In the last verse of this week’s Parashah Joseph is placed in a “coffin”. Coffin is translated from the Hebrew word aron (strong’s # H727). It is found 201 times in the Tanak. A hand full (around 6) is in reference to a collection basket for the restoration of the Temple & Temple Implements. The vast majority are in reference to the Ark of the Covenant. According to my search, only once is it translated as a coffin (Gen. 50:26). Do you see any significance in this?
Ok, here is my wacky idea.
Jer. 31:31 tells us that God will make a new covenant (I think renewed is a better translation) with the House of Israel and House of Judah. This covenant will differ from the first in one respect. It (Torah) will be written on our hearts.
Eze11:19 and 36:26 we see that He will replace our heart of stone with a heart of flesh. I know these passages can be used to teach various principles but I truly believe the take home message is the Torah (Ketubah) once written in stone will be in our hearts.
So, if Joseph is a type and shadow of Messiah (Messiah ben Joseph) & if Gen 50:26 draws a connection between Joseph and the Tablets of stone (10 Commandments: i.e., the heart of the Torah), then I think this tells us something about the message that the Messiah must bring.
The funny thing is that since I was a little boy the church taught me that all I needed to be “saved” was ask “Jesus” to come live in my heart. This seems like a silly concept but maybe it is a very simple / childish way to express a yearning for all things to be restored, to once again be in covenant with the God of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. Or maybe I am crazy.
Regarding the weekly Parsha: I have been immensely blessed since beginning this practice. I spend the majority of my week just scratching the surface. I understand that after 70 cycles you are still scratching.
I see the difference but I also see the similarity. My point is that if Jesus is the Messiah then his message must have been Torah. If He attempted to do away with the slightest stroke of Torah then He disqualified Himself (Deu 13:1-4). For nearly 2000 years the church has been presenting a case that attacks the foundation of their existence (that Jesus is the Messiah but he did away with the Law). No wonder they have had such a difficult time converting Jews. To be honest I am not sure how you convert Judah, who was never out of covenant to begin with. For that matter, if christianity is correct and Jesus is the Torah made flesh then the observant Jew already has Yeshuah / salvation.
Regarding the construction of the original Torah scroll: I tend to believe Moses began the process while in the wilderness but Y’hoshua or another of his contemporaries finished up after his death.
Before we leave the subject of hearts of stone and flesh, I find it interesting that the last letter of Deuteronomy is a lamed and the first letter of Genesis is a bet. Together they form the Hebrew word leb (strongs #H3820) translated as heart.
I believe I am grafted into Israel, I worship the G-d of Abraham, Isaac & Jacob, I believe the Torah is loving instruction from G-d and does not change. Whether that makes me a Jew or not is a mater of semantics. I would guess most Jews to say no, most messianic would say yes & Christians would just wonder why anybody would ask such a question. Truth is I don’t know and don’t really care as long as I am in the family. I want your G-d to be my G-d, your people to be my people. I need to be clear on one issue: I believe Yeshua of Nazareth is the Messiah not Jesus of Athens. So in a nutshell, that’s my “deal”.
You said “the Messiah and G-d are separate things”. No argument on my part. Reflecting a Kabbalistic view point, I read an article by a Rabbi (not sure of his name or affiliation) who made the point that all that is eternal is directly from G-d, thus if there is any eternal part of man it is of G-d. Not sure how that shakes out but found it interesting.
You asked “Who was it then that changed everything?”. We have the early church fathers to thank for that legacy. The early church went threw a period of anti-Semitism where most things Hebraic were purged.
Yeshua teaching Torah…. That’s too easy. Open up a NT and look for red letters. A significant portion of His words will be quotes from the Tanak.
Mat 22:33-40 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at His teaching. But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment. "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
The church has taught this passage to mean the Law is done away with and all we need to do is love G-d and our neighbors. That is not what He said. First He quotes Deu 6:5 (a portion of the Shama). Second, the 10 commandments can be broken into two categories: those governing our relationship with G-d and those governing our relationships with our neighbors. If I love my neighbor then I will not murder him, sleep with his wife, bare false witness against him….. If I love G-d then I will have no other gods, I will not take His name in vane, I will remember the Sabbath….. If I violate a commandment of G-d the question must be asked what was the root cause. Yeshua was teaching that ultimately the root of any violation is that you did not love G-d or your neighbor. Thus the Torah and Prophets truly hang on these two.