Chapter 37, Part 2 Preview: The vast majority of the 2.1 billion professing Christians in the world—33% of the world’s population—believe that Yeshua’s (Jesus’) death nailed the Law to the cross. They “stake” their destiny on that presumption! Yet the very first question that every Christian should ask concerning their status as a believer is: Precisely what does Elohim (God) require of me? How is a person to know which Biblical laws are required of Christians. Should you simply inherit a religion or pick a guru and believe whatever he tells you? How do you personally decide which laws to obey? Does it really matter? Is there a key to knowing which laws are permanent?
Under the “Old Covenant”, justifiable vigilante justice was permissible. This was even true in murder cases. If someone were to murder your relative, you were permitted to execute that person. There were no exceptions for the “avenger” to concern himself with.
In the case of an accidental death, avenging could still be carried out unless the unwitting killer were to take refuge in one of the special “cities of refuge”.
Numbers 35:10-12 “Tell the Israelites: “When you cross over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, 11 then you are to designate cities of refuge that a person who has killed someone unintentionally can flee. 12 These cities will be places of refuge from vigilantes, so that the person who kills someone will not die until they stand trial before the community. —The Gabriel Bible
Exodus 21:1, 22-27 “These are the regulations you must present to them. ... 22 “If men fight and hurt a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely, and yet no harm follows, the ‘offender’ must pay whatever fine the woman’s husband demands and the judges allow. 23 But if there is any further injury, the penalty is a life for a life, 24 an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot, 25 a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise. 26 If a man strikes his male or female slave in the eye, and the eye is blinded, he must let the slave go free in compensation for the eye. 27 And if he knocks out the tooth of his male or female slave, he must let the slave go free in compensation for the tooth.
That is the context of the statement of Yeshua concerning His statement on an “eye for an eye”. Was Yeshua saying that the system of swift and absolute justice, that He Himself had fashioned, was a bad thing or could it have to do with the fact that the Jews had involved themselves in decades of insurrections against the Roman government.
Matthew 23:32-39 You’ll finish the measures that your ancestors started! 33 You serpents, you offspring of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to Gehenna? 34 That’s why I’m sending you prophets and eloquent speakers and Torah teachers. Some you’ll kill and crucify and some of them you’ll scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town. 35 Consequently, you’ll be held responsible for all the blood of the righteous that’s ever been shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zachariah, son of Barachiah, who you killed between the temple and the altar. 36 I assure you that all of these things will unexpectantly happen to this present generation. 37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who murder the prophets and stone those who have been sent to you. How often I wanted to gather your children like a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you refused! 38 Now your house [the temple] is left abandoned! 39 I assure you that you won’t see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is the One who comes in the name of YHVH.’”
Yeshua undoubtedly knew that the efforts of the Jews to establish a free nation in the midst of the Roman Empire were doomed to a devastating failure in 70 AD if they did not accept Him. Many people know that the temple was destroyed in Yeshua’s generation but fewer know that a generation later an even greater destruction of the Jewish people would also take place. During the latter holocaust, the Jews were thrust far from their promised land. The renowned resistance of men like the Maccabees that ended in the horrific deaths of untold thousands of Jews could have been avoided if they had simply accepted the defeat of their nation as being Yehovah’s (God’s will, and awaited the prophesied New Covenant with Israel and Judah.
The national laws of Scripture sent from heaven have been entirely superseded by the rule of men since the fall of ancient Judea, however that is about to change:
Micah 4:1-3 In the future, at the end of the ‘age’, the mountain of Yehovah’s Temple will be established on the summits of the mountains, and will be borne above the hills, and all nations will beam [or flow] into it. 2 Many nations will come and say, “Come, let’s go up to the mountain of Yehovah, to the Elohim of Jacob’s house, and He’ll teach us of His ways, and we can follow in His ‘steps.” The Torah [instruction] will go out from Zion, and the Word of Yehovah from Jerusalem. 3 He’ll govern the nations, and ‘settle the feuds’ of many far off nations. They’ll beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks. Nations won’t raise their swords against other nations, nor will they learn warfare any more.
Ancient Israel was actually a Theocracy, presided over by judges, until the people chose to have kings (and later politicians) governing them instead of Yehovah, so that they could be like the heathen nations around them.
1 Samuel 8:4-9 Then all the elders of Israel gathered together, and went to Samuel to Ramah. 5 They told him, “You’re old, and your sons don’t ‘live their lives’ like you do. So appoint a king for us to rule over us, just like all the other nations have.” 6 But Samuel was very angry when they said, “Give us a king to rule over us. So Samuel prayed to Yehovah. 7 Yehovah told Samuel, “Listen to what the people are sayig, to you, because they haven’t rejected you, but they’ve rejected Me as their King! 8 As with everything they’ve done since the day that I brought them out of Egypt, including today, they’ve forsaken Me and served other gods, and they’re treating you the same way. 9 So listen to what they’re saying, “But you must strongly warn and explain the rights of the king who will reign over them.”
Had the people not rejected Yehovah’s laws, the original nation of Israel would still be a millennia old Theocracy! Ezekiel 20 is a thumbnail sketch of the history of Israel, starting with the Exodus. The entire chapter details Yehovah’s eternal plan for Israel. So here we have the “Mosaic Covenant” of the Ten Commandments and the “statutes” and “ordinances” (as well as particular emphasis on the “Sabbaths”) being rejected.
Ezekiel 20:11-13, 21-24 I gave them My statutes, and explained My ordinances to them so that if they do them, they’ll live. 12 I also gave them My Sabbaths, as a sign between Me and them, so that they would know that I am Yehovah who makes them kadosh [holy]. 13 But the ‘nation’ of Israel rebelled against Me in the wilderness, they didn’t ‘live’ by My statutes, and they rejected My ordinances, that if they obeyed, they would live. They violated My Sabbaths, so I resolved to pour out My wrath on them in the wilderness, to annihilate them.... 21 But the children rebelled against Me. They didn’t ‘live by’ My statutes, or obey My ordinances, tho a person who obeys them will live by them. They also violated My Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out My wrath on them, to end My anger against them in the wilderness. 22 But I withheld My hand, and acted for the sake of My ‘reputation’, so that it wouldn’t be dishonored in the sight of the nations, who had watched Me bring them out. 23 I ‘swore’ to them in the wilderness that I would scatter them among the nations, and disperse them into other countries, 24 because they hadn’t practiced My ordinances, they had rejected My statutes, and dishonored My Sabbaths, and their eyes were fixed on their fathers’ idols.
As a result of rejecting Yehovah’s laws, Israel was subjected to man’s laws. People love to quote this next section out of context, saying that Yehovah despised His own Laws, saying that they were “not good” and would promote death, so that they “should not live”, overlooking the part where He said that by obeying “My statutes” rather than man’s, “he will live”!
vs. 25-26: I also allowed them to follow statutes that were not good and ordinances that they couldn’t live by [verse 18]. 26 I pronounced them unclean because of their sacrifices—they caused all their first born to pass thru the fire—so that I would devastate them and remind them that I am Yehovah.
The following verses explain that Yehovah simply will not let His people reject His Laws forever. He insists that He will “be king over you” by reversing the Diaspora. By Diaspora, I am not limiting the use of the word to just the Jews following the destruction of Jerusalem in Roman times. I am applying it to all twelve tribes, dating it back to their original captivity. This passage is in reference to the Second Exodus and the New Israel.
Ezekiel 20:31-36:When you offer your sacrifices, making your sons pass thru the fire, you’re continuing to defile yourselves with all your idols. And you want to consult Me, ‘nation’ of Israel? As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Yehovah,, I won’t be consulted by you! 32 What you have in mind will never happen. You think you want to be like heathens, like the tribes of other countries, serving gods of wood and stone.
33 As surely as I live, says the Sovereign Yehovah, I will rule you with a mighty hand, and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out, I’ll be your King. 34 I’ll bring you out of the nations and gather you out of the countries where you were scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm, and with wrath poured out. 35 I’ll bring you into the wilderness of the people [Isaiah 1, Hosea 2:14], and I’ll judge you there face to face, 36 just like when I judged your ancestors in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, that’s how I’ll judge you, says the Sovereign Yehovah.
Notice that the context itself explains that this is a scenario “like” the one He had had with “your fathers”. This is a prophecy about the Everlasting Kingdom. People tend to lose the futuristic context of this prophecy due to the reference to ze bakim in verse 40. However this is consistent with Zechariah 14 where the Messiah, after suppressing all of man’s governments, will mandate universal Feast of Tabernacles observance (v.16-19) and also reintroduce the Levitical sacrificial system (v. 20-21).
Ezekiel 20:37-44 I’ll make you pass under the shepherd’s rod, and I’ll bind you in a [Kimchi] [New] Covenant, 38 and I’ll purge out the rebels from among you, and those who disobey Me. I’ll bring them out of the land where they were living, but they won’t enter the land of Israel. Then you’ll know that I am Yehovah.
39 As for you, ‘nation’ of Israel, the Sovereign Yehovah says: Go, serve your idols, but later you’ll surely listen to Me, and you’ll no longer profane My name with your gifts and your idols. 40 On My kadosh mountain, on the high mountain of Israel, says the Sovereign Yehovah, there the entire ‘nation’ of Israel, all of them, will serve Me in the land. I will accept them there, and there I will require your contributions, and choice gifts, with all your kadosh things. 41 I’ll accept you there like a fragrant aroma when I gather you out of the nations, and bring you out of the countries where you’ve been scattered, and I’ll prove Myself kadosh thru you as the nations watch. 42 You’ll know that I am Yehovah when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country that I swore to give to your ancestors. 43 There you’ll remember your conduct, and everything you did, and how you defiled yourselves, and you’ll despise yourselves when you face all the evil you’ve done. 44 You’ll know that I am Yehovah, when I’ve dealt with you for the sake of My name, rather than with regard to your evil and corrupt behavior, ‘nation’ of Israel, says the Sovereign Yehovah.”
When Yehovah set up the nation of Israel, He was playing “for keeps”, that is, while He knew that “we” would break our commitment to the “marriage” covenant; He promised never to be the One to break it:
Judges 2:1 The Messenger of Yehovah  went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And He said, “I brought you out of Egypt into the land that I swore to give to your ancestors, and I said, ‘I’ll never break My covenant with you.
 Wrongly called “the Messenger (angel) of the Elohim”. In reality He is “the Word of Elohim”
When things began to “go south”, as they say, Yehovah “appointed” other leaders, while insisting that the covenant was meant to be “forever”.
1 Samuel:13-14 Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly. You haven’t obeyed the commandment of Yehovah your Elohim, that He commanded you. If you had, Yehovah would have established your ‘kingdom’ [dynasty] over Israel forever. 14 But now your kingdom won’t endure. Yehovah has found a man with His own mindset, and Yehovah has already appointed him as leader over His people, because you haven’t done what Yehovah commanded you.”
After the people had rejected Elohim as their ruler and were behaving exactly as the heathens around them, Elohim made a final offer. Just as He had told Adam and Eve that if they only avoided one tree in the garden everything else would fall into place; in like manner He told Israel that if they only kept the Sabbath, that Jerusalem “will remain forever” the capitol city of Israel. This was the proposal:
Jeremiah 17:19-27 This is what Yehovah said to me: “Go, and stand in the People’s Gate, where the kings of Judah enter and leave by, as well as all the gates of Jerusalem; 20 and tell them, “Listen to the Word of Yehovah, you kings of Judah, all you people of Judah and all you citizens of Jerusalem who come in thru these gates: 21 This is what Yehovah says: You are warned not to lift any loads on the Sabbath day, or bring anything in thru the gates of Jerusalem.
22 Don’t bring a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day or do any work, but keep the Sabbath day kadosh, as I commanded your ancestors. 23 ‘Your ancestors‘ wouldn’t listen, or pay attention to Me, they were so ‘headstrong’ they couldn’t hear, and wouldn’t respond to any discipline. 24 “Still, if you pay attention to Me, says Yehovah, and not bring any loads thru the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, and keep the Sabbath day kadosh by doing no work on it, 25 then kings and princes sitting on David’s throne will enter thru the gates of this city, riding in chariots and on horses, they and their princes, as well as the men of Judah, and the citizens of Jerusalem. This city will be inhabited forever. 26 They’ll come from the cities of Judah, and from the vicinity of Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin, from the lowland, from the hill country, and from the Negev, bringing burnt offerings, zebakim, grain offerings and frankincense, and bringing thank offerings to Yehovah’s Temple.” 27 But if you won’t listen to Me and keep the Sabbath day kadosh, and refrain from carrying loads thru the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, then I’ll set the gates of Jerusalem on fire. The fire will burn down the palaces in Jerusalem, and it won’t be extinguished.”
There are several Sabbath articles on this site. I would simply advise you to investigate the issue first before you draw any conclusions. Don’t assume that your parents or grandparents or your minister have done that!
Have you ever wondered why the Bible has so much information about an end time period of destruction? The answer is quite specifically explained in Isaiah. People are breaking Yehovah’s “EVERLASTING COVENANT” as well as His “laws” and “statutes”! Notice:
Isaiah 24:1, 3-6 Yehovah is going to lay waste the earth and devastate it, distort its surface and scatter its inhabitants! ... 3 The earth will be completely emptied and completely spoiled, because Yehovah has spoken this ‘message’. 4 The earth mourns and withers. The world decays and fades away. The exalted people of the earth will become feeble. 5 The earth is polluted by its inhabitants, because they transgressed the Torah, violated the statutes, and broke the everlasting covenant. 6 So a curse devours the earth, and those who live there are found guilty. The earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and few people survive.
(Do notice that the destruction is not complete, as it was not complete during the worldwide flood, and that some people are left.)
This would be a good place to comment on the word “owlam” that I mentioned in the opening paragraph.
The word “forever” (“for ever” in the KJV) is almost always translated from the word “owlam”, and is generally the exact equivalent to our word “eternity”.
The odd renderings have logical explanations. For example, when “owlam” is translated as “never”, the context tells you that something will “never” be—for eternity.
2 Samuel 12:10 So from this time on, the sword will never leave your household, because you have despised Me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own.”
On the few occasions when “owlam” is used in reference to a person, it means “always” for the rest of their life.
Psalm 119:112 I am determined to obey Your statutes continually, to the very end.
There are a few other words in Hebrew that are translated as “forever”. However, these words usually do not imply eternity. Some “scholars” use the Hebrew definitions of these words so as to indicate that Yehovah can never be understood to imply eternity. That is simply an unconscionable ploy.
Here are a few more quotations of things that will yet be made everlasting. The Sabbath is either specifically indicated as being the perpetual covenant, or it is part of a more detailed contract.
Exodus 31:16-17 The people of Israel must keep the Sabbath day—‘celebrate’ the Sabbath— thruout their generations as a perpetual covenant. 17 It’s a sign between Me and the people of Israel forever, because Yehovah made Heaven and earth in six days, and on the seventh day He stopped working and was refreshed.”
Leviticus 24:8 Every Sabbath day he’ll set out the ‘bread’ in order before Yehovah continually. It’s an everlasting covenant for the people of Israel.
Isaiah 59:21 As for Me, this is My covenant with them, says Yehovah. My Spirit that is on you, and My words that I’ve put in your mouth, won’t depart from your mouth, or from the mouths of your descendants, or from the mouths of their descendants’, says Yehovah, “From today to forever.”
Isaiah 60:20-21 Your sun will never set again, and will your moon will no longer wane, because you will have Yehovah as your everlasting light, and your days of mourning will be over. 21 Your people will all be righteous, they’ll inherit the land forever, a shoot that I planted, the work of My hands, to bring about My splendor.
Isaiah 61:8 Because I, Yehovah, love justice. I hate robbery and injustice. I’ll certainly give you your compensation, and I’ll make an everlasting covenant [i.e. The New Covenant] with you.
If there is any kind of a time limit to these “forever” statements, then it would have to involve “a thousand generations” and “His Covenant”. A thousand generations could represent eternity as we know it, or it may indicate that something will change for the better after 30,000 to 100,000 years. The Scriptures simply leave us seeing thru a dark glass concerning this.
Deuteronomy 7:9-13 So remember that Yehovah your Elohim is the only Elohim, the faithful Elohim. He keeps His covenant with enduring love for A THOUSAND GENERATIONS with those who love Him and obey His Commandments. 10 But He repays those who hate Him in person, destroying them. He won’t be slack with anyone who hates Him. He’ll personally repay them. 11 So you must obey the Commandments and the Statutes and the Ordinances that I give you today. 12 Then if you listen to these ordinances and faithfully obey them,Yehovah your Elohim will faithfully keep His covenant with you, as He swore to your ancestors. 13 He’ll love you, and bless you, and multiply you. He’ll also bless your children and the produce of your land—your grain, new wine, your olive oil, the increase of your herds and the young of your flocks in the land that He swore to your ancestors to give you.
1 Chronicles 16:15-17 Remember His covenant forever, the words that He commanded to a THOUSAND GENERATIONS, 16 the covenant that He made with Abraham, His oath to Isaac. 17 He confirmed it with Jacob as a statute, and to Israel as a never ending covenant ... [Also Psalm 105:8]
The only context that the “thousand generations” mystery is used in is in the context of the covenant made to Abraham.
Psalm 119:44-48 I’ll obey Your Torah continually for eternity. 45 I’ll ‘live’ in freedom, because I search for Your guiding principles. 46 I’ll also tell kings about Your testimonies and not feel ashamed. 47 I delight in Your commandments. How I love them! 48 I’ll stretch out my hands for Your commandments that I love. And I’ll meditate on Your statutes.
In order to know which laws are forever, we need to know what forever is.
How is it possible for David to keep these Commandments “forever”?
Ezekiel 37:25-28 They’ll live in the land that I gave to My servant Jacob, where their ancestors lived. They and their children and their grandchildren, forever, and My servant David will be their leader forever, for eternity. [Both 05704: “as long” as “time” & 05956: for eternity]. 26 I’ll make a [New] Covenant of peace with them. It will be an Everlasting Covenant with them, and I’ll establish them, and increase their numbers, and set My Kadosh Place among them forever. 27 My home [New Jerusalem] will also be ABOVE them. I’ll be their Elohim, and they’ll be My people. 28 The nations will know that I, Yehovah, make Israel kadosh, when My Kadosh Place is among them forever..
Only the Father has an eternity that stretches both forward and backward in time forever without interruption. Yeshua had a three day and three night interruption. However anyone can have an eternity from a certain point forward.
Somewhere, someone has probably made the case that the world will be devoured by fire from the following passage:
Deuteronomy 32:22-25 For a fire is kindled in My anger, and it burns to the lowest Sheol. IT DEVOURS THE LANDSCAPE AND ITS VEGETATION, AND SETS THE FOUNDATIONS OF THE MOUNTAINS ABLAZE. 23 I’ll heap disasters on them. I’ll ‘shoot all’ My arrows at them. 24 They’ll be wasted with famine, ravaged by disease and deadly epidemics. I’ll send fanged animals against them, and poisonous snakes slithering in the dust. 25 Outside the sword will cause bereavement, and inside terror, for both young men and virgins, infants and the gray-haired men.
The only problem is; this is the allegorical language used to describe the fall of ancient Egypt. The quotation is taken from “the Song of Moses” (sorry, I don’t have the music). This is following the Exodus from Egypt, and just before the Israelite exiles finally moved into the splendorous Promised Land. Moses was reminding them of why they had been made slaves in Egypt in the first place.
Malachi 3:4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to Yehovah, as in the old days, as in previous years.
Great Tribulation? It doesn’t have to end this way! This offer still stands:
Jeremiah 25:4-6 Yehovah has sent all His servants the prophets to you, sending them from early on, but you haven’t listened or even ‘paid attention’. 5 They said, ‘Everyone turn from your evil ways and deeds, and live in the land that Yehovah permanently allotted to you and your ancestors. 6 Don’t follow other gods serve and worship them, and don’t provoke Me to anger with your hand made workmanship, and I won’t cause you any harm.’
The chapter on the “New Covenant” explains the great significance of Jeremiah 31 that precisely defines what the New Covenant is. However, continuing into Jeremiah 32 there is a great deal of information about the demise of ancient Israel, but the concluding statements indicate that, after the Time of Jacob’s Trouble the descendants of the ancient nation of Israel will again be allowed to live in the promised land with all of the benefits of this New Covenant!
Jeremiah 32:17-41 “Oye the Sovereign Yehovah! You’ve made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for You! 18 You show unfailing love to thousands, but repay the wickedness of the fathers on their sons’ laps afterward [when they perpetuate their sins—Targum]. You are the great and powerful Elohim, Yehovah the Commander is His name. 19 You have all wisdom and do great and mighty things. You see everything people do. You compensate everyone for the way they live and for the things they do. 20 You performed signs and wonders in the land of Egypt which have had a ‘lasting effect’, both in Israel and among mankind. You made a name for Yourself that continues to this day. 21 You brought Your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs and wonders, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, and with overwhelming terror. 22 You gave them the land that You swore to give their ancestors, a land flowing with milk and honey, 23 They came in and took possession of it, but they didn’t obey Your voice, or ‘live’ by Your Torah. They’ve done nothing that you commanded them to do, so You brought all this disaster on them. 24 Look! Siege ramps have been built to take the city. Because of wars, famines, and plagues, the city will be handed over to the Chaldeans [Babylonians] who are attacking it. You can see that everything has happened just as you said. 25 Sovereign Yehovah, You’ve told me to buy the field for silver, and call in witnesses, even tho the city is to be handed over to the Chaldeans.
26 Then the Word of Yehovah came to Jeremiah. He said, 27 “I am Yehovah, the Elohim of all ‘humanity’! Is anything too difficult for Me?” 28 So this is what Yehovah says: “I’m about to hand this city to the Chaldeans, into the clutches of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, and he’ll take it. 29 The Chaldeans who are attacking this city will break into it and set the city on fire, and burn it down, along with the houses where people provoked My anger by burning incense to Baal and by pouring drink offerings to other gods on their rooftops. 30 The people of Israel and Judah have done nothing but evil in My sight from their infancy. The people of Israel have continually provoked Me to anger with the workmanship of their hands,” declares Yehovah. 31 This city has been provoking My anger and My wrath from the day they built until now. So I am determined to remove it from My ‘sight’, 32 because of all the evil the people of Israel and Judah have done to provoke Me to anger—they, their kings, their officials, their priests, their prophets, the men of Judah and residents of Jerusalem. 33 They’ve turned their backs, not their faces. I taught them again and again, but they refused to listen and learn from discipline. 34 They have placed their detestable things in the Temple named after Me, defiling it. 35 They built the high places of Baal in the Valley of Hinnom where they have their sons and daughters pass through the fire to Molech. I never command such a thing; It never even entered my mind to command Judah to do such an abomination, such a sin. 36 So This is what Yehovah, the Elohim of Israel says about this city that you have been saying will fall to Babylon’s king thru war, famine, and disease. 37 I’m going to gather them out of all the countries where I banished them in My anger, fury, and terrifying wrath. I’ll bring them back to this location and and allow them to live here in safety. 38 They’ll be My people, and I’ll be their Elohim. 39 I’ll give them a single-minded purpose, so that they will fear Me forever, for their own good and for the good of all their descendants. 40 I’ll make an everlasting covenant with them that I’ll never stop doing good for them. I’ll make them afraid of Me so they’ll never turn away from Me again. 41 I’ll enjoy blessing them, and I’ll definitely replant them in this land, with all My purpose and with all My being.
Jeremiah 50:5 They’ll ask the way to Zion, turning to face that direction. They’ll come and bind themselves to Yehovah in an everlasting covenant that will never be forgotten.
When the tribes of Israel finish their rebellion against Yehovah, He will make Earth the place for His throne.
Ezekiel 43:7-8 He said, “Human son, this is the place where My throne is and the place for the soles of My feet, where I will live among the Israelites forever. The nation of Israel will no longer defile My kadosh name, neither they, or their kings, by their prostitution, or with the dead bodies of their kings in their high places of worship, 8 by setting their idol threshold by My threshold, and their doorposts by My doorposts, and there was only a wall between Me and them. They’ve defiled My kadosh name by their loathsome behavior, so I destroyed them in My anger.
Hosea 2:19-20 I’ll be betrothed to you forever. Yes, you’ll be betrothed to Me in righteousness and in justice, in unfailing love and compassion. 20 I’ll be faithful to you, and you’ll finally know Yehovah intimately.
It should be apparent that you should not go thru the Hebrew Scriptures arbitrarily choosing which laws are still in force and which ones aren’t for this “dispensation”.
What does the “traditional Christian” word “dispensation” mean? Dispensationalism is the doctrine in which some believe that Yehovah judges people by different standards depending on which time period they happen to live in. In short, it is lusting for a license to sin. Webster’s dictionary says about Dispensation under the subheading “Rom. Cath. Ch”:
Biblically speaking, Yehovah does not change. Even more specifically, His not changing is the reason why His people Israel (Jacob) all thru the ages have not been destroyed.
Malachi 3:6 Because I, Yehovah, don’t change. That’s why you descendants of Jacob haven’t been destroyed.
Interestingly, Satan’s henchmen want to change the Law [Torah].
Daniel 7:25 He [the Beast] will speak against the Highest One, and wear down by constant harassment the kadosh ones [saints] of the Highest One, and his intention will be to change the Appointed Times [or designated times?] and the Torah [or human laws?], and the kadosh ones will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.
While Yehovah does not change His eternal laws, the nations of Israel, past and present, have “rejected knowledge” of His laws.
Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you’ve rejected knowledge, I also reject you as My priests. Since you’ve ignored your Elohim’s Torah, I’ll ignore your children.
2 Kings 17:15 They rejected His statutes, and the covenant that He made with their ancestors, and the warnings He gave them. They persued idols, and became worthless. They imitated the nations around them, that Yehovah had commanded that they shouldn’t imitate.
This is the very essence of the mystery. Yehovah has only personally established two types of governmental laws! There were the laws regarding the Levitical Priesthood of the First Covenant, working in tandem with the laws that were essentially part of the Constitution of Ancient Israel. These operated when Yehovah was dealing with Israel on a collective national basis. Secondly, there are the laws that apply to all people, of all time, in every place. Ignorance of these laws is no excuse. Of course certain other general information laws, such as health laws and laws of physics etc. are sprinkled thruout the Bible. But none of these laws are in the Levitical or governmental classifications.
I was tempted to quote Hebrews chapters 7 thru 10 here, so that some might read thru it, but it might have the opposite effect. These chapters go into great detail about how the Levitical Priesthood was replaced by Melchizedek’s (Yeshua’s) eternal priesthood.
Hebrews 7:11-12 So if perfection was attainable by means of the Levitical priesthood (because on that basis the people received the Torah), then why was another Priest still required, belonging to the order of Melchizedek? Because he said, “He will be like Aaron.” 12 When a transfer in the priesthood takes place, then there must also be a transfer in the law. .
Since the death of our Savior, the new priesthood is we ourselves. Each of us is a priest over one! The only problem with the “First (‘Old’) Covenant” was that it was predestined to fail because the laws were not etched into the minds of the people. The experiment with ancient Israel, while tragic, was necessary to prove to people of all time that mankind cannot attain any level of perfection on without very strong intervention.
1 Peter 2:8-10 and an offending Rock.” They continue to stumble because they refuse to believe. Their destiny awaits. 9 But you are a select race, officiating as priests of the Kingdom, a kadosh nation, a congregation redeemed to proclaim the virtues of the One who called you by name out of darkness and into His precious light. 10 Once you were not considered a people, but now you are the people of YHVH. You hadn’t experienced mercy, but now mercy is being poured out on you!
For the time being, those of us called by Yehovah for leadership positions in the Kingdom of Elohim are not operating under the terms of ancient Israel’s “first covenant”, nor are we living under the ideal conditions that will accompany the “New Covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah” (Jeremiah 31). This present age is a time of much greater opportunity, and much higher rewards are possible than those offered under either the Old Covenant or the New Covenant with Israel!
In this interim period, between the First Covenant and the New (or “Second”) Covenant, we don’t need a Levitical priesthood. In fact we are a “officiating as priests of the Kingdom”!
Hebrews 7:23-28 There were many priests because they were mortal. They weren’t allowed to live on. 24 But this Man, because He ‘lives’ forever, holds a permanent priesthood that will never be passed on to a successor. 25 He is capable of offering eternal Life to those who come to YHVH thru Him, because He lives forever and intercedes for them. 26 This is the kind of Priest we need to stand before us, one pure, innocent and unstained, one separated from wickedness, and elevated higher than Heaven, 27 One who doesn’t need to offer daily ze’bakim [sacrifices] like the [Aaronic] high priests, first for his own sins and then for the sins of the people. He only did this once, when He offered Himself up. 28 The Torah appoints weak humans as priests, but the oath that came after the Torah was written, appoints the Son, who has been made perfect forever.
But the New Covenant, as it applies to the Levitical priesthood, includes most of the same zebakal [sacrificial] requirements as were required under the First Covenant. This is described in great detail in Ezekiel chapters 40-48. Most commentators would rather avoid this large segment of Scripture entirely, or else have you believe that this detailed prophecy has somehow already been fulfilled.
The New Covenant will be better than the First one because the promises (eternal life being universally understood) are much more encouraging and the hope of living up to it’s standards is much greater due to the Torah being hot wired directly into peoples brains! Today we must struggle with many false concepts. Seeking and finding the truth takes work.
Hebrews 8:6-13 But now, Yeshua [Jesus] Messiah has been given a superior ministry since He is also the Mediator of a better covenant, one that was founded on better promises than the former. 7 If the first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no need for a second one. 8 Finding fault with THEM He said, “The time is coming, says YHVH, when I’ll enact a New marriage Covenant with the ‘household’ of Israel and with the ‘household’ of Judah. 9 It won’t be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors during the time when I took them by the hand and led them out of the land of Egypt, because they didn’t remain loyal to My covenant and I neglected them, declared YHVH. 10 But this is the covenant that I’ll make with the household of Israel after that time, says YHVH, I’ll put My Torah in their minds—inscribing it on their innermost being. I’ll be their Aloha [God] and they’ll be My people. 11 No one [in Israel] will teach doctrine to their fellow citizens or ask a brother, “Do you know YHVH” [evangelize], because they’ll all know Me, from the youngest of them to the oldest , 12 because I’ll be merciful regarding their unrighteousness and I won’t call their sins to mind.” 13 When He [Yeshua] mentioned the New Covenant, He was ‘declaring’ that the first one was obsolete and about to be repealed, and what was obsolete and failing will soon disappear.
 People love to force fit one condition of Israel’s New Covenant into the here and now, citing verse 33 about the “new heart” (mind), pretending that at least this one verse from Jeremiah 31 has been fulfilled—without ever considering the many other conditions of the New Covenant, such as quoted in verse 11 above. But all of the fine print of the New Covenant is detailed in Jeremiah chapters 30-31. All other references to the New Covenant relate to the specifications in Jeremiah.
Paul acknowledged that the First Covenant was still in existence as he wrote, but that its days were numbered. This would be a reference to the Levitical priesthood’s obligations of the Covenant. ze’bakim had not ceased when Yeshua was crucified. Of course Paul thought that he would live to see the New Covenant being implemented. Paul had no idea that there would be a two thousand year period from which Yehovah would be selecting many more leaders for the Messianic Age. That being the case; did the Old Covenant vanish away when Paul thought that it would, or was that also going to last far longer than he had anticipated. To be sure, after 70 AD the Levitical priesthood’s implementation of the Old Covenant’s zebakal requirements were put on hold and have remained on hold ever since that time. But has Yehovah canceled the Levitical obligations of His Old Covenant yet, or is the zebakal system simply dormant and soon to be re-established? The Levitical system far outlasted the nationhood of ancient Israel, after it’s captivity, without a need for a free and independent national Israel.
To be sure, Yeshua attached a great significance to the circumstances surrounding the end time “Kadosh Place”.
Matthew 24:14 THIS Good News of the Kingdom will be announced thruout the world as a witness to every nation and then the end will come.
You should understand that the Kadosh [holy] Place in this instance is the end time Third Temple. “Kadosh Place” is mentioned I believe 57 times in the Hebrew Scriptures in reference to the temple and its surroundings.
Daniel also specified that the ze’bakim (sacrifices) would be resumed, and then forcibly halted. Without getting into that here, suffice it to say that this “Kadosh Place” is not simply a Kadosh Place to the Jews, rather it is Kadosh to Yehovah; that is why it will be kadosh! In Yehovah’s Kadosh Place zebakim will again take place. I believe that this will complete the Old Covenant (or contract) just prior to the New Covenant’s implementation. Even Paul’s statement in Hebrew’s 8 above appears to have envisioned the Old Covenant lasting until the New (Renewed) Covenant is enacted.
Notice in the renowned Seventy “Weeks” Prophecy of Daniel that zebakim had again been on center stage:
Daniel 9:27 He [the desolator] will make a firm contract [covenant] with many for one period of seven. Then in the middle of the period of seven he’ll stop the zebakim and the offerings. The desolator will introduce abominations [or idols] thru a wing of the Temple [[JFB commentary], until the predetermined end time, when wrath will be poured out on the awestruck.’”
Certainly Yehovah had to divorce Israel, but with the marriage agreement written in the minds of Israel, national divorce will become “obsolete”. Next time Yehovah will not have to even consider divorcing Israel as He did here:
Isaiah 50:1 This is what Yehovah says: Where is your mother’s divorce certificate that I used to send her away? Or which of My creditors did I sell you to? No, you were sold for your sins, and your mother [Targum interprets as “congregation”] was put away for your rebellion.
Before getting into more detailed laws, I’d like to give an example of a law that I was very reluctant to adopt.
Numbers 15:38-40 “Speak to the Israelites, and tell them that they should make tzitzits for themselves on the borders of their clothing, thruout their generations, and put a blue cord on the tzitzits of each corner. 39 You’ll have tzitzits that you can look at to remind you of all the Commandments of Yehovah, and obey them, instead of following whatever you want and to and going after whatever you see, and prostituting yourselves. 40 You’ll remember to obey all My commandments, and you’ll be kadosh to your Elohim.
I had rationalized for years that having the kadosh spirit to help me “REMEMBER all the Commandments” made tassels redundant. I figured that I didn’t need any more help. But then, Yeshua wore them, so where is my excuse? When common versions of the Bible say that people touched the hem of Yeshua’s garment and were healed, they were really touching the tzitzits on His clothing. Apparently it did more than help their memory!