The Hebrew Love Story
The Book of the Covenant
The Hebrew Love Story is comprised of several articles all having a common thread, that being the thread of covenant. The opinions expressed throughout the series are outside the box but thoroughly Scriptural, I don’t know of anyone saying the things I’ll be saying in this article as well as the other articles I’ve written in this series. In my mind, when it’s all tied together via this series of articles it makes for a thoroughly amazing panorama of the Scriptural message, a love letter from YHWH you can actually understand! The Hebrew Love Story consists of…
The Hebrew Love Story ~ The Introduction
Part One - Abram the Hebrew
Part Two - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai
Part Three - The Divorcement of Israel ~ Numbers 14 ~ The Sefer Keritut
Part Four - The Book of the Covenant ~ Mount Sinai Amended!
Part Five - THE NEW COVENANT ~ What Is It?
Part Six - THE MASTER’S TABLE ~ The Entry Rite Into THE NEW COVENANT!
Part Seven - Yom Kippur ~ The Consummation
Part Eight - The Marriage Supper of The Lamb!
This series of articles represent at least twelve years of outside the box study. Nevertheless they are thoroughly Scriptural, they cut through to the core issue of our faith in Messiah Yeshua. It’s all about ‘COVENANT’! That is the common thread of all the articles that make up ‘The Hebrew Love Story’. Unless we understand the fundamental principles of how to ‘get into’ covenant and ‘stay’ in covenant we are hopelessly lost in our desire to have a relationship with our El of Covenant! I truly hope you’ll take the time to read what I’ve written; you just might find it to be a paradigm changer!
There is another way to become hopelessly lost in our desire to have a relationship with our El of Covenant; we can do that by refusing to admit we’re wrong. I am rewriting this article because I am a truth seeker and I realized I was wrong! I consider this one of my strengths in my walk toward knowing and applying The Truth. It is an unconditional promise that I make to anyone reading this… I will correct myself whenever I find myself to be wrong. I have no desire to defend defenseless positions!
What I’ve known for a number of years is that, although I believe all of the commandments of Scripture are still valid, there are commandments that you can’t keep living outside the Promised Land, and without a priesthood or temple, the question needs to be asked, during this time of exile should there be anyone from the 12 Tribes of Israel living in the Promised Land? Nevertheless there are commandments that you can keep anywhere at anytime and The 10 Commandments are those which can be kept outside the Promised Land. You don’t need to be in the land and you don’t need a priesthood or the temple to keep them. I think it would be surprising to know how many people have never thought of such a simple truth. But now that simple truth I learned years ago will come into play in a big way. What I’ve realized is that the marriage ketubah YHWH used to propose to Israel with through Moses is divided into two parts, The 10 Words Covenant which can be kept anywhere at anytime (NO excuses!) and the remainder of the marriage covenant which applies only to living in the land. A problem that exists in Judaism today and now the Messianic Movement is that there are people who claim to be ‘Torah Observant’ (You’ve got to be kidding me!) passing judgment on others using laws that are only applicable in The Promised Land! I see this all the time and it is a disturbing trend. The short and sweet of this simple proposal I’m making is that The 10 Commandments are the regulatory laws of the ‘betrothal phase’ of the marriage between Yeshua and Israel that can be kept anywhere at anytime, the remainder of the covenant terms, along with The 10 Commandments, are the regulatory laws that take effect once our Bridegroom brings us to His Promised Land at the beginning of the ‘bound phase’ of our marriage, which for us, is still somewhere in the near future. One covenant, two phases! Here and now vs. there and then. Let’s take a look at how this works out.
Our whirlwind tour of the life of Abraham in the article ‘Abram the Hebrew’ has provided us with a foundational connection to the events of the Israelite exodus out of Egypt and what takes place at Mount Sinai. It is here at Mount Sinai that the promises given to Abraham via The Abrahamic Covenant are being realized for the first time. YHWH has chosen Moses to lead His people out of Egypt to Mount Sinai and now it’s Moses who is used as an intermediary between YHWH and the Israelite people as YHWH Yeshua extends His proposal of marriage to the Hebrews, which proceeds their entering into The Promised Land. Don’t let Moses’ prominent role in all of this cause you to forget that everything that is taking place is because of promises YHWH made to Abraham.
Then Moses went up to God; the LORD called to him from the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the Israelites: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession out of all the peoples. Indeed, the whole earth is mine, but you shall be for me a priestly kingdom and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the Israelites.” (Exodus 19:3-6 NRSV Emphasis mine)
Again in Exodus 19 YHWH calls Moses up the mountain and gives Moses a message to tell the people of Israel at the base of the mountain regarding what He intends to do three days from then. Moses goes down the mountain and tells the people to set themselves apart for YHWH was going to visit them. Three days later YHWH scares the living daylights out of the Israelites thundering the words of The 10 Commandments from the fiery midst surrounding the mountain. This is all recorded for us in Exodus chapter 20.
Then God spoke all these words:
I. I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.
II. You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me, but showing steadfast love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
III. You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
IV. Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy.Six days you shall labor and do all your work.But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God; you shall not do any work---you, your son or your daughter, your male or female slave, your livestock, or the alien resident in your towns.For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but rested the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and consecrated it.
V. Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
VI. You shall not murder.
VII. You shall not commit adultery.
VIII. You shall not steal.
IX. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
X. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. (Exodus 20:1-17 NRSV Emphasis mine)
It is incumbent upon us to realize there is not a single commandment in The Ten Words Covenant above that requires us to be ‘in the land’ with a priesthood and temple! We are perfectly able to keep these commandments ‘anywhere at anytime’. It may well be that sacrifices have to be made in order to keep The 10 Commandments, i.e. job, business and career opportunities or schooling situations, but they can be kept here and now. The 4th Commandment regarding the Sabbath becomes the most problematic in the world we live in today and even more so if you realize Saturday is not the 7th Day of YHWH as do all Lunar Sabbath keepers. We may not be able to keep the Sabbath initially but we can embark on a relentless path making changes in our lifestyle that will eventually allow us to keep the Sabbath and The 10 Words Covenant. If YHWH sees our heart in the matter I have to believe He will provide a way!
This is the portion of The Marriage Covenant of Yeshua by which we will be judged at the consummation of the betrothal phase of the marriage, we’ll talk more about that later in a separate article titled ‘Yom Kippur – The Consummation’. This is also the portion of The Marriage Covenant of Yeshua that Israel failed so miserably in the book of Numbers, they couldn’t get passed the 1st and 2nd Commandments of The 10 Words Covenant, we’ll talk about that in the next article in the series titled ‘The Divorcement of Israel – Numbers 14 – The Sefer Keritut’. The 10 Words Covenant has to be in place during the betrothal phase of the marriage covenant in order for YHWH Yeshua to be able to judge His Bride prior to the marriage covenant entering into the ‘bound phase’ of the marriage. There must be a law in place for righteous judgment to take place. The same will hold true for those of us as we return from these lands of exile in which we presently live to the Promised Land in the near future (Ezekiel 20:33-38, Luke 7:21-23).
Having had their fill of the thunderings of YHWH they tell Moses they never want to hear the voice of YHWH again, that Moses should go and speak with YHWH and then come tell them what He says. So Moses goes up the mountain and tells YHWH what the people have said and it pleased YHWH. From that point on (the beginning of chapter 21) YHWH tells Moses the ‘right rulings’ of the law that governs the people ‘in the land’, it is obvious from the beginning of chapter 21 through chapter 23, but is especially noted in chapter 23. There is this incredibly distinct set of commandments given to the people of Israel at Mt. Sinai (‘anywhere at anytime’ vs. ‘in the land’). We will see this same division later on when we look at Deuteronomy, as a matter of fact that is where I first noticed it and then looked for it in Exodus.
This entire narrative from Exodus chapter 19 to 23, telling us about the events on Mount Sinai, is nothing short of enthralling but in my opinion one of the most interesting portions of Scripture is found in Exodus 24…
Then he said to Moses, “Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and worship at a distance. Moses alone shall come near the LORD; but the others shall not come near, and the people shall not come up with him.”
Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice, and said, “All the words that the LORD has spoken we will do.” And Moses wrote down all the words of the LORD. He rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and set up twelve pillars, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel. He sent young men of the people of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed oxen as offerings of well being to the LORD. Moses took half of the blood and put it in basins, and half of the blood he dashed against the altar. Then he took the book of the covenant, and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” Moses took the blood and dashed it on the people, and said, “See the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”
Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel. Under his feet there was something like a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness. God did not lay his hand on the chief men of the people of Israel; also they beheld God, and they ate and drank.
The LORD said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain, and wait there; and I will give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandment, which I have written for their instruction.” So Moses set out with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God. To the elders he had said, “Wait here for us, until we come to you again; for Aaron and Hur are with you; whoever has a dispute may go to them.”
Then Moses went up on the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the LORD settled on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days; on the seventh day he called to Moses out of the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the LORD was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in the sight of the people of Israel. Moses entered the cloud, and went up on the mountain. Moses was on the mountain for forty days and forty nights. (Exodus 24:1-18 NRSV)
This is monumental stuff! Ah, but only to have been there. On the other hand I have heard others say that those who were there will be in awe of those of us who will witness the return of Messiah Yeshua, we truly live in a special time in the history of mankind if Messiah does indeed return in the near future.
What we have before us in Exodus 24 is the marriage proposal of Messiah Yeshua to Israel! The words Moses has written in ‘The Book of the Covenant’ are the terms of the ketubah (marriage contract) by which Yeshua agrees to take Israel as His Bride. I believe The Book of the Covenant contains everything written from Exodus 19:1 to Exodus 23:33 and if not the entire narrative then at least the quotes of YHWH within that portion. That of course includes The 10 Commandments, which must be kept during the betrothal phase of the marriage outside the land and the commands which must be kept once they enter into the land. After writing down the words of YHWH in The Book of the Covenant Moses then reads The Book of the Covenant to the Israelites and they say, “All that the LORD has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient.” Moses seals the covenant by splashing the blood of the sacrificed animals on both the altar and the people. But then…
Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu and seventy elders of Israel ascend the mountain, they see YHWH Yeshua and eat and drink with Him!
Anybody that knows anything knows this is a BIG DEAL! I’ll discuss this further in the article titled ‘THE MASTER’S TABLE – The Entry Rite Into THE NEW COVENANT! Which I consider to be not just the most important article that I’ve ever written but the most important accomplishment of my entire life!
Just as an aside…
I would be remiss not to point out that when Moses receives these same 10 Commandments written on stone tablets 40 days and 40 nights later Aaron is proclaiming a Chag (festival) to YHWH. What is extraordinarily interesting about that is this… If we read and apply Leviticus 23:15-16 literally via the Lunar Sabbath method of reckoning months and weeks by counting ‘7 Sabbaths complete’ AND THEN count an additional 50 Days we end up with Shavuot falling on the very same day Aaron proclaims a Chag to YHWH and Moses receives The 10 Words Covenant on tablets of stone! That is no small coincidence! There is a long standing tradition that says Moses did indeed receive the stone tablets of The 10 Words Covenant on Shavuot but there is no method of counting other than the Lunar Sabbath method that can reconcile both Leviticus 23:15-16 and the Exodus narrative of Aaron proclaiming a Chag to YHWH and Moses’ receiving The 10 Words Covenant on Shavuot. One other notable fact is that the first fruits of the wheat for Shavuot is not ready for harvest until late in the 4th Month just as Yeshua says in John 4:35,
Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. (John 4:35 NRSV)
Yeshua spoke that shortly after the Feast of Unleavened Bread. From my perspective, Lunar Sabbath keepers own this issue!
When Moses does receive The 10 Commandments written on stone the sound of revelry rises from the foot of the mountain. Aaron and the others who were told to remain where Moses and Joshua left them on the mountain have returned to the people and Aaron has built the Golden Calf. The Bible tells us the people ‘played’, it seems you can take the people out of Egypt but you can’t take Egypt out of the people!
The LORD said to Moses, “Go down at once! Your people, whom you brought up out of the land of Egypt, have acted perversely; they have been quick to turn aside from the way that I commanded them; they have cast for themselves an image of a calf, and have worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, ‘These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!’” The LORD said to Moses, “I have seen this people, how stiff necked they are. Now let me alone, so that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them; and of you I will make a great nation.”
But Moses implored the LORD his God, and said, “O LORD, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Why should the Egyptians say, ‘It was with evil intent that he brought them out to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from your fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, how you swore to them by your own self, saying to them, ‘I will multiply your descendants like the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your descendants, and they shall inherit it forever.’” And the LORD changed his mind about the disaster that he planned to bring on his people. (Exodus 32:7-14 NRSV Emphasis mine)
This is the thanks YHWH Yeshua gets for remembering His covenant with Abraham.
This is the thanks YHWH Yeshua gets for delivering the Israelites from the bondage of Egypt and taking them as His betrothed Bride!
And now YHWH Yeshua is asked to remember his covenant promises with Abraham and his descendants once more.
This doesn’t quite correlate but as we say in my part of the world…
“The honeymoon is over!”
The 10 Commandments will remain written in stone!
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