[b-hebrew] Dying, you will die Gen 2:17

Harold Holmyard hholmyard3 at earthlink.net
Wed Apr 11 15:08:30 EDT 2007


K Randolph wrote:
>
> That non-Jews should be accepted if they accept God's covenant goes
> back to the Torah itself.
>   

HH: I realize this. The law says the following in Numbers 15:

14 If an alien sojourns with you, or one who may be among you throughout 
your generations, and he wishes to make an offering by fire, as a 
soothing aroma to the LORD, just as you do so he shall do.
15 As for the assembly, there shall be one statute for you and for the 
alien who sojourns with you, a perpetual statute throughout your 
generations; as you are, so shall the alien be before the LORD.
16 There is to be one law and one ordinance for you and for the alien 
who sojourns with you.'"
> When Solomon stated his prayer concerning the dedication of the temple
> he built, specifically mentioned non-Jews as having their prayers and
> sacrifices accepted in the temple if they follow God instead of their
> idols.
>   

HH: I believe you are right, but I do not quickly see the mention of 
sacrifices:

1Kings 8:41  “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people 
Israel but has come from a distant land because of your name —
1Kings 8:42 for men will hear of your great name and your mighty hand 
and your outstretched arm — when he comes and prays toward this temple,
1Kings 8:43 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever 
the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know 
your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that 
this house I have built bears your Name.

2Chr. 6:32  “As for the foreigner who does not belong to your people 
Israel but has come from a distant land because of your great name and 
your mighty hand and your outstretched arm — when he comes and prays 
toward this temple,
2Chr. 6:33 then hear from heaven, your dwelling place, and do whatever 
the foreigner asks of you, so that all the peoples of the earth may know 
your name and fear you, as do your own people Israel, and may know that 
this house I have built bears your Name.
> Caleb, who along with Joshua were the only two of their generation to
> enter the Promised Land, was a Kenite (if I remember correctly), not a
> Jew.
>   

HH: The Kenites were related to the Jews at least by marriage, and they 
joined the Israelites as guides through the desert:

Judg. 1:16  The descendants of Moses’ father-in-law, the Kenite, went up 
from the City of Palms with the men of Judah to live among the people of 
the Desert of Judah in the Negev near Arad.
Judg. 4:11  Now Heber the Kenite had left the other Kenites, the 
descendants of Hobab, Moses’ brother-in-law, and pitched his tent by the 
great tree in Zaanannim near Kedesh.

Num. 10:29  Now Moses said to Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses’ 
father-in-law,  “We are setting out for the place about which the LORD 
said,  ‘I will give it to you.’ Come with us and we will treat you well, 
for the LORD has promised good things to Israel.”
Num. 10:30  He answered,  “No, I will not go; I am going back to my own 
land and my own people.”
Num. 10:31  But Moses said,  “Please do not leave us. You know where we 
should camp in the desert, and you can be our eyes.
Num. 10:32 If you come with us, we will share with you whatever good 
things the LORD gives us.”
Num. 10:33  So they set out from the mountain of the LORD and traveled 
for three days. The ark of the covenant of the LORD went before them 
during those three days to find them a place to rest.
> Torah was always for all peoples. Only a tiny percentage follow it.
>   

HH: Actually, the Mosaic law was given to a specific people, not all 
people. It was given to the descendants of Jacob (not, for example, to 
the descendants of Esau, who were excluded). But of course others could 
and did join them. You are right that foreigners could participate in 
the Israelite religion, but they had to act like Israelites if they were 
do so:

Ex. 12:43 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron,  “These are the regulations 
for the Passover:  “No foreigner is to eat of it.
Ex. 12:44 Any slave you have bought may eat of it after you have 
circumcised him,
Ex. 12:45 but a temporary resident and a hired worker may not eat of it.

Ex. 12:48   “An alien living among you who wants to celebrate the LORD’s 
Passover must have all the males in his household circumcised; then he 
may take part like one born in the land. No uncircumcised male may eat 
of it.

HH: Ezekiel even prophesied these conditions for the future:

Ezek. 44:9 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: No foreigner 
uncircumcised in heart and flesh is to enter my sanctuary, not even the 
foreigners who live among the Israelites. 

HH: There were a lot of legal details that separated foreigners from 
native Israelites, and these could have given a person the sense that he 
was not part of the people. For example:

Lev. 22:25 and you must not accept such animals from the hand of a 
foreigner and offer them as the food of your God. They will not be 
accepted on your behalf, because they are deformed and have defects.’”
Deut. 14:21 Do not eat anything you find already dead. You may give it 
to an alien living in any of your towns, and he may eat it, or you may 
sell it to a foreigner. But you are a people holy to the LORD your God.  
Do not cook a young goat in its mother’s milk.
Deut. 15:3 You may require payment from a foreigner, but you must cancel 
any debt your brother owes you.
Deut. 17:15 be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God 
chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a 
foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.
Deut. 23:20 You may charge a foreigner interest, but not a brother 
Israelite, so that the LORD your God may bless you in everything you put 
your hand to in the land you are entering to possess.

HH: Also, in times of revival the Israelites could separate from foreigners:

Neh. 9:2 Those of Israelite descent had separated themselves from all 
foreigners. They stood in their places and confessed their sins and the 
wickedness of their fathers.

Ezra 10:2 Then Shecaniah son of Jehiel, one of the descendants of Elam, 
said to Ezra,  “We have been unfaithful to our God by marrying foreign 
women from the peoples around us. But in spite of this, there is still 
hope for Israel.
Ezra 10:3 Now let us make a covenant before our God to send away all 
these women and their children, in accordance with the counsel of my 
lord and of those who fear the commands of our God. Let it be done 
according to the Law.

Yours,
Harold Holmyard





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