Category Archives: Torah

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

Why Was Eve Deceived?

Richard Agee explains that every woman is the representation of the Bride of Messiah Yeshua. In the Garden of Eden the Adversary attacked Eve with intellect to kill the "image of God," her ability to give birth to the One (Messiah) who would fulfill God’s plan to bring life — true, eternal life.

The story of Eve (Genesis 2-3) is a representation of all her daughters, just as Adam is a representation of all his sons. The apostle Paul tells us that and uses their story as an example to explain how the Messiah wants our congregations and our families to function. Their story bear lessons applicable to the lives of all their children — us.

The first point we can learn from Eve’s story in particular is that the Serpent didn’t attack her with violence but with intellect. Yes, Eve was deceived, but she wasn’t intellectually deficient or dumb — not by any stretch of the imagination. She was created as a perfect being by the Almighty, not just a perfect body, but also a perfect mind. Those who interpret the Scriptures to insult or denigrate Eve or her daughters misses the point of the story.

The second point is this: Eve’s desire to be "wise like God" was not wrong. It was a desire put into her by God himself. He wanted both Adam and Eve to grow in wisdom and learn to love Him more and more. So what went wrong? Satan twisted her natural desire to become more like God by deceiving her into a path God specifically said not to follow—the path offered by the Tree of Knowledge rather than the path offered by the Tree of Life.

The third point? Adam called Eve "the Mother of All the Living" (Gen. 3:20) not "the Mother of the Dead." Adam wasn’t deceived (1 Tim. 2:14), and he is the one who brought death into the world, not Eve. Yeshua came into the world as the "Second Adam"  to rectify Adam’s folly and bring Mankind the opportunity to have eternal life (see 1 Cor. 15:35-50).

Deuteronomy 10: “40” means new birth, new status, new life

The number 40 plays heavily in this chapter. Both Moses and Yeshua had to spend 40 days and 40 nights alone in prayer with God to prepare themselves to teach and lead His people through difficult times ahead. It’s no coincidence that a woman carries a child in her womb for 40 weeks either and the correlation is purposeful as Moses’ 40 days and nights with God brought forth the 10 commandments into the world. Yeshua’s 40 days and 40 nights gave Him the strength to resist temptation and defeat Satan.

Thought Questions
Continue reading Deuteronomy 10: “40” means new birth, new status, new life