Category Archives: Torah

Deuteronomy 21: Cursed is He hung on a tree; blessed are we for mercy long foreseen

Richard Agee explores the connection between Messiah Yeshua’s (Jesus) being hung on a tree, the cross, and the command here to hang cursed, executed criminals on a tree and execution of a rebellious son. Also discussed is God’s handling of “cold” murder cases. Continue reading Deuteronomy 21: Cursed is He hung on a tree; blessed are we for mercy long foreseen

Deuteronomy 19-20 — foundations of modern jurisprudence & lessons on the military draft

Richard Agee explores the foundations for modern criminal law, which is found in the Torah: malice aforethought, compensatory damages, perjury, and proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Also, the army of ancient Israel was not to be manned by a draft. Continue reading Deuteronomy 19-20 — foundations of modern jurisprudence & lessons on the military draft

Deuteronomy 18 — Revealing the Creator via a prophet like Moshe

Richard Agee discusses one of the most precious promises of the Torah, found in Deuteronomy 18. A prophet like Moses — Messiah — would come and reveal God in a more intimate way. However, we must not seek divine knowledge by other means — divination. Continue reading Deuteronomy 18 — Revealing the Creator via a prophet like Moshe

Deuteronomy 15: Shmitah teaches mercy and freedom

Instructions on the שביעית‎‎ shvi’it (“seventh”), the year of שמיטה‎‎ shmitah (“release”) or sabbatical year, are part of a larger teaching in Deuteronomy 14–16 on the Fourth Commandment, to guard the seventh day of the week as a holy memorial. But these instructions on care for the poor and releasing debts during the shmitah show us how the various Shabbat memorials remind us of all God has released us from through Yeshua haMashiakh (Jesus the Christ).

Thought questions

What is the difference between lending and usury (Deut. 15:7)?

What is the command in Deut. 15:1?

Does Deut. 15:7 refer to beggars on the street corner?

Should there never be poor in a nation (Deut. 15:11)?

How does God release you of your obligations or trials before Himself?

Why aren’t foreigners included in the release?

How is this similar to the modern trend of people moving to countries with generous social programs but don’t become productive citizens and/or refuse to assimilate into their host country?

Deut. 15:9 literally says one has an “evil eye” if he waits until the end of the six years to lend money or assist the poor. What is an “evil eye” or an “eye full of darkness” (Matt. 6:23)?

When are we to give to those in need?

Deut 15:13. How does this chapter compare to the slave trade in America up to the Civil War?

Deut. 15:19. What is so important about the firstborn of the flock? How is this different from how the tithe is selected?

Deuteronomy 14: What does God have against certain types of meat?

These instructions of “clean” and “unclean” animals connect to a bigger lesson in Deuteronomy 13–14 on the Third Commandment, about blaspheming the Name of the LORD, or making the Name common. “Cleaning” what’s distant from God is the real lesson beyond clean/unclean in Leviticus 11, Deuteronomy 14 and Acts 10.

Thought questions

How does Deut. 14:1-2 explain the purpose for clean and unclean animals?

Why can you give clean roadkill to a foreigner or an alien? Aren’t foreigners included in Israel and equal under her laws? Wouldn’t roadkill still have blood in it?

What is the wordplay with “divided” and “hoof”?

What is the difference between the clean and the unclean birds? Don’t chickens attack and consume each other from time to time?

Are any animals that the LORD, the Creator, declared unclean/off limits really food in God’s eyes?

How are the directions on clean and unclean meat related to God’s elevation of Israel above the other nations? (Lev. 11:44-45)

How does the object lesson on the physical level educate us on what is happening on the spiritual level?

What happens if you accidentally eat unclean meat? What happens if you choose to continue eating that meat?

What did Messiah mean when He said, “Don’t throw pearls before swine” (Matt. 7:6)?

How is the parallel between giving foreigners animals that died akin to giving those who are “a far off” a little of the truth until they come back for more?

Deuteronomy 13 — warnings against mixing religious practices with the worship of the LORD

Richard Agee explores the Biblical tests in Deuteronomy 13 for knowing when someone is speaking for God, i.e., is a prophet. Continue reading Deuteronomy 13 — warnings against mixing religious practices with the worship of the LORD