Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Galatians 3:19 … one of the most misunderstood passages in the Bible!

Galatians 3:19 is one of the most misunderstood passages in the Bible. I can’t tell you how often I’ve seen people use it to show that “the law was abolished because Christ fulfilled it.” That’s very disappointing because they seem to have no clue that, by taking verse 19 and butchering it into oblivion with their “hyper-grace” ideas, they render useless everything YHWH ever commanded!

They simply don’t get that “fulfill” doesn’t necessarily mean that something was abolished. They don’t get that if YHWH’s holy rules for His set-apart people were “abolished at the cross,” we would have NO blueprint for moral, holy living!

This fiasco could be totally avoided IF people would only study the rest of that passage through the lens of the Hebrew mindset. Take a look:

Galatians 3: 18. For if the inheritance is by Torah, then it would not be as the fulfillment of promise, but Elohim gave it to Awraham by a promise. 19. Why then Torah? It was added because of apostasy, until the coming of the heir[1] to whom the promise was made, and Torah was given by Messengers, by the hand of a mediator. 20. Now a mediator does not represent one alone, but Elohim is one.

21. Is the Torah we received against the promises of Elohim? Elohim forbid! For if Torah had been given, which was able to give life, then truly righteousness would have come as a result of Torah.[2] 22. But the Scripture has encircled all things and put them under sin, that the promise in the faith of Y’shua the Mashiyach might be given to those who believe. 23. But before faith came, Torah[3] was guarding[4] us while we were confined from the faith about to be revealed.

24. Torah was therefore a tutor for us, going towards the Mashiyach that we, by faith, might be made righteous. 25. But since faith came, we are no longer under tutors.[5] 26. For you are all the children of Elohim by faith in Y’shua the Mashiyach. 27. For those who have been immersed in Mashiyach have been clothed[6] with Mashiyach. 28. For there is neither Jew nor Aramean, nor slave nor free, nor male nor female, but you are all one in Y’shua the Mashiyach. 29. And if you are of the Mashiyach then you are seeds of Awraham and inheritors by the promise. (AENT)


[1] More literally, “seed” since a man’s seed (his descendants) are his heirs.

[2] Torah is a very big deal in the Rabbinical Jewish world from which Rav Shaul (Paul) came. The point that Rav Shaul makes over and over is that while Torah is a very big deal, the giver of Torah is even bigger! YHWH gave Torah as a Faith component of Covenant (terms and conditions) between Him and His people, so don’t disregard YHWH and put Him on the shelf because you think yourself a Torah scholar.

Worse yet, don’t put up fences and traditions that become more important to yourselves than YHWH and His Mashiyach. Most people tend to go to a pastor or anyone they think is more knowledgeable than themselves to ask extremely important questions about YHWH and His Mashiyach, long before they even consider going to YHWH Himself!

Faith demands a person enter into an active relationship with YHWH and His Mashiyach, regardless if a person is Christian or Jewish.

[3] In this regard “Torah” can be compared with any righteous values a soul voluntarily imposes upon himself. However, as a spiritual relationship is established with YHWH and His Mashiyach, a soul is elevated to much higher levels of spiritual awareness and accountability. Therefore, it is a complete farce when someone claims to follow Mashiyach, but willfully violates Torah according to their denominational authorities. See Matthew 7:23.

[4] Most Greek translations have “kept in (ward) under the law” which is indicative of popular anti-Torah theology. However, many fail to understand that without the Torah of YHWH, there would be no Standard with which to prove Mashiyach; therefore, NO Mashiyach!

[5] In the most ancient manuscripts in the Peshitta, taraa is ‘tutors’; however, it was translated as the singular ‘tutor’ in Greek. Although the word taraa has the same spelling for both singular and plural, there are times such as here, when the grammar of the sentence does not directly reveal whether it is singular or plural. To correct this problem, the earliest scribes of the Peshitta inserted two dot plural markers called a syame above such words, as in this case.

A Greek redactor could easily miss these and mistake a singular word for a plural, or vice versa. Aramaic texts are unanimous for when the syames appear, making these readings highly reliable. That being so, what we have here is the true tutor, Torah, being contrasted against false tutors, the Pharisees, who put their oral tradition above the written code of Moses and the Prophets.

Such is a common refrain of Y’shua as well in places such as Matthew 15. Unfortunately, this passage was twisted into a “proof text” by anti-Torah types who wanted to distance themselves from the Faith of Avraham, Yitzak and Ya’akov.

[6] That is, as a garment wraps a person inside, which is a very common idiom in both Hebrew and Aramaic. Rav Shaul uses it elsewhere in Ephesians when talking about putting on the armor of Elohim and the breastplate of righteousness. A very similar idiomatic usage, “clothed with zeal like a cloak”, is found in Isaiah 59:17.


  1. I have a question, it's not related to this, but I have to ask it. I want to become a NBA Player and In order to do that I need to Gain Recognition. Tournaments are on the weekend and I want to keep the Sabbath but I want to Gain Recognition. my mini solution was to make it about God and not about winning or myself. I also want to use it as a opportunity to minister on a platform. If I used it as a advantage to Sere God, would I still be breaking the Sabbath?

    1. Sorry, but I just recently saw your post. That's a hard question to answer because of the field you've chosen. But since you asked, here is my OPINION on this issue. What you do, is totally up to you, of course.

      First of all, playing basketball is not a career that could be viewed as "an emergency" on Shabbat - such as the medical field where people work to heal and save lives. It’s okay to “do good” on Shabbat, but that doesn’t include earning money or committing commerce, or seeking glory or “gaining recognition” for yourself.

      Furthermore, a basketball court is not a good medium to practice your faith because if you do, then (1) you're really only thinking about yourself, as you will be concentrating on "being seen" on Shabbat, which totally takes the glory away from God; and (2) if you start it, then all the other players could start practicing their faith on the court, as well - and how would that serve YHWH/Yeshua, in the end? All it will serve to do is to confuse people who are truly seeking God.

      Here's something that may help you make this decision - and while it's talking specifically about a "High Shabbbat/Holy Day" and not the regular weekly Shabbat, it serves to show how precarious it is to take lightly YHWH's commanded Day of Rest:

      Surely you are familiar with the name Sandy Koufax, a left-handed pitcher for the Dodgers from 1955 to 1966. Sandy was a brilliant pitcher... He was actually forced to retire because of damage he sustained due to the severe strain he would put on his left arm to pitch. Doctors said he might lose the arm if he continued pitching another season!

      Although he was Jewish, he was not a particularly religious Jew, nor especially cognizant of or observant of his faith. But it happened that in 1965, The Dodgers reached the World Series and Sandy was scheduled to pitch the opening game. Bottom line is, he refused to play - because the opening game of the 1965 World Series fell on Yom Kippur. was a HUGE deal for Sandy! In other words, he had enough respect for, and fear of ADONAI to keep from ignoring His command to keep His Shabbats holy.

      So, as I said before, you are free to do as you wish, but I cannot, in all good conscience, tell you that YHWH would be happy to see you earning money and seeking glory for yourself on His Shabbats that are a "sign" between Him and His people:

      Exodus 20: 8 "Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God. 9 You have six days to labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Shabbat for ADONAI your God. On it, you are not to do any kind of work -not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. 11 For in six days, ADONAI made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why ADONAI blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself.

      Isaiah 58: 13 If you hold back your foot on Shabbat from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call Shabbat a delight, ADONAI'S holy day, worth honoring; then honor it by not doing your usual things or pursuing your interests or speaking about them. If you do, you will find delight in ADONAI - I will make you ride on the heights of the land and feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Ya'akov, for the mouth of ADONAI has spoken."

      Also, please see Exodus 31:16-17; Ezekiel 20:11-12; Isaiah 56: 2-7; Isaiah 66: 23 and Jeremiah 17: 21-24.


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