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

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Fri Apr 13 23:25:16 EDT 2007

> From: Harold Holmyard
> Sent: Friday, April 13, 2007 9:32 AM
> To: b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] New or Renewed in Jeremiah 31:31?
> Dear Yohanan,
> > I think the issue here is that you are creating a difference between
> > God's Torah and Mosaic Torah, as if they are not one, and the same.
> > But the issue is that they are one, and the same to, and I do not
> > think that there is any place in the Miq'ra that proves otherwise as
> > far as text is concerned.
> >
> HH: The Mosaic covenant was certainly a conduit of God's law and the
> expression of it which Israel was obliged to keep. That covenant was the
> vehicle by which he chose to communicate his law to Israel. But God had
> laws before there ever was a Mosaic covenant:
> Gen. 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my
> commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

[Steve Miller] The basis for the New Covenant is Jer 31:34b "for I will
forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more."

A big part of the Mosaic law is the sacrifices for sin. In every sacrifice
for sin, there is a remembering of sin. How could these still be offered
under the New Covenant when the basis for the New Covenant is that God will
remember their sins no more? If "My laws" do not include the Levitical
sacrifices, then "My laws" is not the Mosaic law.

Another evidence is Psalm 110:4, where God designates the Messiah as Priest
according to the order of Melchizedek, not according to the order of the
Mosaic Aaronic priesthood. "For the priesthood being transferred, there is
of necessity a transfer of law also." (NT Hebrews 7:12)

God's laws, in the highest sense, are the laws of His Divine nature which
control God Himself. The Mosaic law expresses that law to some extent, but
it had to be lowered greatly so that fallen mankind could at least think he
could keep it. For example, God's original commandment was that man should
eat only fruits and vegetables, but after the flood, probably because of
winter, he allowed man to eat meat. God's original intention was one husband
- one wife, but in Moses' law He allows for polygamy and divorce. 

The "My laws" that God will write on His people's hearts and minds is much
higher than the Mosaic law. It is the law that regulates and enables us to
live out the virtues of God in all things, which is the law that Jesus
preached in the sermon on the mount.

Harold has pointed out that when Gen 26:5 says that Abraham kept "My laws",
of course it cannot mean that Abraham kept Moses' law. I also do not think
it means that Abraham just did what God told him to do. That is covered by
"kept My commandments".  I think it means that Abraham lived a life that
expressed God. Thus the Hittites called him a "prince of God" (Gen. 23:6).
Of course he also had failures. 

-Steve Miller

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