Ignored Commandments. There are some commandments that are not appropriate for today. The most prominent of these concern animal sacrifices. The Jewish people stopped making animal sacrifices when the Temple was destroyed and the Jewish people were deported to other countries in 70 AD. Deut. 12:14 commands Israel to offer sacrifices in just one place: but in the place which the LORD* will choose in one of your tribes, there you will offer your burnt offerings, and there you will do all that I command you. The place chosen by God is in Jerusalem on what is now called the Temple Mount. There are some in Judaism who are preparing to resume sacrifices in the Third Temple, but others say animal sacrifices are no longer appropriate. This is in reference to verses such as Hos. 6:6 For I desired loving kindness and not sacrifice and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. Other verses saying something similar are 1 Sam. 15:22, Isa. 1:11,
Ps. 81:18; 90:7, and Pro. 21:3.
There is no need for another blood sacrifice because Y’shua was the perfect sacrifice for all time. His blood is still being poured out for us today, Lk. 22:20.
Some commands are ignored because of societal evolution. These would include stoning as well as capital punishment for immorality and failure to honor the Sabbath. While the punishment specified in Scripture is no longer followed, the spiritual element is still there – spiritual death, the loss of eternal life.
Paul includes circumcision with commands that are no longer to be adhered to. Rom. 2:28. For the Jewish person is not the one to be plainly recognized by what he wears, his prayer shawl, and neither is circumcision just openly in the flesh, 29. but one is Jewish inwardly, and circumcised in his heart in spirit, not letter, whose praise is not from people but from God. He wrote in Galatians 5:2, referring to heathen converts, Behold, I, Paul, say to you that if you would be circumcised, Messiah will profit you nothing. 3. And I am testifying again to every circumcised man that he is obligated to do the whole tradition. Paul did not come up with this on his own, but knew his Scriptures: Deut. 10:16, Circumcise yourselves to the LORD* and take away the foreskins of your heart, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Jer. 4:4, Circumcise yourselves unto the LORD* – remove the barriers of your hearts. Jer. 9:24,25, Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD*, that I shall punish all those who are circumcised along with the uncircumcised, 25. Egypt and Judah and Edom and the children of Ammon and Moab and all who are in the utmost corners, who dwell in the wilderness, for all these heathens are uncircumcised and the entire House of Israel is uncircumcised in the heart.
In regard to all the commandments, we are to give our hearts to the LORD*, to walk in repentance, and speak through our actions, by the way we live, to give evidence that we have an ongoing relationship with the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. We are not to look at others, but each person is to go in an attitude of prayer and do his best to follow the spirit of the commandments.
Immerse is the translation of the Hebrew R-H-Ts and the Greek word, baptidzo, both meaning to immerse. The Jewish people had practiced immersion for purification after repentance for more than 1,000 years before the birth of Y’shua. All the people that John the Immerser and Y’shua’s disciples immersed were thoroughly familiar with immersion, which we call baptism. We do not see immersion in translations of the Hebrew Scriptures because the Hebrew word that would appropriately be translated Immerse is translated with some other word. Often our Christian translators, as in Lev. 16:4 NIV, say ..so he must bathe himself.. The word translated bathe is rahats, meaning immerse, the same meaning as the Greek word baptidzo. Flowing water had to be used for immersion so it would come from sources such as a stream, spring, or rainwater caught in a cistern. Dunking completely under water seven times is called a mikveh, which is for purification, as Naaman was told in 2 Ki. 5:10.
As in modern Judaism, most immersions in the New Testament were self-immersion. John and the disciples who immersed by the Jordan River would stand on the bank preaching, then as people became repentant, they would wade into the river and immerse, with the one preaching still standing on the bank. The same would be true of Peter’s messages at the Temple, where there were many mikvehs. See Acts 2:14-42
Certainly some in the New Testament were immersed by others, as Philip immersed the eunuch in Acts 8:38. When this was done, the person doing the immersing placed a hand on the head of the one being immersed to hold him under water, forcing a struggle to come out of the water as a reminder of the dying to self and the new birth, paralleling a newborn baby’s struggle at birth.
The Temple in Jerusalem had so many ritual baths that for the 3,000 in the second chapter of Acts to immerse would have taken about twenty minutes. Each synagogue in Y’shua’s day had one or more ritual baths, immersion pools, for immersion. These were to be filled with “living water” from a stream or even a roof cistern to catch rainwater. However in Jn. 2:6 we see stone jugs used to carry the water of purification. Stone was used because stone does not become unclean. Metal and glass containers become unclean, but can be cleansed. Pottery vessels that become unclean have to be destroyed.
Some denominations now immerse, as did the first century church, while others sprinkle. The early churches always immersed, but in later centuries some began to pour water over someone being immersed, then still later some of those churches began to sprinkle the person instead of immersing. Sprinkling instead of immersion was made official at the Council of Ravenna in 1311 AD.
Isaiah 28:16 is quoted in Rom. 9:33; 10:11, and 1 Pe. 2:6. The last sentence of verse 16 is often translated similarly to the Greek rendering, and the one who believes upon Him will not be put to shame. The NIV has ..the one who trusts will never be dismayed. The Hebrew is stronger and deeper than that. ..the one who believes will not make haste. The word translated ‘one who believes’ or ‘one who trusts’ is ma’amin, which has a root meaning that speaks of both training and loyalty or faithfulness. There is a difference between just believing and being loyal through hard times. Jcb. 2:19 says, You believe that God is One, you do well: the demons also believe and shudder. The demons know God and His power, but are not obedient and faithful to Him.
The two words translated not make haste or dismayed are more difficult, but refer to something not done quickly. In the twelfth century Rabbi Ibn Ezra wrote, “He (the faithful one) will remain steadfast in his faith however long realization may be delayed.” Each of us must understand that when the LORD* has given us a vision for ministry, that the timing is His, not ours, and we need to hold strong in faith while He brings all things in His timing. If we get ahead of His timing the ministry becomes our ministry, not His. That ministry may have financial success but will not have spiritual success. When He gives any of us the vision for a ministry there may be years of preparation before we are to begin.
What to us seems to be a delay may be something the Lord is doing in us. Paul wrote in Phil. 4:11-13: Not that I am talking on account of a great need, for I have learned to be content with what things I have. And I know how to submit myself to want, and I know how to be abundant: in everything and in all things I have learned the secret, both how to be filled and how to be needy and how to be affluent and how to suffer want: I have strength to overcome all things in the One Who strengthens me.
Ps. 105:17 says, He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold for a servant, 18. whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron 19. until the time that his word came: the word of the LORD* purified him. This refers to the time Joseph spent in slavery and in prison. The word translated purified comes from a root which means to refine, purify, test, or burn. The time spent waiting for the LORD’s* timing has a purpose, whether to purify the minister or to prepare other elements. We need to be like Paul, content in this season of lack. The lack can be money as Paul wrote about or it may be in ministry. Each of us has a ministry, with or without ordination. Remember, each of us is a priest. We are a ..kingdom, priests to His God and Father.. (Rev. 1:6). It is important to be obedient; to wait contentedly, to keep the faith and grow spiritually while He works His will in us.
Isaiah 53:5 has an unusual twist because the word translated wounds or stripes is listed in modern Hebrew dictionaries with a different meaning. The word is Havurah. The confusion comes because another root, H-v-r, relates to fellowship, so at least one modern English translation used by Orthodox Jewish congregations in the U.S. translates this as fellowship, that we have been healed by fellowship with Him. That is true, because we serve the God of relationship and our relationship with Him is foundational to Godly living and to receiving His blessings. Khavurah literally means sore, but stripe(s) or wound(s) are appropriate translations. In Isaiah’s time all his readers understood that as stripes or wounds, but now we see more depth in those words. Khavurah is one of very few words in modern Hebrew that differs significantly from the ancient meaning. Still, remember that relationship with Him is what this is all about, a subliminal message in Isaiah 53:5.
Italics are used in the text for words that have been added to the text to make smoother reading or to complete a statement. Many times in the New Testament the verbs is, are, were, etc. are inserted because Hebrew does not use a verb of being. In the translation of the Hebrew the verb of being is not italicized because it is always understood. In the Greek Scriptures those words are italicized because Greek does use the verb of being and because the italics in the New Testament point out the Hebrew idiom. Passages added to the Greek text in later centuries are also italicized and appropriately footnoted. Verses that were added to the Greek text centuries after the autographs, originals, were written have been added, italicized, in this Bible so all can see that the additions do not alter the Gospel message.