Thursday, September 15, 2016

Parashah Ki Teitzei ("When you go out") Deut. 21:10-25:19



Parashat Ki Teitzei ("When you go out")  Deut. 21:10-25:19

Last week’s discussion about אֲרוֹן really showed how a picture of Yeshua can be found throughout the Torah, this weeks parashah is no different.

Firstly though, I would like to point out some of the worse exegesis I have ever encountered by the Atheist lobby - The Stubborn and Rebellious Son – Deut 21:18-21;   A stubborn and rebellious son who does not heed his father or mother and does not obey them even after they discipline him is to be stoned to death.  

This is obvious proof that God is a child killer, so they say.   But if anyone bothered to read this passage in context they may have noticed verse 20 which states “And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard’.”

What kind of “child” is a glutton and drunkard?   A very adult one.    Just one example of how context is ever so important.

Anyhoo, off my little soap box.   Let’s get back to how Torah points prophetically and personally toward Yeshua.

“And if a man has committed a sin deserving death, and he is to be put to death, and you hang him on a tree; His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but you shall bury him that day;
for he who is hanged is accursed by God; that your land, which the Lord your God gives you for an inheritance, be not defiled.”

First point is that whoever is hung on a tree is cursed.    Rav Shaul picks up on this point and expands in Galatians 3:13, “The Messiah redeemed us from the curse pronounced in the Torah by becoming cursed on our behalf; for the Tanakh says, “Everyone who hangs from a stake comes under a curse.” (CJB).   The Apostle Peter also had this in mind when he wrote: "The God of our fathers raised Yeshua, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree" (Acts 5:30).

Second point is how interesting it is that Yeshua was taken off the cross and not allowed to stay on it overnight due to ceremonial requirements.   This might not seem extraordinary except that the Romans would leave criminals on a cross for days and nights.   It’s as though HaShem was keeping his own Word but creating a situation where the cursed Yeshua was not left on the tree overnight and thus maintained obedience to Torah – even after His death.  

I read that is particular law was based on the earlier precedent found in Numbers 25:4, “Adonai said to Moshe, “Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them facing the sun before Adonai, so that the raging fury of Adonai will turn away from Isra’el” (CJB).    According to the Talmud (Nezakim: Sanhedrin 6:4:3), the Great Sanhedrin (סַנְהֶדְרִין גְדוֹלָה) decided that "a man must be hanged with his face towards the spectators" upon a wooden stake, with his arms slung over a horizontal beam. It should be noted that while this is technically not the same thing as the gruesome practice of Roman crucifixion, the reasoning based on this verse was apparently used to justify the execution of Yeshua (Mark 15:9-15; John 19:5-7; 15). The exposed body was required to be buried before sundown to keep the land from being defiled (Deut. 21:22-23).  Crucifixion is mentioned elsewhere in the Talmud (Nashim: Yevamot 120b) regarding whether a widow can remarry if her husband had been crucified, as well as by the Jewish historian Josephus

Another thought line is that the reason one is cursed who is hung on a tree has to do with their inability to fall to their knees in a final act of repentance and, thereby implying that they were under the irrevocable curse of God.

What also makes the crucifixion of Yeshua so remarkable, was that the accusation against Him was originally blasphemy, which has a death sentence of stoning (Leviticus 24:11-16) “Then tell the people of Isra’el, ‘Whoever curses his God will bear the consequences of his sin;  and whoever blasphemes the name of Adonai must be put to death; the entire community must stone him.” (CJB).

So for prophecy to pass, the one who was cursed on our behalf, had to hang on a tree;  thus, two cultures needed to collide.  The Roman crucifixion and Torah mitzah – perfectly synced for a catastrophic ending.
The Imperial Roman government exercised legal domination over the region of Israel.  They would not be interested in religious cases, so Yeshua’s accusers needed to make it about sedition against Rome.  The Torah allowed for an offender to impaled or "hung on a tree" (Num. 25:4), and since they were unable to do carry out this judgment because of Roman rule in the area, they needed Pilate to condemn him to death by crucifixion.

Of course, all of this was prophesied by Isaiah, many generations before hand.

“But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

After reading and being part of debates about Isaiah 53:5,  I am firmly convinced that this verse is not about Israel, but is about the Mashiach.  For how can Israel, accused of being disobedient by HaShem, take away our transgressions.

I believe that suffering Mashiach, also called Mashiach benYosef, is Yeshua and one day He will return as Mashiach benDavid.

Shalom.

Jon Eaton

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