~1452 BC – 1322 BC: Moses, Jacob’s great-great-grandson through cursed Levi
Key Precept: The Hebrew Melchizedek over the whole world establishes, therefore rules over, the subordinate nation of Israel and its priestly order of Levi.
Most regrettably, by the time most Bible studies leave the book of Genesis and advance to Exodus, the whole concept of Melchizedek has been forgotten in the focus on the nation of Israel, and Old Testament Christ-ianity has been utterly severed from Judaism.
Frustratingly, despite direct scriptural statements, mainstream Christianity treats Isaac, Jacob and Joseph as types of Christ / the Promised Seed, and not as actual Christs / Promised Seeds in direct descent from the Adams in the order of Melchizedek in their own right. Don’t let the close focus theological conclusions of Paul’s arguments blur your awareness of the long range background proofs.
“For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was…to Abraham [and] his seed...(Romans 4:13)
“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 Christ… In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is…the children of God [are] the children of the promise…the seed. (Romans 9:7-8)
This study keeps the focus on Melchizedek.
Joseph inherited this position at the age of 57 after training for 27 years as Prime Minister in the world-wide Gentile empire. We know the time frame because Scripture explicitly, and seemingly randomly, states that Joseph became Prime Minister at the age of 30, then gives us other dates regarding Jacob that we can apply to Joseph.
This numerical data shouldn’t be overlooked. As in scientific research, or a mortgage application, numerical data answers questions, i.e. “reveals mysteries” about important activities like COVID resurgence or erratic employment. So let’s collect this subtle but highly significant background information as we track the Hebrew Melchizedek ruling from international Egypt back to the land of Canaan.
“and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. and came into Egypt,
- Jacob, and all his seed with him:
- His sons, and his daughters, 1st generation
- his sons’ sons and his sons’ daughters” 2nd generation
All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six; And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls [Ephraim and Manasseh]: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten (70).” (Genesis 46:5-7, 26-27)
The text makes a point that Jacob’s grandchildren, i.e. his 2nd generation, entered Egypt. It goes on to state that Joseph, from Jacob’s 1st generation, was still alive to see his own 3rd generation, i.e. Jacob’s 4th generation. Using 30 years as the age of reaching adulthood, therefore an approximate “generation“, we can calculate a rough estimate of 60 years for these two generations born in Egypt after the 2nd generation entered Egypt.
I’ve rearranged the text slightly without changing the wording to create a database out of the narrative.
- “And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father’s house: and Joseph lived 110 years. And Joseph saw
- Ephraim and Manasseh [born before Joseph was 37 yrs old]
- Ephraim’s children and Machir the son of Manasseh [born before Joseph was 67 yrs old
- Ephraim’s children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh [born before Joseph was 97 years old]. (Genesis 50:22-23)
We can extrapolate from this that, in his role as Melchizedek, Joseph ministered to these Hebrew children of Israel through the third generation of his older brothers, i.e. the fourth generation of Jacob / Israel.
Another text lists the genealogies of the other sons of Israel, one of them being Levi.
- “the years of the life of Levi were an hundred thirty and seven years. And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations,
- Gershon, Merari and Kohath [entered Egypt]: and the years of the life of Kohath were an hundred thirty and three years. And the sons of Kohath;
- Izhar, Hebron, Uzziel and Amram: and the years of the life of Amram were an hundred and thirty and seven years. And Amram took him Jochebed his father’s sister to wife; and she bare him
- Aaron and Moses: [fourth generation of Jacob / Israel]. (Exodus 6)
Using our estimations, Moses would have been born during Joseph’s lifetime and would have heard all about it when Joseph, like his father before him, gave his dying declaration:
“And Joseph said unto his brethren...God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence. So Joseph died, being an hundred and ten years old.” (Genesis 50:24-26)
There is a good reason why Jacob’s body was taken shortly after his death for burial in the promised land but Joseph’s burial could wait until the entire group left for good. Joseph knew that he was relaying the promise of occupying the promised land to the very generation to whom this promise applied.
“And he / God said unto Abram,
- Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs,
- and shall serve them;
- and they shall afflict them four hundred years;
- And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge:
- and afterward shall they come out with great substance…
- in the fourth generation they shall come hither again” (Genesis 15:13-16)
But wait a minute! If we calculate 60 years for the 3rd and 4th generations plus another 50 years for fourth generation Moses who was 80 years old when he led the children of Israel out of Egypt, we only get, at most, about 110 years between entering and leaving Egypt, and this text give 400 years of affliction. What’s the deal?
The problem comes from speed reading through the Bible without fact checking.
Exodus 12:41 says that the Israelites were in Egypt for 430 years. This number also appears in Galatians 3:17.
But when you add up the genealogical record [which?] you only come up with about 190-215 years.
How can we resolve this seeming contradiction?…
Let’s look closely at the texts provided in the above too-short answer to resolve a seeming contradiction.
- “Now the sojourning of the children of Israel,
- who dwelt in Egypt,
- was four hundred and thirty years.
- And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. ” (Exodus 12:40-41)
Note that this passage states two separate sets of circumstances, reported as phrases separated by commas, that are improperly combined into one set of circumstances by the short analysis. Read closely – the sojourning of the children of Israel was 430 years. So-journ includes the root of the word “journ-ey” in our English translation, providing the sense of being on the move, temporary. Think gypsy lifestyle – traveler.
“By faith Abraham…sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:” (Hebrews 11:8-9)
They also dwelt in Egypt for an unspecified period of time. This word denotes the completely opposite condition, that of being settled in place. This was well expressed when the children of Israel moved to Egypt.
“Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan…They said morever unto Pharaoh, For to SOJOURN in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan:And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying.. [in essence, No! No! Don’t wander seeking pasture!] The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to DWELL; in the land of Goshen let them DWELL: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.“
More significantly than residing in tents or caravans vs houses in cities, a sojourner is an alien without the rights of a citizen or member of society, outside the law, an outlaw, with no protection when “afflicted”. The children of Israel were not afflicted in Egypt when they first came in “to dwell”, they had the highest law of the land looking out for their welfare. It was only later in Egypt, and in every other country where they “sojourned”, that they were afflicted.
“And Jacob sent messengers before him…unto the land of Seir, the country of Edom. And he commanded them, saying, Thus shall ye speak unto my lord Esau;
- I have sojourned with Laban [in Haran, where he and his children were afflicted for 20 years], and stayed there until now
- Thy servant Jacob saith…I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants: and I have sent to tell my lord, that I may find grace in thy sight…a present for Esau his brother; Two hundred she goats, and twenty he goats, two hundred ewes, and twenty rams, Thirty milch camels with their colts, forty kine, and ten bulls, twenty she asses, and ten foal…he delivered This passage them into the hand of his servants…thou shalt say, They be thy servant Jacob’s; it is a present sent unto my lord Esau: and, behold, also he is behind us. ” (Genesis 32)
The extended passage makes it clear that, while sojourning in Haran, the children of Israel were totally under Laban’s authority, essentially serfs or slaves.
“And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian…he fled with all that he had… Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead. [This is battle formation.] And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast…carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?…And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing. It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt:” (Genesis 31:20-29)
The extended passage also makes it clear that Jacob had to ask permission, as a outsider, paying what amounts to a tariff to engage in his livelihood in Esau’s territory. Jacob had no right to live in the land of Canaan without Esau’s permission. As long as Isaac was alive, which he was at this time, Jacob had no claim to his inheritance. He was indeed a thief and by the law of the day just cited by Laban, Esau was entited to justice in his land through the power of his men. Isaac certainly wasn’t going to stop him.
The Book of Jasher, which if not accepted as 100% spiritually accurate, at least has historical cultural relevance, gives credible accounts of battles between the children of Israel and the inhabitants of the land of Canaan, supporting the prediction of years of affliction to Abraham. In reality, this was not so much a prophecy as it was a heads’ up that God was not going to surround his people with a magical screen of protection all the time. This is just normal greedy, self-centered human behavior which pushes God’s people closer to him.
Rather than substantiating the short analysis’ misreading of Exodus 12:41, the Galatians passage firmly places the start date of the 430 years back to Abram, not the entering of Jacob’s family into Egypt.
“Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made [one of which was granting possession of the land inhabited by the Canaanites in Abram’s day.]…And this I say, that
- the covenant / commitment / promise, that was confirmed [to Abram] before of God in Christ [the Promised Seed]
- the law [to Moses], which was four hundred and thirty years after,
cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect…God gave it to Abraham by promise.” (Galatians 3:16-18)
You may think I’m just being obsessive about dates and data, but getting the timeline straight between the children of Israel entering and leaving Egypt is actually key to unlocking a mystery about the Exodus.
Why? Because the Exodus happened to Abram’s Hebrew nation ruled by Melchizedek, NOT Israel’s nation established after the Exodus under the Mosaic constitution.
“And the LORD said unto Moses…Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning…And thou shalt say unto him, The LORD God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee, saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and, behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear. (Hebrews 7:14-16)
Jacob is only the most well known founder of an Abrahamic nation. His family was very small in his lifetime, consisting of only 70 direct descendants by the time of his death. There was no politically recognized nation of Israel until over a hundred years after Jacob died when it was constituted under Moses at Mount Sinai.
In the meantime, Jacob and his descendants continued to be identified with Abraham’s foundational Hebrew nation.
“And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar…an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmeelites [who were not identified as Hebrews so we can deduce these descendants of Abraham chose not to live by Yahweh’s code of righteousness. And their behavior supports that deduction.] which had brought him down thither…And his master saw that the LORD was with him, and that the LORD made all that he did to prosper in his hand. [Obviously the LORD is known as the God of the Hebrews to this Egyptian.]…And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife…called unto the men of her house, and spake unto them, saying, See, he hath brought in an Hebrew unto us to mock us; ” (Gen 39:1-14)
“And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river [Moses’ mom probably put him in the river during the optimal time to catch the eye of a powerful maternal ally – during a religious ritual such as those in India]…she saw the ark among the flags…when she had opened it, she saw the child: and, behold, the babe wept. And she had compassion on him, and said,
- This is one of the Hebrews’ children.
- Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, Shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women…
- when Moses was grown…he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren.” (Exodus 2:5-11)
We need to keep Jacob’s Hebrew national background in view as the story line narrows its focus from the whole world at the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11 to Abraham’s seed from Genesis 12 onward, without altering its theme and main plot which is to restore spiritual life and dominion over the earth to ALL nations of mankind.
Abraham’s Hebrew nation, like America, was a haven for the peoples seeking freedom from oppression and want. While Abraham and his small household lived out this promise on a small scale, it exploded on the world scene about 400 years later during the Exodus of the Hebrew people from the oppressive Egyptian Empire.
“The Exodus has reverberated through world history”, and is such a significant biblical event, perhaps second only to creation, that it is as vehemently denied by Bible critics as creation itself. What do they substitute for the written record of the Exodus and the establishment of the constitution of the nation of Israel? Their imagination and groundless faith in a world without the God of the Bible.
Many theories have been advanced to explain the composition of the first five books of the Bible, but two have been especially influential. The first of these, Persian Imperial authorisation, advanced by Peter Frei in 1985, holds that the Persian authorities required the Jews of Jerusalem to present a single body of law as the price of local autonomy. Frei’s theory was demolished at an interdisciplinary symposium held in 2000, but the relationship between the Persian authorities and Jerusalem remains a crucial question. The second theory, associated with Joel P. Weinberg and called the “Citizen-Temple Community”, proposes that the Exodus story was composed to serve the needs of a post-exilic Jewish community organised around the Temple, which acted in effect as a bank for those who belonged to it. The books containing the Exodus story served as an “identity card” defining who belonged to this community (i.e., to Israel), thus reinforcing Israel’s unity through its new institutions.
Wow. And what reinforced Israel’s unity in the thousand years or so before this “myth” was invented? If you can accept this explanation by
- a person living about 3,500 years after the events he pretends to know more about than people who lived during the time in question, and
- whose purpose in proposing it is to discredit a faith in existence for at least 1,000 years prior to the supposed creation of a justification for their faith, and
- whose means of discrediting this faith is to call their religious leaders gross liars,
I suggest you are as biased as Joel Weinberg. It seems to me that Joel Weinberg should see a therapist for his own personal identity crisis.
There is no question that belief in the Exodus requires faith in the “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds…upholding all things by the word of his power – including the timing and intensity of a cascade of natural events comprising the plagues on Egypt.” (Letter to the Hebrews 1:1-3)
I put to you that it requires more of what is called faith, but is actually biased opinion, to believe in god-less speculations than the written record providing hermeneutical verification of the claims made. For the persons who are at the least willing to consider the biblical narrative, the point I would like to drive home in this post is that it occurred to Hebrews, NOT Jews or Israelites. Let’s all of us keep history in correct chronological order.
And historically and hermeneutical the preponderance of evidence for the multinational genetics of the Hebrew nation at the time of the Exodus is that it increased from a total of just 70 direct descendants from Jacob to 603,550 warriors plus women, children and elderly in just two generations after entering Egypt. Now do you see why the numerical data is so important?
“And the LORD spake unto Moses in the wilderness of Sinai…in the second year after they were come out of the land of Egypt, saying, Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel, after their families, by the house of their fathers, with the number of their names, every male by their polls; From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel: So were all those that were numbered…six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty…
And with you there shall be a man of every tribe; every one head of the house of his fathers...These were the renowned of the congregation, princes of the tribes of their fathers, heads of thousands in Israel…And they assembled all the congregation together on the first day of the second month, and they declared their pedigrees after their families, by the house of their fathers…(Numbers 1)
But wait! This says the children of Israel! So are they Hebrews or Israelites? Follow the chronology.
Remember, or read, the post on Abraham. Individuals who leave their nation of origin to join another ethnic nation are legally adopted into their new nation and become equal members with the genetic descendants of their now shared Father. This is what thousands of enslaved victims of the Egyptian empire did when they joined the Hebrew nation in first the Passover then the Exodus.
Hundreds of years later the Apostle Paul would apply the model of the Exodus to his understanding of the New Covenant.
“…remember, that ye being in time past…aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world…are made nigh by the blood of Christ / “our passover…sacrificed for us“: For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us…Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;” (Ephesians 2:11-19)
“Now Moses [the Hebrew] kept the flock of Jethro his father in law [and, like Jacob to Laban, was subject to his authority as long as he lived in his house-hold] the priest of Midian: and he led the flock to the backside of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush…And the LORD said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people [the Hebrews] which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows; And I am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land and a large, unto a land flowing with milk and honey; unto the place of the Canaanites, and the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Come now therefore, and I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth my people the children of Israel out of Egypt… (Exodus 3:1-10)
“Aha!” you shout. “The text clearly states bring forth ‘my people the children of Israel’ out of Egypt. So there you have it. It did occur to the Israelites.” Well yes, but the point is, it occurred to the children of Israel because they were Hebrews. On the basis of your limited rationale one could claim that the elders of Israel were the only persons the LORD God visited.
“Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them…I have surely visited you…” (Exodus 3:16)
Obviously the “elders” of Israel” represented the larger body of Israelites. Keep reading, and we will discover that likewise “the children of Israel” represent the larger body of Hebrews. Three times the LORD identifies himself as the “God of the Hebrews”.
“Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.” (Exodus 9:1, also verse 13, and 10:3)
The LORD God reiterates himself as the God of Abraham even as the nation of Israel was coalescing into existence.
“Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses…the LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.” (Exodus 4:5, also verse 6, verse 15, verse16)
In fact, it is only as descendants of Abraham – and more, as people who walk in the faith of Abraham and his works proving his faith that the nation of Israel has any claim to occupation of the land promised to Abraham.
“I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession; and I will be their God. And God said unto Abraham…
ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you.
- every man child in your generations…on the eighth day
- he that is born in the household
- or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed.
and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken my covenant. And Abraham took Ishmael his son, and all that were born in his house, and all that were bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house; and circumcised the flesh of their foreskin in the selfsame day, as God had said unto him.“ (Genesis 17:8-23).
This unequivocally states that the people / nation of Abraham entitled to possession of the land formerly known as Canaan include not just genetic descendants of Isaac then Jacob, but other Hebrews as well. Ishmael, the founder of the Arab people, is specifically named, as well as miscellaneous servants of unnamed nationalities.
But! There are qualifications, most importantly, to serve and obey YHVH only. As in a marriage ceremony, the individual
- commits to a permanent bond with YHVH, forsaking all other gods or independence,
- sacrifices / surrenders / gives his sexualityto his partner YHVH
- and seals his ownership by YHVH with a ring. In this case, of flesh.
Circumcision as a religious sexual rite totally makes sense in the sexual context of the Adversary’s spin-off religion, paganism.
“Now all the people that came out were circumcised” (Joshua 5:5) so we know that the Hebrews practiced circumcision to the fourth generation in Egypt. Following protocol, Moses would have been circumcised as a baby. This is how Pharaoh’s daughter would have identified Moses as an Hebrew, since the Egyptians also practiced circumcision, but waited to perform this rite on pubescent boys. Circumcision demonstrates the Hebrews’ faith in God’s promise to give them the land of Canaan.
When Moses fled for refuge from Egyptian law he went to Canaan where he must have expected to find safe harbor. This expectation is supported by discovering that his protector Jethro was an Hebrew, “the priest of Midian”. He is also called a Kenite, so he must have had some association with this Canaanite tribe, perhaps as an evangelist. Jethro was certainly a righteous priest in the Hebrew nation as he was also called Reu-el, which means “friend of God,” This is an honorary title only bestowed previously on Abraham, then later also on believers in the Son of God.
“Who raised up the righteous man from the east, called him to his foot, gave the nations before him, and made him rule over kings?…I the LORD, the first, and with the last…Abraham my friend. Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” (Isa 41:2-10)
“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit.” (John 15:14-16)
Jethro’s close relationship with God can be deduced by his
- authority over Moses despite Moses being “instead of God“,
- hosting of a sacrifice attended by Moses,
- superior wisdom accepted by Moses,
- his elevation of Moses to high social standing in Midian just like Joseph in Egypt, through marriage to a priest’s daughter.
Once we recognize that Reuel Jethro is an Hebrew, we should better understand his role in transforming Moses from an impetuous Egyptian prince into the world’s greatest religious leader apart from the Promised Seed himself. We also shouldn’t overlook Jethro’s influence as the head of his entire household, like Abraham, in forming his grandsons’ character, his eternal legacy through the Levitical priesthood, and his influence over the many Kenites who chose to join Israel, and consequently experienced God’s blessing instead of cursing.
Jethro’s involvement in the formation of the Israelite government at Mount Sinai is a direct outgrowth of the calling and purpose of the Hebrew nation, which is to preserve and propagate the knowledge of the one true God to all the earth.
The Hebrew people are the source of a unique but vital contribution to our Western heritage…it is the treasure of sacred literature which constitutes the Hebrew legacy. The tradition of a monotheistic religion upon which Christianity would build and out of which the modern world would emerge, has arguably served as the wellspring of Western civilization.
Monotheism (the belief that God is one) set the Hebrews apart from the other ancient Near Eastern civilizations. Their monotheism contributed to their understanding of nature as a creation of the transcendent, sovereign, and just God, who made ethical demands of human beings based on His own moral rectitude…The Hebrew belief that each individual was equal before the law became a fundamental notion in Western culture, establishing for the first time the greater worth of the human person over physical property.
Scattered amongst the Canaanites as the Hebrews were, it was easy to become amalgamated into the pagan cultures. Abraham’s own son Ishmael rejected his father’s way of life, as did Isaac’s son Esau, and most of Jacob’s sons at first. Even heroes with strong faith in an all-powerful God found it extremely difficult to maintain a godly way of life under pressure, or simply isolation.
- Abram abandoned his wife to Pharoah’s harem for fear of his life.
- “Righteous Lot“, vexed though he was with the wickedness, succumbed to the riches in Sodom and lost his family, ability to influence anyone towards righteousness, and ultimately all his descendents.
- Abimelech I King of Philistines at Gerar, was nonetheless a righteous man we should consider a Hebrew, but his successor Abimelech II doesn’t measure up to his standards.
These are just a few examples. It should be self-evident that it is necessary for individuals to assemble together under a legal constitution that enforces law and order in order to build up and defend any institution from destruction by external and internal forces – from marriage between two persons to a family to a business to a nation.
And that was the point in setting apart – sanctifying – a subset of the Hebrew nation as the nation of Israel.
“Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made.” (Galatians 3:19)
More on this topic in the next post. For now, we are staying on track with the Hebrew nation headed by Moses during the Exodus.
Recall from the prior post that people can be adopted into a different nation than the one they were born into. This happened during the exodus from the Tower of Babel, and also during the exodus from Egypt. In both cases many nationalities within an oppressive empire renounced their allegiance to their source of daily bread and joined the Hebrew nation.
Why did a multitude of people from other nations have the faith to do so? Because centuries after Abraham died, the marvelous exploits his God worked on behalf of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph were still remembered and recounted.
Recall how many Babylonians joined the Hebrew nation in Abram’s exodus from the Mesopotamian empire after he survived unscathed from Nimrod’s fire – and preached “serve the God of the universe, as thy soul is in his hands, and then it will be well with thee.” Likewise a mixed multitude joined the Hebrew nation in Moses’ exodus from Egypt after he survived unscathed from confrontation after confrontation with Pharoah – and preached – and God proved through the plagues that he would protect the people who served him by obeying his word.
“Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die. He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses: And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field…(Exodus 9:19-23)
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether...the man Moses was very great in the land of Egypt, in the sight of Pharaoh’s servants, and in the sight of the people. And Moses said, Thus saith the LORD, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die...Speak ye unto all the congregation of Israel, saying, In the tenth day of this month they shall take to them every man a lamb, according to the house of their fathers, a lamb for an house [-hold under the head of the house.]
It is vitally important that we sidebar here to ascertain understanding of an ancient cultural practice that is taken for granted in this passage. A man’s household included servants and guests unrelated by blood who came under the protection of the head of the house, including both concrete meaning of “safe house” and abstract meaning of people under the head man’s protection, therefore authority. Examples of this include
- “when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house” [indicative of others not born in his own house therefore not as trustworthy, good example being Theon Greyjoy] (Genesis 14:14)
- Abram said…I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus…one born in my house is mine heir.” (Genesis 15:2-3)
- God said unto Abraham…This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised…every man child
- in your generations / seed,
- he that is born in the house, or
- bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed…
- And the uncircumcised man child whose flesh of his foreskin is not circumcised, that soul shall be cut off from his people / belonging to Abram’s nation;” (Genesis 17:9-14)
- “when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair…and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house…And Pharaoh called Abram and said…Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife [in his harem, but he didn’t, she was simply a guest]..” (Genesis 12:14-19)
- “Pharaoh said unto Joseph…Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou…I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.” (Genesis 41:39-41)
- “And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh…and his servants.” (Genesis 45:16)
Lot – “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and…Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and…he pressed upon them greatly; and they…entered into his house; and…the men of the city…called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said…unto these men do nothing; for therefore [for my protection] came they under the shadow of my roof.” (Genesis 19:1-8
- Abimelech – “Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, for the woman which thou hast taken; for she is a man’s wife. But Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, LORD, wilt thou slay also a righteous nation?…Therefore Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears…For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech.” (Genesis 20)
- Jacob –
- “And Jacob sent messengers before him to Esau his brother…saying…I have oxen, and asses, flocks, and menservants, and womenservants…Jacob said unto his household, and to all that were with him…” (Genesis 32:, 35:2)
- “Esau cometh to meet thee, and four hundred men with him…And Esau took his wives, and his sons, and his daughters, and all the persons of his house [a substantial number of servants required to herd all the animals], and his cattle, and all his beasts, and all his substance, which he had got in the land of Canaan; and went into the country from the face of his brother Jacob. For their riches [in cattle and consequently herdsmen] were more than that they might dwell together (Genesis 32:6, 36:6-7)
- “Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me…thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and thy household…And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father’s house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father’s house [two different groups], which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me; And the men are shepherds [obviously lots of them, not just Jacob’s immediate family] (Genesis 45:9-11, 46:31-32)
Now these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt; every man and his household came with Jacob…And [making a distinction between servants] all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy souls: And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled [with their households including servants.] (Exodus 1:1-7)
- Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house[hold] of Jacob, and tell [a separate entity] the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself [both the genetic children of Israel and the larger group of unrelated household members].” (Exodus 19:3-4)
Imagine yourself, terrified of having your beloved son struck dead in a predicted pandemic, crowding into a neighbor’s home after they assured you they could protect him if you trusted them. You’re not comfortable at all. Like, say, Hispanics, they speak a different language than you, or with an accent. Their food is different and not that appetizing and your stomach is in knots but they insist that you eat. It’s stuffy and smelly and getting more crowed by the hour as more and more strangers press in, but you don’t dare leave. Your anxiety is ratcheting up by the minute and you just want to scream and for a moment you think you have until you realize the screams are coming from next door, being joined from the house across the narrow walkway, down the path, you struggle in the press of bodies to cover your ears as the whole world erupts in a cacophony of screaming. Where is your son!! Over the hours as the crowd thickened he had become separated from you. Where is your son!!!! Your maternal instincts home in on his eyes, wide with shock, mouth agape in the midst of a sentence cut off by the horrible sound of terror. But he is alive!
The Kenites, who are associated with the Midianites to such an extent one must wonder if the Kenites in existence in Abram’s day merged with the Midianites, descendants of one of Abraham’s son’s by Keturah, so came to be a people group later in time. And with the Kenites we see the preeminence of free will over predestination. Despite the preponderance of evidence for judgment against the Canaanite nations, individuals within these nations demonstrate the international scope of God’s ideal kingdom, and the opportunity for anyone who sincerely repents of their sinful human nature to experience spiritual rebirth and eternal life.
- These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said, Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt…
- These are they which spake to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt…
- these are that Moses and Aaron. (Exodus 6)
By the way, can’t you hear the pride in God’s voice as he announces his sons’ achievements? Like the iconic Jewish mother’s invariable mention in any context of “My son, the doctor…”
Interesting that God is so proud of these two Levites when you remember that, on his deathbed, Jacob did not bless, but rather cursed Levi and his family, the Levites, just like Noah had cursed Canaan and his family, the Canaanites. Bear in mind that the “Levites” is fundamentally a family name, like our own ”the Woodwards,” etc. Don’t make it anachronistic in early contexts.
“And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days…Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations…for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.“ (Genesis 49:1-7)
Levi, with his brother Simeon, had slaughtered or enslaved an entire city-state with which Jacob was in a rare peaceful relationship, simply because they felt insulted by one man’s culturally ignorant behavior. Today their behavior would be diagnosed as “Intermittent explosive disorder“. Since this condition periodically and unpredictably causes major problems not just for the individual but everyone associated with the individual, Jacob’s response was the right thing to do. Heaven only knows what could happen if a whole band of Levites geared up! (Hint, hint -inspire a crazy revolution against an evil empire!)
Sure enough, we find that Moses inherited IED.
- He became an outlaw when he impetuously slew an Egyptian.
- He divorced his wife in a hot tempered moment, leaving his father in law to patch things up.
- He famously, in a fit of anger, smashed the two stone tablets on which God had written with his own finger. Can’t you just see the look on God’s face as he mentions this (just in passing…) to Moses who was undoubtedly squirming.
- He slammed his rod in frustration against the rock instead of speaking, which cost him entry into the Promised Land.
Both Moses and Aaron messed up big time, but they DID something. So many “believers” take pride in their lack of doing things like smoking, drinking, sex. I think you’ll find that God can cope with sinners. The rare PARTNER WITH HIM IN DOING is what captures his attention. And – good news for people like me – we find that God can put any personal flaw to his good use when it is put under his control.
Note how the LORD identifies himself as one with Moses through shared responsibility for a people as, in an oxymoronic way, they toss responsibility back and forth like parents of misbehaving children – “your” children. Reminds me of the time my ex called me after our son unintentionally hosted a New Year’s Eve party at his dad’s house. As with Aaron, things just got completely out of his control. With his dad’s permission he had invited three buddies over to Ethernet their laptops together to play strategy war games, but word got around his high school classmates that his house was the only one in town that year without a parent present. By the time his dad got home from his partying at 12:15 am the house was packed and well…the police officer’s words were written into the yearbook. “Please step outside. The air in your house is jamming my breathalyzer.” I’m pleased to report my son tested negative, but to the point – it took a lot of negotiation to moderate his father’s initial rage and planned retribution for the party damage to his house.
“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And…after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt…he built an altar before it…And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.
And the LORD said unto Moses…thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves…Now therefore, let me alone
- that my wrath may wax hot against them
- and that I may consume them
And Moses…said, LORD
- why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people
- which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand?…
And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people.“
During this same seminal Exodus incident, note how Levi’s “fierce anger scattered in Israel” is turned from a curse to a blessing when Levi’s descendants join themselves to the LORD.
“Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD’s side? let him come unto me.
And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.
For Moses had said, Consecrate / join yourselves today to the LORD, by separating yourselves even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.” (Exodus 32)
Only people already saved can practice law AS GOD’S ADVOCATES
“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel;
NOTE – the “mixed multitude” of nationalities who chose to escape Egypt under Israel’s protection are not included with Israel. The corresponding census of male children of Israel at the Exodus with the Israelite census in Numbers 1 clinches this, for a good reason. People who are not already identified as God’s sons, ergo representatives, cannot practice law.
- if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant,
- then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:
- And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel….
- And all the people answered together, and said, All that the Lord hath spoken we will do. (Exodus 19:3-8)
Note that YHVH offered priesthood status to ALL the nation of Israel, who accepted the job. But but ALL the nation of Israel aren’t priests. Why? For the logical reason that they didn’t obey God’s voice and keep his covenant.
Some were outright destroyed.
“I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” (Letter by Messianic Jewish believer Jude, verse 5)
“And when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount [forty days without food like Jesus so normally would have died], the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man [belittling his status as being in God’s stead] that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. [They had no faith in the benevolence and life-giving power of his God. and the ability of YHVH to defeat the forces of evil unquestionably surrounding this war council. Not to say that they didn’t believe in the existence of YHVH, they just wanted to be on the winning side.]
And…after he had made it a [singular] molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods [plural, one idol packed with multiple spirit beings], O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the LORD. [Attempting a peace treaty between the believers in the gods of Egypt and the believers in YHVH.]
And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play [orgiastic behavior].
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves / joined themselves with hyperdimensionals; [read Seed of the Serpent if you don’t get the diagnostic meaning of “corrupt”] They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt… [Put some life into God’s verbatim report! He is outraged and spitting it out! You can best believe Moses was mirroring God’s response when he stormed down the mountain.]
And Moses turned, and went down from the mount, And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing…Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. [Destroyed the covenant between these people and YHVH before they were completely wiped out.] And when Moses saw that the people were naked [unprotected from any source of danger]; (for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame among their enemies:) Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the LORD‘s side? let him come unto me. ” (Exodus 32
Only the Levites – Moses’ tribe – stood up for their leader. Against 11 other tribes and who knows how many heathen taggers-on.
And all the sons of Levi [Moses’ tribe] gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men. For Moses had said, Consecrate / set apart yourselves today to the LORD.” (Exodus 32)
What the law of Moses does do is detail the requirements of citizens and functions of government leaders in God’s concept of a holy nation.
We can understand this by comparison to the American founders’ constitution / charter / formation / organization / written law establishing the republican system of the United States of America.
The Constitution of the United States contains a preamble and seven articles that describe the way the government is structured and how it operates. The first three articles establish the three branches of government and their powers: Legislative (Congress), Executive (office of the President,) and Judicial (Federal court system). A system of checks and balances prevents any one of these separate powers from becoming dominant. Articles four through seven describe the relationship of the states to the Federal Government, establish the Constitution as the supreme law of the land, and define the amendment and ratification processes.
The Code of Hammurabi is a contemporaneous example of the constituting (verb) of one nation under god providing liberty and justice to all citizens through the rule of law publicly available therefore, therefore able to be appealed to for justice, in a written Constitution (noun). The laws are written in the same “if…then” format as the law of Moses, providing punishments for breaking the laws. It also declares, like the law of Moses, to have been given directly to the human ruler by the god.
When Anu the Sublime, King of the Anunaki, and Bel, the lord of Heaven and earth, who decreed the fate of the land, assigned to Marduk, the over-ruling son of Ea, God of righteousness, dominion over earthly man, and made him great among the Igigi…then Anu and Bel called by name me, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who feared God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak;
The United States Supreme Court building honors historic lawgivers in a frieze, where you can see Hammurabi preceding Moses in the lineup.
With this background in mind, take a fresh look at Leviticus and Deuteronomy. Or maybe a first look. We will find the exact same purpose of the law and even many of the same laws and principles, giving rise to claims that Moses never met God on Mount Sinai but simply plagiarized the earlier Code of Hammurabi. If we grant that all humans share the same needs for security, and that concrete idioms like “eye for an eye” are easier for uneducated citizens to understand that abstract terms like “equitable” so are generally useful for communication, we won’t jump to false conclusions about the source of the Mosaic code.
We can also see the same essential similarities between the American Constitution and the Israelite, but I don’t think anyone accuses the writers of that document of plagiarizing the Bible. Hmmm.
- Legislative Branch
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 [as a reposistory allowing interaction with hyperdimensionals], to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your [protecting and providing] God [not them]…
If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them;
Then I will… give you rain in due season…and ye shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land safely.
And I will give peace in the land…and none shall make you afraid: and
I will rid evil beasts out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land.
I will…make you fruitful / productive, and
multiply you, and
establish / make permanent my covenant with you…
set my tabernacle dwelling place among you…And
I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people
- But if ye will not hearken unto me, and
- will not do all these commandments; And
- if ye shall despise my statutes, or
- if your soul abhor my judgments, so that
- ye will not do all my commandments, but that
- ye break my covenant:
I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague…and
ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you.
And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall avenge the quarrel of my covenant: and
when ye are gathered together within your cities, I will send the pestilence among you; and
ye shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.
And if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary unto me;
Then will I also walk contrary unto you, and will punish you yet seven times for your sins.
- And if ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me,
- then I will punish you seven times more for your sins...
- And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary to me,
- Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins.
- And ye shall eat the flesh of your sons, and…your daughters
- I will bring the land into desolation…And
- I will scatter you among the heathen, and
- will draw out a sword after you…And
- they that are left of you shall pine away in their iniquity in your enemies’ lands; and also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.
- If they shall confess their iniquity, and the iniquity of their fathers, with their trespass which they trespassed against me, and that also they have walked contrary unto me…if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled, and they then accept of the punishment of their iniquity:
Then will I remember my covenant with Jacob, and also my covenant with Isaac, and also my covenant with Abraham…and
I will remember the land...when they be in the land of their enemies,
I will not cast them away,
neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them: for I am the LORD their God. But
I will for their sakes remember the covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the LORD.
- These are the statutes and judgments and laws, which the LORD made between him and the children of Israel in mount Sinai by the hand of Moses. (Leviticus 26)
- “Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought unto Moses, but every small matter they judged themselves.” (Exodus 18:25-26)
- “If there arise a matter too hard for thee in judgment…being matters of controversy within thy gates: then…thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment…and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee…thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee…And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:8-12)
- “Aaron and his sons…minister unto me in the priest’s office….And thou shalt anoint them…their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.” (Exodus 40:13-15)
- “If any man of you bring an offering unto the LORD…he shall…” (Leviticus 1: 2-4)
- Executive Branch
- “Thou shalt…set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren…
- thou mayest not set a stranger over thee…
- he shall not multiply horses to himself,
- nor cause the people to return to Egypt…
- Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away:
- neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold…
- he shall write him a copy of this law in a book out of that which is before the priests the Levites…
- he shall read therein all the days of his life…
- to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: That
- his heart be not lifted up above his brethren” (Deuteronomy 17:15-20)
- “Take ye the sum of all the congregation of the children of Israel…From twenty years old and upward, all that are able to go forth to war in Israel…
- Only thou shalt not number / draft the tribe of Levi…
- But thou shalt appoint the Levites over the tabernacle of testimony, and…over all things that belong to it: they shall…minister unto it, and shall encamp round about the tabernacle [to protect it]. (Numbers 1:2-3, 49-50)
- “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee [Moses], and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him…But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:18-22)
- “Thou shalt…set him king over thee, whom the LORD thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren…
Notice that the Constitution of the United States serves the general welfare of its constituents only.
No caring about the rest of the world. That comes later with the Statue of Liberty.
The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Hammurabi’s and Moses’ constitutions have more in common with each other than with the American. They both explicitly claim that their purpose is “to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land.” The difference is – and this is huge – “The Law of Moses provided justice, but it also dealt with spiritual laws and personal and national holiness. As a result, the Mosaic Law dealt with the cause of crime, not just its effects.”
In his book Highlights of Archaeology in Bible Lands, Fred Wight writes, “The Mosaic Law gives strong emphasis to the recognition of sin as being the cause of the downfall of a nation. Such a thought is entirely lacking in Hammurabi’s Code. . . . The great fundamental principle of the laws of God in the Hebrew Bible may be summed up in the words: ‘Be ye holy, for I am holy’ [Leviticus 11:45]. Such a principle as this was utterly unknown to the Babylonians as seen in their law code.”
“For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal / flesh, controlled by physical desires for pleasure and comfort, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow /agree with not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. [think going on then breaking a diet, drinking, drugging, sexual immorality…] If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin [nature] that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law immutable condition of nature], that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man; But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:12-25)
Is it possible for us to wrap our minds around the concept that “doing right’, AKA “being right-eous / holy”, inevitably produces good results while doing wrong, AKA “being un-right-eous” invitably results in chaos and destruction? This concept is essential for a proper understanding of the place and purpose of the Constitution of the nation of Abraham’s grandson Israel in the biblical scheme of things.
Hammurabi or the Supreme Court of the United States or any other leader can’t simply declare that such and such action is right or wrong and it be so. Until humans change their nature, their unrighteous actions will inevitably lead to destruction.
“After nearly thirty years, the data suggest that abortion has been anything but good for the United States.” The economic consequences alone are that abortion (the modern clinically withdrawn manner of child sacrifice)
- reduced the size of the economy,
- undercut one main cause of the American economy’s current dynamism: innovation,
- reduced the standard of living of the average America household
- is single-handedly responsible for anticipated imbalances in the Social Security retirement system,
- is perhaps the single largest American economic event of the past century, more significant than the Great Depression or the Second World War.
Had abortion remained illegal, the American population would
- be significantly larger
- contain a larger share of intact marriages and two-parent families
- have higher average living standards.
“…the analysis warns that if it continues unchecked, legal abortion will progressively erode both America’s relative economic importance and her average absolute standard of living.”
Both Hammurabi’s and Moses’ codes also share the same claim to further the welfare, not just of one nation, but “for all of mankind”. By now we should recognize that Hammurabi’s Constitutional government is the Antichrist’s, competing with God’s Messiah / Christ rule over all creation. And to compete, his is so right-sounding that it disarms even people who claim to be Christ-ones.
The difference between the two codes – and this is a big one – lies in
- the proof provided in the past of the enduring power of Moses’ God to enforce his law, therefore
- certainty of future punishment for all mankind who abhor his judgments and
- certainty of future freedom for all mankind who follow his judgments.
“And it shall come to pass in the last days [when the goal established in the beginning of history is achieved], that the mountain of the LORD‘s house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it.
- And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of [Abraham, Isaac and] Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths:
- for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
- And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people: and
- they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks:
- nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” (Isaiah 2:2-5)
Leadership in the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth
The highest authority in any form of government, ancient and modern, is the person or group that passes judgment, not just on guilt or innocence, but on what course of action out of available options is to be taken by the people within that sphere of influence. Why do you think the place where a king exercises his power is called his court? Why do you think a judge’s decision is called ruling? Even in the American system designed to distribute power as evenly as possible over three branches of government, it is the “Supreme Court’s power of judicial review, by which it determines the constitutionality of executive and legislative acts,” that maintains the greatest power in the judge.
The exercise of power in the kingdom of heaven and earth is no different. God is the Supreme Judge of the whole earth, but he doesn’t act alone. The entire court system is in place, his divine council of spirit beings in heaven as well as humans on earth.
“God standeth in the congregation / assembly of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods. How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah. Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked…I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.” (Psalm 82)
The post on The King Is Dead reveals how the first (hu)man Adam took it upon himself to defend his partner who was caught red-handed breaking the law. By sharing guilt he reduced his partner’s death sentence – isolation from all living beings – to a life sentence with companionship and a family. By this demonstration of his love even to death he proved his likeness to his merciful father God and was honored with the assignment / anointing as Melchizedek: prophet-priest-king of the kingdom of heaven and earth. (Read post on Melchizedek if this isn’t making sense.) This hereditary ruler is a mediator advocating for truth and justice balanced with mercy, between humans and the ultimate Supreme Court Judge. We see individuals in this role both before and after Judaism was in full swing.
“Then was kindled the wrath of Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the kindred of Ram: against Job was his wrath kindled, because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends was his wrath kindled, because they had found no answer, and yet had condemned Job.…
I said, I will answer also my part, I also will shew mine opinion…My words shall be of the uprightness of my heart: and my lips shall utter knowledge clearly…If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up. Behold, I am according to thy wish in God’s stead: I also am formed out of the clay…
Surely thou hast spoken in mine hearing, and I have heard the voice of thy words, saying, [hear the sarcasm!] I am clean without transgression, I am innocent; neither is there iniquity in me. Behold, he findeth occasions against me, he counteth me for his enemy...
Behold, in this thou art not just: I will answer thee, that God is greater than man. Why dost thou strive against him? for he giveth not account of any of his matters. For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man. He keepeth back his soul from the pit, and his life from perishing by the sword. He is chastened also with pain upon his bed, and the multitude of his bones with strong pain: So that his life abhorreth bread, and his soul dainty meat. His flesh is consumed away, that it cannot be seen; and his bones that were not seen stick out. Yea, his soul draweth near unto the grave, and his life to the destroyers.
If there be a messenger with him, an interpreter, one among a thousand, to shew unto man his [God’s way of] up-rightness: Then he is gracious unto him, and saith, Deliver him from going down to the pit: I have found a ransom. His flesh shall be fresher than a child’s: he shall return to the days of his youth: He shall pray unto God, and he will be favourable unto him: and he shall see his face with joy: for he will render [give] unto man his [God’s] righteousness. He looketh upon men, and if any say, I have sinned, and perverted that which was right, and it profited me not; He will deliver his soul from going into the pit, and his life shall see the light. Lo, all these things worketh God oftentimes with man, To bring back his soul from the pit, to be enlightened with the light of the living.
Mark well, O Job, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I will speak. If thou hast anything to say, answer me: speak, for I desire to justify thee. If not, hearken unto me: hold thy peace, and I shall teach thee wisdom…
For Job hath said, I am righteous: and God hath taken away my judgment…[In answer] far be it from God, that he should do wickedness; and from the Almighty, that he should commit iniquity. For the work of a man shall he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. Yea, surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment….
Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee!” (Job 32:2-19, 33:2-33, 34:5-12, 38:1-3)
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Yeshua’s Promised Savior / Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation [appeasement] for our sins: and not for ours [Jewish nation] only, but also for the sins of the whole world.” (I John 2:1-2)
In the following passage notice how Abraham acts as an advocate before a judge. Abraham truly put his own life on the line when he opposed God’s predetermined plan. To put this in perspective, compare to God’s thunderous response when Job questioned him. He is the prototype for his spin-off Zeus.
“And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know…
- but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked? Peradventure there be fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou also destroy and not spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?And the LORD said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.
- And Abraham answered and said, Behold now, I have taken upon me to speak unto the LORD, which am but dust and ashes:Peradventure there shall lack five of the fifty righteous…
- Peradventure there shall be forty…
- Peradventure there shall thirty be found there…
- Peradventure there shall be twenty found there…
- Peradventure ten shall be found there. And he said, I will not destroy it for ten’s sake. And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place.” (Gen 18:20-33)
Moses was the consummate Jewish lawyer, advocating for the people of Israel time and again.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people. Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.
And Moses besought the LORD his God, and said, LORD, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt with great power, and with a mighty hand. Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, thy servants, to whom thou swarest by thine own self, and saidst unto them, I will multiply your seed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have spoken of will I give unto your seed, and they shall inherit it for ever.
And the LORD repented of the evil which he thought to do unto his people..” (Exodus 32:9-12)
“Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.
And Moses returned unto the LORD, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. [Moses is offering to be eternally damned! “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15]
And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book…in the day when I visit I will visit their sin upon them.” (Exodus 32:30-33)
The proof of Paul’s leadership in the New Covenant is his enduring care for his people.
“I (Paul) have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, [just like Moses] my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came…” (Romans 9:3-5)
If, like me, you have experienced betrayal, abandonment, faithlessness, look around at the living, breathing, Jewish people who share the actual DNA of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Yeshua; and their Gentile converts Tamar, Rahab, Ruth and Bathsheba. They are descendents of God’s people who survived massacre after massacre over millennia. If nothing else, the secular Jewish nation provides flesh and blood proof of God’s faithfulness to keep His promises, and should rekindle your conviction, restore your courage, renew your commitment, and replenish your compassion. It is through the Jewish son of David that you will find life in all its manifestations. I am grateful for this nation that made that option possible.
“For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel…That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise [of spiritual regeneration] are counted for the seed.” (Romans 9:6-8)
“Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without The Promised Seed / Messiah / Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man [making himself head of a new nation in whom two different groups of people identify themselves as one], so making peace; And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;” (Ephesians 2:11-20)
“What advantage then hath the Jew? …chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God…(Ro 3:1-2)
Recall that Moses authored the Pentatuch, the first five books of what would become the Bible, recording the first two and a half millenia of history from God’s perspective. Now that is indeed a “treasury of literature.”
“And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face.” (Deu 34:10)
And there were many, many more prophets, all Jewish including Jesus’ New Covenant apostles, to whom were committed the oracles of God, resulting in the entire Bible.
The instructions given to the new covenant believers are just as applicable to the ancient Hebrew sons of Abraham.
“…be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life;” (Philip 2:15-16)
“…walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace…And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of the Promised Seed/Savior: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of the Promised Savior: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. have been taught by him, as the truth is in Yahweh’s Savior: That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;…Neither give place to the devil.” (Eph 4)
“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests / mediaries, and an holy nation.” (Ex 19:2-6)
The requirement for God’s priests to obey his voice and keep his covenant is the only way humans can represent God to mankind – by reflecting him accurately in their actions and words. There has always been a desperate need for missionaries for Yaheweh.
We can extrapolate Canaan’s lifespan by matching him up with his cousin Arphaxad, and discover that at this stage of history Canaan is still alive and the land “of Canaan” is literally where he has staked a claim, like William Penn’s “Penn-sylvania”. This is the western leg of the fertile crescent, coastline of the Mediterranean maritime territory, as much a geopolitical imperative as access to oceans are in our day. No wonder he snatched it up right away, quite likely as an early empire-expanding strategy under his nephew Nimrod when the whole world was under his control. You make recall, or discover shortly, that Nimrod, by his name Amraphel, did indeed have control of this territory, noted when its inhabitants tried to shake him off.
Look at the map. Like the land of Chaldea / Arphaxad, the land of Canaan is also filled with city-states. As we learned previously, that means bases for perpetual warfare, preparation for defensive siege or offensive sally forth. Abram just moved from one hot spot to another. What was the point in that? The answer is found in the record of events happening when he got there (Genesis 12:1-5).
Abram was sent into battle.
- Mosaic law –
- “Whatsoever man there be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers which sojourn among you, that offereth a burnt offering or sacrifice, And bringeth it not unto the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, to offer it unto the Lord; even that man shall be cut off from among his people…
- For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul. Therefore I said unto the children of Israel, No soul of you shall eat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood.” (Leviticus 17:9-12)
- There shall no stranger…sojourner / visitor of the priest, or an hired servant…eat of the holy thing. But if the priest buy any soul with his money [therefore becoming a permanent member of his household and his perpetual responsibility], he shall eat of it, and he that is born in his house: they shall eat of his meat. If the priest’s daughter also be married unto a stranger [I.e. has become one with him], she may not eat of an offering of the holy things. But if the priest’s daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father’s house, as in her youth, she shall eat of her father’s meat: buts there shall be no stranger eat thereof.” (Leviticus 22:10-13)
There are certainly restrictions on strangers’ / aliens of the nation of Israel engaging in certain priestly prerogatives, but the main evidence is that one does not have to be a member of the nation of Israel to worship the God of Israel.
“Whatsoever he be of the house of Israel, or of the strangers in Israel, that will offer his oblation for all his vows, and for all his freewill offerings… ” (Leviticus 22:18)
“Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests / representatives, intercessors, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” (Exodus 19:6)
“But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel…
- I have redeemed thee,
- I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine…
- For I am the LORD thy God… thy Saviour:
- I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee…
- I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life [obviously these humans are a treasure if they can be given as ransom]…
- I will bring thy seed…my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: [accepted by God as a son of God]…
Let all the nations be gathered together [in one nation under God, undoing the scattering under Antichrist Nimrod]…
- that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he:
- before me there was no God formed [Creator and life-giver in all its dimensions], neither shall there be after me [Antichrist false life-giver].
- I, even I, am the LORD / YHVH;. and beside me there is no savior.
- I have declared, and have saved, and I have shewed,
WHEN THERE WAS NO STRANGE GOD AMONG YOU [who could claim credit] THEREFORE YE ARE MY WITNESSES, saith the LORD, THAT I AM GOD.
Yea, before the day was I am he / Creator; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let / reverse it?
Thus saith the LORD, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel…This people have I formed for myself; THEY SHALL SHEW FORTH MY PRAISE.” (Isaiah 43)
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: 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 Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people…for they shall all know [be united spiritually in the same way as physically defined as sexual union] me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord.
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner. And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath. And the whole valley of the dead bodies, and of the ashes, and all the fields unto the brook of Kidron, unto the corner of the horse gate toward the east, shall be holy unto the LORD; it shall not be plucked up, nor thrown down any more for ever. (Jeremiah 31)
“In that day will I raise up the tabernacle [temporary spirit dwelling, mortal dynasty, “they” in the next verse] of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.” (Amos 9:11-12)
“Hear ye this…which swear by the name of the LORD and make mention of the God of Israel, but not in truth, nor in righteousness…
I have declared the former things from the beginning; and they went forth out of my mouth, and I shewed them; I did them suddenly, and they came to pass…I have even from the beginning declared it to thee; before it came to pass I shewed it thee: lest thou shouldest say, Mine idol hath done them, and my graven image, and my molten image, hath commanded them.
Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? [Purpose for the people of God – to witness of him.]
For my name’s sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off…For mine own sake, even for mine own sake, will I do it: for how should my name be polluted? and I will not give my glory unto another...(Isaiah 4__)
In the previous post we established that the children of Israel were not the only members of the Hebrew nation. Although treated as such thousands of years later, “Hebrew” is not the equivalent of “Israelite” or “Jew”. Israel became a subset of the Hebrew nation, just like the tribe of Judah / Jews and tribe of Levi / Levites are subsets of the nation of Israel.
Just like our modern individual states are subsets of the United States of America with laws applicable only to them but subject to federal regulations, tribes, like the Levites, can have laws that apply only to them while being primarily subject to the regulations governing all Israel.
Likewise, Israel can have laws applicable to Israelites while still being governed by and identified with the over-encompassing Hebrew nation.
It is essential that we understand that Melchizedek defines the way of salvation that has existed for all time for all the nations of the world.
“Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the Lord. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir? Behold, the eyes of the LORD God are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD. For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth...In that day will I raise up the tabernacle [temporary housing, symbol or crest of dynastic line of mortal rulers, like that of the House of Windsor which ruled an empire spanning the entire earth] of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old: That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.” (Amos 9:7-12)
Many sincerely devout Jews were mistaken in thinking that following the law of Moses was the means of salvation. Tragically, many devout Christians also misunderstand the system of law that Moses established.“
”What then? are we [Christians] better than they [Jews]? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one…Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Yahweh’s Anointed Savior/Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Yahweh’s Anointed Savior/Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Yahweh’s Savior/Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.” (Ro 3:9-31)
The law that we establish is not the means of salvation, which is by grace, through faith. The law that we establish is the means to achieve a good life, free from sin and its consequences of disease, destruction and death.
“I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days:” (Deu 30:19-20)
In a previous post we studied how the noun identifying a person, place, or thing is the grammatical conversion of the verb describing the actions associated with that entity. An analysis of the name ‘Jerusalem’ (where the English J is a Y in Hebrew), enlightens our understanding of the function of this city.
The forms ירה (yrh) and ירא (yr’) …reflect an exchange of energy from a higher, dispensing level to a lower, receiving level. It appears that the form ירה (yrh) mostly describes the sending of the energy; either the exchange viewed from the perspective of the dispensing side, or else the shock-free absorption of the energy on the receiving side. The form ירא (yr’) appears to deal mostly with the receiving of the energy; the exchange viewed from the perspective of the receiving side, and that usually with the anticipation of intense alteration.
The general meaning of the graceful verb שלם (shalem) is that of wholeness, completeness or “unbrokenness” (and see for the opposite the verb רעע, ra’a)…
In the Hebrew language it’s quite simple to indicate not only a condition (like shalem), but also the means to get there (to “shalemize”). The usage of this shalemize form in Scriptures is quite revealing. Wholeness is achieved or restored most often by some kind of restitutory payment or covenant…shalem is used when vows are to be paid to the Most High, or when days of mourning are to be completed (Isaiah 60:20), and ties in directly to the Messiah and his salvific work (Joel 2:25).
The derivatives of this verb are:
- The famous masculine noun שלום (shalom), meaning peace (Isaiah 32:17). Peace in the Bible doesn’t just indicate a warless state, but rather a state of completeness and harmony or rather un-dividedness. It also covers completeness (Jeremiah 13:19), prosperity (Genesis 43:27), health and safety (Psalm 38:4).
- The masculine noun שלם (shelem) peace offering or a sacrifice for alliance or friendship (Amos 5:22, Exodus 24:5).
- The denominative verb שלם (shalam), meaning to be in a covenant of peace (Job 22:21, Isaiah 42:19).
Peace and how to make it..
Peace — defined as the absence of conflict or discord — may be achieved in…such a level of understanding of irreconcilable elements that these can be…joined, in…a unified theory or system of definition. This process requires no censoring and demonstrates all elements to be most intimately related to the identity of the whole. The key-word of this process is relationship. That’s what this root means.
In Hebrew, peace-making means whole-making, and not warm-fuzzy-deny-your-concerns-and-stop-being-difficult-making. Hebrew peace-making requires the effortful acquisition of intimate knowledge of one’s opponent, and since in Hebrew love-making is pretty much the same as knowing someone (the verb ידע, yada’, means both to know and to have sex…the command to “love your enemy” (Matthew 5:44) has not a lick to do with placidly suffering abuse and trying to conjure up lofty feelings for the brute who’s mistreating you, and everything with studying your enemy until you know enough about him to either appreciate his motives (and behave in such a compatible way that he stops assaulting you) or else blow him out of the water by being superior.
When Jesus says, “blessed are the peace-makers” (Matthew 5:9), he does not refer to those people who insist we should all assume a state of blissful indifference, but rather those people who grab the bull by the horns and stare deep into his eyes and pick his brain with an axe. Making peace starts with making a relationship with your enemy, and it results in getting to know your enemy (which in turn makes the chance excellent that at some point your enemy will stop being your enemy).