The 613 Mitvot: 51-55
We are often asked to do teachings on the 613 commandments found in the Jewish faith. Understandably, such a teaching or teaching series would be an immense undertaking. However, we thought we may be able to go through it, at least in part, in our blogs. This is an ongoing blog series that we will do at different times without any real schedule planned. We will not be going into great depth in this series.
The format for these blog posts will be simple. We will cite a traditional rabbinic commandment as found in the AENT (Aramaic-English New Testament), provide the Scripture that it is supposed to be based from, indicate if we agree that it is a commandment we can do today or if it is one that cannot apply today and then why or why not. Then we will give a few notes or thoughts as to why believe it can or cannot be applied today. Last time we looked at commandments forty-six through fifty, this week we will take a brief look at five more.
Commandment: On the Shemini Atzeret additional offering
Numbers 29:36 (ESV)
“but you shall offer a burnt offering, a food offering, with a pleasing aroma to YHWH: one bull, one ram, seven male lambs a year old without blemish,”
This is another commandment that we do not believe can be properly obeyed today, but will apply once again when it’s possible. A built temple does not currently exist till the 1000 year reign. The criteria will exist again (Ezekiel 40-48) to carry out this commandment. An established Earthly priesthood is not currently organized and available to carry out this commandment. For us to attempt to do so as things are would be doing them our own way and not His way.
Commandment: On the three annual Festival pilgrimages to the Temple
Exodus 23:14 (ESV)
“Three times in the year you shall keep a feast to me.”
Technically most of us cannot keep this commandment while we live a great distance away from the place He has chosen, and of course, there is no Temple. To Paul's point, we are the Temple and we can "rehearse" this commandment until it can be exercised in its fullness. Once we’re fully capable again, it will still need to be followed.
Commandment: On appearing before YHVH during the Festivals (Deuteronomy 16:16)
Exodus 34:23 (ESV)
“Three times in the year shall all your males appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel.”
We are to "come before Him" as His people. However, at this time there is no temple, and as with the previous most of us cannot complete this at this time.
Commandment: On rejoicing on the Festivals
Deuteronomy 16:14 (ESV)
“You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns.”
We agree that this can and should be followed. The feasts are a time of celebration and joy.
Commandment: On the 14th of Nisan slaughtering the Pesach lamb
“and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.”
A built temple does not currently exist till the 1000 year reign. The criteria will exist again (Ez. 40-48) to carry out this commandment and we should at that time. A established Earthly priesthood is not currently organized and available to carry out this commandment.
We hope this has helped bring a little clarity to the eleventh set of 5 commandments and their applicability to our lives today, at least as we currently understand them. Aside from ourselves, keeping the cultural understanding and Scriptural context are our greatest obstacle to understanding, and thus obeying, the ways of our Creator. Each day we must choose whether to obey or disobey thereby choosing whom we are serving.