Torah Pearls #48 – Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9)

Torah Pearls Shoftim, abominable practices, abominations, atonement ritual, authority, bribes, cities of refuge, forbidden worship, grace, Harry Potter, Hebrew collective singular, Jacob’s pillar, judges, justice, king, Messiah, Pontius Pilate, prophet, prophet like Moses, prophets, rabbinical authority, sacred pillar, shoftim, skiviti, skiviti plaque, standing stone, supernatural, three witnesses, Torah Pearls, two witnessesThis episode of The Original Torah Pearls, Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9), begins focusing on judgment and law and Nehemia Gordon shares the origin of the Hebrew word for “grace.” Discussions include: Must we always have two or three witnesses? Who has the authority today? Are we guilty of rejecting Yehovah as King? What of the Harry Potter question and how far do we take Deuteronomy 18:9-14? Who is the prophet likened unto Moses? Was God’s eye sparkling when he accepted Jacob’s pillar—a thing he hates? Who now has the authority to judge difficult things? What first-century Roman is infamous for mocking an atonement ritual? Who’s the original tree-hugger? With differing views, the trio debates whether certain cultural practices are abominations and Gordon provides an eyewitness account of Deuteronomy 19:1. Showing no fear, the trio concludes by examining the weirdest thing in the Bible.

I look forward to reading your comments!

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31 thoughts on “Torah Pearls #48 – Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9)

  1. Shalom from Paraguay 🇵🇾
    Thank you so much 😊 being able to listen to these teachings is like finding water in the desert.
    We are so blessed. I hope in the future teachings like these can be available in Spanish too.
    Thank you

  2. Good morning, again.
    according to Scriptures only- which was created first? the Moon or stars? simply according to How it all flows. Evening and morning are the established order— did the Moon come first and how do the moon and sun work for determining the Months, etc? solo Scriptura. Thank YOU!

  3. Hello! thank you for the Insight and mind expansion…would Yeshua writing on the “ground” be worth noticing?/ I thought the Temple was made with stone flooring? literal stones laid on a beautiful design -as posted by Nehemia recently- The Stone floor Lady?? I just wonder if the “finger of Yehaovh” fits here? possibly, maybe?

  4. Shalom!
    I would like to give my opinion about the “Harry Potter question”.
    I believe that the reason why sorcery, astrology, and the like are forbidden it’s because theses things doesn’t exist. So, whoever does this is deceiving people.
    This is not the case in Harry Potter and books/movies/cartoons with this theme. In Harry Potter some people are borned with a special ability and they go to a special school to improve their abilities. For me, it’s very similar to X-men. Just in X-men they are called mutants instead of wizards and they have super powers instead of making sorcery.
    But there is a real big problem with these books/movies/cartoons. Some people really begin to search about sorcery after reading these books. And this is very very serious.

    • I agree that it is made up and magic or what ever it is called with super heroes is just a way of telling a deeper story. I have the HP books nearly memorized but I was always more interested in the deeper story and not the magic. But late last year I decided I had to take a stand against the false traditions inherited from my parents and stop accepting a little bad with the good. I have not kept Christmas and Easter for most of my life but just understand all the pagan influence in Christianity I have been working to completely scrub it all from my daily life. It is everywhere. I have had to define what I will allow into my home and discipline my thoughts. I still feel the draw to loose my stress in Hogwarts but I find I am now able to do the same thing reading the Tanakh and New Testament, though it does get stressful when there is a lot of killing happening.

  5. Jono, Keith and Nehemia,

    In your discussion of worship Yehovah vs moon, sun, stars… I love clear cloudless nights because it affords me the opportunity to star gaze.. not to worship them because I can never see the stars but that I think of Davids words in
    Psalm 8
    1 “O Lord, our Lord,
    How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
    Who have set Your glory above the heavens!
    2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants
    You have ordained strength,
    Because of Your enemies,
    That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.
    3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
    The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,
    4 What is man that You are mindful of him,
    And the son of man that You visit him?”

    And I also think of the many scriptures that speak to Abraham as his descendants being as many as the stars… and it always brings me to praise Yehovah for making the stars and to prayer for ALL Jews around the world, that God’s Will and Truth be in their lives.

  6. Not the weirdest thing in the Bible, but rather a cleverly obfuscated prophesy of the Moshiach. Deuteronomy 21 starts by using the metaphor חלל באדמה, as to say that becoming “hollow in the flesh” is the result of being anointed by God. This idea is explicated in Zechariah 12:10 where the moshiach is “thrust through”, דקר, translated as ‘pierced’ by Christians who likewise assumed it meant ‘killed’. This supernatural anointing is mentioned often as the Canaanite ritual of “passed through by fire”, a re-enactment of the creation of Moloch (melech).

    The closest town is important because of a prophesy in Micah 5:2 where Moshiach will be anointed at Bethlehem or Efrat, or somewhere in between, a third unknown place. From that place will come a heifer, called העלמה (the secret girl)
    prophesied in Isaiah 7:14, the girl who will carry the “yoke of heaven”. The yoke is important because it is carried on the neck, the expanse between heaven (the head) and earth (the body). This idea of the sacred place where heaven meets earth is mentioned unusually often in the Talmud. The patriarch Jacob is known for carrying the sacred neck, and the pillow he slept on was likewise anointed as the pillar of the stretched neck, making Deuteronomy 21 an explication of Genesis 28:19. Another cryptic anointed neck-rock-pillar prophesy is found in Habakkuk 3:13; “Thou went forth for the salvation of thy people, For the salvation of the anointed; Thou wound the head out of the house of the wicked man, Laying bare the foundation even unto the neck. Selah”. Genesis 49:8 says of Judah; “your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies”. And of course Jews are commanded several times to be “stiff of neck” (קשה ערף), which we try our hardest to obey.

    All this neck preoccupation tells us there is something meaningful about the neck as the organ of redemption, so breaking the heifer’s neck is another example. The neck-breaking process is also mentioned in Exodus 13:13 and Leviticus 5:8 in the context of redemption. This Deuteronomy 21 neck riddle obviously refers to an attribute of the Moshiach, a divine anointing of fire that pierces the body and affects the neck. A supernatural bridge linking above and below, heaven and earth.

  7. Who of us have memorized the Book of Exodus that we have time for Harry Potter; we or our children, the King is coming get ready.

    • Deuteronomy 12:30New International Version (NIV)
      30 and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.”

      I don’t think so….

  8. I agree with Keith. I was born 1949, in 5th grade we had weekly readers, which taught us computors would free us from work, we’ll have more time for play; one of the industries that benefit by this is Disney Land. It is amuzement, look up the word musze, it’s unprofitable down time. It has no real value. Yeshovah gives us much that increases our joy and joy of others. How much time given to Harry Potter when we could have taken uor children to vsit the elderly or sick. There are many Torah books for children that are delightful, and are not on the edge of “majic”. Cartoons, rubish, too much fantacy fed to children, when we should feed their creativity, be involved with music instrument, dance class.The question should be what better activity should we be involved in? We should stay clean of anything that looks like, sounds like, smells like witchcraft, sourcery etc. We and our children don’t need it, we can learn from many other Holy sources.Readying Harry Potter is like eating kosher pork.

  9. I was taught that when Yeshua was “writing” in the dirt he was point to the sand which was implying that this woman was to be tried with the test where they make a drink with the sand and she must drink it. So he is saying this procedure is illegal.

  10. Shalom Nehemia, Keith, Jono… such fun listening to you…

    Shoftim portion Deut 18.9-14. A couple of the translations I have this section is in quotes, perhaps an indicator that Moses was ‘preaching’ – as Keith said with a smile.

    Comments made by each on this passage were interesting. For years, me and my household do not allow either Harry Potter movies or books or any such like to pass the doors of the house.

    We are of the view when in doubt… DONT… even our grandchildren know what we dont allow in the house. Also of the view that the likes of Harry Potter and others being allowed to be read/viewed by our children is ‘not on’.

    The entertainment industry have behind their purpose a way to expose our children of the works of hasatan and his mob.

    Its a subtle form of exposure that gives the impression that goblins and the like is ok. The time will come when ‘anything goes’, the young have become older and their subjection to the ‘dark side’ having begun at an early age perhaps might make deception[s], started young, easier receive.

    Examples – homosexuality, gay marriage, public correctness

    Cheers n blessings

  11. Nehemia, one part wasn’t read and that is the one that puzzles me.

    ““The priests, the Lĕwites, all the tribe of Lĕwi, have no part nor inheritance with Yisra’ĕl. They are to eat the offerings of יהוה made by fire, and His inheritance. “But among his brothers Lĕwi has no inheritance. יהוה is his inheritance, as He has spoken to him.

    then he shall serve in the Name of יהוה his Elohim, like all his brothers the Lĕwites, who are standing there before יהוה. “They are to have portion for portion to eat, besides what comes from the sale of his inheritance.”
    ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭18:1-2, 7-8‬

    How to understand that?
    It starts with a clear reference that Levites have no inheritance and repeats it.
    Few verses later, one motivated “Levite”(?) is allowed to come and serve in the temple, like the others. He will share the same portion …
    besides what comes from the sale of his inheritance???
    How can? If he is a Levite, he wouldn’t have one, right?
    Why the distinction “motivated” , “like all his brothers” , etc.?

    Any thoughts?

  12. Guys what do u think of churches doing feet washing 2 times a year and people say they have healing from it plsssssss reply.

  13. What did Yahushua write in the sand?
    Consider these verses.

    Therefore I have called her “””Rahaḇ-Hĕm-Sheḇeth. “””
    Isa 30:8 And go, write it before them on a tablet, and inscribe it on a scroll, that it is for a latter day, a witness forever:
    Isa 30:9 that this is a rebellious people, lying children, children who refuse to hear the Torah of יהוה,
    Isa 30:10 who say to the seers, “Do not see,” and to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us what is right. Speak to us what is smooth, prophesy deceits.
    Isa 30:11 “Turn aside from the way, swerve from the path, cause the Set-apart One of Yisra’ĕl to cease from before us.”

    One day, Yah showed this to me. What other words could they have heard so internally, so pertinent to the situation, considering the false doctrines of the day?


  14. Reference Deut 18:18-22 concluding with, “If the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing does not occur and does not come about, that is the thing the Lord did not speak. The prophet has spoken it wantonly; you shall not be afraid of him.”

    Doesn’t this mean that what the prophet predicts must happen in the prophet’s lifetime since verse 20 says that prophet shall die?

    If so, doesn’t this imply that all the prophets who predicted what we interpret as a moshiach be considered false prophets since it didn’t happen during the prophet’s life?

    For example, Isaiah Ch 11 has not happened, even as the peaceful metaphor by Rambam’s interpretation, so why don’t we consider Isaiah a false prophet? Thank you.

  15. I will not allow any movie or book in my house that glorifies witchcraft to my children. That is the problem with Harry Potter. It presents witchcraft with a good and evil side. In other words, it glorifies that which is evil in God’s eyes. That is not like CSI. CSI shows that murder and rape is evil and wrong and does not glorify that which is evil in God’s eyes.

  16. I esteem Elohim YHVH for leaving remnants to be a light through many ages!!!
    Thanks be to YHVH also for all of you, Nehemiah, Keith and Jonah for yielding yourselves to El and serving Him to share with us all. May YHVH hear our heart’s as we surrender to His Will and learn of His intent continually.

    I’d like to say on the matter of Yshvhs response, of what I understand, is the heart of everyone, specifically adulterer here, is known to Yhvh thru Yshvh, so it could very well be she was repentant just as was Rahab in Joshua’s day…

    In reading all SCRIPTURE regularly (I was raised to believe Brit Hadassah was what all live by from now on, one day, 2002, I was searching to find original biblical scripts, and began my journey toward the 1st Covenant books so I’m convinced YHVH has both open to seek His will)
    Now I’m apprehended by all YHVH that HE had sent to us, in e v very generation to believe all have sinned… the repentance perceived can be felt in Nehemiah’s example (prayer of heart conviction) and also how Jeremiah lamented as he obeyed YHVH…for the men of promise, children of Israel, to heed what Adam did not. Obeying with willingness in heart, from conviction of mind is truly learned in my whole being.

    Thank you all for your input as I am truly blessed with unspeakable treasures from above. Bless all who come to Him who has cistern of life living waters forevermore!

    • I would like to add that the true witness is Ruach haIrless and as I listen and observe all things set apart spirit corrects the wrong/false teachings which have been passed on from Times past.

  17. In regards to the passage in John about the adulterous woman, putting aside for the moment the varsity of the account, I don’t believe it’s true to say that Yeshua forgave her. He did make her accusers go away, so under Torah, judgement could not be passed. (As you need two or more witnesses). He was not a witness, so he couldn’t accuse her. What he did was give her a second chance, tell her to go and sin no more. Is this not the grace of God, the outrageous favor of of Yehovah? In this passage, I see nothing more than the character of God and the upholding of Torah (The best way to live)

  18. Hi Nehemia,
    Thank you so much for these teachings. In your commentary on Shoftim, you meantioned that with the (soon) arrival of the Messiah, he would fulfill Deut 17:18-19 (“Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. 19 “It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes)
    I believed that Yeshua fulfilled this already. if you believe that one to come will fulfill this, perhaps again, it seems that this would take a considerable amount of time, to write his own copy in the presence of the priests and to read it every day. It seems like this would require a longer process than the arrival of the Messiah in the end times.

    I would appreciate to hear your comments on this.

    Dallas, Texas

  19. Thanks Nehemia, Keith and Jono,

    With reference to Deu19:20 / Lev 24:19-20 / Matt 5:38 – I have always had a problem with the phrase “resist not evil” Every other version I have checked has said “resist not evil”. What? Are we not to resist evil? Made no sense to me until I began to study the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew parallel to the KJV. From the Hebrew we find that Yeshua actually said “do not repay evil for evil”. From this we can make good sense of the verses pertaining to “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” …etc. I have found several other instances of misinterpretation compared to Hebrew Matthew. Can you 3 teachers please please do an expository on the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. Yehovah bless you all,


    Ferd Blom
    Toronto, Canada

    • Dear Ferd,

      Your point on the hebrew Mathew is very enlighting. Thank you for sharing. It goes exactly towards what I was going to share about that section of Mathew 5, and it uterly confirms it.

      The teaching on “resist not evil” starts by stating the just punishment for a crime from Torah: “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth”. This just punishment is not the minimum punishment to exact on the criminal, but it is actually the maximum punishment. If the victim or the judge intentionally retributes the criminal beyond what the Torah allows, they have become criminals themselves. It is a profound thought about justice that many seem to forget.

      Yeshua was making very clear that actually forgiving someone for personal ofenses like slapping and small, non-life threatening crimes, like the use of foreign laws against you, is the way of holy mercy, just like our God YHWH forgive our transgressions.

      It is an expounding of the Our Father prayer about forgiveness and shows how to practice mercy towards our adversaries, people that wish us evil.

      The Yeshua clearly follows teaching to “bless those that curse us and do good to those that despise us. Pray for those that mistreat and persecute. So that you are sons of your Father that are in heaven.” – Mathew 8:44 (paraphrasing)

      Again, the reference to “your Father in heaven”, ‘Avikha Shabashamayim’ No doubt he is refering to the prayer and explaining what it means to be forgiven as we forgive those that transgress against us.

      And the last verse of the section is a clear paraphrase from the Torah: “Be holy like thy YHWH is Holy”, and intertwining YHWH with Avikha shaba shamayim.

      The whole section is to show the true Torah, not the one that the Perushim and false priests. The wicked twisted and hid the Torah and made acretions and subtractions. They commited crimes when they caught criminals and their sentences were wicked.

      They became criminals in the eye of YHWH our God, because they inflicted suffering well beyond the Torah sentences. They did things like the idolaters do, cut someone’s hand for thievery, or their ears for lying. Maybe not those literaly, but Yeshua pointed out how they twisted vows and the Shabat rest, making people sin and suffer.



  20. I agree with Keith about the harry potter movies they are trying ti teach the children that this is acceptable.none in my house either Go Keith!………………..

  21. Dear Nehemia, Jono and Keith,
    I hope this e-mail finds at least One of you, as I don’t know Where to send an e-mail to that’s meant for you three guys. I live in South Africa, and I was soooo pleased to “meet” Nehemia and Keith on Michael Rood’s channel. That was the one where only the three of you were left after old Harold Camping’s “Rapture” happened. What a joke!
    Now, I would like to tell you, that I don’t see you three guys as the “Three Stooges”, but rather as the “Three Musketeers”, you know, ‘All for ONE, and ONE for All’ (the ONE being Yehovah) because that is exactly what I think of you. Then, your sense of humour, is the weekly highlight of my life that I look forward to. Michael Rood and his crew also seem to have this sense of humour, it’s encouraging to see and listen to, and watch Believers like all of you. I only wish that I can not only listen to, but actually Watch your “Torah Pearls” episodes. Thank you for lightening my weeks every week. Please don’t stop! Now, You, Nehemia, I’ve heard you tell the story of the little old Southern Lady telling you “Nehemiah, you’re going to hell” before you mentioned it on “To Hell and Back”. I don’t remember whether it was on one of Michael’s shows or whether it was when you were talking to Christine Darg, but the first time I heard that one, I hosed myself. I still giggle out loud when I hear it and if anybody heard me, they would think I’m Nuts. Now, if people tell you that again, I think I might have a tip for you. You then tell them: “Madam/ Sir, I’m one of the 144,000 that the Book of Revelation talks about…” isn’t that a good answer? Let me know what you think about that one, ok?
    PS. This is my favourite Portion of Scripture, and always makes me cry, when I hear it:
    The Priestly Blessing
    Numbers 6:22-27
    22 “Then YEHOVAH spoke to Moses, saying: 23 “Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: 24 “YEHOVAH bless you and keep you; 25 YEHOVAH make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; 26 YEHOVAH lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.”‘ 27 “So they shall put My Name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.”
    I read this every day, sometimes more than once. Shalom! And Yehovah’s Blessings on All of you.
    PPS. Please tell Keith I would also like some of Nehemia’s books but cannot find them in my country.
    Kind regards,
    Republic of South Africa

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