Studies in Torah

Parashat Ki Tetze (כי תצא): Deuteronomy 21:10-25:19

Murder, adultery, theft, honesty and lust for people and stuff: The Torah passage כי תצא Ki Tetze or Ki Teitzei (“when you go forth,” Deut. 21:10-25:19) explains what’s under the hood of the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth commandments (Ex. 20:13–17).

The traditional complementary reading for כי תצא Ki Tetze is Isa. 54:1–10.

Companion readings for Shoftim from the B’rit Chadashah (New Testament) from MessianicJudaism.net (also has through-the-Bible readings for prophets and B’rit Chadashah) and First Fruits of Zion:

  • Lk. 23:1-25 (First Fruits of Zion)
  • Mt. 5:31-32, 19:3-12, 22:23-32; Mk. 20:2-12, 12:18-27; Lk. 20:27-38; 1Cor. 9:4-18; Ga. 3:9-14; 1Ti. 5:17-18 (Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern)
  • 1Co. 5:1-5 (Parashiot From the Torah and Haftarah by Jeffrey E. Feinbe of Flame Foundation)

The following are recorded studies and notes on passages from Ki Tetze by Hallel Fellowship teacher Richard:

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

Richard 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.

Deuteronomy 21: Shadows of Messiah in the laws for unsolved murder, firstborn of ‘unloved’ wives, punishment for ‘rebellious’ sons

Many believers in Yeshua dismiss this chapter and similar ones as “just a list of rules” and assume they have no relevance to the modern times. Yet there is foreshadowing of the Messiah in the laws for cities to atone for the “stain” of unsolved murder, inheritance for the firstborn of “unloved” wives and capital punishment for “rebellious” sons.

Deuteronomy 22: Meaning of male and female

Why the LORD hates cross-dressing so much? There’s more to this seeming grab bag of anachronistic rules than is apparent on the surface.

Deuteronomy 22-23: Laws on finding lost items, cross-dressing, bird hunting, conduct in war, tithing ill-gotten gain, inappropriate relationships

Deuteronomy documents the thoughts of Elohim, illustrated by how often Messiah Yeshua and the apostles quote from it. By studying these commandments, statutes and judgments — at times difficult to understand — we can see a small glimpse of how God thinks, not in the past tense but in the present tense.

Deuteronomy 23: not mixing pagan worship with the worship of the LORD

The seeming prohibition against emasculated men and illegitimate children in God’s “assembly” in this chapter have been used widely to discredit His word. Richard explores whether God is being capricious and cruel with such proclamations, or whether He wants His people to avoid the pitfall of mixing evil worship practices with worship of the LORD.

Deuteronomy 24: What’s the big deal about divorce?

Much has been lost in modern society by treating divorce and kidnapping as less serious matters than God does in Deuteronomy 24. Richard explores a key question in this chapter: Why does God forbid remarriage to the first husband after a second marriage? The answer is clear in the original Hebrew text.

Deuteronomy 24-25: Divorce, kidnapping, charity, limits to punishment, marriage to bear an heir

This passage covers sometimes strange instructions for divorce, kidnapping, charity, limits to punishment and marriage to bear an heir.

Deuteronomy 25-26: Sowing seeds of a healthful culture

Honesty in business dealings and setting aside for the LORD the first and a 10th of what He has blessed us with seem like straightforward teachings from these two chapters for modern times. However, what do we do with these: men temporarily marrying their sisters-in-law to perpetuate the name of her dead husband and amputation as punishment for women who “fight dirty” seem way out of step with modern culture? Richard explores what God is trying to show us about Himself with these teachings.

Related to Deuteronomy 25

Real meaning of “Eye for an Eye”: God’s lessons in peace-making

Lashon ha-ra (evil tongue, i.e., gossip, slander and divisiveness) is one of the latter-day plagues among God’s people. We will explore a related principle taught in Torah by Yeshua and His apostles: proportionality. A number of Christians often consider “eye for an eye and tooth for tooth” an example of the “old covenant” not to live by anymore and quote Yeshua to that effect. Rather, we’ll see that “eye for an eye” is a Bible parabolic idiom teaching proportionality. The point of justice is to restore the offender to the community, not extract a pound of flesh.


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