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The circumcision of the heart

Author Stephen Pidgeon - Tuesday, February 10, 2015


What does it mean to have a circumcised heart? At the bare minimum it means not to be stiffnecked.  What does it mean to be stiffnecked if it doesn’t mean refusing to hear the word of YAH? But it means even more, as at its root is the failure to fear YAHUAH, to hold him in awesome reverence.

Take a look at this fabulous passage from Devariym:

Devariym (Deuteronomy) 10:12-22

And now, Yisra’el, what does YAHUAH your ELOHIYM require of you, but to fear את (eth)-YAHUAH your ELOHIYM, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve את (eth)-YAHUAH your ELOHIYM with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 To keep the commandments of YAHUAH, and his statutes, which I command you this day for your good? 14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is YAHUAH’S your ELOHIYM, the earth also, with all that therein is. 15 Only YAHUAH had a delight in your fathers to love them, and he chose their seed after them, even you above all people, as it is this day. 16 Circumcise therefore את (eth) the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked. 17 For YAHUAH your ELOHIYM is ELOHIYM of gods, and ADONAI of adoniym, a great EL, a mighty, and a terrible, which regards not persons, nor takes reward: 18 He executes the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loves the stranger, in giving him food and raiment. 19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Mitsrayim. 20 You shall fear את (eth)-YAHUAH your ELOHIYM; him shall you serve, and to him shall you cleave, and swear by his name. 21 He is your praise, and he is your ELOHIYM, that has done for you these great and terrible things, which your eyes have seen. 22 Your fathers went down into Mitsrayim with threescore and ten persons; and now YAHUAH your ELOHIYM has made you as the stars of heaven for multitude.

Let us then set forth an explicit list from this passage, answering the question as to what is the circumcision of the heart, and what does YAHUAH ELOHAYCHA require of us:

1. Walk in his ways.  The word here for ways is derek.  In Hebrew, to walk in his ways is yalak derek.

2. Love and serve eth YAHUAH your ELOHIYM with all your heart and with all your soul.

3. Guard the commandments of YAHUAH, and his statutes. 

4. Love the stranger.

5. Fear YAHUAH.

6. Serve YAHUAH.

7. Cleave to YAHUAH.

8. Swear by his name.  Now in the Hebrew, the phrase is vay’b’shemo shaba

This term shaba is an interesting word, and one that we have discussed many times before, as its root is in the word sheva or seven.  In this case, the word means to take seven oaths in the name of YAHUAH. What are the seven oaths?

  1. Yalak derek (to walk in the way)
  2. Ahavtah YAHUAH (to love YAH)
  3. Shamar eth mitzvoth (to guard the commandments)
  4. Ahav hager (to love the stranger)
  5. Yireh YAHUAH (to fear YAHUAH)
  6. Abad YAHUAH (to serve YAHUAH)
  7. Dabaq YAHUAH (to cling to YAHUAH)

Number 8 is shaba – to declare these oaths.  Such is the circumcision of the heart.

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