“Thus said HaShem: ‘If the heavens above could be measured or the foundations of the earth plumbed below, so too would I reject the entire seed of Israel because of everything they did, the Word of HaShem.'” Jeremiah 31:36
This will just be a quick Op. As I prepare this Op, it is 12 Oct 2020 and we are beginning a brand new annual Torah reading cycle, Baruch HaShem! The world is in chaos, being consumed by a pandemic, violence, confusion and America is being torn apart because of relentless enemies within. It is a very dark and very difficult time for each of us as no one who is a servant of HaShem and striving to walk in His Torah are having an easy and fun time.
This said, I thought it might be a benefit for some if we review what HaShem says about His Torah now that we are beginning a new reading cycle in the midst of a world gone mad. I pray it will encourage and strengthen people and their resolve to not let go of HaShem even when times get very tough and unimaginably difficult.
This Op will focus on a very unique chapter in the Tanakh (Erroneously called the Old Testament) which is written in such a fashion that it is the Torah itself that is speaking in the first person. What chapter am I referring too? Chapter 8 of the Book of Proverbs! But before we delve into this, always remember the following characteristics of HaShem:
- HaShem never changes per Num 23:19/Mal 3:6/Hebrews 13:8/James 1:17
- His Word is firmly established per Psalm 119:89
- He reveals the end out of the beginning per Is 46:10
- He does nothing without first revealing it to His prophets per Amos 3:7
- He says there is nothing new under the sun per Ecclesiastes 1:9
- He says His Torah is a tree of life and eternal per Proverbs 3:18-19 and Psalm 119:160
- He says His Torah is perfect and restores the soul per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah makes the simple one wise per Psalm 19:7
- He says His Torah Is freedom and liberty per Psalm 119:45 and James 1:25
- He says His Torah is the only good doctrine there is Proverbs 4:2
- He says His Torah will add length of days and years of life and peace per Proverbs 3:2
- He says all of the ways of His Torah are ways of pleasantness and peace per Proverbs 3:17
- He says His Torah is for our good and well-being per Deuteronomy 6:24
- He says His Torah is health for our lives per Proverbs 3:8
- He says His Torah is life to our soul and a graceful ornament for our neck per Prov 3:22
- He says His Torah is better than pearls and all desires cannot compare to it per Prov 8:11
- He says those who walk with His Torah are praiseworthy per Psalms 119:1
- He says observing His Torah is how we purify our path per Psalms 119:9
- He says His Torah is better than thousands in gold and silver per Psalms 119:72
- He says His Torah brings abundant peace to those who love Him and His Torah per Psalms 119:165
- He says there is one Torah for all per Exodus 12:49/Leviticus 24:22
- He says those who hate His Torah love death per Proverbs 8:36
- He says His Torah is the way of faith per Psalms 119:29-30
- He says His Torah makes us wiser than our enemies per Psalms 119:98
- He says His Torah is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path per Psalms 119:105
- He says one who finds His Torah has found life per Proverbs 8:35
- He says one who finds His Torah has found favor from HaShem per Proverbs 8:35
For some background on the Book of Proverbs, it was written by Solomon and in chapter 8, Solomon “Turns to the benefits enjoyed by those who recognize the importance of the Torah. The Hebrew word ‘Chochma’ which means ‘Wisdom’ is the speaker. Throughout Proverbs, ‘Wisdom’ is synonymous with Torah. Verses 4-36 speak in the first person, as Torah describes some of its many virtues and benefits, and its pivotal role in Creation.” Very important to keep this in mind as we proceed.
Proverbs 8:1 says “Surely wisdom (Torah) will call out, and understanding will raise her voice.” So, HaShem’s Torah calls out to who? To EVERYONE on the planet i.e. mankind to come and learn!!
Proverbs 8:2-4 says “Atop the heights along the way, at the place where pathways diverge, she (Torah) stands. Near the gateways of the city, at the approach to its entrances, she cries out: ‘To you, O men, do I call, and my voice is to the sons of man.'” The commentary says “The Torah proclaims its message so that it can be heard from afar, as if it were standing on a high hill and on major highways. This is a metaphor for the public study halls and indicate the Torah speaks to people wherever they may be found in life!” This means that every single person will be at some point in their lives presented with the Torah and they will have to choose whom to serve, themselves or HaShem! We all have to make this choice!
Tractate Avodah Zarah 19a from the Talmud Bavli says with regards to the above verses:
“A person must always study Torah and only then analyze and delve into it – לְעוֹלָם יִלְמַד אָדָם תּוֹרָה וְאַחַר כָּךְ יֶהְגֶּה : Rashi explains that one should first learn the basic text and its meaning from his teacher, and only afterward analyze and study it in greater depth, since if he does not do this he might not find a teacher available for this first, indispensable stage. Others explain that without a broad base of knowledge, one cannot offer a profound or well-founded reasoning.” What does this imply? That learning the Torah is NOT an easy task BUT with the help of HaShem and His Ruach (Spirit) we CAN do so and the rewards are beyond comprehension and are eternal!
Proverbs 8:5 says “Simpletons, understand shrewdness; fools, understand in your heart.”
The commentary on these verse above describe the two types of human beings: Simpletons – “Lack the shrewdness to avoid being seduced by their Evil inclination; therefore they are exhorted to understand shrewdness so that they will be able to see through its wiles. Fools – Knows the wisdom of the Torah, but fails to apply it to their actions because their heart gives in to their Evil inclination; they deny wisdom because it stand in their way. Wisdom (Torah) tells the fools to ‘Let your heart control your desires so that you will be receptive to wisdom. Anyone who tries to fulfill his duties as a spouse, relative, citizen, or decent human being, without arming his mind with wisdom (Torah), will ultimately fail.'”
Proverbs 8:6-9 says “Listen, for I will speak noble thoughts; the opinion of my lips will be fair words. For my palate will utter truth; wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are said with righteousness; they contain no twisting or perversion. They are all correct to one who understands, and upright to those who find knowledge.”
The commentary on the above verses says “King Solomon teaches how to value the words of Torah. Its every letter is perfect; nothing in it is extraneous, redundant, or irrelevant. The exact phraseology and order of each statement is vital to its understanding; even a change in the spelling of a word may imply a vital halachic (How to walk in the Torah) determination. If someone fails to see the significance of the Torah’s words, it is due to his lack of understanding and not to any deficiency in the Torah. That its truth and righteousness are beyond question becomes more and more self evident the deeper one delves into it.” I can, from personal experience, attest that this is absolutely true! The deeper I go in studying the Torah, I am always astounded because it constantly reveals HaShem is absolute and is in absolute control over all things. Further, when applied to the Apostolic Writings, it completely and utterly exposes Jesus of Replacement Theology as a fraud and the very False Messiah, the Man of Lawlessness, HaShem warns us about while more importantly revealing Yeshua as being the Messiah of HaShem for He taught nothing but the Torah! I digress!
Proverbs 8:10-11 says “Accept my discipline and not silver, for knowledge is choicer than fine gold, for wisdom (Torah) is better than pearls, and all desires cannot compare to it.” I know this personally from experience! Torah is absolutely better than anything this world can offer or compare to it! Further, as the ancient Torah scholars have taught, silver, gold and pearls can all be acquired and then stolen by others, but Torah knowledge cannot be stolen and is far more valuable than what this world offers.
In verses 12-21 Solomon now will discuss how Torah is the truest success!!
Proverbs 8:12-21 says “I am wisdom; I dwell in shrewdness; I provide knowledge of designs. Fear of HaShem is hatred of evil. I hate pride and haughtiness, the way of evil, and a duplicitous mouth. With me there is counsel and wisdom; I am understanding; with me is strength. Through me, kings will reign, and rulers will decree righteousness; through me officials will rule, and nobles, all who judge righteously. I love those who love me, and those who search for me shall find me. Wealth and honor are with me, great fortune and righteousness. My fruits are better than fine gold, even choice gold, and my produce is choicer than silver. I will walk in the path of righteousness, amid the pathways of justice. I have what to bequeath to those who love me, and I shall fill their storehouses.”
The commentary on these verses says: “Wisdom of the Torah gives its students shrewdness i.e. the needed wisdom to deal with ALL areas of life and with the Evil Inclination that we have to contend with all the time. Homiletically, a person should use shrewdness to outwit their Evil Inclination.”
Walking with HaShem means we will strive to learn and apply His Torah to our daily lives, something much easier said than done! Further, Torah is the means to develop that intimate relationship with HaShem! Additionally, if we say we are going to imitate Yeshua, then Torah is the ONLY way to do that for He lived out and taught the Torah!
Proverbs 8:22-23 says “HaShem made me at the beginning of His way, before His deeds of yore. I have reigned since the distant past: from the beginning, from before there was the earth.” These two verses are absolute proof that HaShem used the Torah the create everything in existence!
Proverbs 8:24-31 says “When there were no depths, I was formed; when there were no springs rich with water, before mountains were settled, before hills, I was formed; when He had not yet made the earth and its environs or the first dust of the inhabited world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there; when He etched out the globe upon the face of the depths; when He strengthened the heavens above; when He fortified the wellsprings of the depths; when He set for the sea its limit, so that the waters would not transgress His word; when He forged the foundations of the earth; I was then His nursling, I was then His delight every day, playing before Him at all times, playing in the inhabited areas of His earth, my delights are with mankind.”
The commentary on these verses highlight the various stages of His Creation that were preceded by the Torah i.e. the sources of water, the mountains, land, the heavens and the earth and the division of earth into land and seas. Point is, HaShem used His Torah to create everything!! Do you really think then HaShem would have sent a Messiah to now render Torah obsolete and toss it aside? It is utterly absurd and an absolute impossibility!
Proverbs 8:32-36 says “And now, children, listen to me; praiseworthy aret hose who heed my ways. Harken unto discipline and grow wise and do not reject wisdom (Torah). Praiseworthy is the person who listens to me, to hasten to my doors every day, to guard the doorposts of my entrances. For one who finds me has found life and he has elicited favor from HaShem. But one who sins against me despoils his soul; all who hate me love death.” Can you again see the connection between life and the Torah? His Torah is a tree of life to those who take hold of it (Proverbs 3:18)!
On a side note, can you see why the adversary has worked so hard over the centuries to convince humanity that the Torah is something to be shunned, rejected, tossed aside or replaced? If he can get us to toss out the Torah of HaShem, then we just tossed aside the only truth there is, the only way to have a relationship with HaShem and the only means through which to identify the real Messiah vs the False Messiah! Consider that Replacement Theology ‘Jesus’ hides and conceals himself behind this theology that the Torah is now tossed aside, which is why he becomes so enraged when HaShem wakes up His people and brings them out of Replacement Theology and begin to embrace the Torah! Remember, who exactly is the adversary enraged by per Revelation 12:17? Those who have the testimony of Yeshua as Messiah AND who keep the Torah of HaShem! Why is he so enraged by this? Because he is fully exposed and his lies no longer have any effect! Keep this in mind when you are learning the Torah and the adversary attacks your life in order to try and discourage and prevent you from going any further with HaShem and His Torah!
Remember, Yeshua Himself commands us to keep the Torah via Matthew 23:1-3 which says “Then Yeshua spoke to the crowds and to His taught ones saying, ‘The Scribes and the Pharisees (Shammai Pharisees were in power at that time, Shammai was very hostile towards non-Jews learning the Torah as opposed to the Hillel Pharisees who were very welcoming towards non-Jews learning the Torah. Yeshua’s rantings against the Pharisees were directed at the Shammai Pharisees) sit on the seat of Moshe. Therefore, whatever they say to you to guard, guard and do. But do not do according to their works, for they say, and do not do'” (In other words they were hypocrites and didn’t do what they taught themselves. Further, it reveals Yeshua respected the position and authority they had per the Torah. For further info, refer to the following Op I did a while back discussing this) – https://torahandtempleinvestigations.com/2020/02/29/the-seat-of-moshe-who-exactly-was-yeshua-criticizing/
I will close with this quick thought from a book I have entitled “My Father My King” by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin on page 146 which says “Hear your Father, your King, the Creator and Sustainer of the entire universe, saying to you: ‘I am always with you. I am with you when you realize I am with you, and I am with you when you forget. I am with you when all is going well, and when all seems to be going wrong. I am with you during your moments of joy, and during your moments of sadness and grief. I am with you when you are wide awake, and when you are asleep. I was with you from the moment you came into this world, and I will remain with you until your last breath. I am always with you, and want you to always be with Me.”
Rabbi Pliskin goes on further: “HaShem your guardian, HaShem is your shelter at your right hand (Psalms 121:5). In Hebrew the word translated here as ‘Shelter’ is ‘Tzilcho’ which means ‘Your shadow.’ Just as your shadow is always with you, so is your Creator. Whenever you notice your shadow, you have a reminder of this verse.”
Keep all of what we have discussed in this Op in mind when beginning this new Torah reading cycle as I hope it will enhance what we are learning and can better apply these principles to our lives in service to HaShem so that we may honor and esteem His Great Name because He is deserving of it! Baruch HaShem!
I am hopeful this Op will be helpful for some in these very stressful and difficult times we live in. All I can say is may it be so very soon in our days!
- The Stone Edition Chumash by Artscroll
- The Writings – Proverbs by Artscroll
- The Scriptures by the Institute for Scripture Research
- Jewish Secrets Hidden in the New Testament by Rabbi Avraham Feld
- My Father My King by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin