[b-hebrew] New or Renewed in Jeremiah 31:31?

Yohanan bin-Dawidh yohanan.bin.dawidh at gmail.com
Fri Apr 13 07:25:51 EDT 2007

Dear Yigal,

(I am still getting used to replying using GMail, and I initially sent this
to Yigal's personal account - I am sorry for doing so. Here, I am reposting
it to the forum)

I stopped discussing this subject yesterday afternnon, or at least it was my
time yesterday afternoon, because as you state - it's been the blind
preaching to the deaf (in both directions). I long ago decided to not get in
theological debates per se with Christians, because I know that it is
fruitless. But I was somewhat inflamed at the discussion on this forum
between Shoshanna and Harold, among others, so I got in on the coversation.
There is nothing wrong we with me getting in on the coversation per se, but
I think I took it in the wrong direction, making it somewhat of a religious
argument, rather than a linguistical argument.

I look at context of the text, along with other language idioms, and
expressions, and draw conclusions from such, and as you mentioned concerning
the אָרֶץ חֲדָשָׁה and שָׁמַיִם חֲדָשִׁים of Isaiah 65:17 - is this really a
new earth, and new skys (heavens), or merely a rejuvenation of the old, thus
making it somehting new, something unknown to the current generation?

I think we all understand, whether Jew, or Christian, or Agnostic on the
forum that ִנֵּה יָמִים בָּאִים, נְאֻם-יְהוָה; וְכָרַתִּי, אֶת-בֵּית
יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאֶת-בֵּית יְהוּדָה--בְּרִית חֲדָשָׁה. denotes that this בְּרִית
חֲדָשָׁה is to be made with the בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל and בֵּית יְהוּדָה, for I
do not think this is something that can linguistically be argued
against. The issue is if from the language used can we derive what this
בְּרִית is, and is not? And I think where it states נָתַתִּי אֶת-תּוֹרָתִי
בְּקִרְבָּם, וְעַל-לִבָּם אֶכְתְּבֶנָּה; וְהָיִיתִי לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים,
וְהֵמָּה יִהְיוּ-לִי לְעָם (I will cut my Torah in their inward parts, a
upon their hearts I will write it, and I will be for them, their God; and
they will be for me, my people) is evident to what it is, and is not. But
the issue would come down to what תּוֹרָתִי means, or does not mean, since
it has been suggested that this means something other than the miswoth, the
huqim, and mishpatim found within Sefer HaTorah. And to truly understand the
meaning of this word I think it is best to look in other places through out
the Miq'ra at how the word is used:

Sefer Hoshe'a (Hosea) 8:1 uses this to speak of the Torah given through
Mosheh bin-Amram (אֶל-חִכְּךָ שֹׁפָר, כַּנֶּשֶׁר עַל-בֵּית יְהוָה--יַעַן
עָבְרוּ בְרִיתִי, וְעַל-תּוֹרָתִי פָּשָׁעוּ.).
Sefer Yishayahu (Isaiah) 51:7 also uses this to speak of the Torah given
through Mosheh bin-Amram ( שִׁמְעוּ אֵלַי יֹדְעֵי צֶדֶק, עַם תּוֹרָתִי
בְלִבָּם:  אַל-תִּירְאוּ חֶרְפַּת אֱנוֹשׁ, וּמִגִּדֻּפֹתָם אַל-תֵּחָתּוּ.).
In Sefer Yirmeyahu (Jeremiah) chapter 16 verse 11 we also see him use this
term to speak of the Torah given through Mosheh bin-Amram (וְאָמַרְתָּ
אֲלֵיהֶם, עַל אֲשֶׁר-עָזְבוּ אֲבוֹתֵיכֶם אוֹתִי נְאֻם-יְהוָה, וַיֵּלְכוּ
אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, וַיַּעַבְדוּם וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לָהֶם; וְאֹתִי
עָזָבוּ, וְאֶת-תּוֹרָתִי לֹא שָׁמָרוּ.) . Chapter 9 verse 12 of the same
book also does the same.

I think after looking through the Miq'ra, the only place where I could find
תּוֹרָתִי not to speak about the Torah given through Mosheh bin-Amram was in
Sefer Mishlei where Shlomo bin-Dawidh uses the term to speak about his
instructions to his children.

Yohanan bin-Dawidh

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