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Mishpatim

A Journey into Exodus: Mishpatim- Ordained Relationships Constructed by the King

Isaiah 58;2 “Yet they seek Me day by day and delight to know My ways,
As a nation that has done righteousness
And has not forsaken the ordinance (MISHPAT) of their God.
They ask Me for just (MISHPAT) decisions,
They delight in the nearness of God.

MISHPAT (mish-pawt)-a verdict pronounced judicially, divine law, the act, place, crime, suit and penalty; justice including a participant’s right or privilege.

mishpatim

–The Torah Portion of Mishpatim (Judgments, ordinances) is so intensely rich, it is studied throughout the remaining cycle as students continue in the Torah portions. Why is Mishpatim so important? It is the section of the Torah connected to the Ten Utterances (known as the Ten Commandments). Our bibles have been split and dissected by men without completed understanding of the Hebrew language. (*disclaimer- I am just learning, I do not, by any means, know it all. There will never be ‘enough’ to learn.*) The Hebrew letter vav is a nail which is used to connect words. If you have a bible with the Hebrew text you will see that some ‘chapters’ begin or ‘end’ with a vav and are meant to be read in connection with the previous ‘section’. This is clear in the case of Mishpatim, they are meant to be considered as if they are the explanation of the HOW TO DO the WHAT which was commanded and inscribed by the finger of God in STONE. The texts we are about to examine are the definition of how God would like us to behave in our relationships with one another. There are regulations on relationships; prescribed payment or restitution for repairing relationships; prohibited relationships,etc. These texts are the instructions from our King as to how we are to LIVE OUT relationships in a Torah community, in Yeshua.
Please pray that the Holy Spirit illuminate and teach us, in Yeshua’s name and always in accordance with the Father’s will. Read Proverbs 8 as an exhortation from the King as He explains the nature and substance of ALL His words and indicates their value to ALL people.

Proverbs 8
8 Wisdom is calling!
Understanding is raising her voice!
2 On the heights along the road,
where the paths meet, she is standing;
3 by the gates leading into the city,
at the entrances, she cries aloud:
4 “People, I am calling you,
raising my voice to all mankind.
5 You who don’t direct your lives,
understand caution (ORMAH);
as for you, you fools,
get some common sense!
6 “Listen! I will say worthwhile things;
when I speak, my words are right.
7 My mouth says what is true,
because my lips detest evil (RESHA).
8 All the words from my mouth are righteous;
nothing false or crooked (PATHAL) is in them.
mishpatim 3
9 They are all clear to those who understand
and straightforward to those who gain knowledge.
10 Receive my instruction, rather than silver;
knowledge, rather than the finest gold.
11 For wisdom is better than pearls;
nothing you want can compare with her.
12 “I, wisdom, live together with caution (ORMAH);
I attain knowledge and discretion.
13 The fear of Adonai is hatred of evil.
I hate pride and arrogance,
evil ways and duplicitous speech.
14 Good advice is mine, and common sense;
I am insight, power is mine.
15 By me kings reign,
and princes make just laws.
16 By me princes govern,
nobles too, and all the earth’s rulers.
17 I love those who love me;
and those who seek me will find me.
18 Riches and honor are with me,
lasting wealth and righteousness.
mishpatim 5
19 My fruit is better than gold, fine gold,
my produce better than the finest silver.
20 I follow the course of righteousness
along the paths of justice (MISHPAT),
21 to endow with wealth those who love me
and fill their treasuries.
22 “Adonai made me as the beginning of his way,
the first of his ancient works.
23 I was appointed before the world,
before the start, before the earth’s beginnings.
24 When I was brought forth, there were no ocean depths,
no springs brimming with water.
25 I was brought forth before the hills,
before the mountains had settled in place;
26 he had not yet made the earth, the fields,
or even the earth’s first grains of dust.
27 When he established the heavens, I was there.
When he drew the horizon’s circle on the deep,
28 when he set the skies above in place,
when the fountains of the deep poured forth,
29 when he prescribed boundaries for the sea,
so that its water would not transgress his command,
when he marked out the foundations of the earth,
30 I was with him as someone he could trust.
For me, every day was pure delight,
as I played in his presence all the time,.
31 playing everywhere on his earth,
and delighting to be with humankind.
32 “Therefore, children, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
33 Hear instruction, and grow wise;
do not refuse it.
34 How happy the person who listens to me,
who watches daily at my gates
and waits outside my doors.
35 For he who finds me finds life
and obtains the favor of Adonai.
36 But he who misses me harms himself;
all who hate (SANE) me love death (MAVETH).”

mishpatim1

–I have compiled an INCOMPLETE list of Hebrew words found in our text (there are more but I did my best with the vastness of this text). I have sorted them into three ‘categories’. Please use this as a reference for understanding but even as an illustration as to how rich this portion is. This incomplete list is lengthy, it amazes me how very much emphasis the Lord is putting here in VERBS, actions. We will see as we break apart the portion how many of these words are doubled up for even more emphasis.

Category 1
Hebrew Words and their definitions…which relate an action, or mode of action; the following words are often used in a “negative” sense in our texts (another way of thinking of it is ‘these are the crimes’) :
MISHPAT (mish-pawt)-a verdict pronounced judicially, divine law, the act, place, crime, suit and penalty; justice including a participant’s right or privilege.
BAGAD (bagad)-to cover (with a garment); fig. to act covertly; by implication, to pillage.
GARA (gaw-rah)-to scrape off; to shave, remove, lessen, withhold.
NAKAH (naw-kaw)- to strike (lightly or severely, literally or figuratively.)
MUWTH (mooth)-to die; causatively- to kill.
[MAVETH-death; the dead, their place or state (hades); pestilence, ruin.]
TSADAH (tsaw-dah)-to chase; to desolate.
ZUWD (zood)- to seethe; figuratively, to be insolent.
HARAG (haw-rag)- to smite with deadly intent.
ORMAH (or-maw)- trickery; (in a good sense- discretion).
GANAB (gaw-nab)- to thieve (literally or figuratively); to deceive. [GNEBAH-stealing; something stolen.]
QALAL (kaw-lal)-to be (make), literally (swift, small, sharp), figuratively (easy, trifling, vile).
RIYB (reeb)-to toss; grapple; figuratively, to wrangle, hold a controversy; to defend.
NATSAH (naw-tsaw)-to go forth; to be expelled, and desolate; to lay waste, to quarrel.
NAGAPH (naw-gaf)-to push, gore, defeat, stub (the toe), inflict (a disease).
ACOWN (aws-sone)-hurt.
SHABAR (shaw-bar)- to burst (literally or figuratively).
SHABAH (shaw-baw)-to transport into captivity.
SHACHATH (shaw-khath)-to decay; ruin (literally or figuratively).
KARAH (kaw-raw)-to dig; figuratively to plot; to bore or open.
PESHA (peh-shah)- to revolt (national, moral or religious).
RASHA (raw-shah)- to be (to do or declare)wrong; to disturb, violate. [RESHA-a wrong (especially moral)]
TARAPH (taw-raf)- to pluck off or pull to pieces. [TREPHAH- prey; flocks devoured by animals.]
PATHAH (paw-thaw)- to open; fig. (in a mental or moral sense) to be simple (in a sinister way) to delude.
YANAH (yaw-naw)- to rage or be violent; to suppress, to maltreat.
LACHATS (law-khats)-to press; figuratively, to distress.
ANAH (aw-naw)- to depress (root from the idea of browbeating).
TSA’AQ (tsaw-ak)- to shriek (tsa’aqah-tsah-ak-aw- a shriek).
CHABAL (khaw-bal)-to wind tightly (as a rope), to bind; specifically by a pledge; figuratively to pervert, destroy, to writhe in pain. [PATHAL-to twine, to struggle or to be morally torturous.]
SANE (saw-nay)- to hate (personally).
CHADAL (khaw-dal)- to be flabby; to desist; to be lacking or idle.
AZAB (aw-zab)- to loosen; relinquish, permit.
NATAH (naw-taw)-to stretch or spread out; to bend away (including moral deflection).
CALAPH (saw-laf)-to wrench, (figuratively, to subvert).
CHAMAC (khaw-mawce)-violence; wrong; unjust gain.

Category 2:
Hebrew Words and their definitions…which relate an action, or mode of action; the following words are often used in a “Positive” sense in our texts (another way of thinking of it is these are the ‘punishments’):
NAQAH (naw-kaw)-to be (or make) clean; extirpated.
NATHAN (naw-than)- to give (put, make).
RAPHA (raw-faw)- to mend (by stitching); figuratively, to cure.
NAQAM (naw-kam)- to grudge; avenge or punish.
ANASH (aw-nash)-to urge; to inflict a penalty; to fine.
SHALACH (shaw-lakh)- to send away, for or out.
NAQIY (naw-kee)-innocent.
UWD (ood)-to duplicate or repeat; to protest, testify (as if by reiteration); to encompass, restore.
SHAMAR (shaw-mar)-to hedge about (as with thorns); guard; to protect, attend to.
SHALAM (shaw-lam)- to be safe (in mind, body or estate); fig. to be or make; to be friendly; to reciprocate.
SHUWB (shoob)-to turn back (hence, away); return to starting point.
TSADAQ (tsaw-dak)-to be (make) right.
SHAMAT (shaw-mat)-to fling down; to jostle; to let alone, desist, remit.

Category 3:
These Hebrew words and their definitions relate a certain person, people, or type of person or people (there are many in this Torah portion, highlighting the fact that these texts relate to relationships.)
RASHA (rawshaw)-morally wrong; an (actively) bad person.
OYEB (o-yabe)-hating; an adversary.
GER (gare)- a guest, by implication a foreigner.
ANIY (aw-nee)-depressed, in mind or circumstances.
ALMANAH (al-maw-naw)-a widow; also a desolate place.
YATHOWM (yaw-thome)- a bereaved person (root meaning to be lonely).
EBYOWN (eb-yone)-destitute (from the sense of want, especially in feeling.)
NAQIY (naw-kee)- innocent.
TSADDIYQ (tsad-deek)- just.
RAB- abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality)
DAL-dangling, by implication weak or thin.

mishpatim 6

Ephesians 6; 6 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3 so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth. 4 Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. 5 Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; 6 not by way of eye service, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 7 With good will render service, as to the Lord, and not to men, 8 knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free. 9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

–BAGAD (bagad)-to cover (with a garment); fig. to act covertly; by implication, to pillage.
GARA (gaw-rah)-to scrape off; to shave, remove, lessen, withhold.
NAKAH (naw-kaw)- to strike (lightly or severely, literally or figuratively.)
MUWTH (mooth)-to die; causatively- to kill.
TSADAH (tsaw-dah)-to chase; to desolate.
ZUWD (zood)- to seethe; figuratively, to be insolent.
HARAG (haw-rag)- to smite with deadly intent.
ORMAH (or-maw)- trickery; (in a good sense- discretion).
GANAB (gaw-nab)- to thieve (literally or figuratively); to deceive. [GNEBAH-stealing; something stolen.]
QALAL (kaw-lal)-to be (make), literally (swift, small, sharp), figuratively (easy, trifling, vile).
RIYB (reeb)-to toss; grapple; figuratively, to wrangle, hold a controversy; to defend.
NAQAH (naw-kaw)-to be (or make) clean; extirpated.
NATHAN (naw-than)- to give (put, make).
RAPHA (raw-faw)- to mend (by stitching); figuratively, to cure.

– One who strikes (NAKAH) his father or mother…dying, he shall die (Muwth, Muwth).
One who curses (Qalal- to make vile; trifling) his father or mother…dying, he shall die (Muwth, Muwth).
What the child who curses his father and mother does is the direct opposite of the command:
Exodus 20;12 “Honor (KABAD) your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

KABAD- to make weighty (numerous, rich, honorable).

mishpatim 8

This teaches us a valuable lesson regarding the power of words, speech. The penalty is the same for both the physical implementation of grief upon a father and mother and for the grievous cursing and belittling which takes place. The direct opposite of the blessing which comes with honoring parents (long life, prolonged days) is the punishment….dying, one will die. Let us keep in mind that the parent who knows the judgment of death will not come before the court with their child unless bearing the offense will lead to their own demise or that the offense is an indication that this child is beyond change and may cause damage to another member of the community, in which case the parent is responsible to bring the ‘child’ forward.
If people will grapple or hold a controversy with one another, the one who is ‘guilty’ shall provide for his cure. Rapha, to mend…by stitching. Rapha, rapha. We are to make a mends with anyone we have wronged. stitching this relationship back together…bit by bit until there is a cure provided.

Exodus 21;7. Now if a man sells his daughter as a maidservant, she shall not go free as the slaves go free.
8. If she is displeasing to her master, who did not designate her [for himself], then he shall enable her to be redeemed; he shall not rule over her to sell her to another person, when he betrays (BAGAD) her.
9. And if he designates her for his son, he shall deal with her according to the law of the daughters [of Israel].
10. If he takes another [wife] for himself, he shall not diminish (GARA) her sustenance, her clothing, or her marital relations.
11. And if he does not do these three things for her, she shall go free without charge, without [payment of] money.
12. One who strikes (NAKAH) a man so that he dies (MUWTH) shall surely be put to death( MUWTH, MUWTH).
13. But one who did not stalk (TSADAH) [him], but God brought [it] about into his hand, I will make a place for you to which he shall flee.
14. But if a man plots (ZUWD) deliberately against his friend to slay (HARAG) him with cunning (ORMAH), [even] from My altar you shall take him to die (MUWTH).
15 And one who strikes (NAKAH) s father or his mother shall surely be put to death (MUWTH, MUWTH).
16. And whoever kidnaps (GANAB) and he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death (MUWTH, MUWTH).
17And one who curses (QALAL) his father or his mother shall surely be put to death (MUWTH,MUWTH.)
18. And if men quarrel (RIYB), and one strikes (NAKAH) the other with a stone or with a fist, and he does not die (MUWTH) but is confined to [his] bed,
19. if he gets up and walks about outside on his support, the assailant shall be cleared (NAQAH); he shall give (NATHAN) only [payment] for his [enforced] idleness, and he shall provide for his cure (RAPHA, RAPHA).

Matthew 5;38 “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Eye for eye and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you not to stand up against someone who does you wrong. On the contrary, if someone hits you on the right cheek, let him hit you on the left cheek too! 40 If someone wants to sue you for your shirt, let him have your coat as well! 41 And if a soldier forces you to carry his pack for one mile, carry it for two! 42 When someone asks you for something, give it to him; when someone wants to borrow something from you, lend it to him.

mishpatim 10

–The concept of eye for eye, tooth for tooth is often taken literally and misunderstood to mean one who pokes out the eye of his neighbor will have his own eye poked out as justice. We need to read the text and understand that these scriptures are clearly pointing out the restitution which was to be PAID will be measure for measure. This is why the portion of Mishpatim began with the ordinances regarding the Hebrew slave. This is a man who is unable to pay a debt, perhaps which was incurred during some mishap where he was bound to pay person harmed, and thus he has be sold into slavery i.e. he will work off the debt. Directly after the eye for eye verses (Exodus 21;23-25) we read that a man who harms his servant shall pay restitution by freeing them. There are standards for the slave and the master. There are measures and these are established by God, that is why the judges the people are coming before were to be Godly men,
[Exodus 18; 21 But you should choose from among all the people competent men who are God-fearing, honest and incorruptible to be their leaders….]
If there is mistreatment to the extent of death there will be punishment, avenging he shall be avenged. The Lord explains upfront, that all life is of value to Him. The Lord immediately defines “life” for us in the texts regarding the pregnant woman who miscarries because she has been ‘pushed’ by two quarreling men. These men are held responsible (penalty- ANASH, ANASH)…the great value of the life inside the woman is clearly identified here. The precious being housed in her womb is worthy and considered viable, there is no definition according to weeks or months here as far as when ‘life’ begins according to God, our King considers the child ‘life’ from genesis inside he womb.

mishpatim 9

Irresponsibility. The text in verse 29 paints for us the very real picture that mishaps do transpire, but if there is anything at all in our power to prevent such things…and we have been testified to, and repeatedly warned about a situation and have not taken measures to SHAMAR-guard; protect; or attend to the matter…the punishment is just upon us. In the case of the text, the habitually goring bull. The bull will be stoned and the irresponsible owner is sentenced to death. Paying, he shall pay.
One of my favorite verses in Mishpatim is the imagery created when we envision the man who digging, excavating, unearthing this pit (BOWR (bore)-a pit hole (as a cistern or a PRISON). Figuratively, if this is the type of person who likes to go around digging up dirt on his fellow, opening wounds, mining into depths which can make another man feel imprisoned in their sin…If he does not fill up the hollow places he revealed and someone falls or spiritually fails in his walk, whose responsibility is the restoration of this spirit, soul, person, heart? Our words and actions can build and create, illuminate and encourage. They can strengthen and enlighten, confirm and reinforce our brethren and all those who wander. OR, we can become a stumbling block, using our speech to tangle and trap others into loosing their foothold and plummeting downward. We are responsible for posting a sign for danger ahead as well as covering and filling any holes we have bored…in our relationships, within our fellow.

NAKAH (naw-kaw)- to strike (lightly or severely, literally or figuratively.)
MUWTH (mooth)-to die; causatively- to kill.
NAQAM (naw-kam)- to grudge; avenge or punish.
NATSAH (naw-tsaw)-to go forth; to be expelled, and desolate; to lay waste, to quarrel.
NAGAPH (naw-gaf)-to push, gore, defeat, stub (the toe), inflict (a disease).
ACOWN (aws-sone)-hurt.
ANASH (aw-nash)-to urge; to inflict a penalty; to fine.
SHACHATH (shaw-khath)-to decay; ruin (literally or figuratively).
SHALACH (shaw-lakh)- to send away, for or out.
SHUWB (shoob)-to turn back (hence, away); return to starting point.
SHAMAR (shaw-mar)-to hedge about (as with thorns); guard; to protect, attend to.
SHALAM (shaw-lam)- to be safe (in mind, body or estate); fig. to be or make; to be friendly; to reciprocate.
PATHACH -to open wide; to loosen, begin, plough, carve.
KACAH (kaw-saw)-to plump; fill up hollows; to cover (for clothing or secrecy.)

mishpatim 11

Exodus 21;20. And should a man strike (NAKAH) his manservant or his maidservant with a rod, and [that one] die (MUWTH) under his hand, he shall surely be avenged (NAQAM, NAQAM) .
21. But if he survives for a day or for two days, he shall not be avenged (NAQAM), because he is his property.
22. And should men quarrel (NATSAH) and hit (NAGAPH) a pregnant woman, and she miscarries but there is no fatality (ACOWN), he shall surely be punished (ANASH, ANASH), when the woman’s husband makes demands of him, and he shall give [restitution] according to the judges’ [orders].
23. But if there is a fatality (ACOWN), you shall give a life for a life,
24. an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot,
25. a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise.
26. And if a man strikes (NAKAH) the eye of his manservant or the eye of his maidservant and destroys (SHACHATH) it, he shall set him free (SHALACH) in return for his eye,
27. and if he knocks out the tooth of his manservant or the tooth of his maidservant, he shall set him free (SHALACH) in return for his tooth.
28. And if a bull gores a man or a woman and [that one] dies (MUWTH), the bull shall surely be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten, and the owner of the bull is clear.
29. But if it is a [habitually] goring bull since yesterday and the day before yesterday, and its owner had been warned, but he did not guard (SHAMAR) it, and it puts to death (MUWTH) a man or a woman, the bull shall be stoned, and also its owner shall be put to death (MUWTH),
30. insofar as ransom shall be levied upon him, he shall give the redemption of his soul according to all that is levied upon him.
31. Or if it gores a young boy or a young girl, according to this ordinance shall be done to him.
32. If the bull gores a manservant or a maidservant, he shall give silver [in the amount of] thirty shekels to his master, and the bull shall be stoned.
33. And if a person opens (PATHACH) a pit, or if a person digs a pit and does not cover (KACAH) it, and a bull or a donkey falls into it,
34. the owner of the pit shall pay (SHALAM); he shall return (SHUWB) money to its owner, and the dead (MUWTH) body shall be his.
36. Or if it was known that it was a [habitually] goring bull since yesterday and the day before yesterday, and its owner does not watch it (SHAMAR), he shall surely pay (SHALAM, SHALAM) a bull for a bull, and the dead (MUWTH) body shall be his.
37. If a man steals (GANAB)a bull or a lamb and slaughters it or sells it, he shall pay (SHALAM) five cattle for the bull or four sheep for the lamb.

James 5;19 My brothers, if one of you wanders from the truth, and someone causes him to return, 20 you should know that whoever turns a sinner from his wandering path will save him from death and cover many sins.

MACHTERETH-a burglary; fig., unexpected examination.

mishpatim 12

This word is found only twice. Once in Exodus 22;2 and once in Jeremiah 2;34.
Look at these two texts, note the similar ‘themes’. The Jeremiah text tells us that His people are so unjust, they have the blood of the poor and innocent on their clothing…the sun had shone upon these people, they were in plain sight. They were not burrowing or tunneling in the cloak of darkness to rob and burgle, yet they their blood is evidence not of their own guilt but that of their wayward executors. Those who had disregarded all these Mishpatim.

NAQIY (naw-kee)- innocent.
EBYOWN (eb-yone)- in the sense of want (especially in feeling); destitute.
NAQAH (naw-kaw)-to be (or make) clean; extirpated.
SHUWB (shoob)-to turn back (hence, away); return to starting point.
SHAPHAT (shaw-fat)-to judge; pronounce sentence; to vindicate or punish; litigate.

Jeremiah 2; 30 “In vain have I struck down your people. They would not receive correction. Your own sword has devoured your prophets like a marauding lion. 31 You of this generation, look at the word of Adonai: Have I been a desert to Isra’el? or a land of oppressive darkness? Why do my people say, ‘We’re free to roam, we will no longer come to you’? 32 Does a girl forget her jewelry, or a bride her wedding sash? Yet my people have forgotten me, days beyond numbering. 33 You are so clever in your search for love that the worst of women can learn from you! 34 Right there on your clothing is the blood of the innocent (NAQIY) poor (EBYOWN), although you never caught them breaking and entering (MACHTHERETH). Yet concerning all these things, 35 you say, ‘I am innocent (NAQAH); surely he’s no longer (SHUWB) angry at me.’ Here, I am passing sentence on you, because you say, ‘I have done nothing wrong.’

MACHTERETH-a burglary; fig., unexpected examination.
NAKAH (naw-kaw)- to strike (lightly or severely, literally or figuratively.)
MUWTH (mooth)-to die; causatively- to kill.
GNEBAH-stealing; something stolen.
SHALAM (shaw-lam)- to be safe (in mind, body or estate); fig. to be or make; to be friendly; to reciprocate.

Exodus 22; 1 If, while breaking in (MACHTERETH), the thief (GANNAB) is discovered, and he is struck (NAKAH) and dies (MUWTH), [it is as if] he has no blood.
2 If the sun shone upon him, [it is as if] he has blood; he shall surely pay (SHALAM, SHALAM). If he has no [money], he shall be sold for his theft.
3 If the stolen article (GNEBAH)is found in his possession whether a bull, a donkey, or a lamb live ones he shall (SHALAM) pay twofold.
4. If a man leads his animals into a field or a vineyard, or lets his animal loose and it eats in another’s field, the best of his field or the best of his vineyard he shall pay (SHALAM).
5. If a fire goes forth and finds thorns, and a stack of grain or standing grain or the field be consumed, the one who ignited the fire shall surely pay (SHALAM, SHALAM).

-The Sun Shone, Clear as Day…if the thief (GANNAB-a stealer) is conniving under the cover of darkness and a person defends himself or his property there is no blood on the man who, in defense of himself and his property or even fear, killed the thief. With the light comes accountability. Even if the thief is clearly up to no good, God makes it clear….we are not to just kill said person, if it is daytime. The Master tells us, as he continues his amazing commentary on the Torah text we are going through, that the Lord makes His sun shine on the good and bad people alike. That is we will both be held accountable and in the light of the just and perfect Torah and its ordinances, the heavenly standard of perfection which the Lord tells us we are to reach for…in this light we know where we stand, and how to walk.

Matthew 5;43 “You have heard that our fathers were told, ‘Love your neighbor — and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 Then you will become children of your Father in heaven. For he makes his sun shine on good and bad people alike, and he sends rain to the righteous and the unrighteous alike. 46 What reward do you get if you love only those who love you? Why, even tax-collectors do that! 47 And if you are friendly only to your friends, are you doing anything out of the ordinary? Even the Goyim do that! 48 Therefore, be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

mishpatim 13

Psalm 19; 8 The Torah of Adonai is perfect,
restoring the inner person. The instruction of Adonai is sure, making wise the thoughtless.9 The precepts of Adonai are right, rejoicing the heart. The mitzvah of Adonai is pure, enlightening the eyes. 10 The fear of Adonai is clean, enduring forever. The rulings of Adonai are true, they are righteous altogether, 11 more desirable than gold, than much fine gold, also sweeter than honey or drippings from the honeycomb.
12 Through them your servant is warned; in obeying them there is great reward. 13 Who can discern unintentional sins? Cleanse me from hidden faults. 14 Also keep your servant from presumptuous sins,
so that they won’t control me. Then I will be blameless and free of great offense.

Romans 1; 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper, 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them. Ch.2; 2 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

DABAR (daw-baw)-a word; by implication, a matter or thing; a cause.
PESHA (peh-shah)- a revolt (national, moral or religious).
SHABAR (shaw-bar)- to burst (literally or figuratively).
SHABAH (shaw-baw)-to transport into captivity.
TARAPH (taw-raf)- to pluck off or pull to pieces. [TREPHAH- prey; flocks devoured by animals.]
GANAB (gaw-nab)- to thieve (literally or figuratively); to deceive.
SHALAM (shaw-lam)- to be safe (in mind, body or estate); fig. to be or make; to be friendly; to reciprocate.
RASHA (rawshaw)-morally wrong; an (actively) bad person.

mishpatim 14

–There are things to us that may seem obviously immoral: Idolatry, adultery, murder, theft. Review the text of Romans 1;29-23 [note in 32 he sites ‘the ordinance (MISHPAT) of God’]. There is a long list of unrighteous things which Paul says are worthy of death. He doesn’t seem to draw and clear cut distinctions between the murderer and the slanderer. Now look at our Torah text. For even a sinful word, or bull, or garment….anything ‘lost’. This is a wide range of articles. How can we integrate this into our own lives? I believe it is very important to understand the value and weight of our speech. Gossip and slander are unjust and unrighteous before the King, and one Day…the pleas of both parties will come before the heavenly court. Whether bull (an article of greater value) or garment, there will be just reciprocation; SHALAM, SHALAM. It is also of great worth to understand that He alone is judge, and He will dispense justice in His time. These Mishpatim are the picture of His ‘Bill of Rights’ so to speak, His heart of justice for His covenant people, those who want to be an active part of His Kingdom.

Isaiah 58;4 “Behold, you fast for contention and strife and to strike with a wicked fist. You do not fast like you do today to make your voice heard on high. 5 “Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed and for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the Lord? 6 “Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?7 “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? 8 “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Exodus 22; 8. For any sinful(PESHA) word (DABAR), for a bull, for a donkey, for a lamb, for a garment, for any lost article, concerning which he will say that this is it, the plea[s] of both parties shall come to the judges, [and] whoever the judges declare guilty (RASHA) shall pay (SHALAM) twofold to his neighbor.
9. If a man gives his neighbor a donkey, a bull, a lamb, or any animal for safekeeping, and it dies (MUWTH), breaks (SHABAR) a limb, or is captured (SHABAH), and no one sees [it],
10. the oath of the Lord shall be between the two of them provided that he did not lay his hand upon his neighbor’s property, and its owner shall accept [it], and he shall not pay (SHALAM).
11. But if it is stolen (GANAB, GANAB) from him, he shall pay (SHALAM) its owner.
12. If it is torn apart (TARAPH, TARAPH), he shall bring witness for it; [for] the torn (TREPHAH) one he shall not (SHALAM) pay.
13. And if a person borrows [an animal] from his neighbor and it breaks (SHABAR) a limb or dies (MUWTH), if its owner is not with him, he shall surely pay (SHALAM, SHALAM).
14. If its owner is with him, he shall not pay (SHALAM); if it is a hired [animal], it has come for its hire.

OYEB (o-yabe)-hating; an adversary.
SANE (saw-nay)- to hate (personally).
ALMANAH (al-maw-naw)-a widow; also a desolate place.
YATHOWM (yaw-thome)- a bereaved person (root meaning to be lonely).
TSADDIYQ (tsad-deek)- just.
YACHIYD (yaw-kheed)-sole; beloved; lonely.
CARAR (saw-rar)- to turn away (morally) be refractory.

mishpatim 16

Psalm 68;1 Let God arise, let His enemies (OYEB) be scattered, And let those who hate (SANE) Him flee before Him. 2 As smoke is driven away, so drive them away; As wax melts before the fire, So let the wicked perish (ABAD) before God. 3 But let the righteous (TSADDIYQ) be glad; let them exult before God; Yes, let them rejoice with gladness. 4 Sing to God, sing praises to His name; Lift up a song for Him who rides through the deserts, Whose name is the Lord, and exult before Him. 5 A father of the fatherless (YATHAWOM) and a judge for the widows (ALMANAH), Is God in His holy habitation. 6 God makes a home for the lonely (YACHID); He leads out the prisoners into prosperity, Only the rebellious (CARAR) dwell in a parched land. 7 O God, when You went forth before Your people, When You marched through the wilderness, Selah.8 The earth quaked; The heavens also dropped rain at the presence of God; Sinai itself quaked at the presence of God, the God of Israel.

–Measure for measure, in this life or the next…I can not help but think about King David, who seduced Bathsheva and arranged for the death of her husband Uriah. Later in life his own daughter’s (Tamar) virginity was ruined by one of his house (Amnon), and this pain led to further death (Absalom’s vengeance). [See II Samuel 11;1-27 and II Samuel 13;1-33]

PATHAH (paw-thaw)- to open; fig. (in a mental or moral sense) to be simple (in a sinister way) to delude.
MUWTH (mooth)-to die; causatively- to kill.
MA’EN (maw-en)- to refuse.

Exodus 22;15. If a man seduces (PATHAH) a virgin who is not betrothed and lies with her, he shall provide her with a marriage contract as a wife.
16. If her father refuses(MA’EN, MA’EN) to give her to him [in marriage], he shall weigh out money according to the dowry of the virgins.
17. You shall not allow a sorceress to live.
18. Whoever lies [carnally] with an animal shall surely be put to death (MUWTH, MUWTH).
19. He who slaughters [a sacrifice] to the gods shall be destroyed, except to the Lord alone.

–Let us take another look at Romans 1;21-27 Paul continues to speak of some of these very Mishpatim- idolatry, sexual perversion, a dark heart. Let us ask ourselves a question, where is Paul drawing from for these teachings? An ‘obsolete’ Law? A heavy ‘burdensome’ tradition? Paul is a Torah teacher, the Scriptures of his time are the writings from Genesis through Malachi. Is there anything new he is preaching?

Romans 1;21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

mishpatim 17

TSA’AQ (tsaw-ak)- to shriek (tsa’aqah-tsah-ak-aw- a shriek)

Exodus 3; 7 The Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have given heed to their cry (TSA’AQ) because of their taskmasters, for I am aware of their sufferings. 8 So I have come down to deliver them from the power of the Egyptians…

–This TSA’AQ- shriek, is a cry of pain and sorrow. The shriek of the Children of Israel as they were crushed and pressed by the bondage of slavery, by cruel, violent men. This is the same shriek the Lord repeats THREE TIMES in Exodus 22;22. If this same cry which was once breathed from ‘your’ own lips, is drawn from a foreigner, due to ‘your’ own tyranny…i.e. if you are so cold as to forget where you have come from, so unrepentant as to inflict the very same pain you are familiar with onto another person…God’s wrath will be kindled against you and the punishment is ‘severe’. These connected verses regarding treatment of the stranger or foreigner and the depressed or poor person of the community…teach us that we are not to ‘lord over’ anyone for any purpose. Exodus 22;26 paints the picture for us of the All Seeing, All Knowing, Altogether Compassionate King Who hears the wails of those we have forsaken while we are out of earshot…Who sees each tear which falls from the eyes of the afflicted while we have cursed and slandered…Who remembers each shiver of bitterness sprouting up inside the forgotten, while we rest warmly in our beds of indignation. Not only does He understand and record all of our own woes, but He examines all the pain we ourselves have devised.

Psalm56; 8 You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your book? 9 Then my enemies will turn back (SHUWB) in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me. 10 In God, whose word I praise, In the Lord, whose word I praise, 11 In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.
What can man do to me?

Isaiah 58;9 “Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, 10 and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted (ANAH), then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom will become like midday. 11 “And the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail.

mishpatim 18

HARAG (haw-rag)- to smite with deadly intent.
YANAH (yaw-naw)- to rage or be violent; to suppress, to maltreat.
LACHATS (law-khats)-to press; figuratively, to distress.
ANAH (aw-naw)- to depress (root from the idea of browbeating).
CHABAL (khaw-bal)-to wind tightly (as a rope), to bind; specifically by a pledge; figuratively to pervert, destroy, to writhe in pain.
GER (gare)- a guest, by implication a foreigner.
ANIY (aw-nee)-depressed, in mind or circumstances.
ALMANAH (al-maw-naw)-a widow; also a desolate place.
YATHOWM (yaw-thome)- a bereaved person (root meaning to be lonely).

Exodus 22; 20. And you shall not mistreat (YANAH) a stranger (GER), nor shall you oppress (LACHATS) him, for you were strangers (GER) in the land of Egypt.
21. You shall not oppress (ANAH) any widow (ALMANAH) or orphan (YATHOWM).
22. If you oppress (ANAH, ANAH) him, [beware,] for if he cries (TSA’AQ, TSA’AQ) out to Me, I will surely hear his cry (TSA’AQ).
23. My wrath will be kindled, and I will slay (HARAG) you with the sword, and your wives will be widows (ALMANAH) and your children orphans (YATHOWM).
24. When you lend money to My people, to the poor person (ANIY) [who is] with you, you shall not behave toward him as a lender; you shall not impose interest upon him.
25. If you take your neighbor’s garment as security (CHABAL, CHABAL), until sunset you shall return it to him,
26. for it is his only covering; it is his garment for his skin. With what shall he lie? And it shall be [that] if he cries (TSA’AQ) out to Me, I will hear because I am gracious.

Romans 2; 3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who will render to each person according to his deeds: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

mishpatim 2

SHAV (Shawv)-evil (as destructive), literally (ruin) or morally (guile); fig. Idolatry, uselessness (in vain)
RAB- abundant (in quantity, size, age, number, rank, quality)
RASHA (rawshaw)-morally wrong; an (actively) bad person.
DAL-dangling, by implication weak or thin.
CHAMAC (khaw-mawce)-violence; wrong; unjust gain.
NATAH (naw-taw)-to stretch or spread out; to bend away (including moral deflection).
OYEB (o-yabe)-hating; an adversary.
SHUWB (shoob)-to turn back (hence, away); return to starting point.
SANE (saw-nay)- to hate (personally).
CHADAL (khaw-dal)- to be flabby; to desist; to be lacking or idle.
AZAB (aw-zab)- to loosen; relinquish, permit.

Exodus 23;1 You shall not accept a false (SHAV) report; do not place your hand with a wicked (RASHA) person to be a false (CHAMAC) witness.
2 You shall not follow (NATAH) the majority (RAB)for evil, and you shall not respond concerning a lawsuit to follow (NATAH) many (RAB) to pervert [justice].
3 Neither shall you glorify a poor (DAL) man in his lawsuit.
4 If you come upon your enemy’s (OYEB) bull or his stray donkey, you shall surely return (SHUWB< SHUWB) it to him.
5 If you see your enemy's (SANE) donkey lying under its burden would you refrain (CHADAL)from helping (AZAB) him? You shall surely help (AZAB) along with him.

–There is a sense of entitlement in this nation. Even our government officials would like us to believe that we are owed something or that we should be willing to take a handout. We are told that the rich should give more and that the”poor”; should produce less. There is not partiality in God’s Kingdom, yet His justice requires that we contribute to the community. In His court neither the rich nor the poor man will be honored, only the testimony of their lives work will be their case.
Yet another of my favorite Torah verses, so telling of the Nature of my King…
if you see a person who is an enemy (this is either someone you know has hatred toward you…or that you feel hatred toward) struggling, even the situation he is in has become strained…you are not only forbidden to ignore it, but you are to hastily become occupied in relieving this stress. The Lord often asks questions of us in Scripture and it is never because He has need for an answer to something He wasn’t aware of. These questions are to draw our attention to His intent. Would you desist from helping this person? On the contrary, you are to surely help WITH him. Two beings with a rift, now united in accord with the Mishpatim of the Lord. This is what living justice according to God’s plans will result in. Repair, and replacement of ‘broken’ parts. Improvement and development of that which has already been established. Rehabilitation and stimulation for our lives and the relationships He has placed in them.

mishpatim 19

(NASB) Romans 2; 11 For there is no partiality with God. 12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law; 13 for it is not the hearers of the Law who are just before God, but the doers of the Law will be justified. 14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them, 16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus.

(CJB) Romans 2;11 All who have sinned outside the framework of Torah will die outside the framework of Torah; and all who have sinned within the framework of Torah will be judged by Torah. 13 For it is not merely the hearers of Torah whom God considers righteous; rather, it is the doers of what Torah says who will be made righteous in God’s sight. 14 For whenever Gentiles, who have no Torah, do naturally what the Torah requires, then these, even though they don’t have Torah, for themselves are Torah! 15 For their lives show that the conduct the Torah dictates is written in their hearts.] Their consciences also bear witness to this, for their conflicting thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them 16 on a day when God passes judgment on people’s inmost secrets. (According to the Good News as I proclaim it, he does this through the Messiah Yeshua.)

mishpatim 20

–Baruch attah ADONAI Eloheinu Melech haOlam,
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe
You alone have planted among us life eternal,
blessed are You Lord our God, Gracious Giver of the Torah
B’shem Yeshua HaMashiac, amein.

My King I pray that somehow at sometime, somewhere a relationship will be formed, reformed, or restored by this or any other handiwork You have established. I pray this and that it come about in the hearts of those who seek Your will, who chase after Your justice and who desire for Your heart to be exposed to all mankind. That all men might find You soon and notice Your nature, then in turn…turn around and repent, that we might all seek to do good in this life and among those we love and within the lives of out enemies. There are so many times we are challenged Lord, so many ways we have been and continue to be hurt and afflicted by others…please Lord fill up all the holes bored by men and restore us eliminating even the faint shadow of bitterness in our hearts and among our spirits. Thank You for sending us a righteous and loving, fair and faithful Messiah. Who can relate to and have compassion for all of our woes. Thank You for Yeshua, please return Him soon in our days that we may see Your Righteous Kingdom full come. In Yeshua’s Name I ask these things, in accordance with Your will alone. Amein.

Contact: for resources, questions, concerns, prayer requests, etc. -write me at safeguardingtheeternal@aol.com

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