“If you come upon your enemy’s ox or donkey straying, you must return it to him. If you see the donkey which belongs to someone who hates you lying down helpless under its load, you are not to pass him by but to go and help him free it.”-Exodus 23:4-5
A common gentile misunderstanding with regards to the Old Testament and the New Testament is that the Old Testament was all about God’s judgement and wrath and the New Testament was all about God’s love and mercy.
Well, these next couple of verses starting from verse 4 in Exodus chapter 23 prove otherwise.
And by the way, I really dislike the title “Old” Testament but for the purposes of this discussion, I’m using this term here.
Notice how verses 4 and 5 are talking about the humane treatment of one’s enemy.
This instruction to “love your enemies” is usually and mistakenly credited to Yeshua as being the first person to say them.
Well, this is obviously NOT true.
Let’s get something straight once and for all.
Yeshua did NOT abolish nor change one jot or tittle of the Torah.
In those parts where it seems like He did, he was simply correcting manmade perversions and traditions of men that were not an accurate reflection of the truth of God’s Word.
Yeshua was the most Torah observant man in the history of the world!
Everything that Yeshua taught and said, whether it was a principle or a direct quote, EVERYTHING without exception came directly from the Old Testament.
Let’s look at the next couple of verses.
“Do not deny anyone justice in his lawsuit
simply because he is poor.
Keep away from fraud,
and do not cause the death
of the innocent and righteous;
for I will not justify the wicked.”
Here we get another set of instructions mistakenly thought to only occur in the New Testament.
That of being merciful and helpful towards the poor.
If you actually sit down and read the Torah for yourself instead of relying solely on gentile church doctrine, I think you would be quite pleasantly surprised to find God’s love and mercy overflowing from the words and stories in these books.
And the truth be told, the New Testament also has plenty of its share of God’s judgement and wrath.
For example, we’re told in the Book of Revelations that when Yeshua returns, He will wage judgement and destruction to such an extent that the blood of God’s enemies will flow like a deep river reaching as high as a horse’s bridle.
Finally, let’s take a look at verse 9.
“You are not to oppress a foreigner,
for you know how a foreigner feels,
since you were foreigners in the land of Egypt.”
Israel constantly is reminded that at one time they also were foreigners serving under the cruel and unjust hand of a merciless dictator.
They experienced firsthand how NOT treat a foreigner because that is how they were treated in Egypt.
As I mentioned before, here God is laying the foundation for GER or gentiles to become one with Israel not only PHYSICALLY but also foreshadows Yeshua and how His work on the cross would enable gentile believers to SPIRITUALLY become one with Hebrew believers.
To conclude, I hate this idea of dividing the Bible into two parts, which is just a false manmade division anyway.
The Old Testament and the New Testament complement each other perfectly.
We have ONE God, He has given us ONE Book, and He is in the process of creating ONE people out of both native-born Hebrews and gentiles.
CONNECTING THIS TEACHING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT
“But I tell you, love your enemies!
Pray for those who persecute you!
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.”
Don’t think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets.
I have come not to abolish but to complete.
I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away,
not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah
— not until everything that must happen has happened.
So whoever disobeys the least of these commandments
and teaches others to do so
will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven.
But whoever obeys them and so teaches
will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.