Today we begin Leviticus Chapter 19.
For the Complete Jewish Bible, click here.
For the King James version, click here.
The Jewish people consider Leviticus 19 to be a special chapter.
It is often referred to as a TORAH within the TORAH or a mini-TORAH.
The reason is because this chapter nicely summarizes all of the rules and regulations upon which all the other rules and regulations of the Law stand.
Just as Yeshua said the command to “love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind, and to love your neighbor as yourself” was the foundation for the whole law, Leviticus 19 gives us a nice snapshot of what a HOLY life is supposed to be based on.
If you want a good working definition of what it means to be HOLY, Leviticus 19 is a good place to go.
So revered was this chapter that the ancient Rabbis taught that just as Moses read aloud the Ten “commandments” to the whole nation of Israel, so should this chapter be read aloud before the whole congregation in the synagogue.
And speaking of the 10 Commandments, indeed, in this chapter we will find direct references to at least 6 of the 10 “commandments” and indirect references to the remaining 4 “commandments”.
The 6 “commandments” directly referenced begin with the one that was deleted from the modern Christian canon: “I am the Lord your God”.
That’s right, a lot of folks aren’t aware that the original 1st commandment was “I AM YHVH, YOUR GOD”.
Recall in our study a while back that when the earliest Hebrew Manuscripts were discovered, it was found that the 10 “commandments” were NUMBERED, just as our modern English bibles have numbered them.
However, there is one glaring difference between how the Christian Bibles have numbered the 10 Words or “commandments” and how they’re numbered in the original Scriptures.
The difference is that the gentile bibles number “You are to have no other gods before me” as the 1st “commandment”.
However, the original Hebrew Scriptures make “I AM YHVH YOUR GOD” the 1st “commandment” and “you are to have no other gods before me…” as the 2nd “commandment“.
How did this blasphemous altering of God’s Word come about?
Well, we can thank our good friends at the Roman Catholic Church for that.
The same folks who with zero Scriptural authority changed the sabbath from Saturday to Sunday also took it upon themselves to abolish the original 1st Commandment of God.
However, since the Bible clearly states there are 10 Words or “commandments” and not 9, the church authorities had to find a way to come up with a complete list of 10 Commandments.
How did they do it?
Easy, they solved the problem by simply splitting the original 2nd “commandment” into 2 “commandments”.
BEFORE THE CHURCH ALTERED THE SCRIPTURES:
“I am YHVH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the abode of slavery.”
“You are to have no other gods before me. You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline. You are not to bow down to them or serve them; for I, Adonai your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but displaying grace to the thousandth generation of those who love me and obey my commands.”
AFTER THE CHURCH ALTERED THE SCRIPTURES:
“You are to have no other gods before me.”
“You are not to make for yourselves a carved image or any kind of representation of anything in heaven above, on the earth beneath or in the water below the shoreline.”
The other 5 Words or “commandments” that are directly referred to in Leviticus 19 are as follows:
-You shall have no other gods before me (The 2nd Word)
-No false oaths (The 3rd Word)
-Observe the Sabbath (The 4th Word)
-Honor your parents (The 5th Word)
-Do not steal (The 8th Word)
It was a tragic and sad day for the history of the church when the original Jewish leadership changed over to gentile leadership.
From that point on, those parts of Scripture the gentile world were comfortable with became dominant and those parts of Scripture that were “too Jewish” for their sensibilities were set aside.
And one of those things set aside was the TORAH, the first 5 Books of Moses.
By throwing the TORAH away, they unwittingly threw away the ONLY document that defines what sin and holiness is.
In other words, they trashed the only document that shows us how we are to live AFTER being saved.
Remember God through His Grace saved Israel FIRST, and then AFTERWARDS gave them His TORAH as the infallible guidebook to living a HOLY life.