Torah Pearls #49 – Ki Teitzei (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19)

In this episode of The Original Torah PearlsKi Teitzei (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19), an uninformed reading of the archaic civil and domestic laws in this portion might leave one scratching the head, but the trio deftly removes cultural and language barriers so that the principles behind these pearls can be applied to the modern age. Discussions reveal what is at the heart of: Torah fashion statements, plowing with a donkey and an ox, installing parapets and taking millstones. Ki Teitzei underscores that the Torah is for all people, for all time—as its laws not only remedied ancient Canaanite traditions but also reached ahead to 20th century America when women’s rights finally began to get with the program. The portion concludes with the mind-bender of remembering to forget—and a reminder from Gordon that it’s a curse to have one’s name blotted out.

I look forward to reading your comments!

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Torah Pearls #49 - Ki Teitzei (Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19)

You are listening to The Original Torah Pearls with Nehemia Gordon, Keith Johnson, and Jono Vandor. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon's Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at

Jono: G’day to Alida in Florida, Desiree in Colorado, Patsy in Pennsylvania, Karen in Tennessee, Gail in Oklahoma, and Charles in Suffolk, in the United Kingdom. G’day, Charles. And it’s time for Pearls from the Torah Portion with Keith Johnson and Nehemia Gordon. G’day, gentlemen.

Keith: G’day.

Nehemia: G’day. Shalom, Jono. We’re getting near the end, aren’t we?

Jono: I’ll tell you what. It’s pretty close.

Nehemia: We’re getting there.

Jono: Yeah. See the light at the end of the tunnel.

Nehemia: I think we’re actually basking in the light as we’re doing this. And we were talking about doing the next round of maybe the Haftarah. I think we have to really pray about that.

Jono: But I’ll tell you what. We’re squeezing everything out of it. And the last two have been... we’ve set records in the last two. Over two hours in the last two episodes. And so, boy, let’s see if we... let’s see how we go with this one. But today, we...

Nehemia: Just hitting our stride. You know, we’ve finally figured out the shtick.

Jono: Do you reckon we’ve finally figured out that it should... that every episode should be at least two hours long?

Nehemia: I think it should be.

Keith: Yeah.

Jono: Well, look, today we are in... Nehemia, just pronounce it for me. What is it?

Nehemia: “Ki Teitzei”.

Jono: There it is. Deuteronomy 21:10 to 25:19. Look, just to make sure that we go over two hours, I feel the need to go back in time a little bit.

Nehemia: You’re not going to bring up Harry Potter again, are you?

Jono: No, no. No. I’m just warning everyone. This one is probably going to be... this is not a G-rated program, this one here, I don’t think. But we’re going to just... I just want to go back in time a little bit, because we sort of skipped over something and I think we need to touch on it before we begin with 21:10, and that is from 20:10. There you go. “When you go near a city to fight against it, then proclaim an offer of peace to it and it shall be that if they accept your offer of peace, and open to you, then all the people who are found in it shall be placed under tribute to you, and serve you. Now if the city will not make peace with you, but go to war against you, then you shall besiege it. And when Yehovah your God delivers it into your hands, you shall strike every male in it with the edge of the sword. But the women and the little ones and the livestock and all that is in the city and its spoil you shall plunder for yourselves and you shall eat the enemies’ plunder which Yehovah your God gives you. Thus you shall do to all the cities which are very far away from you, which are not of the cities of these nations.”

And it goes on to say, “But of the cities of these people which Yehovah your God gives you as an inheritance, you shall let nothing that breathes remain alive, but you shall utterly destroy them.” It goes on to list them, of course. “Lest they teach you to do according to their abominations which they had done for their gods and you sin against Yehovah your God.” So, those that are very, very far away, which are not among that list... I’d better read it. “The Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, Hivite and the Jebusite” - is that list there.

Now, here we are at the beginning of our Torah portion, this is 21 verse 10. It says, “When you go out to war against your enemies, and Yehovah your God delivers them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman and desire her and would take her for your wife…” I’m sure she’d be thrilled, “then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. And she shall put off the clothes...”

Nehemia: Can you read that last part again. And what?

Jono: “... shave her head and trim her nails.”

Nehemia: “She shall shave her head,” is what it says, right? In yours?

Jono: Yeah. She shall. Isn’t that what I said?

Nehemia: I thought you said “he”. Okay.

Jono: I might have done, but, “She shall shave her head.” That’s another, “She sells sea shells by the sea shore.” “She shall save...” okay. “She shall put off the clothes of the captivity, remain in your house, and mourn her father and her mother a full month; and after that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. And...” Now, before I go on with the end...

Nehemia: Yeah.

Jono: …is it fair to say that, clearly, we’re talking about one of these cities that are “far away from you”?

Nehemia: Right. Because the nearby cities, they had to wipe everybody out.

Jono: Including...

Nehemia: And you made a joking statement, Jono. You said, “I’m sure she’s thrilled about that.” But actually, the way I read scripture is that whenever there’s a kind of a marriage, scripture doesn’t need to come out and say, “And the woman accepts it.” Because that’s a given; that whenever there’s any kind of transaction or agreement, both sides have to agree, not just one side. In other passages, it talked about when a man takes a woman. It doesn’t say, “And the woman consents.” Because obviously, she consents. It’s...

Jono: Is it obvious?

Nehemia: It is to me, yeah. I don’t think you could enter into any kind of a covenant... and we’ll actually get to this a little bit later, but a marriage is a covenant. We see this when God makes covenants with us. You can’t enter into a covenant unless both sides agree. God doesn’t say to Israel, “Okay. I’m forcing this upon you.” He asked them, and they say, “Na’ase Ve-nishma.” We will listen, and we will obey. Or we will listen, and we will hear. We read that back in Exodus. With Abraham; Abraham accepts the covenant. Isaac and Jacob accept the covenant. If they were to come to Him and say, “I don’t want this. I’m walking away,” then obviously our forefathers wouldn’t have been in this covenant.

I think the same thing is the covenant with the woman, that it’s a given that she’s consenting here. If she’s not consenting here, then she has the opportunity to continue to live as one of the captives, which essentially means a slave. So, she’s got that opportunity. If she wants to marry this man, she can. And the whole thing with her shaving her head - shaving her head is an act of mourning. Her parents were just killed in battle. Certainly, her father, and possibly, her husband, were killed in battle, or killed in the conquest of the city, and the point is that she’s shaving her head as an act of mourning. That’s something that’s actually forbidden for Israelites, but out of mercy for these foreigners that this is their custom, God allows them to do it. So, the way I’m looking at this is that she is consenting to this relationship because maybe it benefits her in some way. It makes her life better, or whatever reason. But she has the opportunity to opt out.

Jono: This is incredible. Keith, it’s incredible to comprehend that. Because obviously, her parents have just been killed. Her brothers have been killed. I mean, what goes through your mind?

Keith: Well, we talked about this in an earlier portion - unless that was a dream of mine, I’m pretty sure we did. It’s possible it could have been one of my dreams. Torah Pearls has taken over my life. But this issue of the fact that she is a captive. And so, the question is simple. “Would you like to be my wife, or would you like to stay as a captive?” And it even says here that she can change her clothes which she had when she was a captive. And so... “Here are your choices. I’ve taken your... your father’s dead, your husband’s dead, your brothers are dead. I’d like to marry you. Your choices are to marry me or to stay a captive.” And those are her options. She could have said, “Yeah, I think I’ll just stay as a captive.” And who knows? But if you do...

Jono: So, it’s a matter of obtaining rights as well as...

Keith: Yeah. So, there are definite choices. I think there are choices, clearly.

Jono: “And it shall be...” it says in verse 14, “... it shall be, if you have no delight in her, then you shall set her free.” Now, does that mean that she is free, Nehemia, of the covenant that they’ve made?

Nehemia: Yeah. And it’s actually very interesting. This is like a slight of hand that the English does. So, the Hebrew word for divorce in the Torah - in the Tanakh, in general - is the word, “Shalach”, in the pi’el, “Shilach”, “Shile’ach”. That’s exactly what it has here. “Ve-shilachta”, which you could translate legitimately - I mean, this is how it translates in other places – “and you will divorce her.” You can also translate it that way. You will divorce her, “Le-nafsha” - to her soul. Because literally this word means “to send away”. Basically, divorce in the biblical terms is, you send the woman out of your house. You kick her out of the house, essentially. Later on, we’re going to see in chapter 24 that there’s more to it. Certainly, in the time of Moses, when he divorced Tziporah, he just said, “You’re no longer living with me. Bye.”

Jono: Go back to dad. So, “you certainly shall not sell her for money; you shall not treat her brutally, because you have humbled her.” Now, she’s obviously not going back to the status of a slave again.

Nehemia: Right.

Jono: Right? So, she’s actually in a sense, set free.

Keith: I think this is really interesting, and I think about this from the perspective of what’s called “being fair.” Let’s just say she agrees. “Okay. I’ve lost my father, or my brother, or my husband. I’ve agreed to be your wife, and then you don’t like me. You don’t... I don’t please you, etc.” So, it would be maybe natural to think, “Well, you’re going back to slavery. You’re going back to be a captive.” Instead, the issue is, if you’ve taken her to be your wife and there’s an agreement between the two of you, “Yes, we’ll be married,” and then you decide you don’t want her, you don’t just get to say, “Well, if you don’t do this, I’m sending you back to prison.” You know? She’s going to be a free person and she’s going to be able to go out.

Jono: Because he has humbled her. And it doesn’t say why he has no delight. We’re not given that information, which is interesting. But we’re certainly given other examples as we go on here. It goes on to say...

Nehemia: Well, some of the Jewish bible commentators from the Middle Ages suggest that he doesn’t delight in her because he sees her without her hair - because a woman’s hair is her beauty. And so, she shaves her head as mourning, and he looks at her, and he’s like, “Eh... not so much anymore.” So, he might not have even consummated the wedding, and he already has to set her free because he essentially entered into an agreement that they were going to get married, which is one possibility.

Jono: Perhaps. “If a man has two wives, one loved and another unloved, and they have borne him children, both the loved and the unloved, if the firstborn is of her who is unloved, then it shall be on the day he bequeaths his possessions to his sons that he must not bestow firstborn status on the son of the loved wife in preference to the son of the unloved, the true firstborn. But he shall acknowledge the son of the unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.”

Nehemia: I think that’s really profound. Because what it’s telling us here is that the right of the firstborn isn’t granted by the father. It’s granted by the Father, with a big F. It’s something that’s a God-given right.

Jono: “If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey the voice of his father or his mother, and who, when they have chastened him, will not heed them, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his city, at the gate of that city. And they shall say to the elders of his city, ‘This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious; he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton and a drunkard.’ Then all the men of this city shall stone him to death with stones; so you shall put away the evil from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.”

I’ll tell you what. I have two things to say about that. Number one, I think it would save a lot of problems in today’s society - at least what we observe in western society these days. Having said that, Keith, I also have to admit I would probably be one of them. I read this, and I look at myself back then, and I think to myself... back in the day, I don’t think I could’ve blamed my parents for taking me to the city gates and the elders. And all I can say is, in a way, I guess...

Nehemia: But here’s exactly the point. If you lived in a society where they took you to the gate of the city, and they chastened you, and that’s just one of the...

Jono: That you wouldn’t be…

Nehemia: Bad boy. It’s much more than that. And then you find out, “Okay. Wait a minute. They’re going to stone me. It’s time to shape up.” You know?

Jono: Yeah. That’s a really good point. And I can say, if I was in a society that upheld this law, and I was aware of it, I would do everything in my power to behave myself.

Nehemia: This is a good point.

Jono: There’s no doubt about it.

Nehemia: I mean, look, so first of all, the Jewish Bible commentators, on this one, have... this is a very controversial passage even within Judaism. They’ve said, “This has never actually been carried out in the entire history of Israel.” That this is one of these things that sort of, more like in a... it’s actually kind of like the city where they turn to idolatry and you’ve got to wipe out the whole city. That also has never been carried out. But these are, kind of, ideals that we can hold up. But then, these things have never been implemented, at least as far as we know. The deterrent factor here, for sure.

Jono: Keith.

Keith: The one thing that I think is very interesting, and the concept that catches my attention, is that it doesn’t say that the parents actually stone him. It says that the parents bring him to the community. In other words, there’s this idea that the community is... you know, that there’s this thought about the community raises a child. If it’s never been done, who knows? I mean, if it has or if it hasn’t. I don’t know how we would know a hundred percent for sure. But I could see the parents saying, “Look, we’ve done everything we can do. We’ve tried to give grace, we’ve tried to do this, etc. etc. Now, we’re bringing you to the community. So, first, it’s to us as parents, now it’s to the community.” And I can almost hear the community having to sit down with this kid, saying, “Now, look. Here’s the situation.” I mean, it just... it’s amazing to me that it’s bringing it to the level of others being involved in the raising of this child. And maybe it’s never been done because the kid sat in front of the elders, and the elders said, “Look, here are your options.”

Jono: Yes. Perhaps.

Nehemia: I think you actually make a really good point, Keith, that we have three levels here. We’ve got the parents. We’ve got, in verse 20, the elders of the city. And then in verse 21 we’ve got all the men of the city, or all the people of the city.

Keith: Right.

Nehemia: So, you’ve actually got three levels here of expanding responsibility. This is an important point, because people make fun of the Bible and say, “If your son drinks and eats too much, are you going to stone him?” Of course not. This is not something that can be carried out by an individual family even. This is something that has to be part of a community of observance of the Torah. Something that doesn’t really exist in modern... basically, a whole society of observing the Torah. That’s something that doesn’t really exist today. So, in that sense, this is one of these commandments, kind of like sacrifices, that we can look at and say... and really, I think a lot of the things we’ll read in this section are things that we could say, “Okay. These are ideals that maybe one day, when the Messiah comes...” at that point, I don’t think this will be an issue. But when the Messiah comes, these things will be things we can implement. But right now, this is like reading about a Passover sacrifice. I can learn about that, but I actually can’t go and do it.

Jono: So, Deuteronomy 17 verses 6 and 7 kind of suggests that it would be the parents. Particularly verse 7, where it says, “Whoever is deserving of death shall be put to death on the testimony of two or three witnesses; he shall not be put to death on the testimony of one witness. The hands of the witnesses shall be the first against him to put him to death, and after the hands of all the people.” It would suggest that his parents are first. So, it’s got to be a very, very serious level, I suppose, of a son who is rebellious, who is aware of this law, has probably even been given many, many warnings, and yet he will not heed to the voice of his father or his mother and carries on in a rebellious, gluttonous, drunkard fashion. And then he’s taken to the elders. So, it’s really a very extreme example, I would imagine. Interesting.

“If a man has committed a sin deserving of death,” this is verse 22, “and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree...” now, stop. Nehemia, a lot of people will connect that previous passage to this one here. And I’m not saying that it’s not necessarily connected, but in the previous passage we have a young rebellious chap who’s stoned to death with stones. Is it possible that they would stone him to death with stones and then hang him on a tree?

Nehemia: Oh, the person hung on the tree is already dead, absolutely. Whoever is hung... and here there is a connection; the connection of association that we talked about in the past. Okay, here’s an instance of the rebellious son who’s put to death. And now, by the way, whenever anyone is put to death, you’re allowed to hang them on the tree, but only until the evening. After that, you have to bury them.

Jono: So, he’s hung. What? By a rope? By a tree? Is there an example… that serves as an example? Or are we talking about hanging on a tree like the impaled type?

Nehemia: Yeah. So, there are actually examples where this was carried out later in the Bible, in the Book of Joshua. In those situations, if I’m not mistaken, it’s expressively said that this is an impalement. But it doesn’t have to be; you know, they could just string them up.

Jono: Sure.

Nehemia: Not necessarily by the neck, but just string them up. The point is that people will see him and say, “Okay. I better not step out of line. That’s what happens.” Now, what they would do in the pagan societies, they would do that and then they would leave them there for months, maybe. Basically, until the body was decomposed. And the point of this commandment is saying, “You can put him up as a warning to people. But only until the evening. Don’t leave the body until the morning.”

Jono: “... shall not remain overnight on the tree, you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which Yehovah your God is giving you as an inheritance, for he who is hanged is accursed of God.” How do we understand that?

Nehemia: It’s a curse not to be buried. This is apparently the message here.

Jono: But it’s he who is hanged. It’s not he who is not buried.

Nehemia: Well, the point is that somebody... the point of the hanging is to leave the body exposed. And we can actually see this over in, I believe it’s 2 Samuel 17, when there’s a situation where, basically David has to do this to a number of people who are of Saul’s descendants who had violated the treaty with the Gibeonites. To satisfy the Gibeonites, they’ve got to punish them according to the Gibeonite fashion. Now, the Gibeonites had these pagan practices, and so they left the bodies out for the birds and the animals of the fields to come and feed upon them. Actually, there was a woman who came - one of the relatives - and was driving off the birds. Basically, the point was to leave the body exposed. The fact that it was hanging on a tree was just so that it’d be more visual - that it’d be a place where you could see it. The important point is that the body is exposed, and it could be eaten by the animals. And that is telling us that to be exposed like that is a curse. That’s how I read it.

Jono: Okay.

Nehemia: Maybe there’s a Methodist take on it.

Keith: We’ll wait for that.

Jono: “For he who is hanged is accursed of God.” Chapter 22, “You shall not see your brother’s ox or his sheep going astray and hide yourself from them; you shall certainly bring them back to your brother. And if your brother is not near you, or if you do not know him, then you shall bring it to your own house, and it shall remain with you until your brother seeks it; and then you shall restore it to him. You shall do the same with his donkey, and you shall do also with his garment; with anything that your brother has lost.” Kind of a lost-and-found, right? “And you shall do likewise; you shall not hide it.”

Keith: I have a question here, guys. I’d like to confess something. I’ve got a dog in our neighborhood that... there’s a couple of dogs in our neighborhood. One of them is the neighbor’s dog. He’s not a very good dog. He barks a lot. But then, there’s this other dog that someone has...

Nehemia: That’s what he’s supposed to do. That’s his job.

Keith: In the middle of the day, he’s barking, and in the middle of the night. So, the other guy lets his dog go, and the dog decided to come over to my garbage can and to knock it over, and to go through and pick what he wanted. And the rest, he flew all over the driveway. So, would it be...

Jono: Cute.

Nehemia: That’s adorable.

Keith: Would it be outside of Torah for me to have gotten my BB gun and to shoot the dog? Because that’s exactly what I did. I’m telling you right now…

Nehemia: No, you didn’t really do that…

Keith: Of course I did; I shot him. And then, he’s never been back since. And this was a way of training the dog. If you come to my area, over here, and you start taking my garbage out, you’re going to get shot. I just want to know if I broke the Torah. It doesn’t say anything about dogs. And it doesn’t say anything about trying to train the dog not to come and... that’s what I want to know. Have I done some terrible thing? Do I need to repent? I haven’t seen him since.

Nehemia: Yeah.

Keith: Jono.

Nehemia: We should move on.

Keith: What happened to Jono?

Nehemia: I think he’s having a laugh attack. Is this the Toronto blessing that’s overcome you, Jono?

Keith: I don’t get it. You must not erase this. I’m trying to figure out if there’s anything that I’ve done.

Nehemia: You shot a dog?

Keith: No, I didn’t shoot him with a bullet. I just shot him with a BB gun. I wanted to train him. “Don’t mess with my garbage can.”

Jono: So, the dogs shall hear and fear.

Keith: Okay. I wanted to ask that question. Let’s just move on.

Nehemia: I just think it is worth mentioning, joking aside, that the verse we just read, Deuteronomy 22:1, is talking about the ox of your brother. I don’t know that it would apply to a dangerous animal. Like, if you have a dog that you don’t know, as potentially dangerous, I don’t think you’re required to go and put the pitbull on a leash and bring him back to...

Jono: Well, it says, doesn’t it? I mean, if there’s a dog that’s been known to bite in the past or an ox that’s been known to gore in the past, then it’s the owner’s fault. And the ox should be put to death.

Nehemia: But especially with a dog; if you don’t know, then you’ve got to assume that it’s dangerous. And this isn’t a dog-lover…

Jono: That’s what you assumed, isn’t it, Keith?

Keith: I think I didn’t?

Nehemia: He was messing with your...

Keith: He found my Harry Potter books in the garbage can.

Nehemia: Spirit of Harry Potter. I knew it… that’s why he did it.

Jono: Where we are now? Alright, look. Exodus 23:4. Now, before I read that. It goes on to say, “You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fall down along the road, or hide yourself from them; you shall surely help him lift them up...” And then, it says... and it just reminded me of that. And it goes further, of course. In Exodus, it talks about not just your brother, it talks about, Keith, your enemies. It says in... where is it?

Nehemia: 22:5.

Jono: You’ve really thrown me, Keith, I’ll tell you what. “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. And if you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden and you would refrain from helping it; you shall surely help him with it.” I just think it’s grand.

Keith: Yeah.

Jono: “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to Yehovah your God.”

Keith: Just a second. Now, guys, listen. We have done so well. We have done really well. Come on, now. We have really done a good job walking the tight rope here. I mean...

Jono: We’ve been kind of politically correct, haven’t we?

Keith: Yeah. I think we really have.

Nehemia: We have?

Keith: But there’s got to be some... no, no. There’s got to be some other way of...

Jono: You’re waving the flag in front of...

Keith: No, no. Hold on. There’s got to be some... and ladies and gentlemen, if you could imagine all of us being together in the same room, we’d never get through a Torah portion. So, we’ve got Nehemia looking where he’s looking... Keith looking away, and Jono laughing. Here, we get into this verse. And so, I want to see if there’s a way around this. I want to see if there’s a work-around.

Jono: Do you want to wear a dress?

Keith: A work-around. No, I want to do a work-around here.

Jono: Yeah.

Keith: So, is there some... maybe it’s a translation issue here.

Nehemia: Well, can we talk about the way this verse has been interpreted by some people, which I’m pretty sure is wrong?

Keith: That’s what we should do. There we go, Nehemia. Thank you.

Nehemia: So, let’s start with one of the ancient rabbinical interpretations which literally says, “And there shall not be the garment of a man upon a woman.” And what they interpret that to mean is that it is actually talking about armor. Because it could also translate as, “a vessel of man upon a woman”. Meaning, the tool of a man upon a woman. So actually, there are some orthodox Jews to this day, in Israel, where everyone serves in the army, where they say that the women can’t serve in the army because of this verse. This is the verse they point to. Even though, obviously, men’s uniforms and women’s uniforms are different. Their point is that this is talking about dressing in any kind of military fashion, which is certainly not something that, I think, any normal person would ever guess, that that’s what it means.

Jono: I wouldn’t have come up with that one.

Nehemia: Me neither. The other one I’ve heard... and this, I’ve heard from... correct me if I’m wrong, I think I’ve heard this from some Christians, who say that this is why women can’t wear pants. We heard that.

Jono: I have heard that one. That’s... yeah.

Keith: I haven’t heard it from this verse. I’ve heard it from other verses, but I would disagree.

Nehemia: Well, I’ve heard it from this verse. Then, there’s some ultra-Orthodox Jews who’d say the same thing, because of this verse, that women can’t wear pants. I think that actually highlights an important point of understanding this verse. If you went back a hundred years ago, women didn’t wear pants. So, for a woman to put on the pants - at least in America, I don’t know about in Australia - that would have been considered men’s clothing. Whereas today, women do wear pants. The point is that this is talking about, I think, is one gender dressing up to look like the other gender.

Keith: And here comes the controversy.

Nehemia: In Scotland, men wear those dresses.

Jono: Kilts.

Nehemia: Yeah, those skirts. Kilts. That’s legitimate, because that’s part of their culture. So, there’s actually a cultural element here. Now, I would argue that if a man puts on an eyeliner, and eyeshadow, and fake eyelashes, and lipstick, but he’s wearing jeans and a t-shirt, he’s still violating this commandment because he’s making himself look like a woman.

Keith: I want to say to Nehemia that I appreciate taking that just a little bit further. And I would like to confess, I’ve called Nehemia a liberal on the show, and I’d like to apologize. I don’t think he’s a liberal. What I mean is, I think you take a really fair view toward Scripture in terms of the balance. No, I seriously want to say this. I think that you really do that. But, let’s just deal with this verse for a second. So, here’s the question that I have. If a woman says, “I want, to the best of my ability, via outer garment or whatever else that I wear... I really want to send the message that I’m dressing like a man.” Would that apply to this verse?

Nehemia: I would say if it’s in a way that hides her femininity and makes people think, “Okay. This looks like a man. Or it looks like a woman dressed up like a man.” Then, yeah, we’ve got an issue.

Keith: Okay. Alright.

Nehemia: In other words, the whole point here is that... I mean, we all know what it is when a man dresses up like a woman. In our society, that’s...

Jono: That’s a little more obvious.

Keith: Yeah. That verse… can a man dress... we find that in the Torah…

Nehemia: What do you mean? It’s the same verse. It says, “... the garment of the man shall not be upon the woman, and man shall not wear the dress of a woman.”

Jono: Nehemia, what you’re saying, and Keith - I guess both of you are saying - that this is a culturally sensitive verse. Regardless of where you are in the world, if you intend to wear the opposite sex, or what is regarded as the clothing of the opposite sex, or present yourself in the fashion that the opposite sex presents themselves, then you are violating this Torah. Is this fair enough?

Nehemia: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Jono: There we go. Okay.

Keith: So, here’s a question that I have. One of the great things... and I want to bring this... this is really, really, quite an awesome situation that I had. We were in Israel during the time of Purim. And one of the things that happens... I remember Nehemia... it was funny because of the way he dealt with this. We were talking about this issue of costumes, and how people dress and all that. And as we were talking about Purim, we were talking about a really... it’s such a powerful time in Israel. For me, it was really powerful to see folks go back into the story from the Book of Esther, and then bring that forward. I could go on and on about that. So, we were talking about this at one point, and a lady entered into our conversation. We were having the conversation. This lady, out of the blue, says... we’re trying to understand Purim. Because we’re going to go to do these celebrations in the next day or two and this lady says, “Oh. It’s just simply Halloween. It’s just like Halloween in the United States.” Well, this caught Nehemia’s...

Nehemia: So, this is one of the things Israelis will do. They always have to give you their opinion, even if they’re not part of the conversation. We don’t know this person, and she’s barging into our conversation.

Keith: And so, Nehemia decided to turn his...

Nehemia: … it’s awkward for me.

Keith: ... turn his attention toward her. He told her, “Look. This is our conversation. Butt your way out. Get out of the conversation.” But one of the things that happened that was really... that kept catching me off guard was... I actually went to two different celebrations. I went to one in Elazar. And then, I went to one in Jerusalem at the church that... I’m sorry… the church. Excuse me.

Jono: The church?

Keith: Sorry, ladies and gentlemen. I went to the synagogue of the rabbi who actually was one of the rabbis who gave us a word of endorsement on the back of A Prayer to Our Father – Hebrew Origins of the Lord’s Prayer. So, we went to that synagogue. And in both situations, I saw this. But one of the things that was prominent, for me, was the whole thing of men that would dress like women. Because over here in the United States, when it’s time to do the Halloween and the kids go out, they’ll dress up like Superman. And then, sometimes they’ll do the witches and whatever. But I was over in Israel, and I was...

Nehemia: Harry Potter.

Keith: Watching this... say it again.

Jono: Harry Potter.

Nehemia: Harry Potter.

Keith: Here it comes, ladies and gentlemen.

Jono: Halloween.

Keith: So, I want to know. So, in the orthodox synagogue that I was in, there were many men that were dressing like women.

Nehemia: Yeah, see, I don’t think that’s okay; I think that’s violation of this verse. Because look, dressing up that way is a tradition. It’s not commanded. To violate a commandment in the Torah to carry out a tradition, then you’ve got a problem. So, I think that’s wrong. I don’t think men should be dressing up like women.

Jono: I’m inclined to agree.

Nehemia: “It’s an abomination”, he says. It’d be like saying, “Well, today we’re going to eat pork. Or today, we’re going to...” do those other things.

Jono: Yeah.

Nehemia: Like, what? What are you talking about? It’s an abomination.

Keith: Wait. I’m trying to... so, I can’t get a fight from you on this one?

Jono: No. I reckon it’s pretty clear cut, Keith.

Nehemia: No, it’s an abomination.

Keith: Because I think that’s...

Nehemia: Look, I don’t think people should be dressing up like witches either. I think that’s also an abomination.

Jono: Amen.

Nehemia: They shouldn’t be dressing up like witches and anything pagan. So, there are people who take Purim and they... and here, I’m willing to admit, some of them have been influenced by Halloween. The original idea of dressing up in Purim is that the roles were reversed. That Haman, who is supposed to hang Mordechai, ended up getting hanged himself. The Jews who were supposed to be the victims ended up becoming the aggressors and defended themselves. And so, it’s a reversal of roles. That’s what’s expressed with the dressing up. Now, that shouldn’t be a license for going out and doing something that’s abominable. And unfortunately, because that is so similar to - or reminds people, I guess - of Halloween, probably the people who own the stores and sell the costumes, you end up with a lot of women who dress up like sluts. I think that’s the exact opposite of what Purim is supposed to be about. Esther is another symbol of dressing up, because she hid who she was. She dressed up like a Persian, and she acted like a Persian. So, there’s another symbol there. But she didn’t make herself into something...

Jono: Cheap.

Nehemia: Yeah. She didn’t cheapen herself - on the contrary. She was noble. So, I think there are people who abuse it. And part of the abuse, I can blame on the Halloween people. I think there’s some legitimate blame there that the Jews… in this instance, we’ve been influenced by negative things - because of the similarities of some of our traditions, some of those other traditions have rubbed off.

Keith: It’s really interesting. The reason I want to bring this up... the synagogue that I went to, an Orthodox synagogue, where the men separate from the women - the women could not sit on the ground level. They had to go and sit up in the balcony. But the reformed synagogue that we went to wasn’t like that. It was mixed. And what I thought was so interesting was, here you had the more Orthodox synagogue where the women couldn’t sit on the main level, but you had a bunch of men dressing like women. It was...

Jono: Yeah. That is bizarre.

Keith: It was bizarre. And the point was just that there’s this rule, “Can’t have the women down here.” But there are the men dress up like... it’s really something. Okay, that’s my Purim story, and we can move on.

Jono: There it is. “If a bird’s nest happens to be before you along the way, in a tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with its young; you shall surely let the mother go, and take the young for yourself, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days.” That’s fair enough. “When you build a new house, then you shall make a...” I’ve got a parapet.

Nehemia: Parapet.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: Which basically means a fence, or a gate, or something. Like a railing.

Jono: A railing. Yeah, a bannister’s sort of a... there you go. A new word. A parapet, “... for your roof, that you may not bring guilt of bloodshed on your household...” Keith, that’s what you need. You need a parapet around your bin.

Keith: Let me tell you guys something. Yesterday, I’m in New York City, as we’re doing this right now. And it’s hot. Today, it’s about 90 some degrees.

Jono: Yeah. I heard it’s a really bad heat wave you’re having.

Keith: It’s a really hot heat wave yesterday and today. So, I’m in New York City. But the day before yesterday, actually, I did a little walk with my wife, and I said, “Hey. I’m going to take you down to the Brooklyn Bridge. And we’re going to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.” I mean, New York’s an amazing city. There’s so many things in New York. But one of the things that we did, we were walking across the Brooklyn Bridge. But for 85 percent of walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, you can’t see outside the bridge. You literally are walking, and they’ve got these walls. And on the side of... so, you’re walking down this boardwalk. I mean, the whole point of walking across the bridge is to see the water.

Jono: The view. Yeah.

Keith: You know, it’s the view. That’s why I’m walking around the... and for 50, 60 percent of it, I’m walking, and I can’t see anything. Other than the people in front of me and this wall they’ve built on both sides. Why did they build this wall? Because now, they’ve got it to the place where you can’t get on the edge of the Brooklyn Bridge and jump over. You can’t jump off the Brooklyn Bridge anymore. They’ve put up a parapet. It’s worse than a parapet. You cannot...

Jono: You can’t even see.

Keith: You can’t even see. And I just thought how dispiriting it was that here you’ve got this Brooklyn Bridge now, where you can’t see it. And the reason… and I’m going way off script here, but I just thought about that, where our society has come that now they had to put this safety net. If I can say, put this safety fence up, because of how many people that were in despair, I guess, that were literally going to the Brooklyn Bridge... you literally can’t do that anymore.

Jono: To end it all, which you’d think... I mean, come on. You have a mash, fence, or some sort of Perspex, or something like...

Keith: No. But you can’t even get to that part of it. You can’t even get to that part.

Jono: Man. But there it is. But to...

Nehemia: Wait. So, what do you do if you want to jump off the bridge? I don’t understand.

Jono: You need to bring some...

Keith: You can’t do it from there. You got to find a different bridge.

Jono: No. You got to bring a rope and an anchor, and you got to sort of sort yourself out.

Keith: You’ve got to go through an entire process.

Jono: You’ve got to learn to scale a wall before you...

Keith: Right. Right.

Jono: Dear me. So then, you don’t bring...

Nehemia: You should dress up like Spiderman before you do that, though.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: Without Purim.

Jono: You know what? I think it was the best advice I ever heard, from Billy Connolly, I think it was, who said, “If you want to jump off a building and end it all, at least go bungee jumping first and see if you’ll like it.”

Nehemia: That’s really funny. That’s hilarious.

Jono: I think that’s erstwhile advice. “ that you don’t bring guilt on your household if anyone falls off. And you shall not sow your vineyard...”

Nehemia: So, this is actually... now that Keith is done with his little story about the Brooklyn Bridge. Can we actually talk about this commandment? Which I think is kind of an important commandment.

Jono: Sure.

Nehemia: You might think it’s trivial. But I think it’s a good example where the commandment isn’t arbitrary, where there’s an obvious principle behind the commandment. And I think it’s incumbent upon us to say, “Okay. This isn’t just about parapets and roofs. It’s really about any situation where a person can be hurt. I’ve got to be responsible for my property, and I’ve got to take precautions to prevent them from being hurt.” I think that’s very important, that the commandments - there are principals behind them. And when there’s an obvious principle, we’ve got to say, “Okay. This isn’t just about that. It’s really about anything that is analogous as well.”

Keith: There it is.

Jono: Which is why I say, Keith, you need to put a parapet around your rubbish bin.

Keith: If I had a parapet, that dog wouldn’t be hit in the butt.

Jono: That’s right. “You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed, lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled. You shall not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” That makes sense. “You shall not wear a garment...”

Nehemia: Whoa, whoa. Let’s stop here. What’s the principle?

Keith: But we’ve got to...

Jono: You’d go around in circles, right?

Nehemia: Let’s be honest here. Nobody here is going to be fine with an ox or a donkey, separately or together, unless we’ve got some people over in - I don’t know – like Bangladesh who are listening on their wireless. So, how does this apply to us? That’s my question. What is the principle behind this commandment that would have any relevance...?

Keith: Wait, wait. First, before we get to the application, let’s let Jono read it, and then let’s go to the application. We get stopped in a halfway, but... read the whole thing.

Nehemia: What do you mean? He just read the verse.

Keith: I didn’t...

Nehemia: … he just read...

Jono: “And you shall not wear a garment of different sorts, such as...”

Nehemia: Whoa, whoa. What are you talking about? Verse 10 is its own thing. Why are we...?

Keith: In NIV, what they do, they have this connected together. This is a thought. This joining together is a thought.

Nehemia: So, in Hebrew, there’s a space in the manuscript that indicates this is a separate thought. It’s a separate…

Keith: That’s what I wanted you to...

Jono: Interesting.

Keith: Listen, I wanted to let the people know. In my NIV, this is connected. In the Hebrew Bible, it’s not. So, I’m trying to do the NIV reading, and Nehemia is saying, “Whoa, whoa.”

Nehemia: So how do they connect?

Keith: I say we stop and look at it. But when I’m reading this here, it says, “Do not plant two kinds of seeds in your vineyard. Do not plow with an ox and a donkey. Do not wear clothes of wool and linen.” So, before we get to the last verse - they’ve connected the last verse - about the tassels... but the other ones, it’s like, “Okay. These are all three things that are connected.” So, if they’re not connected, let’s talk about it. I was trying to get Jono to...

Jono: No, no. That’s good, Keith. Because it does it here, connect it in mine as well. And certainly, when you read it all together, it appears - 9, 10, 11 - there is a mixing, right?

Keith: Exactly.

Jono: There’s a mixing going on.

Nehemia: Well, and that’s the principle of association. “We talked about this. Now, here’s another thing. It’s a little bit similar. Might be a different principle, but it’s kind of similar. Here’s a third thing that sounds similar as well.” But verse 10, what is the principle? Because I can’t tell you what the principle is in verse 11; I honestly don’t know.

Jono: Hybridization.

Nehemia: Hybridization?

Jono: Yeah.

Nehemia: What are you talking about?

Keith: We’ve got Jono. He’s going to tell us about that one. Let’s deal with the one you can’t tell us about…

Jono: There you go.

Nehemia: Right. So, verse 10. “Do not plow with an ox and a donkey together.” I think the principle there - what jumps out for me - is that one of those animals is of a different strength than the other animal. If you plow with them together, you end up essentially torturing an animal. So, the principle that jumps out for me in verse 10 is that one of the animals is of a different strength than the other animal; the ox and the donkey. If you end up plowing with them together, the result is that one of the animals is going to be tortured. Essentially, I believe the principle behind this commandment is cruelty to animals. It’s giving us guidelines not to be cruel to animals, like shooting them in the butt like what Keith has done.

Keith: This is why he wouldn’t let it be connected. He had his agenda.

Jono: When I look at verse 10, I’m thinking, okay. So, you’ve got an ox, which is clearly a much stronger animal than a donkey. I mean, a donkey is a very strong animal, but they’re different heights, they’re different weights. And as you say, Nehemia, one of them is going to be incredibly uncomfortable, more so than the other. And because they’re not equally yoked. And the other thing is that it’s going to really... I was going to use an Aussie word there, but I won’t. It’s going to mess up your field. You’re going to be going around in circles. It’s not going to be straight. And it’s just going to mess it all up. And so, that’s another reason. And it just makes sense. It’s not good farming practice to plow your field in such a way. And everybody knows that if you’re going to have two animals pulling a plow, and you’re plowing the land, you’re going to have two equal animals. And it begs the question, if you’re plowing with two goats, for example, is it okay to plow with a goat and a dog? I would say no. I would say the same would apply.

Keith: I see.

Nehemia: So basically...

Jono: But I’ll tell you what. If you shoot that dog with BB gun, it would go a lot faster.

Keith: That’s right. Right.

Nehemia: So, you’re saying you can’t have a cat and a dog pulling the sled, if you’re in Alaska.

Jono: I would say that the cat and the dog is not an efficient way of pulling a sled. And I don’t think that it displays a notion of wisdom.

Nehemia: What about a Chihuahua and a Husky?

Jono: There you go. Now, there’s two dogs. There it is. That’s very good.

Nehemia: Okay. We’ll have to pray about that one.

Keith: Let’s get to the next verse, so I can hear this application on the next verse.

Jono: Hang on. Let me give you the previous one. The Chihuahua and the Husky, we’ll let that go. “You shall not sow your vineyard with different kinds of seed.” Now, if you sow... I don’t know. You’ve got grapes, and you’ve got your vineyard there, and you’ve got flowers. I don’t think that’s... I don’t know that’s what it’s talking about. What I’m inclined to understand here is two different types of grapes. Because as the pollination takes place... let’s say you’ve got your white wine grapes, your red wine grapes on the other side there; you’re sowing them together. My understanding is that, as they’re pollinated, you’re going to get a seed that is going to produce a mixture of both of those. I don’t know; it seems to me to be like, either have red wine or... have your white grapes, or have your red grapes. But don’t mix it up, if that’s not your intention. It says, “... lest the yield of the seed which you have sown and the fruit of your vineyard be defiled.” The yield of your seed…

Nehemia: It actually says in the Hebrew, “sanctified”.

Keith: Set apart, huh…

Nehemia: Yeah. “Lest the overflow and the seed which you sow, and the produce of the vine become sanctified.” And actually, maybe that we’re talking about planting wheat in between the rows of the vine.

Keith: Okay.

Nehemia: Yeah. That’s what it sounds like to me.

Jono: Verse 11, Nehemia. What do you make of it? I think we’ve touched before, but you’d better give it…

Nehemia: Yeah. So, my take on this is pretty straight forward. Do not wear “shatnez”, which is this foreign loanword - we talked about this when we did Leviticus 19. And then, it defined it here for us. It says wool and linen together. So, that’s essentially a garment or a cloth - a garment made of a cloth - where you’ve got the... what do they call it, the weft? And the... you know, you’ve got like the checker pattern of the strings, of the threads.

Keith: Okay.

Nehemia: So, if one direction is wool, and the other one is linen...

Jono: Is linen, yeah…

Nehemia: You’re not supposed to wear a garment like that. And that’s called “shatnez” in ancient Hebrew, for whatever reason. So, why is that? And here, I don’t know. I don’t have an answer why.

Jono: It’s interesting that - of course in verse 11 - Keith, “such as,” I have. But it’s obviously in italics. The “such as” is not there. And it’s suggested as “such as wool and linen”, as opposed to wool and linen mixed together.

Nehemia: Oh, okay.

Jono: Yeah.

Nehemia: So, the Hebrew does not have “such as”. The wool and linen together is defining it, and this is very common, where Hebrew will give an abstract term followed by the concrete definition. One of my favorite examples is - this is in Exodus 20, or 21, or something - where it talks about it the woman going out for free without money. What do you need “without money” for? You said, “for free”. So, it gives you the abstract, “for free”, and then it defines it - without money. And there’s another place where it says something about a woman being a virgin. She did not know a man. Right? Well, we know it. Why do we need you to say, “She did not know a man”? But that’s the style of Hebrew. It’ll very often give the abstract term “virgin”, followed by the concrete - “She did not know a man”. And here, it’s “shatnez” - wool and linen together.

Keith: That’s why we’ll look at Isaiah 7:14. We’ll look at Isaiah 7:14, at the virgin.

Jono: Wait. What does that...?

Keith: Turn to Isaiah 7:14.

Nehemia: That’s got nothing to do with it.

Jono: That’ll take us on a rabbit trail. You troublemaker. Nehemia, quickly, just very quickly. Just remind everyone. Leviticus 19:19, I’ve got, “You shall keep My statutes. You shall not let your livestock breed with another kind. Nor shall you not sow your field with mixed seed, nor shall a garment of mixed linen and wool come upon you.”

Nehemia: See, it doesn’t say in Leviticus 19:19. What it says is...

Jono: Okay.

Keith: Don’t you remember that, Jono?

Jono: Yeah.

Nehemia: Here, we talked about it. Literally, it says, “a mixed garment - shatnez - shall not be upon you. Shall not go upon you.”

Keith: Okay.

Jono: Yeah. Okay.

Nehemia: It doesn’t define what shatnez is, because, you know, they knew ancient Hebrew. They spoke that language.

Keith: I’d like to give verse 22, if I could. “Make tassels that have 613 commandments in them, on the four corners of your cloak you shall wear.” Now, if you look deeper in the Methodist, there’s a certain way. There’s got to be five knots on the tassels to represent the five books of the Torah.

Jono: What shade...? Is it a shade of blue? I mean, you’ve got your shade of blue.

Keith: Well, we do know earlier about the color blue that should be there. I have no issues with that. But I am looking at how to make the tassels.

Jono: Please.

Keith: And there’s a secret way to do it. And then, it’s my understanding that Nehemia knows the secret way to do it. So Nehemia, would you please...

Nehemia: I do?

Keith: ... tell the people where you got the instructions on how to create the tassels, the Tzitzit?

Nehemia: So, there are no instructions. There are different traditions of how to do it.

Keith: What do you mean, “There are no instructions”?

Nehemia: There are different traditions of how to do it. Now, we know that the word “gedilim” that you’re translating as tassels actually means ropes. The word in Numbers 15 is “tzitzit”, which means like a braid. Or I believe in England, maybe in Australia, they say plaits, like of hair, like where they braid the hair. So, we know it’s... and think about what a rope and a braid have in common. They have some kind of twisty-tie pattern. They’re twisted around each other.

Keith: Wait, wait.

Nehemia: So, that’s all we really know, is that they’re supposed to be twisted around each other and...

Keith: Well, how do you do...

Nehemia: Well, it can be done in many different ways.

Keith: Okay.

Nehemia: It could be done in many different ways. There are different traditions of how to do it.

Jono: So, here’s an opportunity to be creative, right?

Nehemia: Absolutely.

Keith: How could we be creative?

Nehemia: I wouldn’t say one tradition is better than another tradition. As long as they’ve got some blue in there, then we’re good to go.

Jono: Here we are. Okay. Verse 13, it kind of heats up a little bit here. “If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her and detests her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, ‘I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin’, then the father and mother of the young woman shall take and bring out the evidence of the young woman’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. And the young woman’s father shall say to the elders, ‘I gave my daughter to this man as wife and he detests her. Now he has charged her with shameful conduct, saying, I found your daughter was not a virgin, and yet these are the evidences of my daughter’s virginity.’ And they shall spread the cloth before the elders of the city. Then the elders of that city shall take that man and punish him…” rightfully so, “... and they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver and give them to the father of the young woman, because he has brought a bad name on a virgin of Israel. And she shall be his wife; he cannot divorce her all his days.”

Nehemia: Okay.

Jono: That’s what it says.

Nehemia: That’s what it says.

Keith: I wanted to say this is an example where, honestly, when you read this, it doesn’t seem that they’ve... it seems very clear. We don’t have to do a lot of guessing of what we’re talking about here.

Jono: No, it’s pretty clear.

Keith: It’s very clear. Yeah.

Jono: “But if the thing is true, and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones, because she has done a disgraceful thing in Israel, to play the harlot in her father’s house. So you shall put away the evil from among you.” And I suppose the implication there seems fairly clear - that she has played the harlot.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: I’m not so sure it’s all that obvious. Why is she being put to death?

Jono: It would appear because...

Nehemia: What has she done wrong? That’s my question.

Jono: It seems like she’s deceived her father. Right?

Nehemia: Well, she’s deceived her husband. That’s for sure.

Jono: And her husband. And the father believes that she is a virgin. And she hasn’t said anything. The wedding has taken place… the husband believes that she is a virgin.

Nehemia: What’s implied here is that she must have said at some point that she was a virgin, right? Because if she had come and said, “Look. I was riding a horse and...” you know…

Jono: Sure.

Nehemia: “... something happened.” Then he would have no cause against her. I mean, look, that happens. So, I think the implication here is that she was claiming that she was a virgin, and maybe it was even verified at some point that she was a virgin. Here’s something we’ve got to remember - in the Torah, if you’re engaged to a woman, then you’re actually... then, any relation outside of that is adultery, both for her and for you. So, when I read this, it sounds like to me she got engaged as a virgin and then on the wedding night she wasn’t a virgin anymore. That’s why she’s stoned. Because she has obviously committed adultery at some point between when she got engaged and her wedding night. That’s something that comes up later in the passage, about women who are engaged. They have the same obligation of fidelity as a married woman.

Jono: “If a man is found lying with a woman married to a husband, then both of them shall die—the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; you shall put away the evil from Israel. If a young woman who is a virgin is betrothed to a husband, and a man finds her in the city and lies with her, then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry out in the city...” obviously, we’re talking about a populated area, right? “... and the man because he humbled his neighbor’s wife; so you shall put away the evil from among you. But if a man finds a betrothed young woman in the countryside...” not a populated area, right? “... and the man forces her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. But you shall do nothing to the young woman; there is in the young woman no sin deserving of death, for just as where a man rises against his neighbor and kills him, even so is this matter. For he found her in the countryside, and the betrothed young woman cried out, but there was no one to save her.”

Nehemia: So, I think this is a pretty profound passage because basically, it’s saying that for a woman to be raped is like for a person to be murdered. That’s how significant it is. And you don’t blame a murder victim just like you wouldn’t blame a rape victim. That’s pretty profound.

Jono: Amen. “Even so is this matter”. So it says.

Nehemia: There’s an issue here, of course, of how do we know if she’s being raped? So, that becomes the question of, did she have the opportunity to cry out? And if she did, was there anyone there to hear her? So, if this is a dark alley at night and no one is around, even if it’s in a city... and I would say any modern city is basically the equivalent of the countryside in ancient Israel. You could be... there are famous examples where a woman was... there’s the famous example in New York, where the woman was murdered, and it took a long time to murder her, and she was crying out, and nobody came to save her. So, in that respect, I would say the modern city is the equivalent of the ancient countryside. But if you’re in a little village, and the woman screams, everybody comes running.

Jono: Excellent point. “If a man finds a young woman who is a virgin, who is not betrothed, and he seizes her and lies with her, and they are found out, then the man who lay with her shall give to the young woman’s father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife because he has humbled her; he shall not be permitted to divorce her all his days.” Now, we see an example of this, right? This is Jacob’s torture and the prince of Shechem. Is that correct?

Nehemia: I don’t agree. I don’t think that’s the example at all.

Keith: We did a big brouhaha about that.

Jono: We did, didn’t we?

Nehemia: Did we?

Keith: Yeah.

Jono: Okay.

Keith: Yeah. We had a big brouhaha.

Nehemia: Anyway, the question… what is happening in this scenario? Is this an instance of rape? Or is this a situation of seduction? I argue this is about seduction. And the reason I say this... there are two reasons. One is that, almost verbatim, we have the same exact description in Exodus. I remember we actually had an earlier example of this with the straying animal and the animal under the burden, where in Exodus it said the animal of your enemy, and in Deuteronomy, it’s the animal of your friend - of your fellow. So, Exodus and Deuteronomy will often present things slightly differently, but it’s essentially the same sort of scenario.

So, there in Exodus when it describes this, it specifically mentioned the word seduction. It said, “when a man seduces a woman.” Now, here it says, “he grabs hold of her.” Now, does grab hold of her necessarily mean that he’s raping her? I want to turn you to Genesis 39:12. Can you read me what you have in your translation?

Jono: Just before you do, I just want to read that. It’s Exodus 22:16-17. “If a man entices a virgin who is not betrothed, and lies with her, he shall surely pay the bride-price...” which apparently is fifty shekels, “... for her to be his wife. If her father utterly refuses to give her to him, he shall pay money according to the bride-price of virgins.” But am I looking at the wrong verse? Because you’ve mentioned the word seduce.

Nehemia: Well, so yours had the word entice; in Hebrew, it’s seduce.

Jono: Entice. Thank you. Genesis, you were saying…

Nehemia: Yeah. Genesis 39:12. And this is describing the wife of Potiphar going after Joseph. What do you have there?

Jono: 39:12 says...

Keith: “... She caught him by his cloak and said, ‘come to bed with me’. But he left his cloak.”

Jono: Yeah.

Nehemia: Okay. So, the word “caught” there is the exact same word it is in Deuteronomy, where it says, “he grabbed hold of her…” however yours translated that.

Jono: Right.

Nehemia: So, she grabbed him. It literally says, “And she grabbed him by his garment, saying...”

Jono: It’s forcefully.

Nehemia: “Lie with me.” It was forcefully.

Jono: And against his will.

Nehemia: No. She’s seducing him, and he doesn’t want to go for it. He doesn’t go for it.

Jono: Yeah. It’s against his will. Right.

Nehemia: She wasn’t going to rape him, though. I mean... let’s be honest here.

Jono: No, but she’s grabbing him. I suppose it’s like...

Nehemia: She’s grabbing him in passion. She’s passionately grabbing him, and he doesn’t go for it. So, the woman over there in Deuteronomy, she’s being enticed. He’s passionately grabbing hold of her and she can go for it or not. That’s her choice.

Jono: Okay. Verse 30. You know what? We’re almost finished. This is the last verse of chapter 22. “A man shall not take his father’s wife, nor uncover his father’s bed.” Now, who did that?

Nehemia: By the way, in Hebrew, that’s 23:1.

Jono: Oh, really. That’s the first verse of the next chapter. Interesting. Interesting. “... shall not take his father’s wife...” now, was that Reuben?

Nehemia: It sure was.

Jono: There it was. He didn’t score brownie points on that one. Chapter 23, at least in the English, “He who...” oh, man. This just makes me cringe every time I read this. “He who is emasculated by crushing or mutilation shall not enter the assembly of Yehovah.” I don’t think you’d be able to walk, let alone enter. I mean...

Nehemia: Well, what does it mean, “to enter the assembly of Yehovah”? What?

Jono: Keith. Or if he was shot with a BB gun.

Keith: No, no. Come on. I’m doing my best to get through this section. Okay.

Jono: Why does it have to use the word crushing? No, no, no.

Nehemia: My question is, what does this really mean, “to enter into the congregation of Yehovah”?

Jono: Okay.

Keith: The issue is, “enter the assembly”. So, does that mean, “may enter the assembly” to serve? Or, “may enter the assembly” to worship? Or is this a technical term?

Jono: Well, when I read that, I’m thinking... entering into the assembly, I’m thinking of feast days and the holy convocations, things like that. That’s what enters my mind. Nehemia.

Nehemia: Okay. So, we’ve got to look at a passage... this is actually referred to... they referred back to this in Nehemiah 13. So, we’ve got to read that passage.

Jono: Nehemiah, Chapter 13, verse...?

Nehemia: Verses 1,2,3.

Jono: And it says, “On that day they read from the Book of Moses in the hearing of the people, and in it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever come into the assembly of God, because they had not met the children of Israel with bread and water, but hired Balaam against them to curse them. However, our God turned the curse into a blessing. So it was, when they had heard the Law, that they separated all the mixed multitude from Israel.”

Nehemia: Does yours say “mixed multitude”, Keith?

Keith: Give it to me again.

Jono: Nehemiah 13:3.

Keith: Nehemiah 13:3.


Jono: Nehemia’s wall, by the way,, his new website. There it is. Get the new book. It’s called, “Shattering the Conspiracy of Silence: The Hebrew...”

Nehemia: “... Power of the Priestly Blessing Unleashed”.

Keith: There it is.

Jono: Got to get it. If you don’t have it already, what’s wrong with you?

Keith: Alright. Oh. “On that day the Book of Moses was read aloud in the hearing of the people and there it was found written that no Ammonite or Moabite should ever be admitted into the assembly of God, because they had not met the Israelites with food and water but had hired Balaam to call a curse down on them. Our God, however, turned the curse into a blessing. When the people heard this law, they excluded from Israel all who were of foreign descent.”

Jono: Foreign descent.

Nehemia: And there’s another verse we’ve got to look at…

Jono: I’ll just put this into its context. I think I need to read the next few verses. Deuteronomy 23.

Keith: Yeah.

Jono: So while you’re looking for the second one, let me just keep going here. “One of illegitimate birth shall not enter the assembly of Yehovah; even to the tenth generation, none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of Yehovah.” Now, “illegitimate birth”, we’ve got to address that. And it goes on to say, “An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the assembly of Yehovah; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of Yehovah forever, because they did not meet you with bread and water on the road when you came out of Egypt, and because they hired against you Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Mesopotamia, to curse you. Nevertheless, Yehovah your God would not listen to Balaam, but Yehovah your God turned the curse into a blessing for you, because Yehovah your God loves you. You shall not seek their peace nor their prosperity all your days forever.”

Nehemia: Okay. And that’s essentially... the last part is what was being quoted in Nehemiah 13. As a result of reading that in the Torah, they removed all the Erev, which is the mixed, from Israel. It’s not exactly clear mixed what. It goes on to talk about how there was this relationship that one of the priests had with Tobiah. And Tobiah was an Ammonite - it was actually an Ammonite name. We hear about him in other places, Tobias the Ammonite. So, he was essentially kicked out of the Temple. He had been serving there, in the Temple, and was kicked out. So, that’s a reference to it. And the other one is in Ezra 9:1-2. Here, it’s a little bit more clear. So, can we read that?

Jono: Ezra 9:1-2. “When these things were done, the leaders came to me, saying, ‘The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, with respect to the abominations of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians, and the Amorites. For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and their sons, so that the holy seed is mixed with the peoples of those lands. Indeed, the hand of the leaders and rulers has been foremost in this trespass.’”

Nehemia: So, we’ve got a situation here where there intermixing with these idolaters, marrying idolaters. I guess you might say they’re unequally yoked. This becomes a situation where they need to separate from them. Some people look at this and say, “Okay. When it says that an Ammonite and a Moabite can’t come into the congregation of Yehovah, it actually means they can’t marry an Israelite.” That’s one interpretation. The other interpretation is to say that, to come into the congregation of Yehovah means actually to enter into the Temple. That’s actually more consistent with Nehemiah 13, which talks about Tobias having a room in the Temple. And then, the other passage that supports that is Lamentations 1:10, which says, “The adversary has spread out his hand upon all her pleasant things; for she has seen that the heathen entered into her sanctuary, whom You did command that they should not enter into Your congregation.” The phrase is almost exactly what it says in Deuteronomy, “… not to enter into the congregation.”

Jono: Sanctuary, yeah?

Nehemia: And so, entering into the congregation actually would then mean enter into the Temple. So, an Ammonite and a Moabite wouldn’t be allowed to enter into the temple. Which then raises the question; what about Ruth? Ruth the Moabite.

Jono: That is the question.

Nehemia: And so, there are different answers. The rabbinical answer is to say this only applies to the Moabite males, not to the Moabite females. I think that’s ridiculous because we definitely saw that there was an issue with Moabite females in Ezra 9, and I think it’s a different...

Jono: Just let me ask you a question. Let me ask you a question. Because what I’ve got here in the English, “An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter the assembly of Yehovah; even to the tenth generation none of his descendants shall enter the assembly of Yehovah forever.” What is…

Nehemia: All the commandments in the Torah are in the masculine and they also apply to the feminine. So, for example, in the Torah, in Hebrew, when it says, “Thou shalt not murder.” The word, “thou” is actually the masculine form of thou. But obviously, it also means thou in the feminine. So, the fact that it says, “his” doesn’t tell us whether it’s a man or a woman.

Jono: Sure.

Nehemia: All the commandments that are stated in the masculine, unless they’re gender specific commandments, apply to the feminine as well. There are actually specific commandments where it talks about a male. It doesn’t say, “He gets circumcised”. It says, “The male gets circumcised”. So, that’s gender specific and it specifies the gender. Whereas here, this is something that is not... I don’t see how this would not apply to a woman as well. I think the issue with Ruth is that she became an Israelite, and she becomes an Israelite in 1:16. Maybe we can read that. Because that’s a pretty powerful passage. It explains... she’s entering the land of Israel. And... let’s see…

Jono: It says, “To Naomi”.

Nehemia: Yeah. Verse 16.

Jono: “And Ruth said, ‘Entreat me not to leave you, or to turn back from following after you: for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge: and your people shall be my people, and your God my God, And where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. Yehovah do to me, and also more, if anything but death parts you and me.’”

Nehemia: So here, she’s actually saying, “Your God is my God, and your people is my people,” and she’s sealing that with a vow. That’s not just an off-hand statement; she’s saying an actual oath. “So shall Yehovah do to me, and even more,” and that makes it into a vow. That’s a legally binding statement. So, at that point, she joins herself to the God of Israel and the people of Israel. She’s living Isaiah 56. She’s living Isaiah 14, joining the God of Israel, adding herself on to the people of Israel.

Jono: Certainly. But the question is…

Nehemia: At that point, she’s no longer a Moabite, and Deuteronomy 23 doesn’t apply to her anymore.

Jono: But also, an agreement, a covenant, a vow of sorts, does take place prior to that in that she marries an Israelite man.

Nehemia: Well, she marries the Israelite man when she’s in her country, in Moab. And presumably, we don’t know for sure... so, her husband and her brother-in-law both died.

Jono: Yes.

Nehemia: So, I don’t know that they were necessarily the most-righteous men. Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t. We don’t really know. But we do know, at this point, she is... and her sister-in-law... when the mother-in-law says to both of them, “Go back to your people,” the sister-in-law says, “Okay. You’re right. I need to go back to my people.” And she goes back to her people.

Keith: Right.

Nehemia: Ruth says, “No. Your people are my people, and your God is my God. I don’t have any other people or any other God.”

Keith: Amen.

Jono: There it is. Verse 7. “You shall not abhor an Edomite, for he is your brother. You shall not abhor an Egyptian, because you were aliens in his land. The children of the third generation born to them may enter the assembly of Yehovah.”

Keith: Okay. We have to at least ask one question. The significance of the tenth generation. So, is the tenth generation legitimately counted to the tenth generation, or does the tenth generation represent the same as for a long time?

Nehemia: No. It says, “Ad olam”. Forever.

Keith: Okay.

Nehemia: So, saying “to the tenth generation” just means... “even to the tenth generation”, it basically just means forever…

Keith: There it is.

Nehemia: … because the verse in verse 4, it repeats that.

Keith: Yes.

Nehemia: And ten is basically just a whole number. It’s rounding off. It’s not necessarily 13.5 generations. It’s not…

Jono: Sure.

Keith: That was the Methodist softball while I was pitching... I was pitching the Methodist softball... Nehemia.

Nehemia: Hey, we skipped the illegitimate child in verse 3. What do you have about the illegitimate child?

Jono: Yes. Let’s go back there. Verse 1 in mine.

Nehemia: Oh, okay. So...

Jono: Keith, what do you have? You got “illegitimate child”, Keith?

Keith: Verse... which one?

Nehemia: I think it’s verse 2 with him.

Jono: 23:2.

Keith: “No one born of a forbidden marriage.”

Jono: Woah. Okay.

Nehemia: So, let’s put it on the table. The word in Hebrew is “mamzer”, and if you have children listening, you might want to turn this off. Or fast-forward. So, “mamzer” is the Hebrew word that normally is translated “bastard”. Now, what is the historical Jewish definition of bastard? And when I say “historical”, I really mean rabbinical definition. The rabbinical definition of bastard is somebody born of a forbidden marriage. Exactly what Keith’s translation says.

Jono: Oh, the NIV wins points again.

Nehemia: Well, not so fast.

Jono: Oh, okay.

Nehemia: We’re not there yet. Hold on. So, I have no problem looking at historical sources and seeing how things were traditionally interpreted, but it’s got to fit scripture. And you’ll see in a minute, this doesn’t. Okay. So, “mamzer” in the rabbinical sense means somebody who’s born of forbidden marriage, which could be adultery, it could be incest. Those are basically the two main categories; incest and adultery. Now, let’s talk about the Christian definition of bastard because this confuses a lot of people. They’ll say, “Oh. My mother wasn’t married when...” and therefore I’m a bastard and I can never come into the congregation of Yehovah.

No. So, the Christian definition of bastard is anybody born out of wedlock. In Judaism, if the man has sex with the woman and impregnates her then, essentially, they’re married. Unless he’s married to somebody else. Is that the correct definition? Now, I looked at this years ago. I did some research on this and I found out that the earliest rabbinical sources that talk about “mamzer”, about this term, they actually didn’t know what that meant. They actually talk about... they say, “We don’t know what this word means. We forgot the meaning.” And then they talk about how some rabbi found a scroll, and based on that scroll, they think it means an illegitimate child. So, this isn’t an actual ancient tradition, this is something that the rabbis said that they actually forgot the tradition of what it meant, and then claimed to have recovered it, allegedly.

Now, let’s see if that really fits with what we find in Scripture. So, this word appears twice in the Hebrew bible, in the Tanakh. The second one is in Zachariah 9:6, and it’s talking about how there’ll be the situation where the Philistines will be conquered. And it says, “And the bastard...” or literally, it says, “And the mamzer shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the glory of the Philistines.” That’s what it says in the Hebrew. What do you have in your English, Zachariah 9:6?

Jono: “A mixed race shall settle in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.”

Nehemia: Wow. That’s... “a mixed race.” Oh, boy. Wow. I don’t even know what to say about that.

Jono: Keith, what do you got? What do you got in...?

Nehemia: No, no. I got to say something about Jono’s translation. Because Jono’s translation... not Jono’s fault, but Jono’s translation is reflecting - how do I put this lightly? - essentially a racist ideology of the 17th century or so. Or the 19th century. Am I wrong about that? I mean, that’s what it sounds like to me. I mean, this idea of a mixed race... help me out here, Keith.

Keith: Yeah. I think Jono’s definitely going down the slippery slope there.

Jono: Keith, what have you got in 9:6?

Keith: So, you want to go to Ezra 9:6?

Jono: No. This is Zechariah 9:6.

Keith: Okay. I’m sorry. Zechariah 9:6. It says, “The foreigners will occupy Ashdod.”

Nehemia: The King James says, “And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod”, which becomes almost ridiculous. It makes it sound like there’s this army of bastards who are going to conquer Ashdod from the Philistines.

Keith: How many more times are you going to use that word? That’s all I want to know.

Nehemia: I’m using it in a legitimate context here. So, it makes no sense that this army of children of adultery are going to conquer Ashdod. It makes absolutely... I mean, it’s ridiculous. And because of this, some of the Jewish Bible commentators in the middle ages, they said, “Wait a minute. Mamzer doesn’t mean bastard. What mamzer actually means, it’s a compound word - ‘Mum-zar’, which means a foreign blemish.” And this may have actually been the name of one of the tribes that lived in the Negev desert. They then came out of the desert, burst out of the desert, and conquered Ashdod. And that’s actually...

Jono: So, it’s actually... it’s possibly the name of a people. That’s what you’re saying.

Nehemia: Yeah. We had a series of nations. We got the Edomite, and the Ammonite, and the Moabite, and the Mamzer. And that makes more sense. The army of... the other interpretation, what the King James has, makes absolutely no sense. Why would there be an army of... all the people in that army are of that heritage. Makes no sense.

Jono: Well, let me read to you what I’ve got in my little study notes here in the New King James Study Bible. I’ve got “‘illegitimate birth’ may refer to the offspring of an illicit cultic union such as the children of a temple prostitute”. Now, where would they get that from? Does that ring a bell at all?

Nehemia: It sounds like they just made that up.

Jono: Okay. There you go.

Keith: I’m telling you, folks. It’s the Hebrew Bible, then the NIV.

Jono: The NIV.

Nehemia: The NIV isn’t so bad. NIV kind of got it this time. They said, “a foreigner”. That actually could be “mum zar”, which is the foreign blemish.

Jono: Another point to the NIV.

Nehemia: They’re on the ball for that one. But did they get it in Deuteronomy 23? And the answer is no. Why would you translate it one way in this verse, and another way in that verse?

Jono: Sure.

Nehemia: And what it shows is that Deuteronomy isn’t saying that children of forbidden unions aren’t allowed into come to the congregation of Yehovah. It says, why would Yehovah punish the children for something that their father and mother did? It doesn’t make any sense.

Jono: Amen. And then, it comes up later on as well. That’s the Torah Pearl. Thank you for that, Nehemia. “When the army goes out against your enemies, then keep yourself from every wicked thing. If there is any man among you who becomes unclean by some occurrence in the night, then he shall go outside the camp; he shall not come inside the camp. But it shall be, when evening comes, that he shall wash with water; and when the sun sets, he may come into the camp. Also you shall have a place outside the camp, where you may go out; and you shall have an implement among your equipment, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig it and turn it over and cover your refuse, for Yehovah your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give your enemies over to you; therefore your camp shall be holy, that He may see no unclean thing among you, and turn away from you.”

Keith: It’s obvious to me that if there’s a next show, the control translation will be the NIV. Now, I’m just telling you...

Jono: What have you got, Keith?

Keith: I’m just telling you.

Jono: What have you got?

Keith: And this point, the New King James Version is out of control. It’s so...

Jono: What have you got there?

Keith: I’m just kidding. Not really... just kidding. You’re okay.

Jono: Come on, New King James. We’ve got to square a few more points. We can’t let Keith win this …

Nehemia: Yeah.

Jono: In the series. Okay. “You shall not give back to his master the slave who has escaped from his master to you. He may dwell with you in your midst,” Interesting, “in the place which he chooses within one of your gates, where it seems best to him; you shall not oppress him.” So, if the slave makes it out and he esc... is that kind of like making it to the embassy?

Nehemia: I want to ask something that we might need to edit out. Let’s talk about something uncomfortable. Okay? So, there was slavery in America in the south, right? And a lot of the Christians in that time actually tried to justify this from the Bible. How did they explain this verse?

Keith: They didn’t read it.

Nehemia: They just flat-out didn’t read it.

Keith: No.

Jono: Okay. Alright. So it is what it is.

Nehemia: Guess so.

Jono: “There shall be no...” now, I’ve got... okay. I’ve got a few asterisks here, Nehemia. So, I want to read...

Keith: Or if they could read it, they then said, “This is Israel, not America.”

Jono: Yeah. I guess so. Take out the good bits. Apply those. “There shall be no ritual harlot of the daughters of Israel, or a perverted one of the sons of Israel.” Couple of...

Nehemia: What? Come on.

Jono: Couple of asterisks in there. No, that’s what it says, Keith.

Nehemia: What do you have in yours, Keith?

Jono: 17. Verse 17 of chapter 23.

Keith: Okay. 17. “No Israelite man or woman is to become a shrine prostitute. You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male prostitute into the house of Yehovah your God to pay any vow, because Yehovah your God detests them both.”

Nehemia: So, what it literally says is... so, we have the word in Hebrew “kdesha”. And “kdesha” is a female temple prostitute. And the masculine form is “kadesh”. So, it says, “There shall not be a female temple prostitute of the daughters of Israel, nor shall there be a male temple prostitute of the sons of Israel.” And then, it says in the next verse, “You shall not bring the hire of a prostitute or the price of a dog to the house of Yehovah your God for any vow, for an abomination of Yehovah your God is both of them.”

Now, where did they get the male prostitute? So, a lot of grammarians and experts of ancient Hebrew say that ‘dog’ is actually a euphemism for male prostitute. They actually find that in some Canaanite writings. And they say also from the context here, it makes sense that if you have the kdesha and the kadesh - the female prostitute and the male prostitute - and in the next verse, we have the “zona” - the female prostitute - you would have the “kelev” being the male prostitute. Maybe.

Keith: There it is.

Nehemia: You got to ask yourself, why would somebody bring the price of a dog to the temple? Let’s go back - why would somebody bring the hire, the wage, of a female prostitute to the temple? Why would they bring that? Because they’re hiring her for her services through the temple. So, that actually supports the idea that the dog is actually the male prostitute.

Keith: Yes.

Jono: Makes sense. “You shall not charge interest to your brother—interest on money or food or anything that is lent out at interest. To a foreigner you may charge interest, but to your brother you shall not charge interest, that Yehovah your God may bless you in all to which you set your hand in the land which you are entering to possess. When you make a vow...”

Nehemia: Wait. So, hold on. We got to stop here. This is my favorite example of the principle of association between two commandments, and I’m sure I’ve brought this before. The Hebrew word for interest is actually “neshech”, which literally means ‘the bite’. So, you can translate it as “biting interest”. So, this isn’t just any interest. This is usury. Usurious interest. Biting interest. And why does this commandment appear after the previous one? Because in the last commandment, in the last verse, we had a dog. And here, we’ve got biting. This is how people remembered it.

Jono: Excellent.

Nehemia: And that dog might even bite if you shoot it in the butt with a BB gun!

Keith: That’s right. I knew there was a reason that I didn’t like that dog. It was a male prostitute, and that’s why I shot it in the butt.

Jono: That’s why you shot it in the butt. Get out of my garbage.

Nehemia: Get off of my Harry Potter videos.

Jono: “When you make a vow to Yehovah your God, you shall not delay to repay it; for Yehovah your God will surely require it of you, and it would be sin to you. But if you abstain from vowing then it shall not be a sin to you. That which has gone from your lips you shall keep and perform, for you voluntarily vowed to Yehovah your God what you have promised with your mouth.” And we’ve touched on that before. “When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes...” oh, that’s so cool.

Jono: Do you know my neighbor has a vineyard? He’s got a really nice vineyard.

Keith: I can’t wait to get there.

Jono: Yeah, yeah. I’ll tell you. Good wine, I’ll tell you. “... you may eat you fill of grapes at your pleasure, but...” you’re not taking a bag in there, and sort of cleaning up. “When you come into your neighbor’s standing grain,” which he also has, “you may pluck the heads with your hand, but you shall not use a sickle on your neighbor’s standing grain.”

Nehemia: So, you can eat while you’re there, but you can’t go harvesting it and collecting it and taking it home. That’s basically what it’s saying.

Keith: And so, I want to bring up something, and this is not an under-the-bus situation. This is an Israeli versus a Methodist tradition. So, Nehemia and I, when we were in... you know, we’re coming to the end of the Torah Pearls, so I have to bring up stuff from just way back. So, just bear with me. I know that we don’t have a lot of time. But one of the things that we would do is we would always prepare for the next day. He’s a list guy. He’s got lists. He decides what we’re going to do. And one of the things we would do is we would go eat breakfast when we were up at the Galilee, we’d go up and eat breakfast. And it’s a buffet, Jono. You go in. You can eat as much as you want. It’s a buffet. No, they tell you ahead of time. You can have as much as you want.

Nehemia: All you can eat.

Keith: It’s all you can eat.

Jono: Take me to that place, Keith.

Keith: Now, here’s… Jono. No, here’s what... we’re going to go to this place. I’m telling you. We’re going to go to this hotel in the Galilee. I’m going to take you down in the morning, and I’m going to ask you a question. I take you down in the morning, and I say, “Jono, you can have whatever you want.” What are you going to do?

Jono: I’m going to get a plate.

Keith: You’ll eat whatever you want.

Jono: Yeah.

Keith: Okay. But after you’re done eating, are you going to get a bag?

Nehemia: I made a sandwich. I decided to take it with me.

Keith: So, I said to Nehemia, “You can’t take lunch from breakfast.” He’s like, “Yes, I can.” I’ve been waiting...

Nehemia: Look, you’re in Israel.

Keith: No, listen. I’ve been waiting for a Torah verse that I can come to to rebuke him. Nehemia, you can’t go to your neighbor’s house and fill up a bag.

Nehemia: Yeah, but that’s different. I actually paid for this food.

Keith: Okay. Okay. Well, guess what, guys? He was right. Because I ended up asking him for some of his lunch.

Jono: I don’t know this guy. This guy, I don’t know him. I’m going over here now.

Keith: I’m tired. Let’s go.

Jono: Alright. Here we are. Chapter 24. We’re getting along here. Okay. Let me go through the four verses here. “When a man takes a wife and marries her, and it happens that she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some uncleanness in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, when she has departed from his house and goes and becomes another man’s wife, if the latter husband detests her and writes her a certificate of divorce, puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter husband dies who took her as his wife, then her former husband who divorced her must not take her back to be his wife after she has been defiled; for that is an abomination before Yehovah, and you shall not bring sin on the land which Yehovah your God is giving you as an inheritance.” Keith.

Keith: What I’d like to do is I want to try something completely different than what we normally would discuss here. I want to ask this question for both Jono and Nehemia. What is this issue... in the United States, what happens is that if you have a divorce, you split up the property, and in many cases, if you have children, often times in the United States, the wife will keep the house and the children, and the man’s got to work it out somewhere else. So, what is this concept of “out of his house”? Where does this “his house” thing come from? I want to throw this out. I want to give you a softball. What does this mean where he can say, “leave my house”?

Nehemia: So, the house doesn’t even really belong to him. He inherited it from his fathers who inherited it from their fathers. And even if he wanted to sell it, it goes back to him at the jubilee year. And so, she can’t get it through divorce. It belongs to his family.

Keith: So, that is such an amazing concept. Because here is what usually happens in the tradition that I come from; we look for reasons for why man becomes dominant, or why man becomes the final word, or why man becomes the issue. And this would be read in many denominations, as “his house”, this means... it has nothing to do with what you said, Nehemia. It’s all got to do with the fact that it’s male, and male therefore means, “the house”.

Jono: Now, that’s brilliant, Keith. I’m glad that you brought that up.

Keith: Because I think what Nehemia just brought up is something that wouldn’t be thought of. I don’t think it would be thought of, if you were to go on and bring that up. If Nehemia was invited to a church and they were discussing this topic, and they’d say... so, the woman would say, “Well, my husband told me I had to leave the house because he is the head of the house, and that therefore means that if he owns the house, everything in the house is his, and I have to leave the house for that reason. And that’s the biblical precedent by which he would claim his authority.” Nehemia, you wouldn’t come from that perspective. You would come from the perspective of what you just said. Am I correct?

Nehemia: I think that’s the context here, yeah. Now, can I bring up the real controversy?

Keith: Oh, boy.

Jono: Sure.

Keith: Look…

Nehemia: Oh, we’ve talked about this? We don’t need to go into Malachi 2 and that stuff? We’ve done that?

Jono: I do believe...

Keith: I don’t think we’ve done that. Did we do that?

Nehemia: Did we do that on Torah Pearls, though? Or we did it when we talked about... we talked Moses getting divorced. But we’ve got to talk about it here again. That was so many months ago, I don’t even remember. How are the people going to remember? But I wanted to talk about Malachi chapter 2. And before we get to that, can we talk about King Henry? King Henry the 8th?

Jono: Oh. King Henry the 8th.

Nehemia: For those who don’t... I mean, come on. Okay, so, those who don’t know the history… the Catholic Church obviously says it’s forbidden to divorce. And King Henry the 8th wanted to get divorced from whoever - Catherine of Aragon. So, he broke off from the Catholic Church, started his own Church of England, and was allowed to get divorced. So, here’s my question. And this is...

Jono: It’s a little more... it’s a little more complicated than that. He beheaded his wives. And this is what...

Nehemia: Not Catherine of Aragon. He just divorced Catherine of Aragon. He beheaded the second one that he married. Whoever he... whatever… he had a whole bunch of wives…

Jono: There was a bunch of them.

Nehemia: … but the beheading was after he already broke off from the Catholic Church. So, the question I have is - and this is really a question of information - what is the deal in Christianity with divorce, when... I know the catholics say you can’t get a divorce. So, they have the legal fiction. They’ll say, “it was annulled” after three children. So, what is the deal in Protestantism, where you two guys come from, with divorce? What’s that about?

Jono: I’ll let you field that one, Keith.

Keith: Chapter 25. Deuteronomy 25...

Nehemia: No, no. Wait. Are Methodists allowed to get divorced? That’s my question. Is that a bad question?

Keith: Here’s the thing. Can I just put it this way? If you read the New Testament, then the context... if you read it within a vacuum, you can’t get divorced. There are many denominations who have found ways to work this out - your reasons for getting divorced. In other words, if I got divorced because my wife cheated on me, you’re okay. But if I got divorced because I was tired of her, or we couldn’t work it out - irreconcilable differences - then you can’t leave in certain places. And this is not the Methodist church. The Methodist is as liberal as my friend. They have all sorts of... I’m just kidding.

No, no. My point is that many denominations have an approach where they say it’s based on... and I mean, if we really have to open this door, we’d have to go over every issue of what the divorce is based on. Is it based on unfaithfulness, or is the divorce based on irreconcilable differences? My point is that if we do what we’ve done through Torah Pearls, we would actually have to have an entire section after two hours of Torah Pearls where we go into the New Testament - and I’ve done this - and look at every single verse as it pertains to divorce.

But I can say this generally - the general concept is this: divorce is not something that God wants. They would quote, “He hates divorce”, which is another discussion. And they would say, “This is something we just wouldn’t do.” Unless he or she committed adultery within the context of the marriage, and then you’re free to kick’em to the curb. So, that’s the short answer.

Jono: And there’s a couple of passages in Matthew, I believe, that are used to support that argument. And then, there’s one in Luke as well - 16:18. “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery.” And there’s a few other passages as well. Also, in Corinthians, Paul mentions something rather really difficult to reconcile...

Nehemia: What I think is interesting in Deuteronomy 24, since that’s the passage we’re on, Deuteronomy 24, is that there’s a situation here which is an abomination. We’ve been harping the last couple of weeks on abominations.

Keith: Yes. Yes. That’s a big word.

Nehemia: And here in verse 4 we’ve got... in the Hebrew. Is that verse 4 in your English?

Jono: Yeah. Verse 4.

Nehemia: “Her first husband who sent her away,” or who divorced her, “shall not be able to once again take her to be his wife because she has been defiled; for it is an abomination before Yehovah.” So, what is the... the abomination isn’t her getting divorced in the first place. The abomination is... nobody wanted that to happened, but it happened. The abomination would be for the first husband to go back and take her after she’s been with another...

Jono: After she’s become another man’s wife. Yeah.

Nehemia: Exactly. That’s the abomination. And what that shows you is, very clearly, she is allowed to marry another man. She just can’t go back to the first husband - according to the Torah, of course.

Jono: So, the question becomes... and focusing on verse 4, the question does become - why specifically is this an abomination? Can we be conclusive in regards to this verse?

Nehemia: I mean, to me it’s kind of obvious. And here is the thing; he can take her back as long as she hasn’t been with another man. That happens all the time. People get divorced, and they’re apart for a year, and they say, “You know what? Let’s give this another shot.”

Jono: Okay. So, what you’re saying...

Nehemia: So, once she’s been with another man, she’s defiled for that man.

Jono: What you’re saying is this; if she’s been dating, if she has spent the night, then even though they’re not married, he can’t take her back.

Nehemia: That’s how I look at it.

Jono: Okay.

Nehemia: I think that’s clear. She’s been defiled for the first husband because she’s been with another man. And to me, it’s obvious why.

Jono: Well, now. Let me ask you another question. That’s another question. What if in one’s youth, their wild youth... and a man takes a woman who is defiled to be his wife - hasn’t been married before but is defiled - and takes her... I mean, we see the example of Hosea, right?

Nehemia: Right. But you’re missing it, I think. Because it’s not that she’s defiled. She’s defiled for that first husband. Because he’s been with her, and then she went with another man, then she can’t come back with him. That’s the point.

Now, we’ve got to look at Malachi. I know we did this before, but we’ll do it real quick. Chapter 2. It is in... where is it? I had it right in front of me. I know we did it before, so we’ll just do verse 16, okay? “For I hate divorce, says the LORD.” Right? That’s what your translations have. That’s not what it says in Hebrew.

Keith: What are you talking about... you can’t mess with this. Nehemia, this is the sacred vow. You can’t...

Nehemia: It’s not what it...

Keith: ... with the verse.

Nehemia: What it literally says...

Jono: Here’s what I’ve got. It says, “For Yehovah God of Israel says that He hates divorce, for it covers one’s garments with violence,” which is an incredibly confusing phrase. “Covers one’s garments with violence.” How is that to be? But before we even get to that - “hates divorce.” What are you saying?

Nehemia: So, what it actually says... by the way, what you just read is an example of indirect speech. Just for those who don’t remember from eighth grade, or whatever it was, there’s direct speech and indirect speech in English. Direct speech is to say, “Keith says, ‘I’m hungry.’” Indirect speech is to say, “Keith says that he is hungry.” Or, “Keith says he is hungry.” So, biblical Hebrew doesn’t have indirect speech. It doesn’t exist.

So, what your translation did is it translated a Hebrew sentence as if it was an English sentence. But what it literally says is “...for he hated divorce,” says Yehovah God of Israel, “and He covered his garment with violence.” Now, violence can also mean corruption. “Says Yehovah of hosts, ‘And be careful for your souls, and do not betray.’” Now, what does betray mean? We could go back to verse 14 and read the whole passage. But basically, what it’s talking about... and like I said, we did this in an earlier Torah Pearls, what it’s talking about here is a man who doesn’t want to divorce his wife, because it’s embarrassing to divorce his wife. They won’t let him up in front of the pulpit if he divorces his wife. And really, it’s just a pain. He doesn’t want to divorce her. He hates to divorce. So, he just takes a girlfriend. Or he takes a second wife. That’s the betrayal that it’s talking about here. And the person...

Jono: So, he’s dealing treacherously with the wife of his youth, which is what it says in the previous verse.

Nehemia: Right… which means to have relations with someone who’s not your wife. So, the betrayal, the treachery here, is that he said, “You know what? I’m not going to divorce her. I’m just going to take a different wife and let her languish.” She can’t go out and marry somebody else, and she doesn’t have a husband who’s acting like a husband. So, she’s stuck in this limbo. That’s the treachery here. And he did that because he hated divorce. The husband is the one who hated divorce. He’s the same one who covered his garments with violence. And garment is often a metaphor for action.

Keith: Do you have any idea the problems that you’re causing right now by giving us what it says in the Hebrew? It’d be so much easier if we could just stay with the NIV that just says, “‘I hate divorce’, says Yehovah God of Israel.”

Jono: Okay. So, let me get this straight.

Keith: Slow down. Slow down.

Jono: No, no. Because, Keith...

Keith: You wanted to open up this...

Jono: I don’t know that we actually...

Keith: He wants to open this... no. I’m telling you he’s got to slow down again. Nehemia - indirect speech, direct speech. Read the verse in Hebrew, translate it in English just the way it says.

Nehemia: “‘For he hated divorce’, says Yehovah God of Israel. ‘And he covered with violence his garment’, says Yehovah of hosts. ‘And now be careful of your souls, and do not betray.’” That’s the literal translation.

Keith: …for the people.

Nehemia: What’s that?

Jono: Let me read what I’ve got. “The LORD God of Israel says that He...” Capital H, I’ve got, Keith. “... He hates divorce.” Now, what Nehemia is saying is that that’s a lowercase H. That He...

Nehemia: It has to be a lowercase H. Because it makes no...

Keith: What do you mean, “there’s no ‘he’”? In my NIV?

Nehemia: ...indirect speech.

Keith: There’s no “he” in my NIV.

Jono: What do you have, Keith?

Keith: “‘I hate divorce’, says Yehovah God of Israel.”

Nehemia: So, they actually changed the Hebrew. In order to translate it that way, they had to change the word “Saneh” - he hated - to “Sanehti” - I hated.

Keith: Well…

Nehemia: Which they had no problem doing because they don’t care what the Hebrew says.

Keith: At the end of Torah Pearls, I’m shutting my NIV, and I’m not using it. Because you have to understand...

Nehemia: This is one for the Haftarah, isn’t it?

Keith: No, no. There’s not going to be any Haftarah. It’s over. Nehemia, you’re making it much more complicated. If we could put this on Yehovah, that He’s the one who hates divorce, we can match this whole thing up. If you’re telling me that the Hebrew says, “No. The man who’s doing these things hates the divorce...” Is that what you’re trying to say?

Nehemia: That’s what it says. The man hated divorce and so he acted corruptly. I mean, violently isn’t the literal translation. It’s “Hamas”. It could be violence, but it’s also corruption. What was his corruption? He said, “I’m just going to go have a girlfriend. I’m going to have a concubine. I’m going to marry another wife.”

Keith: Wait. Let me tell you why this is a big deal, Jono. Because you may not know it over in Australia, but over here in the United States, there are actually people that are beginning to say that yes, in fact, you can go out and find that girlfriend, and you can go out and find that concu... and you can go out and do that. Because if you don’t want to go through the process of divorce... you don’t want to treat your wife… well, you don’t want to treat her in a way that’s respectable or honorable. What you want to do instead is, “Okay. Look. We won’t worry about divorce, so that no one will keep me out of my pulpits. I’ll just have a few girlfriends. And it’ll be fine.” They don’t want to hear this Torah Pearls. They don’t want to hear this verse. This is going to mess up a lot of the new false teaching that’s going on.

Jono: Keith, I’ll tell you. I don’t... Nehemia, I don’t think we... I don’t recall that we did touch on...

Keith: No, we didn’t do that. He’s been waiting the entire year to drop this on us.

Jono: I know this is new to me. So, “...he hates divorce”. Just bring it to me one more time, Nehemia. Okay. “...for it covers his garments...” or it covers one’s garments, or his garments, “with corruption”, or with violence.

Nehemia: “He covers his garment with corruption.”

Jono: Okay. Now, what does that phrase mean? What is that sentence saying?

Nehemia: What that means is he decides to... because he hated divorce, he decided to act immorally. And what did he do? He went... and actually, we skipped verse 14. But let’s read verse 14. So actually, maybe we would want to start in verse 13, it talks about, “the altar is crying”. And he said, “Why?” In verse 14. “Why is the altar crying? Because Yehovah testifies between you and the wife of your youth, whom you have betrayed, that she is your...”

Jono: That she’s your companion. She’s your wife by covenant.

Nehemia: Right. How did he betray her? Well, betrayal in Hebrew means that he had relations with a different woman. That’s what it means to betray a woman.

Jono: Sure. Sure.

Nehemia: I mean, in English it means that as well. “To act treacherously”, “to betray”, is to... he cheated on her. Why did he cheat on her? Because he didn’t want to divorce her. So, he kept her. And you know what? It’s sad, but this happens all the time, that people don’t want to get divorced. It’s socially difficult. And there’s all kinds of other reasons. So, instead of acting morally and with integrity, they go, and they cheat on their wives. And that’s exactly what it’s talking about here.

Jono: Tell you what, we could probably spend hours on this. We really could. In verse 15, “But He did not make...”

Keith: Wait, Jono. I’m calling for a special Torah Pearls on the issue of divorce. This is such an empowerful thing that Nehemia has done. I have to give him many, many kudos for this. And let me tell you something; where I come from, you don’t talk about this. Okay? You just don’t. If it happened, you make sure no one ever hears about it. Because they judge based on a misunderstanding of what divorce is. Now, I will say something controversial, and I wish we could do this on the show, but we’re not going to. It’d be really interesting, and I’ve done it, to take a peek in Hebrew Matthew regarding this issue of what Yeshua says regarding divorce. But that would be for another show...

Nehemia: I think it has to wait. Yeah. Two years from now, we’ve got to do the Hebrew Matthew, after the Haftarah.

Keith: Yeah, we’ll have to do that. Alright. Let’s move on, folks.

Jono: My goodness. Okay. We’re going to have to do... we will do... at some stage in the future, we’re going to have to address this topic specifically because it deserves some serious time. But we’re going to move on. Now, hey. Brilliant. “When a man has taken a new wife, he shall not go out to war,” there you go, “or be charged with any business,” hey, nice. “He shall be free at home one year,” oh, holiday for a year - that’s grand! “And he is to bring happiness to his wife whom he has taken.”

Nehemia: Come on with that.

Jono: Nice.

Keith: In all seriousness, I think this is really, really powerful. And I’m going to tell you why. Because I think when you do get married, there’s probably no more important time... it’s almost like when you have children. Those first five years for your child is the development of your child’s brain and the development of the social… all sorts of things. And I remember making a decision, Jono. And this is connected. I was offered a job before I had my first son. And the man who offered me the job said these words to me. He said, “Listen. For the first one to three years, you won’t have any time for your family. You won’t have any time to be with your children. But after you’ve gotten through those first three years, you’ll be able to have everything you want.” And I pulled up to a friend’s house who had a little daughter that was three years old. And I didn’t know what ages meant. So, I said to him, “How old is your daughter?” He said three. And I looked at her, and I made a decision that I wouldn’t take the job. Because I didn’t understand what it... I didn’t understand up to that point what it meant to invest in my children at a young age.

Why is this so powerful? Is it that it says, “For that first year you will not go out for war”? So, what’s happening in that first year of marriage? What’s really happening? It’s not just to get to know you and all... this is foundational to what’s going to happen in the future of that marriage. There’s got to be time, effort, energy, etc., put into that situation.

Jono: So, now, guys, we’ve got to kick it along, I mean, we’re going to set a new record otherwise. I don’t want to leave out verse 16, but is there anything in chapter 24 that you want to highlight between there...?

Nehemia: I want to talk about verse 6. Are you kidding me?

Jono: There you go. Verse 6. “No man shall take the lower or the upper millstone in pledge, for he takes one’s living in pledge.” What?

Nehemia: So, first of all this is talking about taking collateral for a debt, for a loan. And it’s saying that you can’t repossess an upper millstone or a lower millstone; that’s the plain old English of what it says. “You can’t repossess the upper or lower millstone, because he will be repossessing a life.” That’s what it literally says in Hebrew. Or literally, it’s... for the soul, he is repossessing. It’s a person’s life you’re taking, if you take the source of their livelihood. And I think that’s an important message for us to be aware of. Today, we live in a society where they come, and they take people’s homes away all the time. And here are these rules about how, if you’re going to be taking away the... taking the pledge, the collateral, you’ve got to stand at the door and wait for the person to bring it out to you. You know, later in the chapter… and so, I think that’s something for us to remember; that there are some problems in the way our society works when it comes to debt. That’s an understatement. Anyway...

Jono: Sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. So, I’m jumping to 16. Is that right?

Nehemia: Yes. Bevakasha.

Jono: “Fathers shall not be put to death for their children, nor shall children be put to death for their fathers; a person shall be put to death for his own sin.” I just want to read that out. And I know we’ve touched on that a number of times. But it’s so, so important. Because...

Nehemia: Ezekiel 18 and Ezekiel 33.

Jono: Ezekiel 18 and Ezekiel 33. And I’ll put a link to that conversation that you and I had. That’s just a quick half-hour one. But it’s so powerful, and everyone should be reminded of that.

Keith: Can I just ask a question, now that I’ve made it... now that I’m in Torah Pearls, and I’ve been doing this for a year. Do I get to have some of those things where you could say, “I’ll put a link on”? “Well, Keith and I talked about this situation.” You and Nehemia have got all these links. I want a link!

Nehemia: What do you mean? You’re going to do the show with him in Shiloh. In Shiloh! “Live from Shiloh with Keith Johnson and Jono Vandor. Watch out for the bullets flying.”

Jono: Yeah. I’ll bring my bulletproof jacket, don’t you worry.

Keith: I’m telling you, we’re going to Shiloh.

Jono: I’m looking forward to it. Okay, so... moving right along. Oh, hang on. I think I do want to read this, from 19. Can I do that?

Nehemia: Yeah.

Jono: “When you reap your harvest in your field, and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it; it shall be for the stranger and the fatherless and the widow that Yehovah your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes from your vineyard, you shall not glean it afterward; it shall be for the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. And you shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt. Therefore, I command you to do this thing.” I just think that’s great. I mean, it’s wonderful. Okay. Now, here we are in chapter 25. And we’ve got to... there’s some things we’ve got to deal with here. 40 blows.

Nehemia: Yeah.

Jono: 40? 40 blows?

Nehemia: Didn’t we talk about this? I feel like we talked about this recently.

Jono: I think we touched on this. I think we did touch on this, but boy oh boy... yeah, okay.

Nehemia: That really blows.

Jono: That really... moving right along. Okay. We’ve got to talk about this. We’ve already spoken about Ruth. And she comes up again here from verse 5, as an example here. “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the widow of the dead man shall not be married to a stranger outside the family; her husband’s brother shall go in to her, take her as his wife, and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. And it shall be that the firstborn son which she bears will succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. But if the man does not want to take his brother’s wife, then let his brother’s wife go to the gate to the elders, and say, ‘My husband’s brother refuses to raise up my name’...” raise up a name; sorry. “... ‘to his brother in Israel; he will not perform the duty of my husband’s brother.’ Then the elders of his city shall call him and speak to him. But if he stands firm and says, ‘I do not want to take her,’ then his brother’s wife shall come to him in the presence of the elders, remove his sandal from his foot, spit in his face, and answer and say, ‘So shall it be done to the man who will not build up his brother’s house.’ And his name shall be called in Israel, ‘The house of him who had his sandal removed.’”

Nehemia: So, I’ve got a question. So, he’s got a way out if he doesn’t want to marry her. What if she doesn’t want to marry him?

Jono: Well, that’s interesting. Because it seems to be a right that he... a duty and a right that he still has the ability to waive.

Nehemia: I think it’s his duty and her right.

Jono: Well, that’s a good way to put it.

Nehemia: I think it’s implicit that she agrees. If she doesn’t agree, then we’ve got no issue here. The society was, back then, that if there was a woman who had been married, and she wasn’t the most desirable... because they wanted virgins. Let’s call a spade a spade.

Jono: Sure.

Nehemia: And so, if this woman is a widow, then she’s going to have a hard time finding someone else. So, this is her right; that her dead husband’s kin will come and marry her. But if she doesn’t want that, then I think, to me it’s obvious, that she has the right to opt out.

Jono: No. I would think so. Because she initiates the confrontation with the elders. And if she doesn’t go there, then...

Nehemia: Spitting in his face implies that she’s upset.

Jono: Yeah.

Nehemia: Well, why would she be upset if she didn’t want him?

Jono: Now, is he commanded... I mean, when you say it’s his duty, does he have the right to reject the offer? Because we see this in action in Ruth.

Nehemia: That’s the whole point. Here, it says he has a right to reject the offer.

Jono: Yeah. Okay.

Nehemia: Here, in verse 8. “I don’t want to take her.”

Jono: But it doesn’t seem to be the honorable thing to do.

Nehemia: It’s not the honorable thing to do, but it’s something that he has the ability to do. Because there was this situation with Judah - if you remember back many, many Torah Pearls ago - and they didn’t have the opportunity to opt out. And so, Tamar ends up, through deception, forcing him into the situation where he carries out the duty. Not forcing him, but luring him, into the situation where he carries out the duty. So, the Torah essentially is, in a sense, remedying the ancient tradition of Canaan that Judah was under and giving us something that is more... I don’t know… more livable, more merciful.

Keith: In some cases, a little spit in the face is nothing compared to being in a life-long relationship with some people.

Jono: So, there it is. Of course, we see the removal of it. Now, the interesting thing, though, in the example of Ruth, is that she doesn’t initiate this confrontation. Boaz does, right?

Nehemia: Because he’s got to get the other guy to opt out.

Jono: Yes.

Keith: He has to get him to agree.

Jono: He wants the guy to opt out. And the guy does opt out. He says, “Hey, here’s a sandal. Don’t spit on me.”

Keith: I’d like to do a commercial. I know we’re getting close to the end. Jono, I’ve got to give you some real kudos. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to tell you something. It’s 98 degrees. I am worn out. And it’s morning for me. Nehemia is in the afternoon. I haven’t had heard him slurp one time. He’s probably not on the coffee. But Jono, he’s been doing this thing since about ten o’clock at night. And he’s still asking questions. It’s one o’clock in the morning. Jono, are we ever going to get to the end of this one? Are you kidding me?

Jono: We’re almost there.

Keith: “I’ve got one more question. Let’s go over to Matthew chapter 16....”

Nehemia: I love the accent.

Keith: “Chapter 4. And let’s go now to Genesis... Nehemia...” look, ask me a question and I’ll answer it and we’ll be done. Okay?

Nehemia: And then, something else… people, is that... you don’t realize, we’re doing this program and it goes for two and a half hours. And then, Jono sits for I don’t even know how many hours and edits it.

Keith: How long to edit?

Jono: Do you want to know?

Nehemia: Yeah.

Jono: Do you know that I... I estimate that by the time we have finished this, we will have invested over 700 man-hours into this program, into just Torah Pearls.

Nehemia: Wow. Wow.

Keith: Thank you, Jono.

Jono: Over 700…

Keith: And with that, I want to say a prayer. I want to say another... well, I said a prayer yesterday. Nehemia, can you have open our eyes, so we can know it’s the end of our Torah Pearls?

Nehemia: Yehovah, Avinu Shebashamiyim. Ga’al eininu venabita nifla’ot mitorateicha. Yehovah our Father in heaven, open our eyes that we may see the wonderful hidden things of your Torah.

Keith: Amen.

Jono: Amen. Amen. Now, Keith. I know you just wanted to jump over this next verse. But we’ve got to deal with it. Because I have to tell you...

Keith: Okay.

Jono: … I actually... we’re not getting away with this one. I had an atheist of Jewish descent... an atheist. We were having this conversation. He said, “I don’t buy it. For example...” and he brought up this next verse.

Keith: Alright, in English.

Jono: Here it is. 25:11. “If two men fight together, and the wife of one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of the one attacking him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; your eye shall not pity her.”

Nehemia: I don’t see the problem.

Jono: Okay. Keith. Now, what this doesn’t mean is that a woman cannot defend herself. I mean, if she’s in a situation, it doesn’t mean...

Nehemia: And she could defend her husband. Just not by grabbing the other guy’s…

Jono: And we’re talking about... well, do you want to elaborate on that?

Keith: No, no.

Nehemia: I’d rather not.

Keith: It’s pretty clear. It’s pretty clear.

Jono: Moving right along. “Weights and measures” again. Leviticus... no, no. Ezekiel 18:33. And I’ll put a link there. Let’s move on from that. This is the last little passage. These last few verses of this Torah portion. “Remember what Amalek did to you on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God. Therefore, it shall be when Yehovah your God has given you rest from your enemies all around, in the land which Yehovah your God is giving you to possess as an inheritance, that you will blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. You shall not forget.”

Nehemia: Wow. So, this is really interesting. This verse almost contradicts itself, verse 19. It says, “You shall blot out”. It literally means “erase.” “You shall erase the memory of Amalek from under the heavens. You shall not forget.”

Jono: “You shall not forget.”

Nehemia: Well, how could you... what?

Jono: No, no. Doesn’t that mean “you shall not forget to do this?” I mean, that’s the way I interpreted it when I read it. “Don’t forget to eradicate them”.

Nehemia: To eradicate the memory. I think the key thing is the word memory. It’s the Hebrew word “zecher”, which means memory. But it also means “to mention”. So flat out, the mention of Amalek from under the heaven. “Do not forget”. “Do not forget to do that”, of course. And I think the reason that this appears here is that when we talked about what they called the “levirate marriage” - that was the thing where the man died without children and the brother came to marry - what it said there, and we kind of glossed over this, in verse 6... it said, “That his name will not be blotted out from Israel”. So, what you “blot out”, what you erase, is the mention of someone’s name. And the way his name, in this case is to be mentioned, it would be blotted out by not having a child. And Amalek – we’re to blot out the mention of their name. One of the things that people have done, which saddens me so much, is that they’ve blotted out... tradition has blotted out the mention of our heavenly Father’s name…

Keith: Amen.

Nehemia: … and that’s a curse in the Torah - to blot out somebody’s name.

Jono: Amen.

Keith: Amen. Amen.

Nehemia: So, why would you want to curse our heavenly Father Yehovah by blotting out the mention of his name and making it forgotten?

Jono: Amen. Amen.

Keith: Yes.

Jono: And once again, his Hallowed Name Revealed Again. And you can find it in the website

Keith: Where you can also learn about the coming tour, once we get the final negotiations done. So, by the time this radio show is up, you will be able to go to and understand how you could join us on the tour, understand everything that’s going on there, and of course, support China. All sort of things going on., also a place for people to go. But this has been an amazing, amazing portion. I cannot believe that we’ve almost broken a third record in three days.

Jono: Three in a row. Three in a row, my goodness.

Nehemia: Oh, my gosh.

Keith: Wow.

Jono: What is it? That’s almost eight hours just in recording. Anyway, it is always a pleasure and a privilege to be speaking with you guys once again. On Torah Pearls, thank you, Keith Johnson and Nehemia Gordon. And next week, we are in “Ki Tavo”. Deuteronomy 26:1 to 29:8. And until then, dear listeners, be blessed and be set apart by the truth of our Father’s word. Shalom.

You have been listening to The Original Torah Pearls with Nehemia Gordon, Keith Johnson and Jono Vandor. Thank you for supporting Nehemia Gordon’s Makor Hebrew Foundation. Learn more at

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  • Mark Maier says:

    Here’s my two cents:
    My wife, Linda, and I both had to work out our understanding of “marriage after divorce” – she never having been married, and I having been divorced. (This before we even met.) Bless Yah for our marriage! Regarding Malachi 2:16, we thank Nehemia for his clarification on “he hates,” and I would just like to add that even if you read it “He hates” (which I think He does), it still isn’t a commandment forbidding marriage after divorce. As Yeshua put it, “Because of your hardness of heart, Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way.”
    Shalom aleichem.

  • José says:

    Hi Nehemia!

    This topic about divorce seems to be very deep and raises a lot of questions, in this case I would like to ask this:

    A man can’t take back the woman he divorced if the woman has been already with another man because it is an abomination for Yehovah (she has been defiled as you mentioned it)… but, for the second man who marries her, doesn’t apply the same? I mean, she was with another man before, doesn’t that means that she has been “defiled” from the second man’s perspective? and for the second man to take her as his wife, wouldn’t be that an abomination too?

    It brings to my mind 1 Corinthians 7:11 “But and if she depart, let her remain unmarried, or be reconciled to her husband…”
    and Romans 7:2-3 where talking about the “law of her husband”.. : “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth;…. So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.”

    So, how can we harmonize this? or what would be the Tanaj perspective/interpretation to Paul’s words?

    Thank you, and I really hope to reads your comments.

  • Irv says:

    Please tell me why did David after cutting off the head of the giant, take his head to Jerusalem when Sauls army was killing the enemy at least 35 miles away. Why Jerusalem.

  • linda says:

    Nehemia, what happened to doing the Hebrew Matthew? Would love to hear it!

  • Linked says:

    I am curious. Would you agree that because of the paganism, that the law to bring a child before the elders of stoning if the child is unusually difficult, is actually meant to take the the power of the parents to sacrifice their child from them and give it to the community. They were surrounded by nations where you could sacrifice your first born and it was perfectly okay. This law took that away from the parents.

    Also, do any of these laws have anything to do with what happened with Noah and Ham?

  • Jolly Roger Holman says:

    Great teaching guys. I just listened to the entire thing. Love the humor along with the many insightful comments. When I was a kid, the neighborhood dogs crossed the street when they got to my house. Because they knew if they didn’t I’d shoot them in the butt with my BB gun.

  • Anita Burke says:

    warp and the weft. i used to work in a cotton mill and a fiberglass / carbon fiber fabric weaving plant. but instead of the word “weft” most operators call it “fill”. they look at you weird when you say weft … also you are probably thinking of a plain weave, but there are many more …. don’t even bring up jacquard looms, that’s a horse of a different color

    • Linked says:

      Anita, do you know if linen and wool shrink at different rates? Perhaps that would have something to do with not mixing the types of fabric?

      • Debbi says:

        Could it be that one fabric or material comes from a plant and the other from an animal? Combining/Mixing the plant and animal creations. Just a thought…

  • Anita Burke says:

    nearby here there is a corpse farm, where people donate their bodies to science. forensics students can then study the varying stages of decomposition and take notes. so, the people that donate their bodies, i guess to them it’s not a shameful thing to leave their body to rot in the open. most of them are caged to keep the vultures away so that the worms can do their work. i wonder if Torah speaks directly to this – these are usually people who died of natural causes, or at the worst, died in an accident

  • Karen Powell says:

    Donkeys have a tendency to nip and a side kick if they get annoyed.They did not remove horns. Oxen are not always paying attention to where their horns are.If they bump into another ox with horns.The horns may clank together or block them.So if you do this.You not only have temperment issues but also the strenght issues. Picture this:A smaller donkey is annoyed with oxen waving his horns around and finally nips or kicks the bigger stronger oxen who is waving his horns around.He then Gores the donkey.Now you have an injured and or dead Donkey.And by scripture you are suppose not have animals that gore. You have just lost use of both animals,and have to now either medic animals if they survive wounds.You are not harvesting/processing you field, which was your goal.

  • Daniel Wee says:

    Could you comment on why Deut 23:9 (BHS Dt 23:10) translates “davar” as “thing” rather than “word”? Almost every English translation seems to this even when the LXX has “rematos”. Thanks.

  • JW Brakebill says:


    Though you made an interesting point of unfairly yoking both an ox and a donkey to a plow because of difference in strength of the animals, as one would work so much harder; if I’m not mistaken, a donkey or ass is stubborn, often known to lay down under the load, rather than work. Could be that the ox would not only be working to pull the plow, but also struggling to pull the lazy donkey along? Not sure it would be fair to any animal to be yoked in work to a donkey. Could it also be that the instructions have more to do with holiness than seen at first glance? Is not the oxen considered a clean animal, whereas the donkey, which if I’m not mistaken, is an unclean animal? Mingling clean with unclean?

    You shall be holy, for I am holy.

    You then relayed you did not understand about the wearing of wool and linen together. The same question sort of applies to the mixing of linen and wool. Though wool may have been from a clean animal, one is mingling plant product with animal product.

    As for mixing seeds in the vineyard, I question whether G-d is against the mingling or cross-breeding of plants, and probably of animal species, that would not mingle naturally. Such as trying to cross a horse with a cow, (which would be unclean mingling with clean or a head of beef with a buffalo, When mankind develops hybrids of corn, soybeans, wheat, etc…,,, is not man basically thinking he can make a better product, than G-d?

    Don’t “know” anything, just wondering. Besides Isaiah 55:8-9, Either we accept His ways or we don’t.

  • Janice says:

    If G-d does not hate divorce; does that mean He likes divorce? He prefers divorce over neglecting a wife while having girl friends? Jewish chained women? that’s what G0d hates?

    • scott says:

      God said he hates divorce, pretty plain and simple. It is not your feeling on the matter that counts but it is his that counts, God’s. After all you will account for yourself on judgement day.

      • Kendra Daniels says:

        You obviously didn’t listen to Nehemia explain what most people read as

        “Yehovah hates divorce”.

  • Janice says:

    G-d hates divorce. When we think of G-d brining Israel to the Mtn. Under the cloud; that was like marriage, right? The Shabbat the wedding ring. The coenant the marriage covenant; then when Israel violated the covenant; do we think G-d liked divorce? That He thought it was a good idea? Dont’ think so; it would not be a good moral foundation for family or a nation.

  • Janice says:

    Mumser to English bastard, is not the same, the Mamser is a child born from the list of forbidden relationships, which is full of incestual relationships; not born out of marriage. Lots daughters are the first cause examples, who bore boys from the father, Moab and Ammorites who became big problems to Israel latter in history.

  • Janice says:

    Dogs do what dogs do; it’s the owners responsiblity to solve the problem. Be brave and deal with the owerner or animal control.

  • Janice says:

    Keith – sounds like you have several doggie frustratins. If you have ought against your neighbor, due to doggie noise, go to him and reconcile, if he does not hear you take a 2nd person; if he still does not hear you; let him know you’ll have to call animal control. Shooting the dog even if only a bebee makes for good laugh for some; but shows lack of self control. How about better securing the trash can, and if not secure the dog, call the dog catcher or take it to the doggie jail.

  • Janice says:

    Marriage is consumation of body and souls, HaShem enters in and there is a child born, HaShem hates divorce as it rips the soul of children in two. Commitment to marriage is more than just the married couple it involves the children and extendted family. That’s what happened to our courntry divorce made too easy; ripped apart the fabric f the nation, as divorce increased so did youth crime, homosexuality and transgender etc.

    Two people who marry are not perfect, they both have defects, better to get good counseling to correct defects in married couple so they not pass it on to children and created divorced brokenhearted children.

  • Janice says:

    The Unruly Son – To some degree we do this today, parents may go to the Pastor or Rabbi, with the problem son. They may do some evaluation of the marriage, parenting skills, and make recommendations for changes, if there is no change in the son. If the son continues in rebellion he may enter into crime, get faced with police, a jail sentence or worse execution. Rebellion must be stopped first in the home; before it harms community.
    I met a women, single raising a boy who was rebellous, she actually took him to court to face a judge, and the judge told him to shape up or detention.

  • Larry Chambless says:

    can you show us how to make the tzit tzits you gave in the picture

  • Joseph Cartwright says:

    About the married couple that gets divorced or separated and the woman has sex with another man, what happens if the couple gets back together anyway?

  • wordslea says:

    A question about linen & wool: I have seen a study that indicates that linen has healing qualities — something to do with how it reflects light. wool also has some kind of properties, but together they cancel each other out. Is there really some scientific studies that would describe such properties?

  • Deb says:

    This is one of my favorite! You 3 make it fun to read these scriptures again. Enjoyed the humor very much… and even the BB gun 🙂

  • Carlos Fermandez says:


  • Janice says:

    Everything comes from Yehovah, why? to test what is in a man’s heart. Hope you find a solution to the trash/dog issue. Unfortunately, in the US I don’t know why everyone has one or more dogs when they can’t care for them properly. The demand for our rights, is narcissistic, when should spend more time working on what is our responsibility to fellow man and animals. This should be similar to if an comes and gorges your sheep; the owner of the dog is neglecting their responsibility.

    • Janice says:

      Many people have dog(s) as they have poor human relatonships or afraid to have them. Many choose to have doggies rather than children. US people are obssessed with their dogs/cats. Doggie day care? Doggies cloths?

      • Mary Smith says:

        I live in America. Where I live- I have NEVER seen a dog with clothes on except a small dog in winter to help it keep warm to go out to go bathroom. I live in one of the largest land mass cities in America. So this is not the case every where here.

  • Sandi Iventosch says:

    When I was a kid we played with BB guns often, and I felt the sting of more than one BB while playing rough as kids do. Unpleasant…. sure, but it didn’t even slow down the play! So, let’s keep it real people, Keith didn’t attempt to truly harm the dog. He gave it a sting. I love animals too, and I would NEVER try to harm any creature, but to give a misbehaving pet a sting is hardly evil abuse. Lighten up folks.

  • Dawn Spallinger says:

    Excelent as always. Crazy thought could it be possible Caleb was named Caleb because his mother fled with the Israelites to escape from a life of temple prostitution thus saving her son from that culture. Way out there but could not help but to wonder. Thank u so much.My vote is contiune on explaining the Torah in any way lead. I can not get enough. Keith scaring away any animal via b b is an extremely gracious act in this neck of the woods. Chin up 🙂

    • Margie Loubser says:





      • daniel says:

        Any shepherd would gladly take out a strange dog/coyote/wolf anywhere near his flock. Personally, I had to shoot my neighbor’s pit bull – it was him or me, and I’m not gracious enough to suffer lifelong injury(or worse) to please modern sentiments. Torah Rocks!

  • Papiro says:

    I could be wrong? I understand Keith shot the dog but not dead. Doubtful that a single BB could kill a dog unless the it was extremely powerful, from very close range or it penetrated an eye or a cavity. Didn’t Keith say that the dog didn’t return… meaning that it learned not to mess with his garbage?

  • Honky says:

    “You will worship wood and stone” seems to refer to others than Jews, The Jews weren’t perfect but did not have crucifixes.

  • Carol H. says:

    I love to hear your comments on the Torah portions.
    In the Torah portion of Ki Teitzei, where it talks about the “mixed cloth”, might I offer this,that when weaving you mix linen and wool thread they will have a tendency to shrink when washed at a different rate than all one type of thread, and your garment would not work too well. Also, your making the two together, it would I think make a difference in the percentage of each in the wool to linen, how they are kept clean, you would not want to mix them. I have very little experience weaving but what I do have indicates you want to use the same thickness, the same type of thread origin because you get a texture you do not want in the cloth to wear. Just a thought.

  • Jeanne Lodzieski says:

    I prefer Nehemia’s versions as we as Gentiles need to know this. You all forgot that in the old testament that Yehovah does say He hates divorce and that was never His intent but,,,, because of the hardness of their hearts. You guys didn’t address this and it is also important as it goes to intent for a divorce. I wish also Nehemia was a little clearer without the joking about the illegitimate child. I will repeat this teaching to see if I can get to the answer between the joking. Maybe next time. I wish you guys would limit the joking as some of us out here are listening intently to get to the truth. I think that Nehemia is correct in teaching the Hebrew and not worry about how some people are interpreting it as in the issue of divorce. Keith, I want to know the Hebrew translations as that is the only way we can get to the truth. I can handle the truth and I am sure others can too.

  • Kyla says:

    Shavu’ah-tov, Nehemia, Jono & Keith!

    As iron sharpens iron, so does this study sharpen me and my understandings.

    Nehemia, I have never heard about Mosheh divorcing Tzipporah, so I do not know from which portions of Scripture you are basing this on. When I looked up the usage of shilluach/shilluchim (send away), I found it used only 3x – Shemot/Exo. 18:2, 1 Kings 9:16, and Michah 1:14. In 1 Kings it is translated as “dowry” gift from the Pharoah for his daughter’s marriage to King Sh’lomo. In Michah it is translated as “farewell gift (divorce)” from Yerushalayim to Moreshet-Gat because Yahveh-Elohim says that she had caused Yisreal to sin. In Shemot/Exodus it is translated as “sent her back” meaning Mosheh had sent Tzipporah (and their 2 sons) back to Yetro. Because this does not clearly spell out the meaning, I took it in the context of 18:1-7 which includes the fact that not only did Tzipporah and the 2 sons come with Yetro to meet Mosheh and the whole company of the exodus, but that he sent word ahead to Mosheh that they were with him and called them “your wife and her two sons”. Just because Tzipporah and the two sons are not spoken of again, does not mean Mosheh rejected them. When I read this I see not that Mosheh just shilluchimed (divorced and sent)Tzipporah to her father but that he did so with perhaps the foresight of giving her the ability to stay alive (thus he “gifted” her as well) and thus as a divorced woman, she has the ability to choose to find another husband; because surely Mosheh knew how thin the thread of life for himself was at the hands of Pharoah! But when she and both sons come back with Yetro to meet Mosheh, it is also possible that it in itself is her answer to Mosheh’s act of kindness in “shilluchiming” her, and she did not want the divorce but chose him?

    Thank you three for the enlightenment about the impalinghanging of the corpse of the rebellious son, the reason that this is an affront/curse to Yahveh-Elohim, about the “cross-dressing” in order to appear as the opposite sex, the “loan-sharking interest” on loans, and the correct translation about WHO it is that detests/hates divorce!

    I also had a question about what it sounded like you, Nehemia, said about 23:18-19, and that you thought the reason that the ee of the whore/female temple prostitute and the pay of the “dog”/male temple prostitute wasn’t to be brought into the House of Yahveh was because the person bringing it was looking to purchase which ever prostitute they wanted service from. Did I understand you correctly? Because verse 19 says ” you shall not bring the fee of a whore or the pay of a dog into the house of Yahveh your Elohim in fulfillment of any vow, for both are abhorrent to Yahveh your Elohim.” This sounds like it is either the whore or the “dog” that is trying to bring a portion of their “wages” to be used as a vow fulfillment unto Yahveh-Elohim. Have I missed something in the translation?

    Shavu’ah tov!

  • Laura Olson says:

    Yup! on Malachi 2 verses about divorce. Not only do they make sense now, but the point in time when God was giving them to me makes sense. Thank you.

  • Leaves Heal says:

    So, my take on this:
    Divorce is given as a remedy for a broken marriage… but that doesn’t say that marriages are designed to be broken in the first place. Foundations of Torah originate in the Design of Creation, which involved the picture of one man and one woman, mated for life. Just because it doesn’t say that God hates it, doesn’t mean that it’s “a good thing” — only that it’s a merciful end to unwisely chosen misery.
    Where else do we find the “functional marriage” picture in Torah?

  • kris says:

    Awaiting Torah Pearls special on the subject of divorce.

  • Joanne says:

    First I want to say that I am grateful for you efforts to help us/me learn torah and may YHVH bless you for your efforts and us in our hearing and understanding.
    However, (the but always gets you in the butt) if you are spending 700 hours editing why didn’t you edit out the part about the dog?
    Keith, in my humble opinion you were in the wrong, not the dog. I’m surprised that Jonah and Nehemiah laughed with you in your cruel act and you even aired it.
    A person is responsible for their property. Keith you are responsible to make your garbage suitable for leaving in the pick up area so that it will not attract unwanted attention. If you had put some kind of poisonous or dangerous matter in your garbage and a child was injured (such as an old fridge, children used to get caught in them and they died of suffocation) you would be liable; if you don’t fence your pool, you are liable, etc. Your home is supposed to be safe for all, as stated later in the broadcast. I’m surprised that none of you connected it.
    That dog was in fact gleaning, which is allowed in torah. In fact it is about the only way for an animal to feed itself when it does not have an owner to care for it. The birds regularly eat my berries in my garden, that doesn’t give me the right to hurt them. It is my responsibility to place a barrier so I can at least get a few. (Believe it or not the birds actually squawk very loudly at me as if I’m taking their berries).
    God gave us dominion over the flora and fauna of this planet. (unless Nehemiah can show me otherwise in torah).
    Your action of shooting the hungry dog, was not teaching the dog, it was showing your lack of compassion for the animal. First you enticed him with something he needed – food. Then you took out your frustration on him because you would have to clean up the mess he made because you did not do your job effectively by making the garbage secure. Then you all laughed about it.
    I will continue to nibble at the table of ‘Torah Pearls”, please don’t shoot me too. I’ll try not to make a mess.
    This program is too important to many of us who are so grateful for the true teaching and meaning of the Word.
    Thank you all again for all your effort and time in caring for the sheep who need to be fed spiritually. Your insight and diligence to the truth of the matters is of utmost importance to us all.

    • Yosef says:

      Love is our supreme emotion given to us by Yah, it is our choice if we want to use it or withold it, either way we will be judged according to our works.
      Simply said, mankind is loosing thier love for other creatures, it starts with the environment, ends with human beings. Dog should not have been shot dead for being hungry

      • Janice says:

        Love in Hebrew is mostly translated as devotion, loyalty, faithfulness, to our oaths; not emotion. Love is what we do for another, that makes them feel good. If we marry for emotion; we’ll divorce as the emotion, love is gone.

        • Janice says:

          Also, men and women’s brains are different, men want honor, respect, appreication, women want love. Read 5 love languages and find out with your wife what makes her feel loved. Women if you can’t tell a man, what makes you feel loved, he can’t guess. That’s fantacy for you to think he should just know.

  • Victoria Loyd says:

    So the scripture in Mal’akhi that says I hate divorce is talking about the man hating it because he doesn’t want to divorce his wife according to the hebrew translation? I would really like to hear an indepth study on this or any other info you have Nehemia.Really enjoy listening to you all.Also Iv’e been to Shiloh.

  • Crystal says:

    The dog didn’t bite Keith, he offended Keith. I wish Keith had not shot the dog, even with a bb gun. You really have to imagine that this dog was simply hungry. It sounds like Keith’s neighbor is a lousy one. Otherwise- I enjoyed this Torah portion.