Leviticus 26:1–46 on Blessings and Curses and YOU

Divine Blessings and Curses Are Based on Obedience to YHVH’s Torah-Word 

As divine blessings come upon people for Torah obedience, so do curses come upon a people who have forgotten their Elohim because they have been blessed materially and in their self-sufficiency have forgotten who is the source of their blessings as this chapter shows. These are immutable laws that are written in the universe and no human-devised philosophical or religious ideologies regardless of their cleverness can circumvent them. To go against these laws is like attempting to push a giant boulder up a steep mountainside. Eventually the boulder will role backwards crushing the pusher. What wisdom can be learned from this passage on blessings and curses?

 YHVH’s Torah instructions continually stresses that blessings are contingent upon obedience to YHVH. Similarly, Yeshua reveals that rewards in his everlasting kingdom are also contingent on obedience to his Torah-laws. The greater the obedience, the greater the reward (Matt 5:17).These principles are universal, yet how prone humans are to forget the cycles of history that repeat themselves over and over again like the unstoppable turning of giant millstone grinding into powder those who refuse to learn the lessons from the past. Each generation proudly asserts its exceptionalism and that, somehow, it is immune to YHVH’s inexorable and immutable principles of divine judgment. Only in the perfect hindsight of history can we see the fallacy of this assumption. Ancient Israel failed to learn these lessons as have subsequent people who are both ignorant of Scripture as well as many who claim to follow the Bible.

In the case of America, and Great Britain before her (and other formerly European Christian nations as well), there was in times past a national consciousness of core biblical values and, to one degree or another, a general public acknowledgement, acceptance of and respect for the Elohim of the Bible. However, as the historical record reveals, as a nation becomes blessed, it reaches an apogee of prominence, power and wealth where it becomes rich and increased with goods and no longer needs Elohim—or so it thinks. It then becomes materially fat and forgets the source of its wealth and falls into a state of self-sufficiency leading to spiritual blindness in that it fails to recognize its true spiritual state (recall YHVH’s warning to a lukewarm church in Rev 3:14–22). This can happen to individuals, churches and to whole societies.

Because YHVH loves his people and wants to walk among them, to be their Elohim and to bless them (Lev 26:12), when they disobey him and walk in ways that are harmful to their well-being, like any loving parent, he is forced to discipline them. Again and again he sends them his prophets and watchmen to warn them that they are on a path of self-destruction. But because of pride, most people refuse to humble themselves and repent (Lev 26:40–41). It is the same old story over and over again. Human pride insists that “judgments cannot happen to us because we are so special, ”  and “All things will continue as they have from the beginning and no evil shall befall us.” Such a self-assured individual and society retorts in mocking and scoffing tones in response to all those who would hold them accountable for their errant ways (2 Pet 3:3–7). If only the great people, nations and empires that have already trodden this well-worn path and are now in the dust bin of history could speak from their graves and this generation had heart ears to hear!

As a loving Father, YHVH does not lower the gavel of his full disciplinary judgments immediately upon his wayward children. He increases the dosage of his spiritual medicine incrementally in hopes that each successive ratcheting down of his judgments will bring healing to his spiritually apostate children such that they will humble themselves, confess their iniquity (or Torahlessness, Lev 26:40) and repent of their sin and submit to his laws, so that he can bless them. 

In this chapter, YHVH reveals four sets of judgments with each one becoming seven times more severe than the previous one (Lev 26:18, 21, 24, 28). This reminds us of YHVH’s end-times judgments upon a rebellious world that has given itself over to devil worship just prior to the return of Yeshua as prophesied in the book of Revelation. In that book, there are seven seals, seven trumpets, seven thunders and, finally, seven bowl judgments. 

What can you do? You may not be able to change society, but a societal change begins one step and one life at a time; it starts with your life! That is the only thing for certain that you can change. No one person can turn the whole earth into a beautiful garden, but you can start by eradicating the weeds from your own garden. You know what needs to be done. Just listen to your conscience—to YHVH’s Spirit knocking at the door of your heart (Rev 3:20), and then repent and obey YHVH and his commandments. It is that simple.

The corollary to this passage on blessings and curses with regard to Torah obedience is Deuteronomy chapter 28.

Some More Thoughts on Divine Judgment

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Acts 15 Explained As You’ve Never Heard It Before

Acts 15

Acts 15:1, Custom of Moses. What is the “custom” or “manner” of Moses as mentioned in Acts 15:1? Likely it is the Torah principle that circumcision of both the flesh and the heart is a requirement for citizenship in the nation of Israel. However, the latter takes precedence over and is at a higher spiritual level than the former, as we will now discuss.

The Torah-law requires physical circumcision of males, who the spiritual heads of their families as a ritual signifying sanctification (or being set apart or being separated) from the carnal rudiments of this world, the flesh and the devil. When the father, as the spiritual representative and head of his family, was physically circumcised, it is as if his whole family (including the females) were circumcised as well. 

But physical circumcision as Scripture, including the Torah, teaches is but a step toward and points to the higher principle of heart circumcision, which all people (both male and female) must undergo if they are to be part of the “Israel of Elohim” (Gal 6:16), which is comprised of both Jews and non-Jews, who have been grafted into the olive tree of Israel (Rom 11:11–32) and are not part of the nation of Israel through Yeshua the Messiah and are no longer Gentiles (in a spiritual sense; Eph 2:11–19). 

So the overall principle of circumcision comes from the YHVH Elohim. How it was specifically implemented and applied in daily life, or the exact details of how the law of circumcision was walked out, is specific to the era in which the people of Elohim lived. This is a fundamental distinction between the basic, eternal and over-arching principles of the Elohim’s Torah-law compared to “the law of Moses.” The principles of the former are for all time and for all people, while the latter are the specifics of how those principles were applied in the daily lives of a particular people at a particular time—in this case, the children of Israel who had a physical nation governed by many laws (i.e. the law of Moses) specific to that situation. In the case of physical circumcision, it was a physical proof of citizenship, like a passport, that one actually wore on one’s body. Since there is no longer a physical nation of Israel as in ancient times,  this specific law is not applicable in the same way as it was then; however, the higher principle of heart circumcision still applies today and includes both males and females. 

Another example of a literal Torah principle that does not apply to us today is the Torah’s ox in a ditch rule. Today, how many of us now use an ox for work or transpiration? Obviously we do not, but the principle of the pulling an ox out of the ditch on the Sabbath day still applies to us but in a different way, even though most of us have never even seen an ox much less own or use one. This principle allows us to help someone in need, or to perform emergency word on the Sabbath, which would otherwise be a violation of the biblical law to rest on that day. The eternal principles of the Torah, like the laws of circumcision and ox in the ditch, never change, but exactly how these principles are applied may vary from one generation and culture to another. 

This concept is very different than what the Christian church teaches about the law of Moses, which they say was “fulfilled” by Yeshua, which they take to mean was “done away with” or abrogated, so that we no longer have to do it. This concept, of course, is fundamentally flawed and illogical and is patently absurd, since it violates countless Scripture from one end of the Bible to the other that specifically uphold the validity of the Torah for all believers for all time. If the Torah was in fact been “done away with,” as the church teaches, then it logically follows that it is now permissible to murder, lie, have sex with animals, not have to tithe to your church, be a homosexual, etc., etc. Of course, this is patently ridiculous, yet this is, in essence, shows the logical fallacy of what church teaches with regard to the Torah-law of Elohim.

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Who Is God of the Old Testament?

Acts 7:35, The Angel

In Acts chapter seven verse 35 and the following several verses, Stephen makes a reference to an Angel. To whom is he referring: to YHVH the Father or YHVH the Son who became Yeshua the Messiah?

Angel is the Greek word angelos which has several meanings including the stereotypical meaning of the word angel. But the word angelos as well its Hebrew equivalent malak can also refer to a human messenger as well as to a divine messenger such as YHVH, the Word of Elohim or the preincarnate Yeshua the Messiah, as was the case with the “Angel” or Divine Messenger or YHVH who spoke to Moses from the burning bush in Exodus chapter three. 

This same Divine Messenger or YHVH spoke to the Israelites from Mount Sinai when giving the children of Israel the Torah-law as Stephen state in verse 38. 

Elsewhere, Paul goes on to say that the same Divine Entity, who later came to be known as Yeshua the Messiah, was the One who lead the Israelites in the wilderness and gave them water from the rock (1 Cor 10:4). 

Moreover, Yeshua clearly states in John 5:37 that the Israelites did not hear the voice of his Father, YHVH the Father, in the wilderness. Thus, whose voice did they hear? Who was the Messenger or “Angel” to which Stephen makes reference in this verse? It was none other than the preincarnate Yeshua the Messiah who was the Word of Elohim to which John makes reference at the beginning of his Gospel (John 1:1) who become the Messiah (John 1:14). 

Finally, in John 8:58, Yeshua states that he was the I AM of Exodus 3:14 that spoke to Yeshua out of the burning bush; Yeshua is YHVH the Son as opposed to YHVH the Father. The fact Yeshua was making the connection between himself and the I AM of Exodus is the reason that the Jews picked up stones in an attempt to kill Yeshua; they viewed his statements as blasphemous, since he was claiming to be deity. 

Thus, when we connect all of these statements together by Stephen, Paul, John and Yeshua, we see that Yeshua in his preincarnate state, and not YHVH Elohim the Father, who was the God of the Old Testament who spoke to the patriarchs, to Moses as well as to the prophets. 

The fact that Yeshua was the part of the Godhead who was the God of the Old Testament and not the Father (per se or directly) is contrary to what the mainstream church teaches and what most Christians believe. 

With this in mind, how does the fact that Yeshua or Jesus in his preincarnate state as the One who gave the Israelites the Torah-law from Mount Sinai challenge the idea that the same Divine Being who later came as Yeshua the Messiah came to do away with the same Torah-law as the mainstream Christian church teaches? Is this prevalent teaching in Christianity not incongruent with the facts of the Bible? How does the fact that Yeshua in his preincarnate state gave the law to the Israelites change how one views “the Law of Moses?” Similarly, does YHVH’s statement in Malachi 3:6 that “I am YHVH, I do not change” as well as the statement in Hebrews 13:8 that “Yeshua the Messiah is the same yesterday, today and forever” not make more sense with respect to YHVH’s Torah-law, which is his unchanging and immutable standard of righteousness for all people for all time?

It is time for honest and truth-seeking Bible students and disciples of Yeshua to question and challenge many long held church traditions that are contrary to the plain and simple Truth of the Bible, and to bring their thinking and lifestyles into alignment with Truth!

Acts 7:37, A Prophet. Stephen is pointing out to the Jews that Yeshua was the fulfillment of Moses’ Deuteronomy 18:15 prophecy that “YHVH will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from among your brethren. Him you shall hear….”

Acts 7:38, He. Who is the “he” that Stephen is referring to here: the Prophet or Moses? The antecedent of he must be Moses, since in the same sentence he is juxtaposed with “the Angel.” As we discuss in our notes in verse s 35 and 37, that “Angel” was none other than the preincarnate Yeshua the Messiah.

Acts 7:53, Angels. Or human messengers, since this can be the meaning of the Greek word angelos.


What Is Truth? (Explaining the difference between Truth and truth)

This is an important question that has dangerous implications. Why? Because truth is like a sharp sword that cuts. It separates good from evil, light from darkness, sin from righteousness; it differentiates between those who are of Elohim and those who are of the world, the flesh and devil; that is, those who are of the kingdom of the god of this world—Satan the devil. Oooh, that hurts! But the fact remains: we are either in Elohim’s kingdom or the devil’s kingdom. To ignore or renounce the former is to acquiesce knowingly or unknowingly, it makes no difference, to the latter. For these reasons, most people flee from answering the question “What is truth.” This is because their deeds are evil and they do not want the glorious light of YHVH’s Truth to shine into their lives and to expose their evil deeds as John declared about Yeshua in John 3:18–21.

He who believes in [Yeshua] is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of Elohim. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in Elohim.”

Not only that, let us not forget an important fact: there are two kinds of truth. Truth with a capital T and truth with a small t. The former is divinely revealed Truth, while the latter is truth at a physical level (e.g. 2 + 2 = 4 or the law of gravity). To acknowledge the former means that one has to accept not only the idea of divine revelation, but a Divine Revealer. If so, then there is a Divine Judge who determines right and wrong. If this is true, then that Judge will bless those who live up to that divine Truth, and curse those who do not.

To acknowledge the existence of divinely revealed Truth carries with it serious implications regarding one’s lifestyle. That is why most humans choose the downward path (call Baalism or feeding from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) of sin and succumb to the notion that God is dead or irrelevant. Not only that, they attack those who believe in Elohim (the Jews and the Christians), they attack the Bible—the Word of Elohim, they attack the Holy Land where Elohim placed his name, and they attack anything that remotely represents any of these things (e.g. morality, marriage, the family, church, male and female genders and so on). This is the spirit of Antichrist, which we see rising up like a tidal wave of evil in these last days all over the world. But the reality is that these are only the death throes of Satan and his kingdom of darkness, for he knows that his time as the ruler and god of this world is short, and that King Yeshua is coming soon to dethrone him. That is why the devil is pulling out the all the proverbial organ stops in a vain attempt to prevent the inevitable and inexorable march of Truth!

For these reasons, it is important that you understand the answer to the question, “What is Truth?”

John 18:38, What is truth? 

In this age of moral relativism or situational ethics, it is unpopular to believe in, much less purport, that there is one single truth. Most humans live under the notion that every person can determine their own truth for themselves. The problem with this delusion is that when your truth conflicts with my truth there will inevitably be conflict. Ultimately, there will be a breakdown in law and order leading to anarchy resulting in unending theft, murder and wars. This was the case in primeval and medieval societies like Europe before strong central governments evolved to enforce law and order. The history of British Isles alone before there was a strong king in London was one series of blood baths after another by various raping and pillaging parties.

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John 5—Natan’s Commentary Notes

The Gospel of John contains many deep spiritual insights that are found in none of the other three Gospels. John wrote this Gospel probably in the AD 90s when he was very old and likely after all the other apostles were already dead, and some 60 years after the death and resurrection of Yeshua. By that time, he had seen a lot of water go under the bridge—both good and bad, so to speak, and had developed many keen and unique insights that come only with time, experience, understanding and wisdom. Please enjoy a few of the golden nuggets in John’s writings that this disciple of Yeshua has discovered over the years and is now sharing with you below.

John 5:2, In Hebrew. (Gr. Hebraisti) This phrase indicates that either John was originally written in Greek, or it was written in Hebrew, then translated into Greek with the insertion of this editorial comment. 

John 5:4, Troubled/stirred the waters. The Greek word for stir or trouble can mean “to agitate, disquiet, make restless, cause inward commotion, to strike one’s spirit with fear, perplex the mind, render anxious or distressed or to cause dread.” The troubling of the waters at the Bethesda Pool was more than just a breeze causing some riffles over the waters. Those at the pool’s edge must have sensed something supernatural when the angel troubled waters—that something supernatural was about to occur. Perhaps they sensed the presence of Elohim in their spirit. The outward stirring of the waters (with the inward stirring of the spirit?) coupled with their acting in faith to get to the waters to be healed brought about healing. What is the lesson here for us? When we sense the presence of the Almighty to heal us, we must step forth in faith seeking Elohim’s healing touch in our lives. Our seeking might result in our finding heaven’s miracle for our lives at that exact moment.

John 5:12, Sin no more. Sometimes our physical infirmity is a result of sin was case in this verse, and sometimes sin is not the cause of the infirmity as was the case with the man who was born blind (John 9:2–3). Only by divine revelation (or by the Holy Spirit gift of the word of knowledge) was Yeshua able know the cause of an ailment when praying for someone’s healing. Yeshua’s healing of the man at the Bethesda Pool was an act of divine grace by Yeshua. Yeshua didn’t require the man to repent of his sin before healing him, although he advised him sin no more, so that a worse judgment wouldn’t come on him later.

John 5:18, [Yeshua]…broke the Sabbath. (Also see notes on Matt 12:1–14.) Allow me to share an interesting and sad, but true story from my life about a false Christian teacher that I went head-to-head with. Many years ago, I was in a meeting where a Christian Bible teacher was giving a message on the end times. In the middle of his teaching and totally out of context, he quoted this passage from John and claimed that Yeshua broke the Sabbath. There was a rustle in the audience of about 300 people. A little later, he made the same statement again and began to deride the Sabbath. This time there was an audible moan from some in the audience—many of whom were Sabbath keepers. A feeling of being hit in the gut went through me. A little later, he made the same statement again, and continued to bash Sabbath observance. This time, I could hold my peace no longer, and I stood up and challenged him in the middle of the meeting. I told him that to say that Yeshua had broken the Sabbath was to call Yeshua a sinner, and that Yeshua had not broken the Sabbath, but some Jewish legal traditions (or halakhah) pertaining to the Sabbath. The speaker was flustered and had no response, and the host of the meeting decided to take an intermission.

A year later, it was announced that this Bible teacher had suddenly and unexpectedly dropped dead in the pulpit while preaching. One can’t help but wonder if he had come under divine judgment for blasphemously teaching that Yeshua was a sinner by supposedly breaking the fourth commandment.

Had this false teacher simply pulled down a concordance from his bookshelf and looked up the word broke in the Greek, and had read John’s statement in verse 12 in the context of verses 8–10, he wouldn’t have been teaching this blasphemous heresy about our Master and Savior!

Here is the explanation of this passage: The word broke is the Greek word luo meaning “to loose, untie someone or something bound, to dissolve, destroy.” According to The Theological Dictionary of the NT, luo means “to free from prison, open something closed; destroy fetters, foundations, walls; to release.” What Yeshua was breaking was the Jews’ extra-Torah legal traditions that made the Sabbath a burden by prohibiting the alleviation of human suffering and need on this day (John 5:8–10). He was in no way violating the actual Torah, since there is no Torah-law prohibiting healing on the Sabbath or carrying one’s bed role. In attempting to follow the Torah through men’s traditions, many of the Jews of Yeshua’s day had actually omitted the weightier matters of the Torah (justice, mercy and faith, see Matt 23:23), and had forgotten that YHVH is more concerned with heart issues rather than religious legalism, since he desires mercy over sacrifice, and the knowledge of Elohim over burnt offerings (Hos 6:6).

Any tradition of man that violates the letter and the spirit of the Torah is an illegal tradition. Yeshua was only violating an illegal tradition of men. Therefore, in the eyes of the Jews he was breaking the Torah. In reality, he was loosing (not breaking) the Torah from the traditions of men that had corrupted the true intent of the Sabbath law. A better translation of this verse would be, “he…loosened/untied the Sabbath [from men’s legalistic traditions].” Yeshua didn’t come to set men free from the Sabbath. He came to set the Sabbath free from men’s unbiblical traditions.

Did Yeshua Break the Law?

According to most of our English Bibles, Yeshua broke the Torah-law of Moses. For example, we read in John’s Gospel,

Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. (John 5:18, NKJV)

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Exodus Chapters 21 to 24—Natan’s Commentary Notes

Exodus 21

 Exodus 21:1, These are the judgments [mishpatim]. Mishpat(im) means “judgment, justice, ordinance, sentence, legal decision or seat of judgment.” Most of these laws (as listed in chapters 21 through 23) are civil in nature and relate to our relationship with our fellow man (as summarized by the phrase, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself,” Lev 19:18). Therefore, most of these laws would correspond to the second half (the fifth through tenth) of the ten statements of Exodus 20. Some, however, relate to the first four commandments, which show man how to love Elohim (e.g. the seventh day Sabbath, and the prohibition of worshiping idols and pronouncing the names of pagan deities, tithing, obeying the Messenger of Elohim, and celebrating YHVH’s feasts). 

In reality, chapters 21 to 23 are simply an expansion or extension of the fundamental principles laid down in YHVH’s ten statements of chapter 20. This makes the ten statements to be a remez or “a hint” suggesting that there are additional laws that form the larger body of YHVH’s Torah. The ten statements of Exodus 20 simply springboards us toward the larger body of YHVH’s legal structure that is laid out in his full Torah. The ten statements are like the cornerstone of the building of Torah. Each of these judgments can be traced back to a fundamental principle laid out in the ten statements. For example, the laws pertaining to servitude are to prevent men from stealing from his neighbor via debt and the consequences of one’s inability to pay one’s debts. The laws pertaining to physical violence against one’s neighbor are an extension of the law against murder, fornication and bestiality is an extension of the law against adultery, sorcery is an extension of the law against idolatry, afflicting the widows or fatherless is from the law against theft, slander comes out of the prohibition to lying, the biblical feasts or annual sabbaths spring out of the weekly Sabbath, and being obedient to the Messenger of YHVH comes out of the first and second statements about YHVH being the Elohim of Israel and following no other gods. Moreover, the death a person by someone’s animal is an expansion of the “thou shalt not murder” command. The charging of usury on loaned money is an expansion of the commands not to covet or steal. The land sabbath and annual sabbaths (appointed times or moedim) are an expansion of the weekly Sabbath. 

It should be obvious to see how all of YHVH’s Torah commands spring from the original ten, which form the foundation for the rest of the Torah. Additionally, the approximately 1056 imperative commands found in the Testimony of Yeshua all spring from the original 613 commandments found in the Torah. YHVH’s Word would be in opposition to itself if any of the 1056 were to contradict or nullify any of the 613. If they did, that would make YHVH into a liar and his word inconsistent with itself. This cannot be (Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8; John 10:35)!

Exodus 21:6, Bore his ear. The servant who of his own freewill and out of love for his master chose to remain in his household forever was permanently marked in this manner to signify that he was willing to hear and obey all his master’s commands punctually. This is a spiritual picture of the disciples of Yeshua who chose to become his bond servants (e.g. Rom 1:1; Gal 1:10; Col 4:12; Tit 1:1; Jas 1:1; Jude 1; Rev 1:1; 15:3). Not only do the true disciples of Yeshua accept him as their Savior, but they submit to him as their Lord or Master. They accept the fact he has purchased them with his blood, and that they now owe their lives to him. They willing choose to dwell in his spiritual house forever, to serve him and to hear and to do all that he commands of them.

Forever. The Hebrew word olam translated as “forever throughout the Scriptures means “as long as the conditions exist” and not necessarily “for eternity” as the meaning of the English word “forever” often implies. In this verse, forever obviously means “as long as the servant shall live” and not “for eternity.” When the Hebrew word v’ad translated as “and ever” is added to olam (forever), the concept of eternity is connoted (e.g. YHVH’s reign as king is for eternity, Exod 15:18; Ps 10:16; the resurrected righteous will live for eternity, Pss 21:4; 45:6; Dan 12:3; during the millennium, righteous redeemed Israelites will walk with YHVH for eternity, Mic 4:5; the righteous will keep YHVH’s Torah for eternity, Ps 119:44; the righteous will praise YHVH for eternity, Ps 145:1, 2, 21).

Exodus 21:22, Hurt a woman with child. This passage is one of the strongest pro-life, anti-abortion verses in the Scriptures. Clearly, this passage teaches that life begins in the womb. The penalty for a man who is responsible for the death of an unborn child is death (v. 23.) Could any clearer statement be made about how the Creator feels about the sanctity of life? Here are some statistics about abortion:

  • 42 million abortions occur worldwide each year (that’s 115,000 per day).
  • In 2008, 1.21 million abortions occurred in the U.S.
  • From 1973 to 2008, 50 million legal abortions occurred in the U.S.
  • 22 percent of all U.S. pregnancies end in abortion.
  • In 2007, 84% of all abortions were performed on unmarried women.
  • At current rates, nearly one-third of American women will have an abortion.

(Sources of information: abortionno.org/Resources/fastfacts.html; guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.html; abort73.com/abortion_facts/us_abortion_statistics/ — this is now a dead link).

Thankfully, as of this writing, the abortion rate in the US is slowly, but steadily dropping. In 2000 according to the National Right to Life (NRL), 1.36 million babies were aborted. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) puts the number at 857,475. In 2014 according to the NRL the number of abortions in the US dropped to 926,240. According to the NRL the total number of abortions performed in the US from 1973 to 2013 was nearly 58.6 million, while the CDC puts the number at nearly 51.9 million.

The murder of the innocent children is perhaps the greatest sin that a nation can commit. Abortion is a form of child sacrifice, which is something many ancient cultures practiced (e.g. the Aztecs, Incas, Phoenicians, pre-Islamic Arabs, and the biblical Canaanites). In the Bible, YHVH condemns the practice of the heathens and apostate Israelites who made their children pass through the fire in the worship of the demon-god Moloch (see Lev 18:21; 20:2–5; Deut 12:30–31; 18:10). YHVH placed on the nation of Israel a severe judgment for sacrificing its children to Moloch. He promised that their cities would be destroyed and that their nation be conquered by foreigners and that the Jews would be taken captive (see Jer 7:30–34; 32:35–36).

Exodus 21:22 clearly delineates the Creator’s position that human life begins at conception (see also Ps 139:13–16; Jer 1:5; Luke 1:15, 41, 44), not at birth. 

Exodus 21:26–27, Eye…Tooth.This is the well known “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth passage.” This is a remez meaning that these verses lay out a principle that’s broadly applicable to many situations. That is to say, what this verse is teaching us is that justice is properly served when the crime fits the punishment—when the criminal is himself deprived of that which he deprived his victim. To be sure, such a punishment is a strong deterrent to criminality! In the case of one causing another an injury for which one can’t recompense the victim (in the case of a loss of an eye or tooth), the criminal must suffer the same fate as his victim. In the case where a criminal causes harm to another (such as theft), which can be repaid, it is the criminal’s responsibility to make restitution.

Exodus 22

Exodus 22:26, Take your neighbor’s garment. The standard clothing for a Hebrew peasant farmer was a tunic and loincloth. A cloak was added for colder weather and doubled as a sleeping blanket. These articles of clothing may have been the only ones a peasant possessed, since the Torah mandated that a cloak taken from a man in pledge by a creditor had to be returned to him by day’s end, so he would have a blanket with which to cover himself at night (see also Deut 24:12–13, 17).

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The YHVH Method of Teaching Truth

Exodus 21–23, The basic principles of morality and righteousness

After having given the ten statements (or ten commandments), which forms the basic cornerstone of the whole Torah and out of which all the other Torah commands branch, Elohim now expands on these ten basic principles in chapters 21 to 23. This passage contains the basics of how to love YHVH Elohim and one’s neighbor as oneself (the golden rule). 

Exodus chapters 20 to 23 contain the basic laws and principles for a society to function smoothly at a high level spiritually. They form the foundation of societal governance, which the new nation of Israel needed in order to survive spiritually (in right relationship with Elohim) and to survive physically and morally as a holy or set-apart nation surrounded by heathen nations.

It is also interesting to note that YHVH did not give Israel the 613 Torah laws at once, but introduced them to his people little-by-little on an as-need basis and so as not to overwhelm them to quickly. He led and taught the children of Israel as a loving and patient parent teaches their child educating them in small doses as the child is able to receive it so as not to overwhelm them. This is the same method that the Spirit of Elohim use to this day to teach new disciples of Yeshua about the Truth of the Bible little-by-little and step-by-step. In this same manner, wise and godly Bible teachers will teach their disciples the principles of godly living.

YHVH started with the ten statements of Exodus 20, then expanded these ten into the basic laws of chapters 21 through 23, and he then goes from there instructing the Israelites in ways of righteous living. This teaches us another truth about how YHVH operates with his human children: He reveals himself to those who seek him slowly, methodically over time. He and his ways are too transcendently great and expansive for the mind of man to encompass all at once.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith YHVH. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. (Isa 58:8–9)

This measured method of divine revelation is exactly how the apostles chose to reveal YHVH’s truth to the new Gentile converts in Acts 15—little by little. First they heard the gospel message and came to Messiah, then they were given basic rules to follow in order to enter into the fellowship of the saints, then they would learn the laws of Moses over time each Sabbath in the instructional setting of the local synagogue.

Learning the divinely revealed truths of Elohim and his ways of righteousness as found in the Bible is a step-by-step process that will last a lifetime.