Parashah 33: B'chuktai (in My statutes) by Dr. Daniel Boley
Vayikra “He called” (Leviticus) 26:3-27:34 Psalm 105 Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) 16:19-17:14 Mattityahu (Matthew) 22:1-14
[In regular years this parashah is read with Parashah 32. In leap years of the Jewish calendar it is read separately. The Jewish calendar is a lunar calendar of 29-30 days per month. About seven times every nineteen years is a “leap year” that includes an extra month, Second Adar.] 3 If you live by My regulations, observe My mitzvot and obey them; • This introduces a normal reciprocal relationship agreement: if / then. ◦ The Master of the Universe is offering us a proposal: if we will do our part, He will do His. • “live by” here is the Hebrew תֵּלֵכוּ [teh-leh-khū] the Qal imperfect of either יָלַךְ [yah-lahk] (Strong's) or הָלַךְ [ha-lahk] (Owens; Simon, Resnikoff, Motzkin) ◦ יָלַךְ ▪ Strong's: to walk (literally or figuratively); causatively, to carry (in various senses) [compare הָלַךְ] ▪ BDB: (Qal) to go, to walk, to come, to depart, to proceed, to move, to go away; to die, to live, manner of life (figurative) ◦ הָלַךְ ▪ Strong's: akin to יָלַךְ ; to walk (in a great variety of applications, literally and figuratively) ▪ BDB: (Qal) to go, to walk, to come, to depart, to proceed, to move, to go away; to die, to live, manner of life (figurative) [NOTE: this definition is exactly the same as for יָלַךְ .] ◦ Regardless of whether תֵּלֵכוּ is rooted in יָלַךְ or הָלַךְ , the fact is that the LORD's regulations and mitzvot (commandments) are to affect every facet of our lives as we walk in them and live by them. • “regulations” here comes from the Hebrew חֻקָּה [khū-kah], (the feminine form of חֹק [khōk]) meaning ◦ Strong's: an enactment; hence, an appointment (of time, space, quantity, labor or usage) ◦ BDB: ▪ חֻקָּה a statute, an ordinance, a limit, an enactment, something prescribed ▪ חֹק a statute, an ordinance, a limit, something prescribed, due: a prescribed task; a prescribed portion; an action prescribed (for oneself), resolve; a prescribed due; a prescribed limit, a boundary; an enactment, a decree, an ordinance (specific decree; law in general); enactments, statutes (conditions; enactments; decrees; the civil enactments prescribed by God) • “mitzvot” here is a transliteration of the Hebrew מִצְוֹת [“meets-vōt”], the plural of מִצְוָה [“meets-vah”] meaning ◦ Strong's: a command, whether human or divine (collectively, the Law) ◦ BDB: a commandment (of man); the commandment (of God); a commandment (of a code of wisdom) ▪ There is wisdom in following the LORD's mitzvot. • “observe … and obey” here come from the Hebrew words שָׁמַר [shah-mahr] and עָשָׂה [ah-sah] ◦ שָׁמַר means ▪ Strong's: properly, to hedge about (as with thorns), i.e. guard; generally, to protect, attend to, etc. ▪ BDB: (here in the Qal) to keep, to have charge of; to keep, to guard, to keep watch and ward, to protect, to save life; watch, a watchman (participle); to watch for, to wait for; to watch, to observe; to keep, to retain, to treasure up (in memory); to keep (within bounds), to restrain; to observe, to celebrate, to keep (sabbath or covenant or commands), to perform (a vow); to keep, to preserve, to protect; to keep, to reserve ◦ עָשָׂה means ▪ Strong's: to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application ▪ BDB: (here in the Qal) to do, to work, to make, to produce (to do; to work; to deal [with]; to act, to act with effect, to effect); to make (to make; to produce; to prepare; to make [an offering]; to attend to, to put in order; to observe, to celebrate; to acquire [property]; to appoint, to ordain, to institute; to bring about; to use; to spend, to pass • NOTE: Owens points out that שָׁמַר here is in the imperfect. עָשָׂה is listed as being perfect with the consecutive ו prefixed, however in context we can also see that this ו is functioning as a “reversing ו”. A “reversing ו” reverses the normal perfect to an imperfect and an imperfect to a perfect. Context dictates whether the verb prefixed with a ו is a consecutive or a “reversing ו” or is functioning as both at the same time. • Simon, Resnikoff, Motzkin, The First Hebrew Primer, 3rd ed., revised with new explanatory notes, p. 398: You will also see the Reversing ו called the ו (vav) consecutive or the ו (vav) conversive. The term ו conversive suggests that this form of the conjunction “converts” the perfect to imperfect and the imperfect to perfect. The term ו consecutive suggests a different explanation for this form of the ו : namely that the ו can represent consecutive action beginning with an original perfect or imperfect verb. Thus, if a narrative begins with a perfect and continues with a string of ו consecutive imperfects, the action described all took place in the past. If a narrative begins with an imperfect and continues with a string of ו consecutive perfects, the action will all take place in the future. In both scenarios, the ו signals sequential action until the chain is interrupted. • The Discovery Bible Imperfect "tense" depicts continuing action: repeated/ongoing in present or past time, or yet future. The context determines the time frame(s). The OT carefully depicts two major aspects (modes of action). always portrays activity not finished. (perfect) presents completed action with its result accounting for what follows. Example: "God protects us" – i.e. God keeps on protecting us in the present; repeatedly protected us in the past, or will protect us in the future. frequently includes all three time tenses, especially when stating timeless truths. Visual story of OT verb-aspects: Reading between-the-lines "fills the white space" with its continuing action. It instructs readers to envision repeated or ongoing/prolonged activity (or yet future). often includes more than one time-tense (frame). - (perfect) always portrays completed action, laying the foundation for what follows. HELPS symbols comprehensively flag these verbal aspects, i.e. modes-of-action portrayed by the - (perfect) and (imperfect). These significant text-effects have multifaceted meanings also "read between-the-lines." • If we will ◦ believe that God is and that He rewards those who follow Him (e.g. Heb 11:6) ◦ take God at His Word, trusting in Him even when we don't fully understand (e.g. Pro 3:5-6) ◦ live by His regulations, observe His commandments and obey them … 4 then … • the blessings of following the LORD will be evident in every aspect of your lives, e.g. ◦ I will provide the rain you need in its season, the land will yield its produce, and the trees in the field will yield their fruit. ◦ 5 Your threshing time will extend until the grape harvest, and your grape harvesting will extend until the time for sowing see. You will eat as much food as you want and live securely in your land. ◦ 6 I will give shalom in the land – you will lie down to sleep unafraid of anyone. I will rid the land of wild animals. The sword will not go through your land. ◦ 7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall before your sword. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand – your enemies will fall before your sword. ◦ 9 I will turn toward you, make you productive, increase your numbers and uphold My covenant with you. ◦ 10 You will eat all you want from last year's harvest and throw out what remains of the old to make room for the new. ◦ 11 I will put My tabernacle among you, and I will not reject you, 12 but I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be My people. ▪ “tabernacle among you” – “among you” here is the Hebrew construct בְּתוֹכְכֶם • “ כֶם -” [khehn] is the masculine, plural suffix referring to a group of people that includes at least one male • “- תוֹכְ -” [tōkh] is the construct form of תָּוֶךְ [tah-vehk] meaning ◦ Strong's: to sever; a bisection, i.e. (by implication) the centre ◦ BDB: midst, middle; into, through (after verbs of motion); among (used of a number of persons); between (used of things arranged by twos); from among (as to take or separate etc.) ▪ כ and ך are the same letter: ך being this letter's sophit or “final form” whenever it ends a word. • “-בְּ ” [beh] is an inseparable prefix meaning in, on, or with (Simon, Resnikoff, Motzkin); in, among, within, into, at, by, on, (up) against (e.g. touching or with hostility,) with, through, on account of, although, in spite of (BDB [unabridged]) ◦ The unabridged Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Lexicon entry for תָּוֶךְ states that with the preposition -בְּ , which is then בְּתוֹךְ (or -בְּתוֹכְ if it has a suffix attached), “usually with preposition, as בְּ (often = an emphasis in, in the very heart and midst of).” ▪ The Word became a human being and lived with us, and we saw His Sh'khinah, the Sh'khinah of the Father's only Son, full of grace and truth (John 1:14) ◦ 13 I am Adonai your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, so that you would not be their slaves. I have broken the bars of your yoke, so that you can walk upright. • The LORD is for us, desires only what is best for us, and wants to bless us abundantly, IF we will just trust and obey. ◦ The thief comes only in order to steal, kill and destroy; I [Yeshua] have come so that they may have life, life in its fullest measure. (John 10:10) ◦ Trust and Obey, a hymn by John H. Sammis and Daniel B. Towner, 1887 When we walk with the Lord in the light of His Word, What a glory He sheds on our way! While we do His good will, He abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey. Refrain Trust and obey, for there’s no other way To be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. Not a shadow can rise, not a cloud in the skies, But His smile quickly drives it away; Not a doubt or a fear, not a sigh or a tear, Can abide while we trust and obey. Refrain Not a burden we bear, not a sorrow we share, But our toil He doth richly repay; Not a grief or a loss, not a frown or a cross, But is blessed if we trust and obey. Refrain But we never can prove the delights of His love Until all on the altar we lay; For the favor He shows, for the joy He bestows, Are for them who will trust and obey. Refrain Then in fellowship sweet we will sit at His feet. Or we’ll walk by His side in the way. What He says we will do, where He sends we will go; Never fear, only trust and obey. Refrain (http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/t/r/trstobey.htm, accessed 31May16) 14 But if you will not listen to Me and obey all these mitzvot, • The best way to get peek performance and longevity from any piece of equipment is to read and heed the manufacturer's handbook. Reading and following all of the instructions in the owner's manual will keep equipment working in a way that is best for the equipment itself and will honor the manufacturer. Ignoring the manual shortens the life expectancy of the equipment and reeks havoc with its internal working parts, allowing it to self-destruct. ◦ How much more so with keeping or ignoring our Maker and His written Word? 15 if you loathe My regulations and reject My rulings, in order not to obey all My mitzvot but cancel My covenant: • “loathe” here is from the Hebrew word מָאַס [mah-ahs] meaning ◦ Strong's: to spurn; also (intransitively) to disappear ◦ BDB: to reject, to despise, to refuse • “reject” here is from the Hebrew word גָּעַל [gah-ahl] meaning ◦ Strong's: to detest; by implication, to reject ◦ BDB: to abhor, to loathe, to be vilely cast away, to fall • “cancel” here is from the Hebrew פָּרַר [pah-rahr] meaning ◦ Strong's: to break up (usually figuratively, i.e. to violate, frustrate) ◦ BDB: (here in the Hiphil infinitive) to break, to violate; to frustrate, to make ineffectual • Does this mean that the LORD is saying when we do not purpose to obey all His commandments we are canceling His covenant and that, at the root, is because we loathe and reject them? ◦ We know from considering the whole Word of God that His commandments are perpetual, forever, until time out of mind: they are עוֹלָם [o-lahm] just as He is. ▪ That the LORD is עוֹלָם see e.g. Gen 21:33; Ex 3:15; 15:18; 1 Chr 16:34-36 ▪ That His commandments are עוֹלָם see e.g. Lev 3:17; Deut 5:29 ▪ That His feasts are עוֹלָם see e.g. Ex 12:14, 17, 24; 31:16-17; Lev 23 ▪ That the Promised Land belongs to Abraham, Isaac, Israel and their descendants עוֹלָם see e.g. Gen 17:7-8; 48:4; Ex 32:13 ▪ That the Levitical priesthood is עוֹלָם see e.g. Ex 29:28; 40:15; Lev 6:21 ◦ The only one that can change or supersede something that is עוֹלָם that the עוֹלָם LORD put in place is the One Who is Himself עוֹלָם: the LORD, e.g. ▪ “Here, the days are coming,” says Adonai, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated My covenant, even though I, for My part, was a husband to them,” says Adonai. 33 “For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra'el after those days,” says Adonai: “I will put My Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be My people. 34 No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, 'Know Adonai: for all will know Me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.” (Jer 31:31-34) • This is the only place in the Old Testament where the term “new covenant” us used. It is next seen in the gospels when Yeshua was celebrating the Passover with His talmidim, “He did the same with the cup after the meal, saying, 'This cup is the New Covenant, ratified by My blood, which is being poured out for you.'” (Luke 22:20; cf Matt 26:28; Mark 14:24) ◦ This new covenant with the “house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah” still includes those who have been grafted into the commonwealth of Israel by faith in the Jewish Messiah (see Rom 11:17-24) and supersedes the sacrifices of the Levitical priesthood, as the Holy Spirit explains in Hebrew, chapters 8 and 9: But now the work Yeshua has been given to do is far superior to theirs, just as the covenant He mediates is better. For this covenant has been given as Torah on the basis of better promises. 7 Indeed, if the first covenant [of the earthly Levitical priesthood] had not given ground for faultfinding, there would have been no need for a second one. 8 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. 9 It will not be like the covenant which I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by their hand and led them forth out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, did not remain faithful to My covenant; so I, for My part stopped concerning Myself with them,' says Adonai. 10 For this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Isra'el after those days,' says Adonai: 'I will put My Torah in their minds and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be My people. 11 None of them will teach his fellow-citizen or his brother, saying, “Know Adonai!” For all will know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, 12 because I will be merciful toward their wickednesses and remember their sins no more.'” 13 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. 9:1 Now the first covenant had both regulations for worship and a Holy Place here on earth. 2 A tent was set up, the outer one, which was called the Holy Place; in it were the menorah, the table and the Bread of the Presence. 3 Behind the second parokhet was a tent called the Holiest Place, 4 which had the golden altar for burning incense and the Ark of the Covenant, entirely covered with gold. In the Ark were the gold jar containing the man, Aharon's rod that sprouted and the stone Tablets of the Covenant; 5 and above it were the k'ruvim representing the Sh'khinah, casting their shadow on the lid of the Ark – but now is not the time to discuss these things in detail. 6 With things so arranged, the cohanim go into the outer tent all the time to discharge their duties; 7 but only the cohen hagadol enters the inner one; and he goes in only once a year, and he must always bring blood, which he offers both for himself and for the sins committed in ignorance by the people. 8 By this arrangement, the Ruach HaKodesh showed that so long as the first Tent had standing, the way into the Holiest Place was still closed. 9 This symbolizes the present age and indicates that the conscience of the person performing the service cannot be brought to the goal by the gifts and sacrifices he offers. 10 For they involve only food and drink and various ceremonial washings – regulations concerning the outward life, imposed until the time for God to reshape the whole structure. 11 But when the Messiah appeared as cohen gadol of the good things that are happening already, then, through the greater and more perfect Tent which is not man-made (that is, it is not of this created world), 12 He entered the Holiest Place once and for all. And He entered not by means of the blood of goats and calves, but by means of His own blood, thus setting people free forever. 13 For is sprinkling ceremonially unclean persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer restores their outward purity; 14 then how much more the blood of the Messiah, Who, through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself to God as a sacrifice without blemish, will purify our conscience from works that lead to death, so that we can serve the living God! 15 It is because of this death that He is Mediator of a new covenant [or will]. Because a death has occurred which sets people free from the transgressions committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promised eternal inheritance. ◦ It has always been understood that salvation is by faith in the grace and provision of God and not through works of the Law or sacrifices since all our righteous deeds are like menstrual rags before Him (Isa 64:6). Since we have Messiah's sacrifice and the New Covenant writings, and since the עוֹלָם Sovereign LORD of All allowed the earthly place of sacrifice to be done away with, it is an excepted fact that sacrificial system has been replaced. ▪ It begs the question, however: • How has the LORD, in like manner and with similar clarity, shown us that the rest of His עוֹלָם commandments have also been replaced, superseded and / or done away with?