Galatians

By Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David (Greg Killian)

 


In this paper I would like to look at the book of Galatians to try to understand how it relates to the Torah. I am going to go verse by verse in order to ensure clarity.

 

Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Yeshua Mashiach hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

 

Galatians 3:2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faithful obedienceful obedience?

 

The obvious answer is that they received the spirit by the hearing of faithful obedienceful obedience.

 

Galatians 3:3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

 

The obvious answer is that they are not made perfect by the flesh.

 

Galatians 3:4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if [it be] yet in vain.

 

Galatians 3:5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, [doeth he it] by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faithful obedienceful obedience?

 

The obvious answer is that the ministering is by the hearing of faithful obedienceful obedience.

 

Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

 

Here we see that faithful obedienceful obedience is defined by the actions of Avraham who demonstrated his faithful obedienceful obedience by believing HaShem regarding a son, Yitzchack, and leaving Ur to go to to the land of Canaan:

 

Bereshit (Bereshit (Genesis)) 15:1-17 After these things the word of HaShem came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I [am] thy shield, [and] thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord HaShem, what wilt thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house [is] this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of HaShem [came] unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in HaShem; and he counted it to him for righteousness. And he said unto him, I [am] HaShem that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. And he said, Lord HaShem, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it? And he said unto him, Take me an heifer of three years old, and a she goat of three years old, and a ram of three years old, and a turtledove, and a young pigeon. And he took unto him all these, and divided them in the midst, and laid each piece one against another: but the birds divided he not. And when the fowls came down upon the carcases, Abram drove them away. And when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and, lo, an horror of great darkness fell upon him. And he said unto Abram, Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land [that is] not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; And also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites [is] not yet full. And it came to pass, that, when the sun went down, and it was dark, behold a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp that passed between those pieces. In the same day HaShem made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.

 

The faithful obedienceful obedience of Avram was acknowledged by HaShem when He made an unconditional covenant ("Brit Bein Habetarim", the covenant between the parts) with Avram. This covenant involved three things:

 

  1. Avram would be bound to HaShem
  2. An inheritance in the land.
  3. A son (offspring)

 

By examining these three things carefully, one can see that these things are normally the result of a marriage covenant. This suggests that the “Covenant Between the Parts” was a covenant that promised marriage between HaShem and Avram’s seed.

 

One of the most accepted explanations for why the animals were divided in half suggests that the two parties to any "brit" should look upon their new relationship as if they were now one and the same organism, as the animals used by Avram had been while they were alive. This “union” also suggests a marriage relationship.

 

In Jewish law we have an understanding of HaShem’s promise, as shown in the Encyclopedia Judaica:

 

In Jewish law shiddukhin is defined as the mutual promise between a man and a woman to contract a marriage at some future time and the formulations of the terms (tena'im) on which it shall take place. In general parlance, as opposed to legal terminology, it is known as erusin (Kid. 63a, Tos.), which is in fact part of the marriage ceremony proper. The concept of shiddukhin can entail either a promise by the intending parties themselves or one made by their respective parents or other relatives on their behalf (Kid. 9b; Sh. Ar., EH 50:4–6 and 51). The sages regarded kiddushin (consecration; see Marriage) without prior shiddukhin as licentiousness and prescribed that "he who enters into a marriage without shiddukhin is liable to be flogged" (TJ, Kid. 3:10, 64b; TB, Kid. 12b; Maim. Yad, Ishut, 3:22 and Issurei Bi'ah, 21:14; Sh. Ar., EH 26:4). Shiddukhin as such has no immediate effect on the personal status of the parties—it being only a promise to create a different personal status in the future (Resp. Rosh 34:1; Beit Yosef EH 55). Nor does the promise give either party the right to claim specific performance from the other-since a marriage celebrated in pursuance of a judgment requiring the defendant to marry the plaintiff is repugnant to the basic principle that a marriage requires the free will and consent of both the parties thereto.

 

Tenaim, which translates as "conditions," is an engagement, a pre-Ketubah contract setting out the terms of the marriage, including the date and time of the wedding ceremony (chuppah). This, for example, was done verbally by Boaz:

 

Ruth 3:7-17 And when Boaz had eaten and drunk, and his heart was merry, he went to lie down at the end of the heap of corn: and she came softly, and uncovered his feet, and laid her down. And it came to pass at midnight, that the man was afraid, and turned himself: and, behold, a woman lay at his feet. And he said, Who [art] thou? And she answered, I [am] Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou [art] a near kinsman. And he said, Blessed [be] thou of HaShem, my daughter: [for] thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou [art] a virtuous woman. And now it is true that I [am thy] near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I. Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, [that] if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman's part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, [as] HaShem liveth: lie down until the morning.

 

Thus we see that at “Covenant Between the Parts”, HaShem executed shiddukhin with Avram’s seed, namely Mashiach.

 

Note that Avram never received the promised Marriage. He never received the promised inheritance, nor did he receive the promise of numerous offsping. Bear in mind that HaShem will add the letter “hay” to Avram’s name, thereby changing it to Avraham.

 

Now lets continue examining Galatians:

 

Galatians 3:7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faithful obedienceful obedience, the same are the children of Abraham.

 

Those that have the faithful obedienceful obedience of Avraham are his offspring.

 

Galatians 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faithful obedience, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed.

 

The Gentiles are JUSTIFIED by faithful obedienceful obedience. This is to be their blessing.

 

Galatians 3:9 So then they which be of faithful obedience are blessed with faithful obedienceful Abraham.

 

Avraham and those of like faithful obedience are those who will enter the marriage covenant with HaShem.

 

This next verse describes those that that fail to obey Torah (law) as cursed:

 

Galatians 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

 

Here Hakham Shaul is reminding his audience of the necessity to obey the Torah of Moshe. Failure to do so results in a curse. In Devarim (Devarim (Deuteronomy)) 27, HaShem is quite explicit about the curses for those who fail to obey the Torah.

 

Now, even though we must obey the Torah or else we will receive a curse, never the less, this Torah which we must obey, does not JUSTIFY us:

 

Galatians 3:11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, [it is] evident: for, The just shall live by faithful obedience.

 

Those who are just, that is, those who faithful obediencefully obey and apply Torah justice, these are the ones who will live my faithful obedience. These are the ones who will enter the marriage covenant which HaShem made with Avraham.

 

Hakham Shaul now reiterates that the ONLY way to have life (and eternal life is the emphasis) is to DO the Torah (law).

 

Galatians 3:12 And the law is not of faithful obedience: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

 

Let me restate the above verse: And the Torah is not of faithful obedience but the man that does the Torah shall live in its precepts, this is how he will live.

 

Mashiach has redeemed those who obey Torah from the curse that comes from disobedience to the Torah:

 

Galatians 3:13 Mashiach hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed [is] every one that hangeth on a tree:

 

This verse begins a very mystical concept which must be understood in order to compehend the depth of Hakham Shaul’s words. The basic concept is this: In the Olam HaBa, the world to come, there will be a single body made up of all those who will live by faithful obedience. This body is called Mashiach. This body will be the bride who is wed to HaShem as indicated by the covenant that HaShem made with Avraham.

 

Hakham Shaul points out that Avraham did NOT receive what was promised. Mashiach will receive that which was promised to Avraham. Avraham as a part of the body of Mashiach, will then receive what was promised.

 

Galatians 3:14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Yeshua Mashiach; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faithful obedience.

 

Lets sum this up: We enter the covenant of Avraham, the marriage covenant, by having the faithful obedience of Avraham.

 

Galatians 3:15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though [it be] but a man's covenant, yet [if it be] confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

 

Now this concept of the body of Mashiach will be made solid as HaShem makes explicit that the promise is to Mashiach ONLY!!!!

 

Galatians 3:16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Mashiach.

 

If we are NOT a part of the body of Mashiach, then we have no part in the marriage covevant, the covenant of Avraham.

 

Hakham Shaul now introduces the marriage (betrothal) covenant that HaShem and the body of Mashiach entered into at Mount Sinai:

 

Galatians 3:17 And this I say, [that] the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Mashiach, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

 

The covenant that HaShem made with Avraham when he left Ur was four hundred and thirty years before the covenant that HaShem made with the Children of Israel at Mount Sinai (Shemot 12:31). This time period implies that there is a connection between the two events. It is well known that Jews count in order to connect. The counting of the omer, for example, connect Pesach with shavuot.

 

The Torah was a marriage (erusin – betrothal) covenant between those who had already agreed to a marriage covenant. This covenant defines the rule of behavior for the bride.

 

Many Sephardic synagogues celebrate Shavuot as the wedding (erusin or betrothal) between God and the Nation of Israel, as the episode of Sinai is described by many biblical commentaries. Most Sephardic siddurim have a special text of the ketubah that includes the list of the 613 mitzvot. That text is read along with the tenaim (conditions of matrimony), when the Torah is taken from the Ark on Shavuot morning.

 

Galatians 3:18 For if the inheritance [be] of the law, [it is] no more of promise: but God gave [it] to Abraham by promise.

 

The inheritance was promised to Avraham by covenant.

 

Hakham Shaul now asks the obvious question: Why do we have to obey the Torah if we gain the inheritance without the Torah:

 

Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then [serveth] the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; [and it was] ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

 

Hakham Shaul answers the question by telling us why we have Torah in the first place. We have the Torah because man failed to obey HaShem and live according to His command. This Torah will remain until the Living Torah, the body of Mashiach, receives the promises. The Torah is the ketubah or marriage covenant which defines the responsibilities of the bride and groom. If the bride and groom were perfect, there would be no need of a ketubah, but because of transgressions, we have a ketubah.

 

The mediator of the Torah was Moshe (Moses):

 

Galatians 3:20 Now a mediator is not [a mediator] of one, but God is one.

 

Now we come to a most interesting question:

 

Galatians 3:21 [Is] the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

 

Let me re-phrase this question: Is the covenant which promised marriage against the marriage itself? The answer is no. The Torah sanctifies us, it does not justify us! In other words, we agreed to get married before we knew the rules, and we remain married because of our comittment and love to our mate. Never the less, the covenant defines the rules of the marriage.

 

We are justified by the faithful obedience of Avraham. The unconditional covenant given to Avraham is the sign of our justification.

 

We are sanctified by the Torah of Moshe. When we keep the Torah, these commands set us apart from all other people. Anyone who has kept kosher has a good understanding about how we are “set apart”. The Torah does NOT justify us, it sanctifies us.

 

Unless we are a part of the body of Mashiach, then we have no part in the promise given to Avraham’s seed.

 

Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faithful obedience of Yeshua Mashiach might be given to them that believe.

 

Now Hakham asks a most interesting question:

 

Galatians 3:23 But before faithful obedience came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faithful obedience which should afterwards be revealed.

 

How is it that we were kept under the law BEFORE faithful obedience came?

 

The answer is that the Torah is our tutor, or schoolmaster:

 

Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Mashiach, that we might be justified by faithful obedience.

 

What does a tutor do? Obviously, he teaches us something. So, if a tutor teaches us 8th grade mathematics, do we abandon that knowledge and practice when we get to the 9th grade? Of course not! The whole purpose of a tutor is to enable us to master a subject in order that we can obtain mastery over that subject. Ultimately the goal is for the student to become the teacher. So, even though we are no longer under a tutor, because we have mastered the Torah, never the less we continue to obey and practice that which the tutor taught us:

 

Galatians 3:25 But after that faithful obedience is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

 

What is a “son of God”? The Sages teach us that a “son of God” is a Rabbi, a judge on the Bet Din:

 

Galatians 3:26 For ye are all the sons of God by faithful obedience in Mashiach Yeshua.

 

As Mashiach is the chief Hakham, or judge, so too are we judges when we are a part of the body of Mashiach:

 

1 Corithinians 12:12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also [is] Mashiach.

 

We become a part of the body of Mashiach when we are born again in the mikveh (immersed in water):

 

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Mashiach have put on Mashiach.

 

Now that we are a part of the body of Mashiach, we no longer have the attributes we had before:

 

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Mashiach Yeshua.

 

Obviously if I am a finger in the body of Mashiach, then I am no a female finger or a Greek finger. I am a finger which is a part of the body of Mashiach.

 

Galatians 3:29 And if ye [be] Mashiach's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

As a part of this mystical body of Mashiach I receive the promise given to Avraham. If I am not a part of this mystical body, then I do NOT receive the promise given to Avraham.

 

Jewish marriage concepts:

 

In Talmudic times the erusin (similar to an engagement or betrothal) would take place up to a year in advance of the nisuin (the actual wedding). At the erusin (literally "forbidden," as in the bride and groom were forbidden to others) the couple signed a document of agreement; the bride accepted an item of value from the groom, usually a coin or a ring; and the blessing over the wine was recited. The couple were legally married but did not consummate the marriage and lived separately for up to a year, during which time the couple prepared a home for their new family. The nisuin was a festive ceremony when the groom escorted the bride to his home. Blessings were recited over wine and the couple were left alone together to consummate the marriage.

 

kiddushin or erusin (betrothal)

 

The second part of the ceremony took place at a later date and was called nissu'in (marriage proper). It was also called huppah (see below) after either the groom's house to which the bride was led or the canopy, symbolic of that house, under which the ceremony took place. Originally nissu'in was effected by the bride entering the groom's house and cohabiting with him. On the occasion of the nissu'in a series of benedictions was recited (see below). After this stage the couple were completely married and liable to all the responsibilities and privileges of that state (see also below, Legal Aspects).

 

Galatians 2:1-8 Fourteen years later I went up again to Jerusalem, this time with Barnabas. I took Titus along also. I went in response to a revelation and set before them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles. But I did this privately to those who seemed to be leaders, for fear that I was running or had run my race in vain. Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. [This matter arose] because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Mashiach Yeshua and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you. As for those who seemed to be important--whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance--those men added nothing to my message. On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Tzefet (Peter) had been to the Jews. For God, who was at work in the ministry of Tzefet (Peter) as an apostle to the Jews, was also at work in my ministry as an apostle to the Gentiles.

 

The first "controversial" issue seems to be the circumcision of Titus.

Paul's primary audience are Gentiles.

 

Galatians 2:3-5 Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. [This matter arose] because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Mashiach Yeshua and to make us slaves. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you.

 

How does NOT being circumcised give us freedom?

 

"freedom" is used elsewhere in scripture as:

 

Galatians 4:28 - 5:6 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. At that time the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. But what does the Scripture say? "Get rid of the slave woman and her son, for the slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman's son." Therefore, brothers, we are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman. It is for freedom that Mashiach has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Mashiach will be of no value to you at all. Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Mashiach; you have fallen away from grace. But by faithful obedience we eagerly await through the Spirit the righteousness for which we hope. For in Mashiach Yeshua neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faithful obedience expressing itself through love.

 

Ephesians 3:7-13 I became a servant of this gospel by the gift of God's grace given me through the working of his power. Although I am less than the least of all God's people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Mashiach, And to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things. His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms, According to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Mashiach Yeshua our Lord. In him and through faithful obedience in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.

 

Yaaqov (James) 1:19-25 My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, For man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you. Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror And, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does.

 

Yaaqov (James) 2:8-20 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker. Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, Because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment! What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faithful obedience but has no deeds? Can such faithful obedience save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faithful obedience by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faithful obedience; I have deeds." Show me your faithful obedience without deeds, and I will show you my faithful obedience by what I do. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that--and shudder. You foolish man, do you want evidence that faithful obedience without deeds is useless?

 

I Tzefet (Peter) 2:11-16 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, Or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God's will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men. Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God.

 

I Corinthians 10:23-33 "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible"--but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others. Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, For, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it." If some unbeliever invites you to a meal and you want to go, eat whatever is put before you without raising questions of conscience. But if anyone says to you, "This has been offered in sacrifice," then do not eat it, both for the sake of the man who told you and for conscience' sake-- The other man's conscience, I mean, not yours. For why should my freedom be judged by another's conscience? If I take part in the meal with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of something I thank God for? So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God-- Even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

 

Luqas (Luke) 4:14-21 Yeshua returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praised him. He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. The scroll of the prophet Yeshayah (Isaiah) was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, To proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him, And he began by saying to them, "Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing."

 

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 61:1-7 The Spirit of the Sovereign HaShem is on me, because HaShem has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, To proclaim the year of HaShem's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, And provide for those who grieve in Zion--to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of HaShem for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Aliens will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of HaShem, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. Instead of their shame my people will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace they will rejoice in their inheritance; and so they will inherit a double portion in their land, and everlasting joy will be theirs.

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 119:44-48 I will always obey your law, for ever and ever. I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts. I will speak of your statutes before kings and will not be put to shame, For I delight in your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to your commands, which I love, and I meditate on your decrees.

 

Lets also examine some verses which use the word "free":

 

Romans 8:1-8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Mashiach Yeshua, Because through Mashiach Yeshua the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, In order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; The sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

 

I Corinthians 9:16-23 Yet when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, for I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me. What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it. Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Mashiach's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

 

Tehillim (Psalms) 119:28-35 My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word. Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me through your law. I have chosen the way of truth; I have set my heart on your laws. I hold fast to your statutes, HaShem; do not let me be put to shame. I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free. {He} Teach me, HaShem, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

 

Yochanan (John) 8:31-47 To the Jews who had believed him, Yeshua said, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." They answered him, "We are Abraham's descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?" Yeshua replied, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. I know you are Abraham's descendants. Yet you are ready to kill me, because you have no room for my word. I am telling you what I have seen in the Father's presence, and you do what you have heard from your father." "Abraham is our father," they answered. "If you were Abraham's children," said Yeshua, "then you would do the things Abraham did. As it is, you are determined to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. You are doing the things your own father does." "We are not illegitimate children," they protested. "The only Father we have is God himself." Yeshua said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now am here. I have not come on my own; but he sent me. Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don't you believe me? He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God."

 

Lets look again at Galatians:

 

Galatians 2:11-21 When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong. Before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray. When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all, "You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs? "We who are Jews by birth and not 'Gentile sinners' Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faithful obedience in Yeshua Mashiach. So we, too, have put our faithful obedience in Mashiach Yeshua that we may be justified by faithful obedience in Mashiach and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. "If, while we seek to be justified in Mashiach, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Mashiach promotes sin? Absolutely not! If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker. For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. I have been crucified with Mashiach and I no longer live, but Mashiach lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faithful obedience in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Mashiach died for nothing!"

 

The primary issue seems to be justification. Note:

 

Galatians 2:16-17 Know that a man is not justified by observing the law, but by faithful obedience in Yeshua Mashiach. So we, too, have put our faithful obedience in Mashiach Yeshua that we may be justified by faithful obedience in Mashiach and not by observing the law, because by observing the law no one will be justified. "If, while we seek to be justified in Mashiach, it becomes evident that we ourselves are sinners, does that mean that Mashiach promotes sin? Absolutely not!

 

Galatians 3:11 Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faithful obedience."

 

Galatians 3:24 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Mashiach that we might be justified by faithful obedience.

 

Galatians 5:4 You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Mashiach; you have fallen away from grace.

 

Related verses on "justification":

 

II Luqas (Acts) 13:32-41 "We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers He has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Yeshua. As it is written in the second Psalm: "'You are my Son; today I have become your Father.' The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words: "'I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.' So it is stated elsewhere: "'You will not let your Holy One see decay.' "For when David had served God's purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay. "Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Yeshua the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you: "'Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish, for I am going to do something in your days that you would never believe, even if someone told you.'"

 

and:

 

Romans 3:20-28 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faithful obedience in Yeshua Mashiach to all who believe. There is no difference, For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, And are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Mashiach Yeshua. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faithful obedience in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished-- He did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faithful obedience in Yeshua. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faithful obedience. For we maintain that a man is justified by faithful obedience apart from observing the law.

 

and:

 

Romans 5:1-9 Therefore, since we have been justified through faithful obedience, we have peace with God through our Lord Yeshua Mashiach, Through whom we have gained access by faithful obedience into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; Perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Mashiach died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Mashiach died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!

 

and:

 

Romans 10:5-13 Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them." But the righteousness that is by faithful obedience says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Mashiach down) "Or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Mashiach up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faithful obedience we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Yeshua is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

 

and:

 

Yaaqov (James) 2:20-26 You foolish man, do you want evidence that faithful obedience without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faithful obedience and his actions were working together, and his faithful obedience was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faithful obedience alone. In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faithful obedience without deeds is dead.

 

What does this verse mean:

 

Galatians 2:14 ...You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

 

1. Tzefet (Peter) is not being condemned for eating with Gentiles.

2. Paul is condemning Tzefet (Peter) for forcing Gentiles to follow Jewish customs.

 

Compare Galatians 2:14 with:

 

II Luqas (Acts) 10:25-29 As Tzefet (Peter) entered the house, Cornelius met him and fell at his feet in reverence. But Tzefet (Peter) made him get up. "Stand up," he said, "I am only a man myself." Talking with him, Tzefet (Peter) went inside and found a large gathering of people. He said to them: "You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with a Gentile or visit him. But God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?"

 

Yeshayah (Isaiah) 65:1-5 "I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, 'Here am I, here am I.' All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations-- A people who continually provoke me to my very face, offering sacrifices in gardens and burning incense on altars of brick; Who sit among the graves and spend their nights keeping secret vigil; who eat the flesh of pigs, and whose pots hold broth of unclean meat; Who say, 'Keep away; don't come near me, for I am too sacred for you!' Such people are smoke in my nostrils, a fire that keeps burning all day.

 

Yochanan (John) 4:7-10 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Yeshua said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Yeshua answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."

 

and:

 

II Luqas (Acts) 11:1-18 The apostles and the brothers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Tzefet (Peter) went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him And said, "You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them." Tzefet (Peter) began and explained everything to them precisely as it had happened: "I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles, and birds of the air. Then I heard a voice telling me, 'Get up, Tzefet (Peter). Kill and eat.' "I replied, 'Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.' "The voice spoke from heaven a second time, 'Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.' This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again. "Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man's house. He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, 'Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Tzefet (Peter). He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.' "As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. Then I remembered what the Lord had said: 'Yochanan (John) baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' So if God gave them the same gift as he gave us, who believed in the Lord Yeshua Mashiach, who was I to think that I could oppose God?" When they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God, saying, "So then, God has granted even the Gentiles repentance unto life."

 

and:

 

II Luqas (Acts) 15:5-21 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, "The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses." The apostles and elders met to consider this question. After much discussion, Tzefet (Peter) got up and addressed them: "Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faithful obedience. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Yeshua that we are saved, just as they are." The whole assembly became silent as they listened to Barnabas and Paul telling about the miraculous signs and wonders God had done among the Gentiles through them. When they finished, James spoke up: "Brothers, listen to me. Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself. The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: "'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent. Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, That the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things' That have been known for ages. "It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood. For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest times and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."

 

and:

 

Romans 14:13-23 Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother's way. As one who is in the Lord Yeshua, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean. If your brother is distressed because of what you eat, you are no longer acting in love. Do not by your eating destroy your brother for whom Mashiach died. Do not allow what you consider good to be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, Because anyone who serves Mashiach in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men. Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall. So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faithful obedience; and everything that does not come from faithful obedience is sin.

 

and:

 

I Timothy 4:1-6 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faithful obedience and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, Because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Mashiach Yeshua, brought up in the truths of the faithful obedience and of the good teaching that you have followed.

 

and:

 

Bereans (Hebrews) 9:8-14 The Holy Spirit was showing by this that the way into the Most Holy Place had not yet been disclosed as long as the first tabernacle was still standing. This is an illustration for the present time, indicating that the gifts and sacrifices being offered were not able to clear the conscience of the worshiper. They are only a matter of food and drink and various ceremonial washings--external regulations applying until the time of the new order. When Mashiach came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Mashiach, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

 

and:

 

Colossians 2:16-23 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Mashiach. Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow. Since you died with Mashiach to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

 

* * *

 

What does this verse mean?

 

Galatians 2:19 For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God.

 

To get an idea, lets look at:

 

Romans 7:1-13 Do you not know, brothers--for I am speaking to men who know the law--that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives? For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she marries another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress, even though she marries another man. So, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Mashiach, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death. But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code. What shall we say, then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except through the law. For I would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, "Do not covet." But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead. Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful.

 

* * *

 

Galatians 3:1-25 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Yeshua Mashiach was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Have you suffered so much for nothing--if it really was for nothing? Does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you because you observe the law, or because you believe what you heard? Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faithful obedience, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." So those who have faithful obedience are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faithful obedience. All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faithful obedience." The law is not based on faithful obedience; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." Mashiach redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Mashiach Yeshua, so that by faithful obedience we might receive the promise of the Spirit. Brothers, let me take an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or add to a human covenant that has been duly established, so it is in this case. The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say "and to seeds," meaning many people, but "and to your seed," meaning one person, who is Mashiach. What I mean is this: The law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise. For if the inheritance depends on the law, then it no longer depends on a promise; but God in his grace gave it to Abraham through a promise. What, then, was the purpose of the law? It was added because of transgressions until the Seed to whom the promise referred had come. The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator. A mediator, however, does not represent just one party; but God is one. Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faithful obedience in Yeshua Mashiach, might be given to those who believe. Before this faithful obedience came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faithful obedience should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Mashiach that we might be justified by faithful obedience. Now that faithful obedience has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.

 

Who are the seed of Abraham?

 

What are the implications of being of the seed of Abraham?

 

Are there two different sets of rule; one for physical descendants and one for the seed of Abraham?

 

Lets look at what the word "seed" means:

 

NIV:

Galatians 3:29 If you belong to Mashiach, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

KJV:

Galatians 3:29 And if ye [be] Mashiach's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

 

4690 sperma, sper'-mah; from 4687; something sown, i.e. seed (includ. The male "sperm"); by impl. offspring; spec. a remnant (fig. as if kept over for planting):-issue, seed.

 

-------------------- Dictionary Trace -------------------

4687 speiro, spi'-ro; prob. strengthened from 4685 (through the idea of extending); to scatter, i.e. sow (lit. or fig.):-sow (-er), receive seed.

 

Lets look at some related verses:

 

Bereshit (Genesis) 21:9-13 But Sarah saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking, And she said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that slave woman's son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac." The matter distressed Abraham greatly because it concerned his son. But God said to him, "Do not be so distressed about the boy and your maidservant. Listen to whatever Sarah tells you, because it is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned. I will make the son of the maidservant into a nation also, because he is your offspring."

 

and:

 

Romans 4:1-25 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God. What does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faithful obedience is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: "Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him." Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faithful obedience was credited to him as righteousness. Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faithful obedience while he was still uncircumcised. So then, he is the father of all who believe but have not been circumcised, in order that righteousness might be credited to them. And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faithful obedience that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faithful obedience. For if those who live by law are heirs, faithful obedience has no value and the promise is worthless, Because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. Therefore, the promise comes by faithful obedience, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring--not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faithful obedience of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed--the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were. Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, "So shall your offspring be." Without weakening in his faithful obedience, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead--since he was about a hundred years old--and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faithful obedience and gave glory to God, Being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why "it was credited to him as righteousness." The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, But also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness--for us who believe in him who raised Yeshua our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

 

Romans 9:4-13 The people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Mashiach, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen. It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned." In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son." Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad--in order that God's purpose in election might stand: Not by works but by him who calls--she was told, "The older will serve the younger." Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."

 

and:

 

Galatians 3:6-9 Consider Abraham: "He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham. The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faithful obedience, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: "All nations will be blessed through you." So those who have faithful obedience are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faithful obedience.

 

Galatians 3:24-29 So the law was put in charge to lead us to Mashiach that we might be justified by faithful obedience. Now that faithful obedience has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. You are all sons of God through faithful obedience in Mashiach Yeshua, For all of you who were baptized into Mashiach have clothed yourselves with Mashiach. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Mashiach Yeshua. If you belong to Mashiach, then you are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

 

Ephesians 3:1-6 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Mashiach Yeshua for the sake of you Gentiles-- Surely you have heard about the administration of God's grace that was given to me for you, That is, the mystery made known to me by revelation, as I have already written briefly. In reading this, then, you will be able to understand my insight into the mystery of Mashiach, Which was not made known to men in other generations as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to God's holy apostles and prophets. This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Mashiach Yeshua.

 

Romans 11:1-36 I ask then: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don't you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah--how he appealed to God against Israel: "Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me"? And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened, As it is written: "God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes so that they could not see and ears so that they could not hear, to this very day." And David says: "May their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a retribution for them. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forever." Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring! I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry In the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, Do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faithful obedience. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree! I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: "The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins." As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies on your account; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, For God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. Just as you who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their disobedience, So they too have now become disobedient in order that they too may now receive mercy as a result of God's mercy to you. For God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them all. Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?" "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.

 

compare:

 

NIV:

Romans 4:16 Therefore, the promise comes by faithful obedience, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring--not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faithful obedience of Abraham. He is the father of us all.

 

KJV:

Romans 4:16 Therefore [it is] of faithful obedience, that [it might be] by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faithful obedience of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

 

4690 sperma, sper'-mah; from 4687; something sown, i.e. seed (includ. The male "sperm"); by impl. offspring; spec. a remnant (fig. as if kept over for planting):-issue, seed.

 

* * *

Compare:

 

Galatians 3:12 The law is not based on faithful obedience; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them."

 

with:

 

Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:1-5 HaShem said to Moses, "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'I am HaShem your God. You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices. You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am HaShem your God. Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. I am HaShem.

 

and:

 

Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:45-47 When Moses finished reciting all these words to all Israel, He said to them, "Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you--they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess."

 

and:

 

Ezra-Nechemiah (Nehemiah) 9:26-31 "But they were disobedient and rebelled against you; they put your law behind their backs. They killed your prophets, who had admonished them in order to turn them back to you; they committed awful blasphemies. So you handed them over to their enemies, who oppressed them. But when they were oppressed they cried out to you. From heaven you heard them, and in your great compassion you gave them deliverers, who rescued them from the hand of their enemies. "But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time. "You warned them to return to your law, but they became arrogant and disobeyed your commands. They sinned against your ordinances, by which a man will live if he obeys them. Stubbornly they turned their backs on you, became stiff-necked and refused to listen. For many years you were patient with them. By your Spirit you admonished them through your prophets. Yet they paid no attention, so you handed them over to the neighboring peoples. But in your great mercy you did not put an end to them or abandon them, for you are a gracious and merciful God.

 

and:

 

Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 20:10-26 Therefore I led them out of Egypt and brought them into the desert. I gave them my decrees and made known to them my laws, for the man who obeys them will live by them. Also I gave them my Sabbaths as a sign between us, so they would know that I HaShem made them holy. "'Yet the people of Israel rebelled against me in the desert. They did not follow my decrees but rejected my laws--although the man who obeys them will live by them--and they utterly desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and destroy them in the desert. But for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I would not bring them into the land I had given them--a land flowing with milk and honey, most beautiful of all lands-- Because they rejected my laws and did not follow my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths. For their hearts were devoted to their idols. Yet I looked on them with pity and did not destroy them or put an end to them in the desert. I said to their children in the desert, "Do not follow the statutes of your fathers or keep their laws or defile yourselves with their idols. I am HaShem your God; follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. Keep my Sabbaths holy, that they may be a sign between us. Then you will know that I am HaShem your God." "'But the children rebelled against me: They did not follow my decrees, they were not careful to keep my laws--although the man who obeys them will live by them--and they desecrated my Sabbaths. So I said I would pour out my wrath on them and spend my anger against them in the desert. But I withheld my hand, and for the sake of my name I did what would keep it from being profaned in the eyes of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out. Also with uplifted hand I swore to them in the desert that I would disperse them among the nations and scatter them through the countries, Because they had not obeyed my laws but had rejected my decrees and desecrated my Sabbaths, and their eyes [lusted] after their fathers' idols. I also gave them over to statutes that were not good and laws they could not live by; I let them become defiled through their gifts--the sacrifice of every firstborn--that I might fill them with horror so they would know that I am HaShem.'

 

and:

 

Romans 10:1-13 Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Mashiach is the goal of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them." But the righteousness that is by faithful obedience says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Mashiach down) "Or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Mashiach up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faithful obedience we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Yeshua is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, For, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

 

and:

 

I Yochanan (John) 3:21-24 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God And receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Yeshua Mashiach, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

 

* * *


This study was written by

Rabbi Dr. Hillel ben David

(Greg Killian).

Comments may be submitted to:

 

Rabbi Dr. Greg Killian

4544 Highline Drive SE

Olympia, WA 98501

 

Internet address:  gkilli@aol.com

Web page:  http://www.betemunah.org/

 

(360) 918-2905

 

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