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The 613 Mitzvot: 16-20

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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 the first five, this week we will take a brief look at five more.

Commandment: On assembling each 7th year to hear the Torah read

Deuteronomy 31:10-13 (ESV)
And Moses commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, at the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before YHWH your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear YHWH your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear YHWH your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

We do believe that the entirety of the Torah is to be read aloud by the Levites every 7 years at Sukkot when YHWH’s people are to be assembled.  With that said, it is not something we are so easily able to complete today; especially because we do not currently have the Levitical priesthood in operation.  Once Messiah returns and the Levites are once again in operation, this commandment will once again be able to be followed.  We are commanded to go to Jerusalem and assemble for this Feast if we can make it. Currently we are acting as ambassadors of Israel in the nations/gentiles.

Commandment: On that a king must write a copy of Torah for himself

Deuteronomy 17:18 (ESV)
“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests.

We agree with this as being applicable when we once again have a king in a Torah-based Government.  We find it very likely that Yeshua will have to do this when He becomes King upon His return.

Commandment: On that everyone should have a Torah scroll

Deuteronomy 31:19 (ESV)
“Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the people of Israel.

We disagree with this as a literal commandment to be followed.  We do not see where it is commanded that every person must have a Torah Scroll.  We do believe it’s a good practice for everyone to have a copy of the Scriptures that they can study for themselves, but we do not see this as a commandment.  This verse is at the beginning of the Song of Moses. The same song that the 144,000 are singing. The 144,000 are worshipping Yah in Spirit and in Truth, they’re actually speaking Gods commandments to the nations. Moses wrote down the song and taught it to the Israelites…so we are taught it and we sing it…live it out, model is, dance it, sing it, speak it, show it, be a light! 

Commandment: On praising God after eating, Grace after meals

Deuteronomy 8:10 (ESV)
And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless YHWH your God for the good land he has given you.

We do not believe this is a command to bless YHWH after eating.  However, we do have Messiah’s example of blessing the food prior to feeding the multitudes.  The difference here, though, is that it appears it may have been blessed in order for it to multiply and be enough for everyone.  We believe it is a good practice to pray and bless YHWH as well as your food, but it does not necessarily have to be just before or after you eat.  Just never forget that Yah is the source of everything provided to you! Remember Yah, and everything He gave you, to humble yourself and be grateful….

Beginning with number 20, our last one for this week, we will be looking at commandments specifically for the temple and/or the priests.

Commandment: On building a Sanctuary/(Tabernacle/Temple) for God

Exodus 25:8 (ESV)
And let them make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst.

We do believe there is to be an appointed place for YHWH.  However, we should also remember that it is to be built in the appointed place and only according to the specifications that YHWH has provided.  Otherwise, we are doing things our own way.

We hope this has helped bring a little clarity to the fourth set of 5 commandments and their applicability to our lives today.  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.