Friday, April 30, 2021

Regarding Proverbs 23:13-14 … Are we really supposed to beat our children?

READER QUESTION:

We are having an issue about Proverbs 23:13 and 14 … We can't picture Father YAHWEH or Yeshua using a rod on a child. We checked on Hebrew definitions and word meanings but can't find a way around the word "strike". It means what it means,  

We understand the part that tells us not to withhold discipline from a child, and understand fully the outcome if you don't. We also understand the different meanings for the word "rod" and the uses for it. Are we missing something? 

Can you offer us some context on this issue? Thanks in advance.  May YHWH continue to bless you both along  with your website.

OUR RESPONSE:

That is a great question!  The phrase in Proverb 23:13, “כי-תכנו בשבט“, chi-ta’chaynu v’shebet, translated as “beat [him] with a stick/rod”, is a Hebrew idiom. We will try to explain.

There are many Biblical Hebrew words for “rod/stick” which carry the same meaning of the English word for rod/stick. Example: In Hebrew, the word for a “rod” or “switch” suitable for striking a person or child to inflict pain as punishment is the word “מקל“, maquel, which, depending on the context, means “stick” or “rod” (for striking, walking, guiding) and sometimes the context means it is a “staff”; see Numbers 22:7. Another is “מטה”, mat’teh, also by context carrying the same meaning as maquel; see Isaiah 10:24.

But the Hebrew “שבט“, shebet, which, in context, can also carry the same meaning as the first two examples, generally has a more ominous use and meaning. We find the shebet being used when the context is about a “big stick” intended for beating and winning against a foe. The shebet is for severely punishing, for fighting...to immobilize the opponent. Thus the shebet is usually somewhat larger, heavier, and may have spikes on it. See 1 Chronicles 11:23 for example.

So, we know the phrase chi-ta’chaynu v’shebet, “beat [him] with a stick/rod”, in Proverbs 23:13 is NOT literal, for the message of the Proverb is not to inflict serious pain and suffering on the child, rather, it is to discipline. Thus, the phrase “chi-ta’chaynu v’shebet” is figurative of being strict with the child so he will not LATER die an eternal death for straying from the Torah of YHWH.

The part of the verse “Don’t withhold discipline/correction from the child…” is best explained in the Talmud. It means the punishment should be immediate. "Do not threaten a child that he will be hit later, if you see him doing a wrong deed, strike him immediately or be completely silent" (Kitzur Shulkhan Aruklh 165:7).

Thus, an immediate punishment is clearly linked to the child's misbehavior. The discipline should be followed by a show of love and warmth, enabling the child to understand that the punishment is not directed against him/her but rather at his wrongdoing. Therefore, the phrase chi-ta’chaynu v’shebet, “beat [him] with a stick/rod” is figurative or an idiom for “be the parent, as if you carried a shebet into battle to save the child’s life from a more powerful enemy.”

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Can you find the similarities?

As you can surely tell, our world is totally unstable now – and Scripture reveals that we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet!  And it’s all because mankind’s tendency is to be completely ungodly, “worldly” and decadent. That is one thing that we can always count on!

Take a look at what the Prophet Ezekiel in the 6th-century BCE said concerning YHWH’s people Israel. Try to count the many similarities you see today! (And folks, Scripture warns us that it will only get worse before it gets better….)

Ezekiel 22:

1 The word of ADONAI came to me: 2 "Now, human being, are you prepared to judge? Are you prepared to judge the city drenched in blood? Then make her realize how disgusting all her practices are! 3 Say that Adonai ELOHIM says, 'City that sheds blood within yourself, thus speeding your own doom, and that makes idols for yourself that defile you: 4 you are guilty because of the blood you have shed, you are defiled by your idols that you have made. You have shortened your days, you have completed your years; therefore I have made you an object of scorn for the nations and a laughingstock for every country.

5 Those close by and those far off will taunt you, you who have such a defiled reputation and such great disorder. 6 "'The leaders of Isra'el in you all use their power in order to shed blood.

7 In you, they make light of fathers and mothers, they oppress foreigners, they wrong orphans and widows. 8 You treat my holy things with contempt, you profane my shabbats. 9 In you, people gossip to the point of inciting bloodshed; in you are those who go to eat on the mountains; in you, they commit lewd acts; 10 in you, they commit incest; in you, they force themselves on women during their menstrual impurity.

11 In you, one commits an abomination with his neighbor's wife; another commits some lewd act defiling his daughter-in-law; still another humbles his sister, his own father's daughter. 12 In you, people take bribes to shed blood; you demand and accept interest on loans; in greed you make profits off your neighbors by extorting them; and you have forgotten me,' says Adonai ELOHIM. 13 "'Therefore, I am clapping my hands together because of your ill-gotten gains and the blood shed in you.

14 Can your courage last, can your strength continue during the days when I deal with you? I, ADONAI, have spoken it; and I will do it. 15 I will scatter you among the Goyim and disperse you throughout the countries; thus I will remove your defilement from you, 16 and you will cause yourselves to be profaned in full view of the Goyim. Then you will know that I am ADONAI.'"

17 The word of ADONAI came to me: 18 "Human being, the house of Isra'el has become an alloy of base metals for me; they are all copper, tin, iron and lead mixed together in the crucible, the dross left over from the silver. 19 Therefore Adonai ELOHIM says this: 'Because you have all become dross, I will collect all of you inside Yerushalayim. 20 Then, just as they collect silver, copper, iron, lead and tin into a crucible and blow fire on it to melt it down; so likewise I will collect you in my anger and fury, throw you in there, and melt you down. 21 Yes, I will collect you and blow on you with the fire of my rage, and you will be melted down in it. 22 As silver is melted down in a crucible, so will you be melted down in [Yerushalayim]. Then you will know that it is I, ADONAI, who have poured out my fury on you.'"

23 The word of ADONAI came to me: 24 "Human being, tell her this: 'You are a land that is neither cleansed nor rained on in the day of fury. 25 There is a conspiracy of prophets in it like a roaring lion tearing up the prey; they have devoured people, seized wealth and valuables, and widowed many in it. 26 Her cohanim have done violence to my Torah, profaned my holy things, made no difference between the holy and the common, not distinguished between unclean and clean, hidden their eyes from my shabbats, and profaned me among themselves. 27 Her leaders in it are like wolves tearing up the prey to shed blood and destroy people, in order to benefit unjustly.

28 Her prophets have "plastered" for them with whitewash, seeing false visions and divining lies for them, saying, "Thus says Adonai ELOHIM," when ADONAI has not spoken. 29 The people of the land have extorted, robbed, wronged the poor and needy and unjustly oppressed foreigners. 30 "'I sought for a man among them who could build a barricade or stand in the break to oppose me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 Therefore I am pouring out my fury on them, consuming them with the fire of my rage, bringing their own ways on their own heads,' says Adonai ELOHIM." (CJB)

Friday, April 23, 2021

If “love is the fulfillment of Torah,” does that mean Torah has been rendered irrelevant?

It is a huge mistake to belive that Torah is irrelevant simply because we “love one another!” 

Romans 13: 8. And owe nothing to anyone; but to love one another. For he that loves his neighbor, has properly understood Torah.  9. For this likewise, which it says: You will not kill; nor commit adultery; nor steal; nor covet; and if there is any other Commandment, it is completed in this sentence: You will love your neighbor as yourself.[1] 10. Love does no evil to one’s neighbor because love is the fulfillment of Torah.[2] (AENT)

FOOTNOTE:

[1] While Paul here is clearly showing that being obedient to the government and not causing chaos in the communities at large is a mitzvah or “good deed” consistent with Torah observance, the other side of the argument concerns what to do when the rules of man attempt to contradict, invalidate, or overturn Torah requirements.

Paul’s answer for that issue is found in 1 Corinthians 10:14-33 which begins with the commandment, “Flee from idolatry” and continues on to admonish people to not participate in pagan festivals.

[2] Paul does not teach that Torah was abolished because we love our neighbor. Greek translations use “pleroma,” which is translated as “fulfilled”. Popular Bible versions like the NIV recognize this thought is revisited in 13:9 which uses “anakephalaiomai,” which means “to accurately sum up or understand” the Torah. This is a type of a synonym for pleroma. If pleroma as translated as "fulfilled," there are numerous potential meanings.

One of these, according to Thayer and Smith's Bible Dictionary is: "to fulfil, i.e. to cause God's will (as made known in the law) to be obeyed as it should be, and God's promises (given through the prophets) to receive fulfilment.”

This definition mirrors the Aramaic term that is also usually translated as "fulfill," such as the line in Matthew 5:17 that is targummed, "for I have not come to unravel the Torah but to provide proper interpretation of it.”

This is also the true meaning of the Greek where it says "thus was fulfilled according to the prophet"; i.e., this is the intended meaning of the Scripture as applied to the NT.

Finally, one should look carefully at what both Aramaic and Greek use for the term "law". In each case, nomos/namusa allows for the targummming of the Word/Torah concept to mean "torah" with a small "t", or individual instruction from the overall covenant.

That being said, the other possible reading is that the true meaning of the relevant commandment is "fulfilled/understood" by loving one's neighbor and so on, which makes much more sense.

Therefore, if one is to read “fulfilled” here, then it must be understood that the correct interpretation of Torah is given according to what Mashiyach Yeshua elucidated. This can in no way be construed that he brought an end to Torah.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Hate posts that proclaim doom on this lost world? Then don’t read this one!

As much as I hate to be a “prophet of doom,” we MUST heed what Scripture says, for we are staring these days in the face!

2 Peter 3: 1. This second letter, my beloved, I now write to you; in (both of) which I stir up your honest mind by admonition: 2. that you may be mindful of the words which were formerly spoken by the Set Apart prophets, and of the commandment of our Master and Redeemer by the hand of the Shlichim (Apostles): 3. knowing this previously, that there will come in the last days scoffers who will scoff, walking according to their own lusts 4. and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for, since our fathers fell asleep, everything remains just as from the beginning of the creation.

5. For this they willingly forget, that the heavens were of old; and the earth rose up from the waters, and by means of water, by the Word of Elohim. 6. (And), by means of these (waters), the world which then was, (being submerged) again perished in the waters. 7. And the heavens that now are, and the earth, are by His Word stored up, being reserved for the fire at the day of judgment and the perdition of wicked men. 8. And of this one thing, my beloved, be not forgetful: That one day to Master YHWH, is as a thousand years; and a thousand years, as one day.

9. Master YHWH does not delay His promises as some estimate delay; but He is long suffering for your sakes, being not willing that any should perish, but that everyone should come to repentance. 10. And the day of Master YHWH will come like a thief; in which the heavens will suddenly pass away; and the elements, being ignited, will be dissolved; and the earth and the works in it will not be found. 11. As therefore all these things are to be dissolved, what persons should you be, in Set Apart conduct and in the Fear of Elohim, 12. expecting and desiring the coming of the day of Elohim in which the heavens being tried by fire will be dissolved and the elements being ignited will melt?*

13. But we, according to his promise, expect new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. 14. Therefore, my beloved, as you expect these things, strive that you may be found by him in peace, without spot and without blemish. (AENT)

*Complement to Matthew 5:17-20; the followers of Yeshua will continue to observe Torah as this great event transpires. No matter what you hear, Torah was NEVER abolished! Why would it have been, when it’s our ONLY blueprint for moral, holy living? Just going to church on Sundays and fellowshipping with other believers doesn’t cut it. YHWH commanded HIS people to follow His Rules:

Proverbs 28:9 If a person will not listen to Torah, even his prayer is an abomination. (CJB)

Monday, April 19, 2021

Eternal life … or eternal death? Which are YOU headed for?

The only alternative to eternal life is eternal death - through disobedience! We truly DO reap what we sow, both individually and as a nation!

Read this very carefully:

Leviticus 18: 24 “‘Do not make yourselves unclean by any of these things, because all the nations which I am expelling ahead of you are defiled with them. 25 The land has become unclean, and this is why I am punishing it — the land itself will vomit out its inhabitants.

26 But you are to keep my laws and rulings and not engage in any of these disgusting practices, neither the citizen nor the foreigner living with you; 27 for the people of the land have committed all these abominations, and the land is now defiled.

28 If you make the land unclean, it will vomit you out too, just as it is vomiting out the nation that was there before you. 29 For those who engage in any of these disgusting practices, whoever they may be, will be cut off from their people. 30 So keep my charge not to follow any of these abominable customs that others before you have followed and thus defile yourselves by doing them. I am Adonai your God.’” (CJB)

YHWH specifically said: “You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai your God. You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai. (Leviticus 18:4-5, CJB)

It doesn’t get any plainer than that!

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Since when is “abortion” a “right?”

QUESTION for those who believe abortion is "a right" because "it's not human or a baby until it's born" ....

How can a living thing growing in a human body NOT be human? We don't give birth to fish, birds, animals, trees, bushes, flowers or rocks! Humans give birth to HUMANS!

And how could it NOT be a "baby until it's born" when a "baby" is a group of LIVING cells that are, from the moment of conception, designed to IMMEDIATELY begin forming a TINY HUMAN BEING - which is called a "baby?"

Please notice my use of the word "living." DEAD things don't grow; therefore, that TINY BEING IS ALIVE from the moment of conception, with a God-given RIGHT to live! If you choose to 'abort' it for your own selfish reason, that makes YOU a MURDERER of a HUMAN BEING who never gave YOU permission to end his or her life!

People can make all the excuses they wish about abortion, but the bottom line is that ADINAI is the Creator and HE designed human wombs to grow little human beings. (See Genesis 1:27, Exodus 20:13, Numbers 5:27-28, Psalm 127:3-5.) He did NOT give anyone the right to END a life in the womb!

PSALM 139:13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Job 31:15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?

Saturday, April 17, 2021

YHWH welcomes ALL people, and they can belong to Him IF they “do what is right"…

Here is something very interesting to note!

In the following passage we have proof that YHWH welcomes ALL people, and that they can belong to Him IF they “do what is right." (How do we know what is "right?" By knowing and obeying His Torah/Divine Instruction in Righteousness" – found in the first five Books of the Bible.)

Acts 10:34 Then Kefa addressed them: “I now understand that God does not play favorites, 35 but that whoever fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him, no matter what people he belongs to. 36 “Here is the message that he sent to the sons of Isra’el announcing shalom through Yeshua the Messiah, who is Lord of everything. (CJB)

And here we see that YHWH opens the eyes of those HE chooses to be witnesses for Him, and expects those witnesses to “preach and witness!”

Acts 10:37 You know what has been going on throughout Y’hudah, starting from the Galil after the immersion that Yochanan proclaimed; 38 how God anointed Yeshua from Natzeret with the Ruach HaKodesh and with power; how Yeshua went about doing good and healing all the people oppressed by the Adversary, because God was with him.

39 “As for us, we are witnesses of everything he did, both in the Judean countryside and in Yerushalayim. They did away with him by hanging him on a stake; 40 but God raised him up on the third day and let him be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by witnesses God had previously chosen, that is, by us, who ate and drank with him after he had risen again from the dead. (CJB)

NOTE: Notice YHWH raised Yeshua; Yeshua didn’t raise himself. And note also that he was only seen by people His Father chose – the first-hand witnesses with whom the risen Messian ate and drank!

Acts 10:42  “Then he commanded us to proclaim and attest to the Jewish people that this man has been appointed by God to judge the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets bear witness to him, that everyone who puts his trust in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” (CJB)