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Under the law? - What did Sha’ul actually say?

Author Stephen Pidgeon - Friday, January 16, 2015


Shemot (Exodus) 23:7

Keep yourself far from a false matter; and the innocent (naqiy) and righteous (tsadiyq) slay you not: for I will not justify (tsadaq) the wicked.

There are a couple of Hebrew words here that are worthy of consideration as we explore the writings of Sha’ul:

Innocent - naqiy, which means blameless, clean, clear, exempted, free, guiltless, or innocent.

Righteous – tsadiyq, which means just, lawful, righteous

Justify – tsadaq (the root of tsadiyq and tsedeqah), which means to be right in a moral or forensic sense.

As we discussed in the last writing, the Greek word δικαιος dikaios is better understood as just, rather than righteous.  The difference has to do with the judgment of YAH.  One of the things that can be gleaned generally from the language of Sha’ul is its inherent juris prudence.  That is, much of his language has to do with a finding of acquittal, a finding of justification, rather than a condition of being innocent or righteous a priori.   He speaks, therefore, of the condition of man at the time of judgment.  The scope, therefore, is radically different from Mosheh, who is speaking prospectively (thou shalt, thou shalt not); while Sha’ul speaks contemporaneously or retrospectively.

Now, let us consider this passage in Romayim 3, with a bit of a change (as marked in bold) for your consideration.

Romayim (Romans) 3:19-27

Now we know that what things soever the Torah says, it says to them who are of the Torah: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before ELOHIYM. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the Torah there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the Torah is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the justification of ELOHIYM without the Torah is manifested, being witnessed by the Torah and the prophets; 22 Even the justification of ELOHIYM which is by faith (moral fidelity) of YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of ELOHIYM; 24 Being made just freely by his grace through the redemption that is in YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH: 25 Whom ELOHIYM has set forth to be a propitiation through faith (moral fidelity) in his blood (atonement), to declare his justification for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of ELOHIYM; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his justification: that he might be just, and might with justification make him just which is in the faith (moral fidelity) of YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what Torah? Of works? Nay: but by the Torah of faith (moral fidelity).

Let us then conclude this reinterpretation with the most explosive phrase in the passage:

Romayim (Romans) 3:28

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith (moral fidelity) without the work (εργον ergon) of the Torah.

If we look at this discussion historically (within the confines of scripture, and not extra-scriptural), we see that an everlasting covenant was given to the whole of the house of Yisra’el; yet is was a covenant that was broken by them, such that YAHUAH issued a certificate of divorce, saying I will no longer be your man, but you shall call me Father in Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 3.

There was however a promise that the covenant would be renewed – a renewed covenant (Brit Chadashah) that came upon mankind as an unwarranted gift in the blood atonement of HAMASHIACH.  Bear in mind that the atonement and the subsequent resurrection were a complete propitiation (act of YAH upon the mercy seat or kippureth) not only for the breaking and restoration (tikkun) of the covenant, but which ultimately overcame the penalty of death which came upon mankind in the singularity of Adam.  There are no works of righteousness which are capable of setting aside death, other than this propitiation.

However, consider the words of the Torah:

Devariym (Deuteronomy) 6:20-25

And when your son asks you in time to come, saying, What mean the testimonies (ayduth), and the statutes (cho^q), and the judgments (mishpathiym) which YAHUAH our ELOHIYM has commanded you? 21 Then you shall say unto your son, We were Phar`oh’s bondmen in Mitsrayim; and YAHUAH brought us out of Mitsrayim with a mighty hand: 22 And YAHUAH showed signs and wonders, great and sore, upon Mitsrayim, upon Phar`oh, and upon all his household, before our eyes: 23 And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he swore unto our fathers. 24 And YAHUAH commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear את (eth)-YAHUAH our ELOHIYM, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as it is at this day. 25 And it shall be our righteousness, if we observe to do all these commandments before YAHUAH our ELOHIYM, as he has commanded us.

Therefore, we conclude that chayim olam (eternal life) is premised not in a blind belief in “God”, but in a belief that the covenant was restored and renewed in HAMASHIACH, and the shedding of His blood as the lamb of ELOHIYM; and the a complete propitiation for the fall of Adam was had in His death and resurrection.  Sha’ul is saying that our justification before the White Throne is had by this moral fidelity – a moral fidelity to HAMASHIACH, which is the chief cornerstone (eben rosh pinna) of our faith.

Romayim (Romans) 3:29-31

Is he the ELOHIYM of the Yahudiym only? Is he not also of the other people? Yes, of the other people also: 30 Seeing it is one ELOHIYM, which shall make just the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. 31 Do we then make void the Torah by faith? Not so: yea, we establish the Torah.

For it is written:

Mishlei (Proverbs) 7:1-3

My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with you. 2 Keep my commandments, and live; and my Torah as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them upon your fingers, write them upon the table of your heart.

Nechemiah (Nehemiah) 1:9

But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Yahuchanon  (John) 15:8-10

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my Talmidiym. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Yahuchanon (John) 14:15

If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; 17 Even the RUACH of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees him not, neither knows him: but ye know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you.

Yahuchanon Rishon (1 John) 5:2-3

By this we know that we love the children of ELOHIYM, when we love ELOHIYM, and keep his commandments. 3 For this is the love of ELOHIYM, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

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