Under The Law
(This article first appeared as a three-part blog by Dr. Stephen Pidgeon, January 12-16, 2015.)
Let’s crack the nut on this subject, shall we?
First we need to discuss a couple of terms that may reveal a great deal on this subject. We start with the terms that are used to discuss the word law. In Hebrew, we first have the word torah, which is actually better interpreted as meaning instruction, but is the word most commonly interpreted as law in most English editions. (It appears as torah in the Eth Cepher). Of course, this is not the only word translated as law.
Shemot (Exodus) 12:49
One (echad) law (torah) shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger (ger) that sojourns (goor) among you.
So our next choice for the Hebrew word that is interpreted as law is the word mishpat, which means in the first instance a verdict pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree, divine law, including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty. The better word here would be judgment (in America, we would call it legal precedent).
Vayiqra (Exodus) 24:22
Ye shall have one (echad) manner of law (mishpat), as well for the stranger (ger), as for one of your own country: for I am YAHUAH ELOHAYCHA.
Our third Hebrew word is the word chôq, which means an enactment; commandment, custom, decree, law, measure, ordinance, or statute. Consider its usage in the first Psalm of David:
Dvrei Hayamiym Rishon (1 Chronicles) 16:7-19
Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank YAHUAH into the hand of Acaph and his brethren.
8 Give thanks unto YAHUAH, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people. 9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works. 10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek YAHUAH. 11 Seek YAHUAH and his strength, seek his face continually. 12 Remember his marvellous works that he has done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
Before we get into the issue of the word chôq, consider that there appears in this text the edict to call upon the name of YAHUAH. It is not possible to call upon his name when you call upon the Lord – which is a substituted title, or when you call upon HaShem, which means the name, without using the name. Give thanks to YAHUAH, and do so by calling on his name (Yada YAHUAH).
13 O ye seed of Yisra’el his servant, ye children of Ya`aqov, his chosen ones. 14 He is YAHUAH our ELOHIYM; his judgments (mishpatiym, or laws) are in all the earth. 15 Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations; 16 Even of the covenant which he made with את (eth)-Avraham, and of his oath unto Yitschaq; 17 And has confirmed the same to Ya`aqov for a law (chôq), and to Yisra’el for an everlasting covenant, 18 Saying, Unto you will I give the land of Kena`an, the lot of your inheritance; 19 When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it. 20 And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people; 21 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, 22 Saying, Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets no harm.
Compare Yisra’el to those who insist they are not “under the law.” Consider this passage, ye seed of Yisra’el his servant, and ye children of Ya’aqov, his chosen ones. Do you not wish to be his chosen? Read what it says: He is YAHUAH our ELOHIYM; his judgments are in all the earth. For what follows is a direct instruction to the seed of Yisra’el and the children of Ya’aqov:
15 Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word (d’var) which he commanded to a thousand generations; 16 Even of the covenant which he made with את (eth)-Avraham, and of his oath unto Yitschaq; 17 And has confirmed the same to Ya`aqov for a law (chôq), and to Yisra’el for an everlasting covenant.
Isn’t this the reference found in Yahuchanon (John) 1:1; that in the beginning was the Word? The covenant is the word, which is the covenant made to Avraham, which is the oath made to Yitschaq, which is the law (chôq) for Ya’aqov, and which is an everlasting covenant to Yisra’el.
The covenant (brit) given to Avraham was a birthright to the land of Kena’an as an everlasting inheritance. It is this covenant that is renewed in Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 31:31 and Ivriym (Hebrews) 8:8. We will discuss this a bit as part of this inquiry.
While it would serve brevity to preempt this discussion by shortening this review of this verse, the beauty of the passage is worthy of a complete read, so here is the rest:
23 Sing unto YAHUAH, all the earth; show forth from day to day his YAHUSHA. 24 Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations. 25 For great is YAHUAH, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the people are idols: but YAHUAH made the heavens. 27 Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.
28 Give unto YAHUAH, ye kindreds of the people, give unto YAHUAH glory and strength. 29 Give unto YAHUAH the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship YAHUAH in the beauty of holiness. 30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved. 31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, YAHUAH reigns. 32 Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein. 33 Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of YAHUAH, because he comes to judge the earth. 34 O give thanks unto YAHUAH; for he is good; for his mercy endures forever (yada YAHUAH, kee tov, kee la’olam chesed).35 And say ye, Save us, O ELOHIYM of our salvation (yesha), and gather us together, and deliver (natsal) us from the heathen, that we may give thanks (yada) to your holy name (qodesh l’shem), and glory in your praise. 36 Blessed be YAHUAH ELOHIYM of Yisra’el forever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised YAHUAH.
I asked the question in the prelude to this discussion (Three Hebrew words), "Do you not wish to be his chosen?" Consider the words of Kepha on this subject, in light of the words of David which we have previously read:
Kepha Rishon (1 Peter) 2:2
As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
We have two choices here as to the full implications of the phrase “the word.” First, the reference could be to the whole Torah, as fulfilled in ADONAI YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH. However, to the extent we are talking about the children of the birthright – the whole of the house of Yisra’el – then we are discussing the law (chôq) for Ya’aqov, and which is an everlasting covenant to Yisra’el. Kepha continues:
Kepha Rishon (I Peter) 2:3-8
If so be ye have tasted that YAHUAH is gracious. 4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of ELOHIYM, and precious, 5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to ELOHIYM by YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH. 6 Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Tsiyon a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believes on him shall not be confounded. 7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, 8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.
This phrase – a stone of stumbling – was not used accidentally, nor imposed ab initia by Kepha in this writing, but makes direct reference to the same usage by Yeshayahu:
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 8:11-22
For YAHUAH spoke thus to me with a strong hand, and instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, saying, 12 Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. 13 Sanctify את (eth)-YAHUAH TSEVA’OT himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Yisra’el, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Yerushalayim. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. 16 Bind up the testimony, seal the Torah among my Talmidiym. 17 And I will wait upon YAHUAH, that hides his face from the house of Ya`aqov, and I will look for him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom YAHUAH has given me are for signs and for wonders in Yisra’el from YAHUAH TSEVA’OT, which dwells in Mount Tsiyon.
While it is possible to be disobedient to the law (chôq) for Ya’aqov which is the everlasting covenant to Yisra’el by denying the birthright, the more likely candidate here for the meaning of the phrase “the word” is the Torah. MASHIACH is a stumbling stone for those who have not bound up the testimony (of MASHIACH) and sealed the Torah in their hearts, minds, and souls.
Kepha again makes reference to those who have done just this:
Kepha Rishon (I Peter) 2:9-10
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of ELOHIYM: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
Well, okay. How about those who have not bound up the testimony and sealed up the Torah?
Husha (Hosea) 4:6
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me: seeing you have forgotten the Torah of ELOHAYCHA, I will also forget your children.
Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 8:20-22
To the Torah and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them. 21 And they shall pass through it, hardly bestead and hungry: and it shall come to pass, that when they shall be hungry, they shall fret themselves, and curse their king and their ELOHIYM, and look upward. 22 And they shall look unto the earth; and behold trouble and darkness, dimness of anguish; and they shall be driven to darkness.
For those of you whose rabbi is Paul (Sha’ul), let us read his words on this subject:
Romayim (Romans) 8:2-8
For the Torah of the RUACH of life in YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH has made me free from the instruction of sin and death. 3 For what the Torah could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, ELOHIYM sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4 That the righteousness of the Torah might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the RUACH. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the RUACH the things of the RUACH. 6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against ELOHIYM: for it is not subject to the Torah of ELOHIYM, neither indeed can be. 8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please ELOHIYM.
This is not difficult to read or to understand. The righteousness of the Torah is fulfilled in those who walk after the RUACH. Those who are not subject to the Torah, are those who are carnally minded and who walk after the flesh, and, it is written, they cannot be subject to the Torah. Finally, Sha’ul indicates that those that are in the flesh cannot please ELOHIYM.
It should surprise no one, then, that those who proclaim that they are not “under the law’ which to them means not subject to the Torah, will be found serving the flesh and be carnally minded.
Our covenant (brit) finds its original placement in the cepher Bere’shiyth:
Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 15:17-18
And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. 18 In the same day YAHUAH made a covenant with את (eth)-Avram, saying, Unto your seed have I given this land, from the river of Mitsrayim (the Nile) unto the great river, the river Perath (Euphrates):
This is the covenant that is the word; the covenant made to Avraham is the oath made to Yitschaq, which is the law (chôq) for Ya’aqov and an everlasting covenant to Yisra’el. It is interesting that the dimensions of the heavenly Yershaliym (as interpreted by Gil Broussard) are the exact dimensions of the covenant land grant.
Gil Broussard – THE NEW JERUSALEM & EDEN -- Fictional or Real
This land grant represents first Eden (within the circle) and second, the promised land by definition (the square). It is interesting that the land of Eden includes the land of Midian in Saudi Arabia as far as Medina (but excludes Mecca), and includes all seven called out assemblies of the cepher Chizayon. The land grant itself (the square) includes Damascus, but excludes Allepo; it includes Latakia, Tripoli, Biblos, Beirut, and the entirety of the island of Cyprus, but excludes Antioch. It includes all of Goshen, the Sinai and all of the nation of Jordan, but excludes Ethiopia and Iraq.
If there is anything to be said about the Holy Land grant in its ultimate disposition, is that right now, it is hopelessly divided. Cyprus is divided between Greek and Turk. Syria is in a civil war that has seen over 250,000 deaths. The northern portion is divided between Syria and Lebanon; Syria is divided between Sunni and Shia; Lebanon is divided among the lawful government and Hezbollah; the Transjordan is divided between Israel and Jordan; Israel is divided between Jewish territory, the west bank and the Gaza strip; there is civil war in the Sinai; and there is political trouble in both Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Nonetheless, here is the birthright of the children of Yisra’el, expressed in a covenant that passed by oath and blessing from Avraham to Yitschaq, from Yitschaq to Ya’aqov, from Ya’aqov to Ephrayim and Menashsheh, whose birthright is not to be reckoned. (Dvrei Hayamiym Rishon 5). How has this covenant fared?
Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 3:6-11
YAHUAH said also unto me in the days of Yo’shiyahu the king, Have you seen that which backsliding Yisra’el has done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there has played the harlot. 7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn you unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Yahudah saw it. 8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Yisra’el broke wedlock I had put her away, and given her a cepher of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Yahudah feared not, but went and played the harlot also. 9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and broke wedlock with stones and with stocks. 10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Yahudah has not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, says YAHUAH. 11 And YAHUAH said unto me, The backsliding Yisra’el has justified herself more than treacherous Yahudah.
Well, this is interesting, for it appears in this passage that YAH gave certificates of divorce to both the house of Yisra’el and the house of Yahudah. This passage becomes even more interesting when you consider how YAHUAH transitions in this passage – transitioning from husband (ba’al) to father (ha’ab) and postponing the realization of the covenant for another day.
Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 3:12
Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, you backsliding Yisra’el, says YAHUAH; and I will not cause my anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, says YAHUAH, and I will not keep anger forever. 13 Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against YAHUAH your ELOHIYM, and have scattered your ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, says YAHUAH. 14 Turn, O backsliding children, says YAHUAH; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Tsiyon: 15 And I will give you pastors (ra’ah – shepherds) according to my heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
A brief word on the term interpreted as pastors. In the Hebrew, the word is ra’ah. In the modern Hebrew, it is often said as ro’eh. Should a person write this in accord with the strict pronunciation, the word would be spelled roi. Compare with the French term for king: Roi (the king, LeRoi). The number of the remnant – one of a city; two of a family – is really quite small, for many are called, few are chosen. (Mattithyahu 22:14).
Consider how the covenant is expressed now with a promise of restoration (tikkun):
Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 3:16-19
And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says YAHUAH, they shall say no more, The Ark of the Covenant of YAHUAH: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done anymore. 17 At that time they shall call Yerushalayim the throne of YAHUAH (kissay YAHUAH); and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of YAHUAH, to Yerushalayim: neither shall they walk anymore after the imagination of their evil heart. 18 In those days the house of Yahudah shall walk with the house of Yisra’el, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers. 19 But I said, How shall I put you among the children, and give you a pleasant land, a goodly heritage of the hosts of nations? and I said, You shall call me, My Father; and shall not turn away from me.
How beautiful is his name upon the mountains! Here, YAH asks the question: How shall I give you the pleasant land – the goodly heritage of the hosts of nations (tsava goyim)? And here, YAH answers the question: You shall call me, My Father (Avi); and shall not turn away from me.
There is a method that YAH will employ to restore his heirs, and it is found both in the Tanakh and those scriptures called the New Testament:
Yermiyahu (Jeremiah) 31:31-34
Behold, the days come, says YAHUAH, that I will make a Renewed Covenant with the את (eth)-house of Yisra’el, and with the את (eth)-house of Yahudah: 32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Mitsrayim; which my covenant they broke, although I was a man unto them, says YAHUAH: 33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with את (eth)-the house of Yisra’el; After those days, says YAHUAH, I will put my Torah in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their ELOHIYM, and they shall be my people. 34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know את (eth)-YAHUAH: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says YAHUAH: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Ivriym (Hebrews) 8:8b-12
Behold, the days come, says YAHUAH, when I will make a Renewed Covenant with the את (eth)-house of Yisra’el and with the את (eth)-house of Yahudah: 9 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Mitsrayim; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, says YAHUAH. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the את (eth)-house of Yisra’el after those days, says YAHUAH; I will put my Torah into their mind, and write it in their hearts: and I will be to them an ELOHIYM, and they shall be to me a people: 11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know את (eth)-YAHUAH: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their Torahless deeds will I remember no more.
This statement and restatement (two witnesses) is known as the BRIT CHADASHA – the renewed covenant. How, then, does this take place?
Mattithyahu (Matthew) 26:26
And as they were eating, YAHUSHA took bread, and blessed it, and broke it, and gave it to the Talmidiym, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. 27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; 28 For this is my blood of the Renewed Covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Consider this covenant once again: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with את (eth)-the house of Yisra’el; After those days, says YAHUAH, I will put my Torah in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their ELOHIYM, and they shall be my people.
The covenant is with the whole of the house of Yisra’el, which when renewed, restores Yisra’el to YAHUAH as his people, after the putting of the Torah in their hearts, souls and minds. Part of this Torah is the covenant that is the word; the covenant made to Avraham that is the oath made to Yitschaq; the oath made to Yitschaq that is the law (chôq) for Ya’aqov; the law given to Ya’aqov became an everlasting covenant to Yisra’el; which is:
Unto your seed have I given this land, from the river of Mitsrayim (the Nile) unto the great river, the river Perath (Euphrates).
Given that we are discussing the dominant paradigm expressed in the American 501(c)(3), federally registered, tax exempt church, let us consider the foundational rhetoric with specificity.
Romayim (Romans) 3:1-17
WHAT advantage then has the Yahudiy? Or what profit is there of circumcision? 2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the words of ELOHIYM.
When we reviewed the delivery of the covenant, we saw that the covenant was given to the people of ELOHIYM, namely, the whole of the house of Yisra’el (which means all of the tribes, including Yahuda, Benyamin, Leviym, Ephrayim, Menashsheh, et al). This covenant was renewed with the blood atonement of HAMASHIACH, and the Torah was put in the hearts, minds, and souls, of his people.
The inheritance of the land grant, however, was dependent upon circumcision.
Bere’shiyth (Genesis) 17:4
The expression of the covenant:
As for me, behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be a father of many nations. 5 Neither shall your name anymore be called Avram, but your name shall be Avraham; for a father of many nations have I made you. 6 And I will make you exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come out of you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your seed after you in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be ELOHIYM unto you, and to your seed after you. 8 And I will give unto you, and to your seed after you, את (eth) the land wherein you are a stranger, את (eth) all the land of Kena`an, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their ELOHIYM.
The keeping of the covenant:
9 And ELOHIYM said unto El-Avraham, You shall keep my covenant therefore, you, and your seed after you in their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and your seed after you; Every man child among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall circumcise את (eth) the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of your seed. 13 He that is born in your house, and he that is bought with your money, must need to be circumcised: and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.
One might ask the question: how long does this covenant condition last? The word used in response is “everlasting.” So Sha’ul tells us that there is profit in the circumcision, because those of the circumcision were committed with the words of ELOHIYM. Is this statement true? Who else has maintained the scriptures? We have no diaries of the words of the Titans (Nephaliym); or the words of the gods of Babylon, for the wooden, brazen, and golden idols were silent. So it is that the children of Yisra’el, and in particular, the Leviyim and the Yahudiym, kept a meticulous record, and kept it with a zealous fervor for the words of YAHUAH.
[Consider the comparative record with the works of the Greeks, whose construction of the text of the New Testament finds multiple inclusions, variants in almost every text, a complete denial that original texts existed in Hebrew, a transitive list of books considered within the Rule (Canon) of the Roman determination, no criteria for inclusion or exclusion, and apparent corruption in numerous texts whose epigraph is in question.
Take for instance the cepher Ivriym. There is great debate about the author, and most scholars do not believe that Paul/Sha’ul wrote the letter. The inclusion of 1 and 2 Timothy, Titus, and Hebrews did not occur in the Codex Vaticanus or the Codex Sinaiticus, and did not appear until the fifth century. The Apocalypse of Peter and the Shepherd of Hermes were considered as part of the New Testament in the third and fourth century, but disappeared from the included text in the early 400s. Some included the epistle of Barnabus, and the writings of Clement, and the King James identifies about half of the epistles of Paul as pseudepigraphal. We have included the same identification in the Eth Cepher.]
Before we consider further the controversial writings of Sha’ul, let us consider Kepha’s words on these writings:
Kepha Sheniy (2 Peter) 3:14-18
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. 15 And account that the longsuffering of our ADONAI is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him has written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17 Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness. 18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our ADONAI and Saviour YAHUSHA HAMASHIACH. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
In addition, let us consider a few Greek words:
νομος - nomos
The first word is the Greek word that is translated as law, which is νομος nomos. We have elected to translate this word as Torah, which means instruction; however, there are several options in the context of Sha’ul. For instance, Sha’ul may be referring to the Torah in its initial context, which would be only the law of Mosheh; or he may be referring to the Torah as understood and iterated by MASHIACH, which is the works of MOSHEH and the Prophets; or he may be referring to the cho^q, which is the everlasting covenant between YAHUAH and his people Yisra’el; or he may be referring to the oral law, which became the written law about one hundred and fifty years before him (mindful that Sha’ul was a self-confessed Parashiym); or he may have been referring to the entire kit and caboodle. Using the word nomos, the answer is: we don’t know exactly which one.
Consider MASHIACH’s use of the term:
Mattithyahu (Matthew) 5:17-20
Think not that I am come to destroy the Torah (nomos), or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. 18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one Yod or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the Torah (nomos), till all be fulfilled. 19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments [in Hebrew, mishpahtiym], and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven. 20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness (δικαιοσυνη dikaiosune) shall exceed the righteousness (δικαιοσυνη dikaiosune) of the scribes and Parashiym, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Consider also the antithesis:
Mattithyahu (Matthew) 7:21-23
Not everyone that says unto me, ADONAI, ADONAI, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, ADONAI, ADONAI, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out devils? and in your name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye transgressors (εργαζομαι ergazomai) of the Torah (ανομια anomia).
We know exactly the reference of MASHIACH, and in the antithesis, we see that those who work iniquity are called ergazomai (workers) of lawlessness (anomia); which is to say that they are, in the Greek understanding, anomian. Sha’ul is a bit more – nay, a lot more – ambiguous.
So, the usage is as follows:
Nomos: The law, or Torah
Anomos: Without the law (torah), lawless
Antinomos: Opposed to the law, or Torah
δικαιος - dikaios
The next Greek word for our consideration is the word δικαιος dikaios, which means equitable (in character or act) and by implication, innocent [in Hebrew, naqiy], holy [in Hebrew, qodesh], or just [in Hebrew, tsadiq]. There are several Greek derivatives of this word δικαιος dikaios:
δικαιοω dikaioo; which means to render (i.e. show or regard as) just or innocent, i.e., to be justified.
δικαιοσυνη dikaiosune; which means primarily justification, but is interpreted as righteousness.
δικαιωσις dikaiosis; which means acquittal, but is interpreted as justification.
Finally, the third word at issue here is the word for faith. In the Greek, this word is πιστις pistis. This is the word that is translated as faith, and which means persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:—assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.
Chabaqquq (Habakkuk) 2:4
Behold, his soul (nefesh) which is lifted up is not upright (yashar) in him: but the just (tsadiq) shall live (chayah) by his faith (emunah).
The Greek word πιστις pistis is and has direct correspondence to the Hebrew word for faith which is emunah. That the same word is intended can be summarily inferred, since Sha’ul cites the phrase of Chabakkuk twice at Romayim 1:7, and Galatiym 3:11 (and it appears a third time in cepher Ivriym at 10:38).
Emunah means moral fidelity (Strong’s 430); which means to act consistently with one’s moral code.
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.