Torah Pearls #45 – Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11)

This episode of The Original Torah PearlsVa'etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11)  is perhaps the crown jewel of Torah portions. It contains the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4. But what do the Hebrew words “Shema” and “Echad” mean and why is this single verse so important? Also in this program: Is Jesus/ Yeshua a victim of character assassination? What are the Noahide laws? Was the covenant made with us or our fathers? What is the 1st commandment?

Va'etchanan is adorned with an especially long strand of pearls and each gem is held to the light. After examining, “he pleaded,” the trio gets to the nitty-gritty of why Moses didn’t cross over. After noting the differences between the Ten Commandments in this portion and the listing in Exodus, the command not to add nor take away from the Torah is examined—as well as Jesus’ words on the subject. The provenance of the Noahide laws is revealed—with instances in the Tanakh (Old Testament) where these laws are contradicted. Discussions include: What does Moses’ 3,500 year-old prophecy prove? Regarding Sinai: would you just have to be there? How can we keep God’s word on our hearts? (see also Tefillin link below) What does it mean to take God’s name in vain? To covet? We have to pay for whose sins? (see also Ezekiel 18 & 33 link below) Is there more than one reason to keep the Sabbath day? Is there a better reason to honor one’s parents than the blessing of a longer life? Gemstones also include the “Shema” (6:4) in context, in tradition, and as spoken by Jesus. Gordon reveals a fossil from tradition that proves a time when the name of Yehovah was freely spoken. This especially long and lustrous string of pearls shows that Israel accepted the Torah as good—as love, light, wisdom and beauty for all mankind.

I look forward to reading your comments!

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32 thoughts on “Torah Pearls #45 – Va’etchanan (Deuteronomy 3:23-7:11)

  1. In proper context, the ‘eye for eye and tooth for tooth’ Yeshua was probably referring to was the scenario where “two men contend with each other, and an INNOCENT BYSTANDER is injured…” then a judgement/recompense shall be made, ergo, when Yeshua says to turn the other cheek “and in that manner the judgement can be avoided”, one clearly sees NOT contending with the other man keeps me from injuring an innocent bystander, and not liable for any recompense.

  2. Deuteronomy 6:4-5. v4 = one. v5 deciding heart(center), living heart(spreading through the body), strength of heart(using of muscle). You will be a divided person if these three are not working together. Yehovah is always one. This is explaining the physical perspective. Spiritual perspective: explained in a physical way in Genesis 2 with the male and his female.

  3. Nehemia, I thank Yehovah for you and ask Him to bless you. I am trying to understand something y’all didn’t really touch in this passage. It is written in Deut. 4:14 “And Yehovah commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgements that you might perform them in the land where you are going over to possess it.” How does this affect us who are not living in the land? Is there a division between the 10 commandments referred to in the previous verse (these being for all men of faith everywhere) and the rest of the statues and judgements (for those living in the land)?

  4. Nehemiah, just wanted to thank you and re-iterate what Keith said about your being a man that has welcomed and taught us the ways of God, I’m one convert that can certainly say your being open has been a huge blessing in my life keep up the great work proclaiming the name!



  5. Yeshua, having been born as son of man yet having come directly from the Father, has functioned as Yah’s right hand on earth in the same manner Yosef functioned as Pharaoh’s right hand in Egypt. You saw Yosef, you saw Pharaoh. Yosef was the representative of pharaoh for the people and functioned as the intermediary between the people and Pharaoh. This is just as it is with Yeshua as the ONLY intermediary between Yah and man. However unlike Yosef, a son of the first Adam, Yeshua came directly from the Father and as such is not affected by time and space, just as the Father. Therefore Yeshua has been interceding with man since Adam. It is impossible for man to see Yah the Father for the Father is Ruach, Spirit, but it is possible to see Yeshua as indeed he walked in Eden with Adam teaching him the way. Same thing when he appeared to Abraham with the two angels that he dispatched to Sodom and Gomorrah, and to Moses when he appeared along with the Father on the Mount’s summit handing Moses the living instructions or Torah, this time in written form.

    Yeshua was the creative word or rhema that with the Father, the Ruach ha Kodesh, encircled the chaotic mass that was the earth while the darkness laid on the surface of the deep, Gen 1. Hasatan had been kicked from Yah’s presence for in his pride the adversary wanted to excerpt control and receive the praises due Yahveh Eloheinu. Nonetheless Yahveh and Yeshua as one, as echad, shaped this heaven and earth resting and sanctifying the 7th day. Yeshua has been interceding with man since the start of this heaven and earth. He is now interacting as Israel’s High Priest in the Heavenly Temple and will soon return with his angels to the Mount of Olives as Moshiach Ben David.

  6. Matthew 5:19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    What’s the Hebrew original meaning of this verse, in English it sounds like the commandment breakers still enter heaven but are not well rewarded, yet in revelations it says those that break it don’t enter through the gates… what’s up with this apparent contradiction?

    Look forward to your reply!
    May Yahovah bless you!

      • In the gospels “The Kingdom of Heaven” is synonymous with “The Kingdom of God” and has been wrongly understood to be Heaven the dwelling place of God. The Kingdom of Heaven/God is here on earth and is entered by all those who have made Yehovah their King in obedience to Torah and the Prophets.

        Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”
        (Luke 17:20-21) (Duet. 30:11-14)

        • Thank you very much for the explanation!
          It’s great to clear some bothersome English contradictions!
          Yahoveh Bless!

          • I admire your thirst for knowledge and understanding. It is good that we can ask questions without fear and help each other the best we can.

            “Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another . “(Prov. 27:17)

    • well, just because those in the Kingdom are calling the ‘breakers “least” doesn’t necessarily mean the “least” ones are inside the Kingdom… the “least” might be on the outside looking in!

  7. A New Testament instance of the Noahide laws–: In the Book of Acts, chapter 20, James (brother of Jesus) explicitly applies four of the Noahide laws to Gentile believers, though he doesn’t cite them by that name (verse 20, repeated in verse 29). Possibly, the other Noahide laws were regarded as common currency at that time, and unnecessary to mention.

  8. i absolutely love listen to the 3 of you, and learning from and with you. Couple of days ago, I decided to add my Dutch bible translation to my studies that would be the equivalent of the King James Version, and I stumbled on a linguistic beauty that never occurred to me since I usually study in English. As the word ‘Shema’ implies listen and obey, somehow the Dutch language covers the meaning by their word for obedience: gehoorzaamheid, which has the word listen in it and the notion of teach-ability and acting on what you hear. Ironically, Dutch people are some of the most stubborn and opinionated, so maybe not as much as the Jewish people,whenever you have 2 Dutch Christians, you would also have two churches……so who do they really listen to……: )?
    Love your program, don’t stop, keep on going no matter what. Thank you from China!

  9. Nehemia’s explanation of “all Jews being at Sinai” is not too farfetched to my thinking, since every person on earth, and that ever was on earth, was, at one time, only in the loins of their fathers. I see in the new testament a parallel to this line of thinking in Hebrews 7:9-10: And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, paid tithes IN ABRAHAM (emphasis mine). For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him. (NKJV)
    I love Torah and Prophet Pearls and study along with you ever week!

  10. Keith talks about his difficulties being welcome by religious Jews. I believe many times our actitud is the number one reason for the reaction of others. Many times we are not aware of our looks, tone of voice, actions, etc. think about it: all those things count at the time we approach people. Regarding Jews, we need to follow Pauls advice “Do not be haughty (arrogant, proud) but fear”, Rom 11:20. I don’t care who’s wrong or right: I, myself, need to be prudent(quiet), sweet, giving others preference in all. I remember my husband, I and our children in front of The Temple Institud at Jerusalem, and also at the Jewish market, when a couple of Jews in black and with ‘peyots’ aproched us very nicely insisting us to pray with them! One of them prayed over and blessed us. It was a beautiful moment. Specially because he looked and acted so simple like a kid. I believe it made a big difference that we where just walking around very quiet and prudent. I was dressed piously as I normally do (long skirt, head covering). Another beautiful experience I had was a moment when our regular Christian tour group was passing by some religious Jewish woman praying over some dough for challah in a corner under the Temple Mount. So I felt a profound presence of God that made me leave the tour group and very prudently get close to those women. I stood there by their side listening to their sweet prayer. I didn’t u dear stand the Hebrew, but I felt I was in Gods presence. Afterward one of them, an elderly called Miriam (that I was able to understand :), prayed over and blessed me and our family. Those encounters were among the most precious e periences with Jews we have had. But if you go around looking like a heathen, all funny loud and wanting to know everything out of curiosity or whatever else motivation, you’ll get that kind of reaction Keith talks about. When we feel like correcting others, including Jews, what can we expect. I might not agree with a great amount of their believes, but I know my place and the actitud and good testimony God expects from me. It might be that when we are completely conformed to Yeshua, then we might correct or be all over a Jew. Meanwhile, let’s be humble and learn and do quietly.

  11. I really enjoy listening to you 3.
    I was raised as a JW (1975-2004) “exiled” for 7 years before coming back in through “babylon the great” (as they refer to the churches) I was taught from birth to be so afraid of deception to not listen to anyone teaching anything against what they teach and not to believe anyone else’s bible translation. If you want a former insiders advice – what I really needed to know then that might have saved me a lot of pain and confusion (maybe lol) is that they didn’t have the copywrite on Gods Spirit and that there were over a hundred thousand others following YHVH without celebrating Holidays. I felt trapped and like leaving them meant leaving YHVH. I didn’t realize l could walk with Him without them. I believed the opposite to my core- blindly. ❤

  12. Hi, Nehemiah:

    I was wondering that in the passage in Duet 4:19 where it states…

    [Deu 4:19 NKJV] “And [take heed], lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and [when] you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the LORD your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage.

    Does this mean that the liturgy in the Siddur when singing on Erev Shabbat the Shalom Aleichem which according to Wikipedia…:

    “Shalom Aleichem is a traditional song sung by Jews every Friday night upon returning home from synagogue prayer. It signals the arrival of the Jewish Sabbath, welcoming the angels who accompany a person home on the eve of the Sabbath.”

    Is this not worship angels?

  13. I have a question about echad. If God is one what is your understanding of the passage in Genesis 1:26 – “Let US make man in OUR image”?

  14. Pienso que debería ser expuesto el tema ,no solo en audio, si no también en comentario escrito, para los que sabemos ,escuchar ingles,pero entendemos algo el ingles, cuando lo leemos ,gracias

  15. Thinking that I love the picture of “not mentioning” sin as YHWH’s response to our teshuvah. It makes so much more sense than Shakespeare’s “forgive and forget” that only leads to abuse.
    This understanding of “not mentioning” the sin anymore after the repentance has taken place, fits so much better with the Hebrew
    “forgive” with the samech / ring of thorns / “safe space” enclosure for the flock and the lamed / shepherd’s staff / teaching and instruction, separated from the wild animals outside of that safe space.

  16. Hi Nehemia, Keith, Jono. Just listened to Deut 3:23; 7:11 The Lord God is One. Yeshua said that also. I’m not a trinitarian but How do you explain the duty of the Holy Spirit which Yeshua said He would send? Is Yeshua part of the one God? Is the son, Yeshua, one-part of the LORD? If so, who was Yeshua praying to? Himself? Would be grateful for clarification.

    • Dearest Yvonne,

      My name is Kris and I am a Christian and I am glad that you asked this question. I believe that some of your confusion will be cleared up if you put the Tetragrammaton back in Deuteronomy 6:4, and if you throw out the doctrines of men and let the Scriptures stand.

      Not all Christians believe in the trinity. I used to get offended when a friend and fellow Christian would tell me that he didn’t believe in the trinity. “How,” I reasoned with myself, “could he call himself a Christian and meanwhile not believe in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit?” I felt defensive and attacked, and acted as such. But I now believe the error was mine, because (like some fellow Christians) I did not realize that there is a man-inspired definition of the trinity – and this definition does not simply mean that all three exist (and by exist, I mean that I can open up my Christian Bible; read of all three; and believe what I read). No, to my surprise, I found out that the trinity has a man-made definition which means much more than acknowledging and believing what the Christian Bible says about all three.

      According to Wikipedia, the Athanasian Creed “is the first creed in which the equality of the three persons of the Trinity is explicitly stated.” One aspect (of the English translation) of the Athanasian Creed is that of the three (Father, Son, and Holy Ghost) “none is greater, or less than another”. This Creed specifically states that all three are “coequal”. But do the Christian Scriptures support this theory? Does not Yeshua show his loving submission to YHVH? My favorite example of this loving submission is Matthew 26:39, where Yeshua places the will of his Father above his own will. Other examples include but are not limited to John 14:28 and 1 Corinthians 15:27-28.

      Deuteronomy 6:4 actually says that YHVH is our God, YHVH is one.

      I would like to point out that Deuteronomy 6:4b says that YHVH is one, and that nowhere in the Christian Writings do they record Yeshua ever claiming to be the Father. In John 10:30 Yeshua states that he and the Father are one – but Yeshua never claims to be the Father, and Yeshua even says in the preceding verse (John 10:29), “My Father…is greater than all”. Similarly, in John 14:9 Yeshua says, “The (one) seeing me has seen the Father…”, then in the following verse Yeshua continues, “The words which I speak to you I do not speak from myself, but the Father who abides in me, He does the works.” Again Yeshua does not claim to be the Father, and even gives the Father credit and glory for the works. So what is the discrepancy between Deuteronomy 6:4b and the Christian Scriptures? Is there one? …no pun intended – okay, perhaps a slight pun intended.

      Let’s consider this from another angle – If Yeshua was praying to himself, then either the Father died on a tree (No No No!!!), or Yeshua didn’t die on a tree (No No No!!!).

      Even after he was resurrected, Yeshua still continued to call the Father “my God” (John 20:17). The Christian Scriptures teach that Yeshua was highly exalted by God due to Yeshua’s obedience until death, and that Yeshua was given authority after he was resurrected (Matthew 28:18, Philippians 2:8-9). Exalted by whom? Obedient to whom? Given authority by whom? The Father, of course!

      Ok, next, let us Christians acknowledge the difference between the Hebrew word pronounced “elohim”/”Elohim” (god/God), versus the Hebrew Tetragrammaton (YHVH in English). “Elohim”/”elohim” is a word that can be used to refer to either our true God, or in certain cases to those working for our true God in specific roles/positions, or to false god/gods – in other words, this word is a title. YHVH is the name of the Creator as first written in Hebrew letters in Genesis 2:4. So, is Yeshua the Father? No. Is Yeshua God/god? To answer this question, let’s look at Psalm 82. Some Christians grossly misinterpret this Psalm (especially those so-called “Christians” in the new age movement – but don’t get me started on Barney the dinosaur). Anyway, in Psalm 82:1, the word/title “elohim” is used to refer to the appointed judges that are working for God and that are getting chastised for judging unjustly. If, then, the Father is willing to give this title (gods) to judges working for Him that are making unjust rulings, then what sort of title do you think the Father would give to the Messiah who accomplished his mission; who submitted to the Father’s will; who was obedient until death; and to whom the Father gave all authority in Heaven and on Earth? My guess – a pretty good title. Point being? The Father is head over all and Creator and can do whatever He likes, including assign and/or share whatever titles or names or roles He wants whenever He wants because He is that awesome!

      I would like to note that according to The New Encyclopædia Britannica, the trinity doctrine “developed gradually over several centuries and through many controversies.” This source goes on to say, “By the end of the 4th century…the doctrine of the Trinity took substantially the form it has maintained ever since.” (1976, Micropædia, Vol. X, p. 126).

      So, do I believe in the trinity? No. Do I believe in what is written in my Christian Bible about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? Yes.

      That being said, I would like to acknowledge that I’m obviously not always correct and that I am no expert by any means of the Scriptures or of languages. I would also like to offer my (very strong) opinion that whether or not a person believes in the trinity is of no importance when it comes to the matter of salvation. Sometimes we Christians have different interpretations of the Scriptures, and it is our challenge and duty to try our best to be of one like mind, despite such differences. I don’t know exactly how to accomplish this – perhaps prayer. It is our common enemy satan who would like nothing more than to divide. So, if you or any Christian has a different interpretation of the Scriptures, express it if you’d like. Perhaps we’ll even discuss it in person one day, and even though we still may not agree, let’s move forward together as best we can – as we are a people with a heart for YaH, called in one body, and instructed to let the peace of God rule in our hearts.

      Lastly, I would like to add that one thing our common enemy does not want any of us to do is to Repent! So let’s keep that up! Despite our differences, perhaps we can take a stand against the enemy on our areas of common ground.

      I hoped this helped you, Yvonne! Love in fellowship, Kris

      • Kris,
        Thank you. Your answer is excellent. I do not use the word “Trinity” (except when I am discussing the problem.) I think there is so much more that could be understood if this one word had not been in our way. Which is a more important thing for us to do or obey; 1) to believe that “the Trinity is a hypostatic union” or 2) to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace? Why should that be so hard to figure out?

  17. Hi Nehemiah, I’d like to share my perspective on the Sinai debate. I agree that obviously You and other Jews were not at Sinai literally. But Paul, who was a Hebrew, in his letter to the Hebrews, has an interesting way of reasoning on the identical principle.

    Heb 7:5 And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:
    Heb 7:6 But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises.
    Heb 7:9 And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham.
    Heb 7:10 For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him.

    Paul’s claim seems to be based on the law of genetics as he understood it. He’s not saying Levi was there paying tithes to Melchizedek through his soul or some other mystical garbage. To me he is saying that in Abraham was the seed, or the genetics that would one day become Isaac, Jacob, and the father’s of the twelve tribes including Levi.

    Far from invoking mysticism, he is invoking a fundamental law of nature as God created it. In that sense, all the descendants of the people who were at Sinai were “in the loins” of their forbears in terms of the laws of genetics.

    In Romans 5:12 he uses the same logic to explain why we are all counted as sinners from conception as David says in Psalm 51:5. “Because of this, even as sin entered the world through one man, (Adam) and death through sin, so also death passed to all men, inasmuch as all sinned.” He’s basically saying that even though none of us was born yet, we all sinned when Adam sinned because Adam was the father of the human race and we were all constituted in Adam genetically. When you think about it he has to be right otherwise David is lying in Psalm 51:5 when he says he became a sinner at conception rather that at the moment he committed his first sin.

    So in this genetic sense, you were at Sinai become you were genetically in the loins of your Jewish ancestor who was there. Shalom!

  18. Thank you again. God is continuing to use you and Keith in powerful ways in my life. Thank you for being willing to walk the unique path that you are walking. Please don’t stop no matter how much you are ever hated or maligned by ignorant people.

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