Friday, May 8, 2020

Let’s do a quick examination of Romans 2 on “judging”

Romans 2: 1. There is therefore no excuse for you, O man, who judges your neighbor; for by judging your neighbor, you condemn yourself; for you that judges, do practice the same things. 2. And we know that the judgment of Elohim is in accordance with truth, in regard to those who practice these things. 3. And what thinks you, O man, who judges those who practice these things, while practicing them yourself, that you will escape the judgment of Elohim? 4. Or will you abuse the riches of his benevolence, and his long suffering, and the opportunity which he gives you? And do you not know that the benevolence of Elohim should bring you to repentance?

5. But, because of the hardness of your un-repenting heart, you are treasuring up a store of wrath against the day of wrath, and against the revelation of the righteous judgment of Elohim: 6. Who will recompense to every man, according to his deeds. 7. To them who, by perseverance in good works, seek for glory and honor and immortality, to them he will give life eternal. 8. But to them who are obstinate and obey not the truth, but obey iniquity, to them he will return with wrath and fire. 9. And tribulation and anguish (will be) to every man that does evil; to the Jews first, and also to the Arameans.

10. But glory and honor and peace to every one that does good; to the Jews first, and also to the Arameans.[1] 11. For there is no respect of persons with Elohim. 12. For those without Torah, who sin, will also perish without Torah; and those under Torah, who sin, will be judged by Torah. 13. For not the hearers of Torah are righteous before Elohim; but the doers of Torah are being made righteous.[2] 14. For if Gentiles who have not Torah will, by their nature, do the things of Torah; they, while without Torah, become a Torah to themselves.[3] (AENT)

[1] Arameans, as opposed to "Gentiles" who have no ancestral ties to Israel. Rav Shaul is extremely clear throughout this epistle to make proper distinction between these two, although the point of the message is clear that YHWH is no respecter of persons.

[2] Notice how those "under Torah" and those "doers of Torah" are put in opposition to one another; therefore, both cannot simultaneously be in error. This is clarified with the phrase "for doers of Torah will be made righteous." So, if Torah-doers are made righteous, it stands to reason Torah itself is not passing away! The fact that such deep pro-Torah statements are being sent to Gentiles in Rome speaks volumes of how mainstream Christianity is perverting Rav Shaul's teachings. "Under Torah" means to look to its rituals as a form of magic; a power that needs no purity of intent to bring about blessing, but merely fixed repetition. Torah in itself provides no authority of magic. Rather, Torah has authority because it is YHWH's instruction to man! So "under Torah" is a false teaching that has never been true according to the Tanakh: YHWH blesses man for Torah observance, which is obedience to His Commandments. Notice in Matthew 15 how Y'shua rebukes the Pharisees on this very issue, how they set aside YHWH's Torah (instructions) in favor of their traditions.

[3] Rav Shaul does not suggest that Gentiles are spontaneously Mastering Torah. The point is they should learn the written Torah without distraction from Pharisaic traditions which are not rooted in the plain understanding of Torah.

Romans 2:15. Additionally, they show the work of Torah as it is inscribed on their hearts; and their conscience bears testimony to them, their own reflections rebuking or vindicating one another. 16. (And that vindication is for) in the day in which Elohim will judge the secret (actions) of men, as my tidings (teaches), by Y'shua the Mashiyach. 17. But if you who are called a Jew, and rely yourself on Torah and glory in Elohim, 18. (And further that you think) that you know His good pleasure and discern obligations because you are instructed in Torah; 19. And (that Elohim) has confidence in yourself, that you are a guide to the blind, and a light to them who are in darkness, 20. And an instructor of those lacking knowledge, and a preceptor to the young; and you have the appearance of knowledge and of verity in Torah (then what do you all say to the following):

21. You therefore, who teach others, teach you not yourself? And you who teach that men must not steal, do you steal? 22. And you who say, Men must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? And you who condemn idols, do you plunder the sanctuary? 23. And you who glory in Torah, don't you, by acting contrary to Torah, insult Elohim himself?[4] 24. For, the name of Elohim, as it is written,[5] is reviled among the Gentiles on your account. 25. For circumcision profits indeed if you fulfill[6] Torah: but if you depart from Torah, your circumcision becomes uncircumcision.[7] 26. And if uncircumcision should keep the precepts of Torah, would not that uncircumcision be accounted as circumcision?[8] (AENT)

[4] Torah is the standard for righteousness that Rav Shaul applies to both himself and his readers; violation of Torah, Paul states, is an insult to Elohim; therefore, Paul never teaches against Torah as modern translations suggest.

[5] Rav Shaul here also shows that he expects the name of Elohim to be a singular, fixed "sacred" vessel. He is quoting (as it is written) from Ezekiel 36:20 and alluding to the next verse after it, viz: "But when they came to those nations, they caused My Set Apart Name to be profaned in that it was said of them: These are the people of YHWH, but they had to leave His land. Therefore, I am concerned for My Set Apart Name which the House of Israel have caused to be profaned among the nations." One way to profane the Name is by substituting the Name of YHWH for Pagan names that YHWH Himself has not ordained. This, of course, was done at the hand of many translators and theologians who imposed their own ideas into the text. Another common way of profaning The Name is to proclaim His Name, but not do the things He commands.

[6] Fulfill means to properly understand and manifest that understanding of Torah through accurate practice.

[7] If someone is circumcised because of their culture but not taught that it is a sign of the covenant with Awraham and to walk in that covenant, then his circumcision is irrelevant for purposes of the Malchut (Kingdom of) Elohim. A person must enter into Covenant with YHWH to claim any legitimacy (or credit) for his circumcision.

[8] Yes, because the action of keeping the precepts of Torah, the obedience and the knowledge of YHWH must first precede the act of circumcision. Awraham was counted righteous before he was circumcised because he had Faith to observe all that YHWH commanded.

Romans 2:27. And the uncircumcision, which from its nature fulfills Torah, will judge you; who, with the Scripture and with circumcision, transgresses against Torah.[9] 28. For he is not a Jew who is so in what is external (alone): nor is that (only physical) circumcision, which is visible in the flesh.[10] 29. But he is a Jew who is so in what is hidden: and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not from men, but from Elohim. (AENT)

[9] Those who are not as yet circumcised in the flesh but who fulfill and observe Torah, will judge those who are circumcised and know the scriptures well, but who transgress against Torah. Torah has equal weight; no one can observe some precepts and ignore others, yet hold themselves to be qualified enough to judge others.

[10] Because a person could be physically circumcised and be a thief, liar, murderer, etc.

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