year. This week we’re going to see how an Israelite could lease HIMSELF as an indentured service on the same basis. He would sell his service to another Israelite for the number of years until the next Sh’mithah or Yovel. He would sell his service for its market value and then be cared for by the master better than the master’s other servants were. I infer that this sale/lease of the man was to the kinsman-redeemer, as well – at least he would be the first to be offered the lease/sale. This was NOT a sale into indentured service forever. The Yovel or Sh’mithah year would end the time of the service, whichever filled the term of the contract. If the kinsman-redeemer was ABLE to purchase both the produce of the man’s field AND the man’s labor AND care for his needs, he was duty-bound to do so. Of course, the man selling his produce and service must truly need to have the relief and not just be taking advantage of the financially blessed near-kinsman. I expect that the blessing on the kinsman-redeemer would be GREAT. Perhaps this was why Boaz was so blessed in Israel? We are NOT told if he’d acted as Kinsman-redeemer before Ruth’s day, but I expect that his great wealth was at least a partial reward for his obedient faithfulness to Y’hovah’s ordinances in this regard. In fact, Naomi may have known of his Torah observant reputation before coming to BethLechem.
The Israelite brother was to be treated as a hired hand, not as a slave because he was NOT a slave, but a brother. Slaves were the master’s property; the brother was not, even though he was ‘purchased’ after a fashion. Slaves did menial work, not usually trusted with technical or precise work, but a brother was to be given work commensurate with his abilities, even if it was only fieldwork. His term of service was at the most until Yovel, at which time he was released from his debt and sent back to his inheritance.
The idea was that he would be able to use the time of service to get back on his financial feet. This was accomplished because his needs; food, clothing, and shelter; were taken care of AND the master paid him the going wage for the day – if the man who’d sold himself into service was frugal with his wages, his time of servitude could be shortened by as much as ½. If he was frugal and worked for the master all the way to the Yovel, he could start anew with a nest egg of some considerable amount. If he were frugal AND set aside the purchase price, he would be able to buy his service back very quickly and also have a nest egg to start over.
In a way, this is what Yacov did with Lavan. He entered into service for a 7-year period – do you suppose the first year of service was a Sh’mithah year, where he could live with his brides for a year and NOT have to work the fields? And then in the next Sh’mithah he was also able to let the land and the animals/servants rest? Perhaps, though it was not certain in Laban’s home. I know what you’re thinking: this chapter has the first mention of Sh’mithah. This IS where we get the first mention of it, but Y’hovah has told us that Avraham, and presumably all the Patriarchs, kept all his Word;
Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. (Genesis 26:5)
Compare that to what we’ll discuss next week;
1 Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image, neither rear you up a standing image, neither shall ye set up any image of stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I Y’hovah Elohechem. 2 Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence my sanctuary: I Y’hovah. 3 If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them; 4 Then I will give you rain in due season, and the land shall yield her increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit….. (Lev.26.1-3)
Those are the first 4 of 13 verses of specific blessings that shall follow us, IF we do as Avraham did, who was merely following his Elohim as Yeshua did.
When his term of service was over, not just the brother, but his children also, were to go out to his inheritance. I assume the wife or concubine in this case was the master’s property. But if the man went into the contract married, I assume that his wife would go out, as well. He is not sold into service forever, because he is Y’hovah’s servant and not any Israelite’s. An Israelite’s bondservants were to be Canaanite or other heathen, not fellow Israelites. The Canaanite slaves were actual property, and were willable to the next generation, but a brother Israelite was not to be treated as such, but went out to his own inheritance in the Yovel or Sh’mithah year.
If an Israelite became poor and sold himself to a Canaanite sojourner baAretz – in the land, the near kin were duty bound to redeem him, if it was in their power, or if the man became able to redeem himself, he could do so. The sojourner may not like it, but this was the Torah in Israel. Stone’s Chumash says that this was a ger who had agreed to live according to the Noachide laws and was then permitted to live baAretz. He would have to also abide by the Torah’s ordinances, statutes, commands, and judgments. The redemption price was calculated according to the time left until Yovel, and the compensation must be fair. The Israelites were not to withhold just payment just because the ger was a ger. Honest weights and measures were always to be the norm in Israel. Now, if the man sold himself into servitude to a ger, the question comes to my mind why his kinsmen didn’t come to his aid before? Of course, that assumes that he’d approached his brethren with his need in the first place. Perhaps he was too proud to ask his brother for help. In v.49 we see the reason the Israelite who had sold his service was to be paid the going wage for service – so he could buy his service back to himself, if there was no near kinsman able to redeem him, or if all his near kin were rotters who WOULD not do their duty for their brother Israelite. Please notice that in Israel, an Israelite could purchase a ger in perpetuity, and could pass that servant on to his children as inheritance because they were his property, but an Israelite NEVER became another’s willable property. His service was limited to the next Yovel. The Israelite served Y’hovah, and never became another Israelite’s bondservant. Y’hovah owns all Israelites, and noone may purchase them as property.
Lev.26.1-2– Israel was not to make any images of wood or stone or any other material. Images in scripture are phallic symbols, a representation of the male sexual organ. The Canaanites worshiped sex in all of its aspects, because it was through the ritual sex of Molech and Asherah worship that they created the human babies for sacrifice to the false gods of those cultures. They offered the newborn babies of the temple prostitutes to Molech on the first day that the daylight part of the day grew noticeably longer, a harbinger of the resurrection of the trees and herbs of the field, after the Winter solstice – December 25th. Then on the first Sun-day following the 1st full moon of Spring (Easter), they would use the blood of the babies that weren’t born in time for the offering to Molech to ‘bless’ the altar in the Tophet cave in the Hinnom Valley where the rising sun was worshiped as the temple prostitutes engaged in the ritual sex to produce the NEXT year’s offerings for the pagan false gods. Can you imagine bowing before a giant phallic symbol – like the Washington Monument or the obelisk in the court of St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican or Cleopatra’s Needle in Central Park, NY? I can’t think of much that would tick Elohim off much more than worshiping sex through bowing to a giant penis. Then in v.2, he makes the point more sure by saying that we are to keep his Shabbats and honor his sanctuary. V. 2 is in contrast to v.1 – don’t do that; do this. Q&C
YeshaYahu 24:2 – Here’s vv.1-2;
1 Behold, Y’hovah maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with the giver of usury to him.
V.1 describes the earth after Y’hovah brings his judgment for failure to understand and heed his warnings that he will warn us about NEXT week in Vayikra 26.14ff. There we will see how he gives us ever more strident warnings, and our world will not heed them, mainly because our churches have convinced themselves and it has helped convince the heathen as well, that Y’hovah doesn’t work that way anymore. As it was with Israel, so it will be with the world.
Wealth, position, status will mean nothing in the days of this prophecy. There will be such economic upheaval that everyone will be on the same level. And what will the Illuminati do when they have nothing that they’ve worked for all these generations? Basically the medium of exchange – money – will be worthless ad you can’t eat gold or silver. That’s pretty close to the economic conditions today. If things keep on as they have are going, and without a general spiritual ‘vival’ they will, there will be no economic activity; indeed, there will be no economy except barter. If we have nothing to barter with, how will we get the things we need unless we’ve made preparations beforehand? What good will a limousine do if there is no fuel to power it? The stuff is REALLY going to be hitting the fan before long. We will be able to barter work for goods, perhaps. Most of the people listening have made at least some preparations. Some have made none. Can you see the possibility of someone selling himself into service in those days to people who HAVE prepared? I can! The Torah for today lays out the rules for that service between believers. Y’hovah will hold us accountable for how we treat our brethren AND the ger in our midst. I can see the day when he who loaned will come to the borrower for some of the stuff he got from the proceeds of the loan. The rich, who’ve never had to fend for themselves, will be lost when the plumbing or furnace fails. They will need tradesmen to help them, and will want to pay for their specialized knowledge, but with what? If they haven’t got a valuable commodity, how will they pay? With paper money? With debt? That’s how the uber-rich will be brought low. That’s an example of how the playing field will be leveled. Everyone will finally know that paper money and debt/credit is truly worthless, and the world system’s economy will stagnate and then putrefy. Knowledge of how things work and the ability to repair them will be a valuable commodity. Intellectual capital and the ability to use it will be king. I have can build things and teach others to build things. My wife can care for sick people, as well as cook and bake and teach others to do all of that. How about you? Q&C
Sing along, if you know the tune to:
I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh forever! I will sing! I will sing!
I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh forever, I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh!
And with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness, thy faithfulness!
And with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations!
I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh forever! I will sing! I will sing!
I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh forever, I will sing of the Mercies of Yahweh!
I used to teach that to my own kids and to the kids in my Sunday School classes many moons ago. I always loved it, even with the substitute name. Y’hovah has made covenant with us, if we will stay faithful to him.
This psalm has a unique structure in that v.2 is an overview of vv.5-18, v.3 is an overview of vv.19-28, and v.4 is an overview of vv.29-37. It interests me, no end that Stone’s Tanakh has a note to v.4 that Elohim is the speaker in vv.4-38, when there are so many 2nd person references to Y’hovah and his power and kavod. I agree that Elohim is the speaker, but I think it is Moshiach about whom he speaks.
Vv.2, 5-18 – Y’hovah’s faithfulness is established in the very heavens. As long as the heavens endure, so will his faithfulness to us-ward. Notice the likening of the heavens to the congregation of the saints in v.5. The souls of the saints do not congregate in the heavens after their deaths, but their spirits do.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto Elohim who gave it. (Ecclesiastes 12:7)
There is a separation of flesh and spirit at death that negates the ‘soul’ until resurrection day. But the spirit is not, I think, without self-consciousness. When king Saul had the witch of Endor call up Samuel, she was frightened because Samuel, and NOT her familiar spirit, actually was sent to make the final pronouncement against Saul. Had it been the spirit she was familiar with, she’d have kept control, and probably not known that it was the king.
Vv.6-18 are a kind of Micha Mocha, who is like you. The psalmist makes multiple references to the stars and the courses of nature. 6-10 speak specifically of the 1st heaven, that in which we move and all have experience, the earth and its atmosphere. He speaks of Y’hovah’s complete command of everything on and in the earth, even the forces of the Adversary. In v.10, Rahav means fierceness, insolence, or pride and Gesenius says it makes poetical reference to Egypt (Stone’s Tanakh agrees in its note to v.10).
Vv.11-18 reference all the land of Israel, from Hermon to Tabor, even though Tabor is in the Galilee. Here’s what Easton’s Bible Dictionary says about Mt. Tabor;
The prominence and isolation of Tabor, standing as it does on the borderland between the northern and southern tribes, between the mountains and the central plain, make it a place of note in all ages, and evidently led the Psalmist to associate it with Hermon, the one emblematic of the south, the other of the north.
Hermon, about 40 miles north of the Sea of Galilee, is the highest peak in Israel – 9200 feet above Mediterranean sea level. Easton’s says;
In every part of (Israel) the Israelite turned his eye northward, there was Hermon terminating the view. One of the 3 peaks of Hermon is likely the mount of transfiguration.
Hermon is called Sion in Dt.4 and Ps.65. It may be the mount Sion John references in Rev.14.1
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. (Revelation 14:1)
Vv.5-18 speaks of none save Moshiach, who is the fulfillment in time of the faithfulness of Y’hovah. Look at all the references to him in vv.13-18; mighty arm, strong hand, right hand, justice and judgment mixed with mercy and truth, the light of his countenance, the glory of our strength, our defense and our King. Justice and mercy are manifestations of Y’hovah, while judgment and truth are manifestations of Elohim. Those manifestations find their physical fulfillment in the person of Yeshua. Who else but Moshiach can that describe?
Vv.3, 19-28 – These verses speak of Y’hovah’s servant, David – once again, the reference is prophetically to Moshiach. In v.19, he speaks of ‘thy holy one’, which ultimately has but one reference. Both kings and priests were anointed, so both were technically Moshiachs. And the reference in ZecharYahu 14 to the ‘2 anointed ones’ may reasonably be seen as Moshiach ben Yoseph and Moshiach ben David. The sages saw 2 moshiachoth; one who would suffer for his people and sins – Moshiach ben Yoseph,
But he (was) wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace (was) upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:5)
and one who would deliver his people from their political and spiritual enemies – Moshiach ben David.
5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. 6 And the disciples went, and did as Yeshua commanded them, 7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. 10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? 11 And the multitude said, This is Yeshua the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. (Matt.21.5-11)
The prophecy that was fulfilled is from ZecharYahu 9;
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zechariah 9:9)
Yeshua haMoshiach is the ultimate Chasid of Y’hovah, the Hebrew word in v.19 is la’chasidecha, ‘to thy holy one’. Ethan the Ezrahite, who authored this psalm, knew David. He was one of the Levites who helped bring up the ark from Obed Edom’s place. He saw David as Y’hovah’s anointed king and deliverer, literally Moshiach. In v.21, Y’hovah’s hand is ESTABLISHED in David, as it is in the heavens in vv.2, 5-18, and as the enemy could not overcome David because Y’hovah was with him, so he cannot overcome Yeshua, Moshiach ben David, for Y’hovah will beat down his foes (vv.22-23). Sorry folks, but the Adversary has no chance, and neither do his minions. But Y’hovah’s faithfulness and mercy are David’s and his seed’s promised reward. Vv.24-29 describe Y’hovah’s faithfulness to David and his seed, who is Yeshua and those found in him at his appearing.
Vv.4, 29-37 – ‘Thy seed’ also speaks of Moshiach, who is the ultimate seed of Y’hovah, as the seed the woman and the seed of Avraham. We will explore those seeds in GalutYah, I think. Notice that it speaks of only one seed, not many.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Moshiach. (Galatians 3:16)
There is but One seed, One Saviour, One King Yeshua, the Son of David, the Son of the living Elohim. The Seed’s children (that’s us, folks) disobey or turn away from his Torah; he will chastise them in increasingly severe judgments until they return to him. We’ll see that very graphically in next week’s Torah portion, Lev.26.14ff. But even with all the severity of the judgments, if they fail to repent and make teshuvah, Y’hovah will not utterly forsake the Seed’s children. Y’hovah will always remain faithful to Moshiach and his children. He says that ‘as the sun and moon endure forever’ so will his faithfulness to his Seed endure. So there really SHALL be a sun and a moon in the New Creation. Their light just won’t be needed in the New Jerusalem.
And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of Elohim did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Revelation of John 21:23)
He’s told us that he will chastise us if we turn away from his narrow way, and we are the children of Moshiach. Vv.38-45 describe the way our chastisement will feel after receiving the promises of Moshiach, but failing to live in them.
In v.39 Y’hovah makes void the covenant OF Moshiach’s people, not his covenant TO Moshiach and his seed/children. He will honor his end of the covenant he’s made with Moshiach, because his covenant if eternal, ours are temporal. He is absolutely able to nullify any agreement we enter without consulting him because we are his ‘wife’ and Moshiach’s ‘children’. When we turn from his narrow way and make deals with the world system, the minute we turn back to him and return to his house, Num.30 applies;
3 If a woman also vow a vow unto Y’hovah, and bind herself by a bond, in her father’ house in her youth; 4 And her father hear her vow, and her bond wherewith she hath bound her soul, and her father shall hold his peace at her: then all her vows shall stand, and every bond wherewith she hath bound her soul shall stand. 5 But if her father disallow her in the day that he heareth; not any of her vows, or of her bonds wherewith she hath bound her soul, shall stand: and Y’hovah shall forgive her, because her father disallowed her.
The same rule applies to the husband when he finds that his wife has vowed a vow. He can void the vow and she is free of it. So Moshiach can nullify any vow we make without consulting with him. So, if we enter a vow without consulting Y’hovah and he finds out about it after the covenant has been made, he has every right to void that covenant. We had taken the throne in our own lives, crowned ourselves king. He casts that crown to the ground and destroys all our defenses and our ability to go on the offensive until we acknowledge our transgression and return to Y’hovah, our King and Deliverer, and trust HIM to be our defense and our strong right arm.
But Y’hovah will not hide his face from us forever, if we are truly his. V.48 is an allusion to the resurrection from the dead or translation without death. We can’t keep ourselves from death. But Y’hovah CAN, and MAY, for Y’hovah is NOT a man, but the Creator of all that is. Ethan reminds Y’hovah to remember the reproach his people have had to bear and how he had acknowledged the sins of his people and claimed them as his own. Baruch Y’hovah Olam. Amein v’amein. Q&C
GalutYah 4:1-11 – This passage is an application of Prov.17.2
A wise servant shall have rule over a son that causeth shame, and shall have part of the inheritance among the brethren. (Proverbs 17:2)
In Gal.4, Sha’ul refers to the tutor, the governor, the child and father. My opinion is that the father represents Y’hovah; the child, the Israelite heir who needs instruction in righteous living; the tutor, the oral traditions; and the governor represents revealed Torah. The governors and tutors were the trustees of a wealthy man’s estate. In his book, Galatians, Avi ben Mordecai makes the case that the greek manuscripts only use one word to describe Torah AND oral traditions (nomos, which is mostly translated as ‘law’ in English) and that contextual knowledge is necessary to know to which Paul refers. And I contend that this is pretty much the case in ALL of Sha’ul’s letters.
In v.3, Yeshua was born of a woman (from which you can infer ‘virgin’ since there is no mention of a man) and ‘subject to Torah’. In Phil.2, Paul describes this;
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Moshiach Yeshua: 6 Who, being in the form of Elohim, thought it not robbery to be equal with Elohim: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil.2.4-8)
He ‘subjected himself’ to his own Torah (would that Congress took notice). Then in v.4, Paul refers to those who are ‘under Torah’. AENT has a salient note in the text on pg.568. So, according to AENT, to be ‘under Torah’ is to be under ‘religious authority’, not Y’hovah’s authority (subject). We are free agents. We can subject ourselves to whomever we choose. May it be Y’hovah and his Word, and not some guy’s interpretation of another’s word, as the Prushim were.
Paul’s use of personal pronouns in Galatians, as in all his letters, is important. When he uses ‘we’ he speaks of Jewish believers in Yeshua (subject to Torah); ‘ye/you’ refers to gentile believers in Yeshua (subject to Torah); ‘us’ refers to all believers in Moshiach; and ‘they/them’ refers to Prushim believers in oral traditions (under Torah) and full conversion to Judaism, culminating in CC, before justification. Elohim sent Yeshua to redeem ‘them’ so that ‘we’ could receive our adoption as sons of Elohim. Now, ‘we’ are no longer servants, like the tutors and stewards (Tudors and Stewarts), but sons who have Ruach in our hearts and are, therefore, partakers in Yeshua haMoshiach’s inheritance.
Vv.8-10 are a regular ‘bone of contention’ with our brethren in the Xian churches. But it ought not to be, if we read what’s written in v.8 and recognize the personal pronouns Sha’ul uses. He says, “when ye knew not Elohim”, referring to their former paganism. In this paragraph, he is clearly speaking to the gentile believers. It is the gentiles who, in v.10, were observing “days, months, times, and years”, not the Jewish believers – not even the Prushim CCers. AENT has another salient point to make on pg.569, note 51. Xmas, Ishtar, Valentine’s Day (Ooo! THAT’s gonna tick somebody off!), Hallowe’en, Ramadan, SUNday, MOONday, Wotan’sDay, Thor’sDay, Augustus, Julius, need I go on? What does this say about what Y’hovah thinks of those who keep their own favorite pagan holy days, holy months and NOT those that he commanded us to observe until the heavens and earth pass away? Paul speaks of ‘doubtful disputations’ in Rom.14.1. That which Y’hovah has commanded in his Word is not doubtful, but absolutely certain! While it may NOT result in loss of eternal life (cf.Ps.89, above), it shall result in loss of rewards, both temporal and eternal.
23 … this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your Elohim, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you. 24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. (YirmeYahu 7.23-24)
When a baby falls down when he’s learning to walk, he usually still moves forward, gains on his goal. Not so with us. When we fall in our spiritual walk, we always suffer loss. Take my advice and lose any paganism you are still harboring. You will suffer in the world, probably (haSatan HATES to lose strongholds among Y’hovah’s children), but your spiritual gain will be tremendous. Wait until next week’s Torah in Vayikra 26.2ff, where we will see what comes of our refusal to heed his warnings and acknowledge our sins and make teshuvah. Q&C
Vv.12-20 – Paul makes the distinction throughout this book between ‘we’ and ‘ye’, Jew and gentile believers. He is really afraid that the gentiles will go back to their paganism to have life a lot easier, as Israel was tempted to return to Egypt during the Wilderness Adventure and the Jews were tempted to go back to their oral traditions for the same purpose – think, ‘Book of Hebrews’. He urges them to follow him as their example, as he follows Yeshua. They had received his message as from Elohim, as indeed it was. In v.17, ‘they’ were definitely the ‘full conversion’ Prushim CCers, who wanted to exclude the unCC’d gentiles from the synagogues. Watch out for those who will separate from or exclude believers because they don’t think exactly the same as them on other than salvific issues, or who make their traditions salvific. Sha’ul says that he is in doubt of their sincerity toward the gospel of shalom because they are being affected by both the CCers and their former pagan buds. He then starts in on those who wish to put themselves ‘under the oral traditions’ of the Prushim to the end of full conversion and CC. He wants to know if they shema Torah, does their faith show itself by their obedience to Torah or to tradition.
Avraham had 2 sons, one of the flesh by a bondmaid and one of promise by a free woman. He then shows by allegory the similarity between being under the oral tradition and a son of the flesh, and being subject to Torah and a son of promise. Remember that the Prushim, who are for revealed Torah + oral torah, believe that both came down from Sinai. Don’t let the mention of Sinai throw you off. The bondage represented in the allegory by the flesh, Hagar and Sinai in Arabia is the need of the Prushim to maintain control by insisting on the gentiles’ full conversion, with the finalizing action being CC. That describes ‘the Jerusalem that now is’, that is; after the death of Yacov the Tzadik, Yeshua’s brother, who led the Netzarim sect in J’lem until his martyrdom. “The J’lem that now is” is in bondage to the traditions of the elders, as Yeshua said in at least 2 places.
Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread. (Matthew 15:2)
3 For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, except they wash their hands oft, eat not, holding the tradition of the elders. 4 And when they come from the market, except they wash, they eat not. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold, as the washing of cups, and pots, brasen vessels, and of tables. 5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked him, Why walk not thy disciples according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashen hands? 6 He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias [29.13] prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. (Mark 7.3-6)
The Yerushalayim above is the New Yerushalayim that will ‘descend’ to the New Earth from the New Heavens. This New J’lem is also called the Bride of Moshiach, which I believe is the truest statement of them all, from our temporal point of view. Y’hovah will dwell there in his tabernacle, which the Bride is. He will be the light of it, as the Ruach will enlighten us all both individually and corporately. All the allegorical promises seen in all the prophets find their ultimate fulfillment in Moshiach’s Bride.
In v.27, Sha’ul makes the connection between Sarah, the Bride of Avraham, and New J’lem, the Bride of Moshiach. And so now we, as was Isaac in v.28, are sons of promise. And then Paul makes the connection in v.29 for both the Jewish and the gentile believers between the Prushim CCers/Ishmael and the persecution of the seed – flesh vs. promise. Paul makes the application of the allegory in v.30, quoting B’reishit 21.10
Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac. (Genesis 21:10)
We need to shema Avinu’s Words, prove that we’ve heard them by our obedience and STAND FAST in the LIBERTY we have therein and not get entangled in the yoke of bondage that is seen in both the oral law of the Prushim and the pagan rituals of the gentiles. Q&C
Gal.4.21-31 – The context shows that the gentiles in Galatia were being referred to as servants, and the Jews were children under the tutor. Vv.1-5 show the Jews’ (we) condition before Messiah and how they can now have the adoption as sons. V. 6 says the gentiles (ye) were proved to be sons by the Spirit in them, as it was in Cornelius in Acts 10. The gentiles in vv.7-10 are looking to go back to fleshly practices (Jewish religion), including the oral law. Paul warns them in v.11 of his fear for them in following after the Jewish Circumcisers (cf.Acts 10 and 15). He refers to the CCers (they) in vv.17, and that brings us to where our passage begins.
Under the Law? See Misconception #3 on pg. 786 Aramaic English NT.
#3: Under the Torah:
Before showing the obvious New Testament verses on the subject, let us see the word used as “under” in the Tanakh:
They should collect all the food of the good years that are coming and store up the grain under (tachath –טחת ) the authority of Pharaoh, to be kept in the cities for food. Genesis 41:35
Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and shall say to her, “If no man had laid with you and if you have not gone astray into uncleanness, being under (tachath – טחת) the authority of your husband, be immune to this water of bitterness that carries a curse.” Numbers 5:19
As we see here, to be “under” something means to derive authority from it, and this is true not just of the word that I have highlighted in Hebrew here, but several other synonyms translated into English as “under” as well.
Therefore, if we are “under the Torah”, that would mean that we derive authority from the Torah, which is a doctrine never taught in Tanakh:
Y’hovah appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land where I tell you to live. Stay in this land for awhile, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations of the earth will be blessed because Abraham obeyed Me and kept My requirements, My commands, My decrees and My laws.” So Isaac stayed in Gerar. Genesis 26:1-6
In any dispute, the priests are to serve as judges and decide it according to My ordinances. They are to keep My laws and My decrees for all My appointed feasts, and they are to keep My Sabbaths holy…declares the Sovereign Y’hovah. Ezekiel 44:24, 27
These are just two of the dozens of other possible examples of this same idea. All the requirements in the Torah are not “Jewish” or even just “for Israel”. Rather, they are Y’hovah’s requirements, and it is from Y’hovah, and not the Torah, that justification for doing the right things comes.
In other words, if you just naturally happen to do a ritual commanded in Torah out of blind luck or because it seems trendy or cool, then by the Torah you are not justified. This idea is true even with a foundational requirement, like that of circumcision:
“The days are coming,” declares Y’hovah, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh. Egypt, Judah, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.” Jeremiah 9:25-26
Now why is this? Didn’t circumcision justify all these people? According to YirmeYahu, the answer is an eerily familiar (can you say Acts 15?) NO! Let’s hear more of this reasoning from some of the other prophets:
Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to Me. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts My soul hates. They have become a burden to Me. I am weary of bearing them. When you spread your hands in prayer, I will hide My face from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of My sight! Stop doing wrong and learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Isaiah 1:15-17
For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the acknowledgment of Elohim rather than burnt offerings. Hosea 6:6
With what shall I come before Y’hovah and bow down before the exalted Elohim? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will Y’hovah be pleased with thousands of rams or ten thousand rivers of oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does Y’hovah require of you? To act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your Elohim. Micah 6:6-8
This is also why Abraham comes up as an example in the New Testament over and over again. The message, in each case, is the same. Abraham did a ritual, not because it seemed a nice thing to do, but because he believed the word of Elohim, who instructed him to do it in the first place! Therefore, justification for Abraham, and for the rest of us, comes in two parts:
1) Hearing and understanding the word of Y’hovah.
2) Taking what Y’hovah has said and manifesting that understanding by following his instructions.
Neither faith nor works alone is sufficient. Works without faith shows a lack of understanding the Torah, and faith without works, as Ya’akov Ha Tzadik says, is dead.
So, what is it then to be “under the Torah”? Well, put simply, “under the Torah” is not something that happened during Messiah’s time, but is a false teaching that has been rampant from the beginning of time.
For example, in Genesis 4, Cain and Abel give offerings to Y’hovah. It has been a common misconception, though, that Cain’s offering was not accepted because it was from grain, whereas Abel gave meat. The fact is, both grain and meat offerings were deemed acceptable under the right circumstances, (Exodus 29:41, Leviticus 2:1, 5:13, 6:14-15, many others).
Instead, Y’hovah rebukes Cain this way:
Then Y’hovah said to Cain, “Why are you downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door. It desires to have you, but you must master it.” Genesis 4:6-7
In a sense, Cain thought he was “under the Torah”, or that by simply going through the motions of the ritual he would be justified. However, since Elohim knew his heart, He did not accept Cain’s offering.
Similarly, the Pharisees had also fallen into this trap, which is why the Baptist says:
“You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones Elohim can raise up children of Abraham.” Matthew 3:7-9
Now, obviously Y’shua’s frequent rebukes on this same idea hardly need to be laid out exhaustively here. It is enough then to simply say that the Baptist did not want the Pharisees to boast in rituals or lineage alone, but actually to turn their hearts towards Y’hovah and admit their sins. With these thoughts in mind, let’s look at some more familiar verses on this idea:
For all who have sinned without the Torah will also perish without the Torah, and all who have sinned under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, will be judged by the Torah . Romans 2:1221
To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, as under the Torah though not being myself under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, so that I might win those who are under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, to those who are without Torah, as without Torah, though not being without the Torah of Elohim, but in the instruction of Mashiyach, so that I might win those who are without the Torah. 1 Corinthians 9:20-2122
If the word טחית looks familiar, it should. It is simply the Aramaic cognate of the word טחת that was referenced at the beginning of this section. Therefore, “under the Torah” really means “to derive justification from the authority of Torah and not from Y’hovah.”
For the sake of completeness however, let us check the other places where “under the Torah” appears:
But when the fullness of time was come, Elohim sent forth His Son who, born of a woman, became subject (tachyt–טחית) to the Torah. Galatians 4:4
Now, except for substituting non-sacred names, this is the way George Lamsa reads the verse, and I must say, I heartily agree with him. Instead of merely rendering טחית “under” again, Lamsa has correctly surmised that טחית can read better here as “being subject to the Torah”, which is an efficient way of bringing on the Tanakh understanding of טחת as referring to the power of various authorities. In this case the woman is subject to the Torah pronouncement that all of us are under sin. It is not the Torah itself that is sin though (Romans 7:12) but rather that the Torah tells us what sin is (Romans 7:7-9). Let’s continue this thought a little further then:
To redeem those who were under (tachyt – טחית) the Torah, that we might receive the adoption of sons. Galatians 4:5
In this context, the message Rav Shaul gives here is that the proper understanding of Torah by Gentiles grafts them into Israel. This is why he says elsewhere:
Do not be arrogant, but be afraid, for if Elohim did not spare the natural branches (Jews who did not follow Torah), He will not spare you either. Romans 11:21
Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (that is done in the body by the hands of men)– remember that at that time you were separate from Messiah, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without Elohim in the world. But now in Messiah Y’shua, you who were far away have been brought near through the blood of Messiah. Ephesians 2:11-13
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we have this verse proving once again that the Torah itself is not the problem:
Tell me, you who want to be under the Torah, do you listen to the Torah? Galatians 4:21
[Mark edits – Throughout the above, I edited YHVH to Y’hovah for continuity.]
So Sha’ul begins with the difference between the covenant law they want to be under in the flesh, and the covenant in which he and the Jewish believers are free in the Spirit. He goes into an analogy of Hagar and Sarah, the bond and free women, which he likens to the Covenant written on Stone and the covenant that will be written on our hearts (Jer.31.31-34). He also likens the covenant on stone tablets to the present Jerusalem and the covenant written of our hearts to the New Jerusalem, the city whose builder and maker is Y’hovah, which he calls ‘the mother of us all’. We who are children of the promise are looking for New Jerusalem, wherein dwelleth righteousness (2Pe.3.13).
Paul shows the Galatian gentiles exactly WHY the CCers were on about the gentiles being converted and CCd. They were after the flesh, and so persecuted those who were after the spirit (v.29). Those who are trusting in the Jerusalem that IS are carnal and in bondage. Those who trust in the promises of Y’hovah are looking for the New Jerusalem and are sons of the liberty found in those promises.
In 5.1 Paul speaks of the bondage of both the pagan gods of the gentiles and the oral law of the Jews, and the liberty of the promises of Y’hovah’s Torah.
End of Bible Study notes.