Diminishing God’s Law

The Torah portions the last couple weeks have been taking us again through the middle 10 commandments.42chapters of Exodus and the giving of the Ten Words from Mt. Sinai.  So, two days ago, as my family and I read and discussed chapter 23 in our daily Bible time, (portion #mishpatim) I noted with interest how vss. 1-9 all deal with bearing false witness, thus explaining/expanding the Ninth Commandment.  As we flipped back and forth it occurred to me that textually, there is not a break in Yahweh’s giving of the 10 Words and the following expansion.

I said nothing and pondered through the day, several times returning to re-read the larger section and note that the ordinances that begin in 21:1 were given on the heels of the Ten Commandments with no discernible break.

Were they all given at the exact same time?  Hmmm.

Then, yesterday morning, we read chapter 24 and the answer that I suspected began to come into focus!

Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the Lord and all the [a]ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has spoken we will do!” ………. Then he took the book of the covenant and read it in the hearing of the people; and they said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do, and we will be obedient!”  Exodus 24:3, 7

Notice several important points.

  • The ‘book of the covenant’ is what is read in the hearing of the people.
  • The book contains ‘all the words (10 Commandments?) AND all the ordinances.’
  • Twice the people agree to do ‘all Yahweh has spoken.’

In fact, this is the moment when they enter into covenant, and this is the covenant that is renewed in Deuteronomy, and renewed for us by Messiah when He pays the penalty for us having broken the covenant and walked in disobedience.

So Moses took the blood and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the Lord has [a]made with you [b]in accordance with all these words.”  Exodus 24:8

What does this have to do with ‘diminishing God’s Law?’

Pretty simple, actually.  Christendom teaches that the Law is divided into three categories: moral, civil and ceremonial.  They further, errantly, teach that two of the three parts are done away with and we are only bound to/accountable to the moral law, primarily contained in the Ten Commandments.  (I wrote about this in The Error of Dividing the Law.)  The underlying presupposition is that the Ten Commandments are a separate part of the covenant, or some how a divisible codicil to the Abrahamic covenant that only applies to certain groups.

Over and over I hear references, and #Christian theology is rife with the idea, that ‘we only have to keep the Ten Commandments.’  By making this claim they assume or seek to define that they do not need to keep parts of the Law, for example, the Feasts of Yahweh.  Those, they claim, are ceremonial and not connected to the Ten Words. However, the text indicates exactly the opposite!

Chapters 21-23 all clearly fall into this ‘group’ of instructions given at the same time the Ten Words (Exodus 20) were given, evidenced by the previously quoted verses.  Further, these ordinances/instructions clearly articulate a responsibility to the annual Feasts!  See Exodus 23:14-18,

14 Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. 15 You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And [a]none shall appear before Me empty-handed. 16 Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field. 17 Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord [b]God.

18 “You shall not offer the blood of My sacrifice with leavened bread; nor is the fat of My [c]feast to remain overnight until morning.

The point that I make is that we ‘subtract’ from, or diminish the Law of God when we say, ‘Oh, I only have to keep the Ten Commandments.’  Why?  Because the covenant was more than Ten Commandments; it was everything spoken and that which Israel agreed to.  We can’t divide those into artificial categories.  They come as a single unit.

I would encourage us.  Instead of seeking how we can ‘get out of,’ or ‘get around,’ our Father’s loving instructions, thus diminishing His #Torah, let us seek ways to be obedient and walk by His Ruach!


About Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ natsab.wordpress.com Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!
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7 Responses to Diminishing God’s Law

  1. Reblogged this on hebrewofyhwh and commented:
    Wow. I had not put that together about Chapter twenty three of Exodus. But now it is as clear as day. Expanding this the Command Thou Shalt not Steal would then be expounded here in Exodus twenty two where it says “If thou lend money to my people poor by thee, thou shaltn ot be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.” That is an example of an expounded Commandment. Also, let’s try this as an example of “Thou shalt not steal” in another venue of life: And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife. If here father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins” Exodus Chapter twenty two and verses sixteen and seventeen. This is stealing because the man in his own lust takes the girls value as a virgin and thinks to take it and then move on. God says, if you do that an fullfill your lust with a maid, then you have to take that woman and make her your wife.
    This has really opened my eyes to how to speak on this issue. We have “Thou shalt not steal again” and every law must have a penalty, otherwise it would not be “law” but rather simply suggestion, but we know Thou shalt not steal is law because we have penalty and that penalty is described in Exodus Chapter twenty two , I think it’s the Whole Chapter now! But even verse twenty two and twenty three is an exposition of ‘Thou shalt not steal!” For because how does a rich man afflict a widow? or a fatherless child but by stealing what you owe to them, from them?

    I have one more I just saw and that is the Fourth commandment! Everybody loves to think this commandment is done away with but look at this: Chapter twenty one is an expostion of the Sabbath Commandment: Remember the Sabbath to keep it holy. What is the Sabbath, the seventh day: What about the seventh year sabbath of land rest and the “if thou buy a Hebrew servant, sex years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing”.

    This has been a real eye opener and clearly done and much thanks to natsab and more to the Yhwh and Holy Pnuema that gave me eyes to see and ears to hear.


  2. hisloammi says:

    Nick had picked up on that same thought. He said there’s just a small break before He expands on things so why do we assume He stopped there at 10. In 24:12 He wraps them all in one from the luchot/tablets, torah and mitzvot. Good stuff


  3. Pingback: Yeshua in Exodus 23 | natsab

    • Pete Rambo says:


      Pretty cold here… Thinking you guys may get snow later this week… Button up and keep dreaming about the Spring garden!


      • Yes, we’re expected to get 1/4-1/2″ of ice then 2-4″ of snow in the Summerville area. Snow isn’t a big deal, but this Yankee girl is too smart to try driving in freezing rain on black ice. I’ve also prepared for an ice storm – with power outages. Wood is stacked and dry for the fireplace, food is being prepped, camping stoves and lanterns and lamp oil have been found. Now looking for where the propane tanks are…somewhere, somewhere. LOL


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