How To Study The Instructions Of Yahuah – It Is Only Difficult When We Personally Make It Difficult
When one is new to Torah observance, one can find oneself at a loss regarding “Where to start”. Its funny that Yahuah left us His “Instructions” or “Words” (mistransliterated as “Law”), without a “Start Here” button to click.
So one will ask friends, search the interweb, read various sections of Torah and generally attempt to piece together a process of study. One thing for sure you will learn, as did I, is this: Obedience is easy until we make it difficult ourselves. It is our selfish flesh that makes obedience difficult, every time.
I personally bump up against resisting a given command fairly often, and it is always simply because I want to do something else. But obedience at that point of resistance is where the joy grows from. Remind me, please.
In a weekly meeting of Torah faithful, held by a fine and holy couple in a town one hour from my home, I commented one Sabbath afternoon that we are highly motivated to talk about renewed covenant (New Testament – NT) and the countless proofs of Torah observance within the NT, but rarely do we sit down together and discuss the actual commands of Yahuah. The commands do include all commands of His righteous and only begotten Son, Yahusha (aka Jesus), as Yahusha only came to fulfill the commands of Yahuah, therefore every command of Yahusha is from the very mouth of Yahuah. All commands are subsequently of Yahuah. Pretty simple.
This quest for the commands is important. A few months ago I sat at my PC, opened a blank spreadsheet, booted up E-Sword and started in Genesis, reading every verse of every chapter of every book of the Torah. Every time I encountered a command, as in “Thou shalt” do or not do, or “in all your generations”, or “forever”, or any form of permanence or commanding language, I noted the book, chapter, verse and pasted the entire scripture into its own row in my spreadsheet.
Let me tell you, I stopped at over 1000 lines of commands, and I DID NOT include Leviticus, which applies to the temple priests and for whom there are approximately 1,263,486 commands in that book. OK, not one million, but a huge volume of commands, none which apply to you and me because we do not sacrifice animals for the sins of Israel (and “Israel” in some instances refers to the righteous seed of Abraham – ie: the saved through Yahusha), nor are we building a tabernacle, and we are not stoning those who are abominable.
I know that there had to be a better process for studying ‘The Words”. Certainly, reading The Words daily is ideal, as every Word is inspired and useful for edification and instruction. Nonetheless, I wanted the Commands in some kind of condensed document so that I can read them, study them and reproduce them for others so that they and you and I can worship our good Father, bless others and be blessed and loved by Him.
In Elle Haddebarim (aka “Deuteronomy” but correctly translated is “The Words”) is such a document. If you start at Chapter One, the scriptures start out right away “These are the Words…” , which is in fact the Hebrew title for the book in discussion. That title is “Elle Haddebarim”, which means “These Are The Words” . Simple, huh?
I read Ch. 1 but no joy. So I read ch. 2, and still not what I sought. Then ch.3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 – all of them chock full of divine Instructions, teaching and Words given by Yahuah to us for living righteously in worshipful obedience. Yet in those preceding chapters I repeatedly encountered the phrase “If you obey the commands of Yahuah that I am giving you today…” or some variation of that. I kept waiting for the show to begin, and praise Yahuah, it does begin at Chapter 12.
Chapter 12 begins in my 2002 paper edition of the NIV with this:
“These are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess – as long as you live in the land.”
I think the NIV translation is in error where it says “… as long as you live in the land.” Most translations read “…all the days you live upon the earth.” BIG difference. Take a look at these other translations from some of my other bibles…
(Brenton) And these are the ordinances and the judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the Lord God of your fathers gives you for an inheritance, all the days which ye live upon the land.
(Darby) These are the statutes and ordinances, which ye shall take heed to do in the land, which Jehovah the God of thy fathers is giving thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.
(DRB) These are the precepts and judgments, that you must do in the land, which the Lord the God of thy fathers will give thee, to possess it all the days that thou shalt walk upon the earth.
(Geneva) These are the ordinances and the lawes, which ye shall observe and doe in the lande (which the Lord God of thy fathers giueth thee to possesse it) as long as yee liue vpon the earth.
(Hebrew OT) אלה החקים והמשׁפטים אשׁר תשׁמרון לעשׂות בארץ אשׁר נתן יהוה אלהי אבתיך לך לרשׁתה כל־הימים אשׁר־אתם חיים על־האדמה׃
– The Hebrew above says “These are the statutes and the judgments which you shall keep to do in the land which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you to possess, all the days which ye live on the earth.
(ISV*) Destroying Altars to False Gods ¶ These are the statutes and ordinances that you must carefully observe in the land that the Lord God of your ancestors has given you to possess every day that you live on the earth.
(ISV) “These are the statutes and ordinances that you must carefully observe in the land that the LORD God of your ancestors has given you to possess every day that you live on the earth.
(JPS) These are the statutes and the ordinances, which ye shall observe to do in the land which the LORD, the God of thy fathers, hath given thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.
(JUB) These are the statutes and rights which ye shall keep to do them in the land which the LORD God of thy fathers gives thee to inherit all the days that ye live upon the land.
(KJV) These are the statutes and judgments, which ye shall observe to do in the land, which the LORD God of thy fathers giveth thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth.
(KJV+) TheseH428 are the statutesH2706 and judgments,H4941 whichH834 ye shall observeH8104 to doH6213 in the land,H776 whichH834 the LORDH3068 GodH430 of thy fathersH1 givethH5414 thee to possessH3423 it, allH3605 the daysH3117 thatH834 yeH859 liveH2416 uponH5921 the earth.H127
(KJV-1611) These are the Statutes, and Iudgements, which ye shal obserue to do, in the land which the Lord God of thy fathers giueth thee to possesse it, all the dayes that yee liue vpon the earth.
(KJVr) These אֵלֶּה_1 are the statutes חֹק and judgments, מִשְׁפָּט which אֲשֶׁר ye shall observe שָׁמַר to do עָשָׂה in the land, אֶרֶץ which אֲשֶׁר the LORD יְהֹוָה God אֱלֹהִים of thy fathers אָב giveth נָתַן thee to possess יָרַשׁ it, all כֹּל_1 the days יֹום_1 that אֲשֶׁר ye אַתָּה live חַי_1 upon עַל_2 the earth. אֲדָמָה_1
(LITV) These are the statutes and the ordinances which you shall take heed to do in the land which Jehovah the God of your fathers has given to you, to possess it, all the days that you live on the earth:
(The Scriptures 1998+) “These are the laws and right-rulings which you guard to do in the land which éäåä Elohim of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the soil.
(TS2009) “These are the laws and right-rulings which you guard to do in the land which יהוה Elohim of your fathers is giving you to possess, all the days that you live on the soil.
(YLT) ‘These are the statutes and the judgments which ye observe to do in the land which Jehovah, God of thy fathers, hath given to thee to possess it, all the days that ye are living on the ground:
In the preceding 11 chapters, again, the repeated phrase”If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow…” suggested to me that I would eventually come across a statement by Moshe that would tell me “Start Here”.
Further reading filled my heart with delight, as the Ruach Hakodesh (the Holy Spirit) showed me that I should begin teaching from chapter 12. The earlier chapters are also the Words, and we are required, if we love Yahusha, to abide by them always.
Download Torah Notes and Read them: 1. Torah
The 2002 NIV is a well-written Holy Bible that translates on a sentence-by-sentence basis, rather than a word-for-word basis. This method helps with clarity, but sometimes that method is inferior to word-for-word translation.
For instance, the NIV completely omits the BOZRAH gathering of the faithful during the second half of the tribulation. If my wife had not found and directed me to look at www.endtimespilgrim.com a few years ago, I might never have discovered this Bozrah business, because my primary book at that time was my NIV. It still is my primary “carry and read” book, but my study bibles are all digital, and I use about 10 of them simultaneously. My prime reference bible is the “LITV”, which is a well-done literal translation that is correct more than all others, although it is not always correct when another bible might be.
Click the Bozrah link: http://endtimepilgrim.org/bozrahdeliv.htm and read a fascinating study regarding a potential future for the faithful during the bad half of the tribulation.
I will do a video on how to set up E-Sword in the near future.
About That Bozrah Event
This is extremely important, because you and I are possibly to be incarcerated in “Bozrah”, according to the scriptures. It will be a time of spiritual growth, though. A good time for us, but an incarceration, nonetheless. We will be there, as some kind of captive, when Yahusha comes to set us free, I know – you have never heard of it, I get that. Preachers don’t want to tell their congregants to “Get saved, and go to prison for sure, no doubt about it.” Bad for revenues, and many bibles omit the word Bozrah. Check out your bible – Micah 2:12-13. BOZRAH is the search term, and this is extremely important to YOU. I will let you discover why.
Here is a link to a richly researched document on Bozrah: http://endtimepilgrim.org/bozrahdeliv.htm
Back to the NIV… It has chapter titles, which is a nice feature. I want to show you how the commands are broken down beginning with chapter 12.
- Chapter 12 – The One Place of Worship
- Worshiping Other Gods
- Clean and Unclean Food/Tithes
- The Year Food Canceling Debts/Freeing Servants/Firstborn Animals
- Passover/Feast of Weeks/Feast of Tabernacles/Judges
- Worshiping Other Gods/Law Courts/TheKing
- Offerings for Priests and Levites/Detestable Practices/The Prophet
- Cities of Refuge/Witnesses
- Going to War
- Atonement for an Unsolved Murder/Marrying a Captive Woman/The Right of the Firstborn/A Rebellious Son/Various Laws
- Marriage Violations
- (24&25)Exclusion from the Assembly/Uncleaness in Camp/Miscellaneous Laws
- Firstfruits and Tithes/Follow Yahuahs’ Commands
- The Altar on Mt. Ebal/Curses From Mt. Ebal
- Blessings for Obedience/Curses for Obedience
- Renewal of the Covenant
- Prosperity after Turning to Yahuah/The Offer of Life or Death
- Joshua (Yahusha) to Succeed Moshe/The Reading of the Law/Israel’s
- Rebellion Predicted
- The Song of Moshe
- Moshe Blesses the Tribes
- The Death of Moshe
Pretty good stuff. Obviously, ALL of Elle Haddebarim (“The Words”) is Holy and requires diligent, worshipful obedience. Nonetheless, I will begin at chapter 12, reading to my children one chapter each day, then starting again back at chapter 12. That is a complete cycle every 22 days, and I will keep you posted on any changes as we proceed to worship Yahuah through study of Torah. Certainly there is much more, and of tremendous importance, too.
Note November 8th, 2017 – The prophets are integral to the study of the commands, hence the “law and the prophets” that Yahusha speaks of in Matthew 22, v37. He states that “all the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.” Love Yahuah with all your heart, soul and mind – the first and greatest commandment, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
So any study of the Law must include reading the prophets as well, which is great. The prophets expound on the Law, illuminating the dark corners of our understanding.
Note on Commands – As Yahusha said “He who disregards the least of these commands, and teachers to do likewise, will be considered least in Heaven…”
There are least or lesser and greatest or greater commands. For example, keeping the Sabbath or not murdering someone – those are “great” types of commands. Not eating unclean animal flesh such as meat cut off a dead pig… Is the prohibition against eating swine a “great command?” We should examine these soon.
Note: The commands, according to Yahuah, apply to BOTH the Hebrew and the non-Hebrews who also wish to worship Yahuah.
Exodus 12:49 – “One law shall be to the native, and to the visitor, the one staying in your midst”
So there is one set of rules of fellowship with Yahuah for all who worship Him. One set of instructions for all His children.
In closing, I want to quote Moshe (aka “Moses”) as he completed speaking his song to the people.