Shevat 15, 5763 / Jan 18, 2003
Shevat 7, 5766 / Feb 4, 2006 - see
V'ki Amuk /
SCRIPTURES (should be read first)
Paul is speaking of slavery and freedom; but, what slavery and what freedom?
If we come to
the Scriptures with a preconceived doctrine that “Law” is slavery and
“lawlessness” is freedom, then we can interpret this passage to bolster our
doctrine. Many translators, having this doctrine, have accordingly slanted some
of the most popular versions of the Bible. This makes such an interpretation
much easier, and harder to correct.
would like everyone to be aware that nowhere in Galatians (or anywhere else) did
Paul use any word that could reasonably be translated “Judaizers”, though such a
term is often attributed to him in sermons condemning Torah observance.
would like everyone to see that the word “lawlessness” is correctly and
frequently used, and always condemned. The Greek word is anomia, meaning
(a) no - (nomos) law - (ia) ness.
“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who
practice lawlessness’ ” (Matthew 7:23).
Paul said, “I
am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your flesh. For just as
you presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness, resulting
in further lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness,
resulting in sanctification” (Romans 6:19).
“Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have
righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness?” (2
concerning Yeshua, “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness;
therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness above Your
companions” (Hebrews 1:9).
“Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; for sin is lawlessness”
(1 John 3:4).
would like to remind everyone that Yeshua said He did not come to abolish the
Torah / Law (Matthew 5:17). But, Paul taught that Yeshua set us free from
the Law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). The Law of sin and death is “The
soul who sins will die” (Ezekiel 18:4).
So, Yeshua did
not set us free to practice things that are against Torah - lawlessness. He set
us free from the sting of death, our just punishment, so that we could be free
to serve Him lawfully, not continuing to serve sin.
obedience, we learn to serve God, and overcome sin.
were certain false religious promoters in Judaism, as there are today in
Christendom, who insisted that salvation was based upon ones own merits. By
fearfully abstaining from certain acts and carefully performing others, one
might hope to obtain eternal life; the alternative would be death for sin.
(V.17) “They eagerly seek you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you
out, in order that you may seek them.” (V.21) “Tell me, you who want to
be under law, do you not listen to the law?” Being “under the law”
here means being a slave to it under penalty of death. Some, who themselves do
not possess the kind of faith taught in Torah, wish to hold others to their kind
of works for salvation. But, as Paul is saying, this is really contrary to what
Torah is about: “do you not listen to the law?”
Abraham had a
son, Isaac, by the fulfillment of God’s promise. We are sons of God by the
fulfillment of God’s promise. God sent forth His Son to redeem us. Through His
Spirit we long to worship Him, rather than the worship the base things of this
world. His Torah is our instruction (Torah means instruction), carried by
prophets and teachers, to bring us to maturity (Ephesians 4:13).
had a son, Ishmael, “after the flesh”. This son was without faith, fully
enraptured with the natural world. Therefore, he came under the condemnation of
“the soul who sins will die”. The commandments, which are to show the way of a
fulfilled life to the faithful, became his judge of death.
Messiah set us free from the penalty of death for sin, if so be that we have the
Spirit of God (Romans 8:9). Therefore, we should not let anyone convince us to
seek salvation by our own works, which would lead to a death penalty for
failure. But, on the other hand, if we have the Spirit of God dwelling in us, we
will not follow “lawlessness”, but Torah instruction to grow in righteousness.
speaks of how we are to treat someone who has become impoverished. We are not to
deal with him in severity, but we are to revere God. We are to seek his welfare,
and his restoration to independence.
In Isaiah 24,
God speaks of the time when men have polluted the earth, by grossly breaking His
laws (v.5). There will be no difference between a commoner and a priest, between
a slave and a master, between a borrower and a lender (v.2): all will be
gathered like prisoners in a dungeon (for 1000 years), and later punished
(v.22). Yahweh of hosts (armies) will reign on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem (v.23). The
stated reason is . . . lawlessness!
“Yahweh of Hosts” will reign on earth; John so describes the Sabbath millennium
(Revelation 11:15-17 and 20:6).]
We sing, from
Psalm 89, I will sing of the lovingkindness of Yahweh forever; to all
generations I will make known Thy faithfulness with my mouth. For I have said,
“Lovingkindness will be built up forever; in the heavens Thou wilt establish Thy
faithfulness – ‘I have made a covenant with My chosen; I have sworn to David My
servant, I will establish your seed forever, and build up your throne to all
his sons forsake My law, and do not walk in My judgments, if they violate My
statutes, and do not keep My commandments, then I will visit their transgression
with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. But I will not break off My
lovingkindness from him, nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. My covenant I will
not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My
holiness; I will not lie to David. His descendants shall endure forever, and his
throne as the sun before Me. It shall be established forever like the moon, and
the witness in the sky is faithful.” Selah (Meditate on that).
Psalm 89:15 says, “How blessed are the people who know the joyful sound! O
Yahweh, they walk in the light of Thy countenance.” The “joyful sound” is a
translation of the Hebrew teruah: how blessed are the people who walk in
His light, rehearsing on Yom Teruah / the Day of Trumpeting, knowing the
sound of the last trump! They shall recognize the announcement of Messiah
1 Amen* 39 'And if a
countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to you that he sells himself to
you, you shall not subject him to a slave's service. 40 'He shall be with you as
a hired man, as if he were a sojourner; he shall serve with you until the year
of jubilee. 41 'He shall then go out from you, he and his sons with him, and
shall go back to his family, that he may return to the property of his
2 Amen* 42 'For they
are My servants whom I brought out from the land of Egypt; they are not to be
sold in a slave sale. 43 'You shall not rule over him with severity, but are to
revere your God. 44 'As for your male and female slaves whom you may have-- you
may acquire male and female slaves from the pagan nations that are around you.
3 Amen* 45 'Then,
too, it is out of the sons of the sojourners who live as aliens among you that
you may gain acquisition, and out of their families who are with you, whom they
will have produced in your land; they also may become your possession. 46 'You
may even bequeath them to your sons after you, to receive as a possession; you
can use them as permanent slaves. But in respect to your countrymen, the sons of
Israel, you shall not rule with severity over one another.
4 Amen* 47 'Now if
the means of a stranger or of a sojourner with you becomes sufficient, and a
countryman of yours becomes so poor with regard to him as to sell himself to a
stranger who is sojourning with you, or to the descendants of a stranger's
family, 48 then he shall have redemption right after he has been sold. One of
his brothers may redeem him, 49 or his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem
him, or one of his blood relatives from his family may redeem him; or if he
prospers, he may redeem himself.
5 Amen* 50 'He then
with his purchaser shall calculate from the year when he sold himself to him up
to the year of jubilee; and the price of his sale shall correspond to the number
of years. It is like the days of a hired man that he shall be with him. 51 'If
there are still many years, he shall refund part of his purchase price in
proportion to them for his own redemption; 52 and if few years remain until the
year of jubilee, he shall so calculate with him. In proportion to his years he
is to refund the amount for his redemption.
6 Amen* 53 'Like a
man hired year by year he shall be with him; he shall not rule over him with
severity in your sight. 54 'Even if he is not redeemed by these means, he shall
still go out in the year of jubilee, he and his sons with him. 55 'For the sons
of Israel are My servants; they are My servants whom I brought out from the land
of Egypt. I am Yahweh your God.
7 Amen* 26:1 'You
shall not make for yourselves idols, nor shall you set up for yourselves an
image or a sacred pillar, nor shall you place a figured stone in your land to
bow down to it; for I am Yahweh your God. 2 'You shall keep My Sabbaths and
reverence My sanctuary; I am Yahweh.
2 And the people will be like the priest,
the servant like his master, the maid like her mistress, the buyer like the
seller, the lender like the borrower, the creditor like the debtor.
Psalm 89 A Maskil of Ethan
1 I Will sing of the lovingkindness of
Yahweh forever; to all generations I will make known Thy faithfulness with my
mouth. 2 For I have said, "Lovingkindness will be built up forever; in the
heavens Thou wilt establish Thy faithfulness." 3 "I have made a covenant with My
chosen; I have sworn to David My servant, 4 I will establish your seed forever,
and build up your throne to all generations." Selah. 5 And the heavens will
praise Thy wonders, O Yahweh; Thy faithfulness also in the assembly of the holy
ones. 6 For who in the skies is comparable to Yahweh? Who among the sons of the
mighty is like Yahweh, 7 a God greatly feared in the council of the holy ones,
and awesome above all those who are around Him? 8 O Yahweh God of hosts, who is
like Thee, O mighty Yahweh? Thy faithfulness also surrounds Thee. 9 Thou dost
rule the swelling of the sea; when its waves rise, Thou dost still them. 10 Thou
Thyself didst crush Rahab like one who is slain; Thou didst scatter Thine
enemies with Thy mighty arm. 11 The heavens are Thine, the earth also is Thine;
the world and all it contains, Thou hast founded them. 12 The north and the
south, Thou hast created them; Tabor and Hermon shout for joy at Thy name. 13
Thou hast a strong arm; Thy hand is mighty, Thy right hand is exalted. 14
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Thy throne; lovingkindness and
truth go before Thee. 15 How blessed are the people who know the
joyful sound! O Yahweh, they walk in the light of
Thy countenance. 16 In Thy name they rejoice all the day, and by Thy
righteousness they are exalted. 17 For Thou art the glory of their strength, and
by Thy favor our horn is exalted. 18 For our shield belongs to Yahweh, and our
king to the Holy One of Israel. 19 Once Thou didst speak in vision to Thy godly
ones, and didst say, "I have given help to one who is mighty; I have exalted one
chosen from the people. 20 "I have found David My servant; with My holy oil I
have anointed him, 21 with whom My hand will be established; My arm also will
strengthen him. 22 "The enemy will not deceive him, nor the son of wickedness
afflict him. 23 "But I shall crush his adversaries before him, and strike those
who hate him. 24 "And My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him,
and in My name his horn will be exalted. 25 "I shall also set his hand on the
sea, and his right hand on the rivers. 26 "He will cry to Me, 'Thou art my
Father, My God, and the rock of my salvation.' 27 "I also shall make him My
first-born, the highest of the kings of the earth. 28 "My lovingkindness I will
keep for him forever, and My covenant shall be confirmed to him. 29 "So I will
establish his descendants forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 30 "If
his sons forsake My law, and do not walk in My judgments, 31 if they violate My
statutes, and do not keep My commandments, 32 then I will visit their
transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. 33 "But I will not
break off My lovingkindness from him, nor deal falsely in My faithfulness. 34
"My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. 35
"Once I have sworn by My holiness; I will not lie to David. 36 "His descendants
shall endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me. 37 "It shall be
established forever like the moon, and the witness in the sky is faithful."
Selah. 38 But Thou hast cast off and rejected, Thou hast been full of wrath
against Thine anointed. 39 Thou hast spurned the covenant of Thy servant; Thou
hast profaned his crown in the dust. 40 Thou hast broken down all his walls;
Thou hast brought his strongholds to ruin. 41 All who pass along the way plunder
him; He has become a reproach to his neighbors. 42 Thou hast exalted the right
hand of his adversaries; Thou hast made all his enemies rejoice. 43 Thou dost
also turn back the edge of his sword, and hast not made him stand in battle. 44
Thou hast made his splendor to cease, and cast his throne to the ground. 45 Thou
hast shortened the days of his youth; Thou hast covered him with shame. Selah.
46 How long, O Yahweh? Wilt Thou hide Thyself forever? Will Thy wrath burn like
fire? 47 Remember what my span of life is; for what vanity Thou hast created all
the sons of men! 48 What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver his soul
from the power of Sheol? Selah. 49 Where are Thy former lovingkindnesses, O
Lord, which Thou didst swear to David in Thy faithfulness? 50 Remember, O Lord,
the reproach of Thy servants; how I do bear in my bosom the reproach of all the
many peoples, 51 with which Thine enemies have reproached, O Yahweh, with which
they have reproached the footsteps of Thine anointed. 52 Blessed be Yahweh
forever! Amen and Amen.
Galatians 4:1 - 5:1
1 Now I say, as long as the heir is a
child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of
everything, 2 but he is under guardians and managers until the date set by the
father. 3 So also we, while we were children, were held in bondage under the
elemental things of the world. 4 But when the fullness of the time came, God
sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, 5 in order that He
might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as
sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into
our hearts, crying, "Abba! Father!" 7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a
son; and if a son, then an heir through God. 8 However at that time, when you
did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9 But
now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that
you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you
desire to be enslaved all over again? 10 You observe days and months and seasons
and years. 11 I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain. 12 I
beg of you, brethren, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You
have done me no wrong; 13 but you know that it was because of a bodily illness
that I preached the gospel to you the first time; 14 and that which was a trial
to you in my bodily condition you did not despise or loathe, but you received me
as an angel of God, as Messiah Yeshua Himself. 15 Where then is that sense of
blessing you had? For I bear you witness, that if possible, you would have
plucked out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I therefore become your
enemy by telling you the truth? 17 They eagerly seek
you, not commendably, but they wish to shut you out, in order that you may seek
them. 18 But it is good always to be
eagerly sought in a commendable manner, and not only when I am present with you.
19 My children, with whom I am again in labor until Messiah is formed in you--
20 but I could wish to be present with you now and to change my tone, for I am
perplexed about you. 21 Tell me, you who want to be
under law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that
Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23 But the
son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free
woman through the promise. 24 This is allegorically speaking: for these women
are two covenants, one proceeding from Mount Sinai bearing children who are to
be slaves; she is Hagar. 25 Now this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and
corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children.
26 But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother. 27 For it is written,
"Rejoice, barren woman who does not bear; Break forth and shout, you who are not
in labor; For more are the children of the desolate Than of the one who has a
husband." 28 And you brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But as at
that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born
according to the Spirit, so it is now also. 30 But what does the Scripture say?
"Cast out the bondwoman and her son, for the son of the bondwoman shall not be
an heir with the son of the free woman." 31 So then, brethren, we are not
children of a bondwoman, but of the free woman.
5:1 It was for freedom that Messiah set us
free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a
yoke of slavery.