Volume 13, Number 3, September-October 2009

Torah in the Garden...

by Bob Wells

 

Editor’s Note:

This article was printed without any editing in order to avoid changing the author’s original intent. I understand that many believers accept concepts similar to this article, but I have noted my differences at the end. This article uses versions of the Bible which emphasize Hebrew words for important biblical things:

Torah -  The first five books of the Bible. In a general sense, The Eternal’s law or teaching.

YHVH -   The Eternal’s name, usually translated “Lord”.

Elohym -   Usually translated “God”.

G-d   -    Used to avoid writing what some people consider to be the name of a pagan deity.

 

Gen 2:8  And YHVH Elohym planted a garden eastward in Eden; 10 and a River went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

We see here that in the land of Eden G-d placed a garden, and from this land, [Eden], came a river and it flowed eastward “into the Garden”. From there it flowed out and separated into four rivers.

Gen 3:8  And they heard the sound of YHVH Elohym walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of YHVH Elohym, [the presence of the LORD], amongst the trees of the garden.

This is quite clear that the Creator walked and talked with Adam in the Garden. And, as it was, so shall it be. G-d will once again dwell [tabernacle] with man, just as Revelation says.

Rev 21:3   21:1-2  And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from Elohym out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of Elohym [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and Elohym himself shall be with them, [and be] their Elohym.

“Behold, the tabernacle of Elohym”

Ezek 47:1-5  Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward; for the forefront of the house [stood toward] the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south [side] of the altar, Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters [were] to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters [were] to the loins. Afterwards he measured a thousand; [and it was] a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over.

Four times Ezekiel passed through the waters, except the last… “a river that could not be passed over”. Four rivers just like the four rivers that flowed “from” the Garden in Eden where dwelt the presence of Elohym. There is the same Garden in Heaven, of which the earthly Garden is patterned after.

Ezek 31:8  The cedars in the garden of God could not hide him: the fir trees were not like his boughs, and the chestnut trees were not like his branches; nor any tree in the garden of God was like unto him in his beauty. I have made him fair by the multitude of his branches: so that all the trees of Eden, that [were] in the garden of God, envied him.

From the time of Adam onward, there was a specific place where God was to be worshiped. When we are told in Genesis 4: verses 3 and 4, that Cain and Abel “brought an offering unto the Lord,” the implication is clear that they came to some particular location. When we read that Abel brought “the firstling of his flock and the fat thereof,” we cannot escape the conclusion that there was an altar where the victim must be offered and upon which its fat must be burned. That place of worship appears to have been located at the east of the Garden of Eden. Exactly as it was in Jerusalem where you entered into the Temple, via the Eastern gate, and made sacrifice before the Holy place [Makom HaKodesh]. When Elohym told Cain that “sin waiteth at the door”, this was not a metaphor that the door was to his heart. It was at the entrance via which Cain came into the Presence and via which he would leave. The inferences in verse 16, “And Cain went out from the presence of the Lord,” which can hardly mean less than that he was formally prohibited from the place where the presence of G-d was. For to go “out”, you must first have come “in”.

Now we know, according to Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers, that it was only the High Priest who could go into “The Holy Place” [Makom Hakodesh], where the Presence of G-d was. And he could only do this once a year, on the Day of Atonement ‘Yom Kippur’. At one time the “first born” was the Priest in every family. Cain was firstborn. This seems to be a picture of “the sons of Aaron, [Exo 28:1] and the sons of Levi” [Num 16:8], being chosen for service.

Gen 4: 6-7  And YHVH said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? And why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? And if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee [shall be] his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. { be accepted: or, have the excellency}  …..{ unto…: or, subject unto thee}

We see by the above scripture Cain was to have the excellency. Now Cain was angry, not with G–d for not accepting his offering, but with Abel. G-d told him that he had the pre-eminence over Abel, and he had rule over him, being the first born. The last words in this scripture states to Cain “and thou shalt rule over him”, this cannot refer to his overcoming “SIN”.

In their commentary on Genesis, Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown translate the last verse of chapter 3 as follows: “And he [God] dwelt at the east of the Garden of Eden between the Cherubim, as a Shekinah [a fire tongue or fire sword] ……..”  The same thought is presented in the Jerusalem Targum, [Judaic commentary on scripture].. Thus it would seem, that when man was expelled from the Garden, God established a mercy-seat, protected by cherubim, the fire tongue or sword being the emblem of His presence, and whosoever would worship Him must approach that mercy seat with a bloody sacrifice. We may add that the Hebrew word “shakan” which in Genesis 3:24 is rendered “placed,” is defined in Young’s concordance “to tabernacle”. Eighty-three times in the Old Testament it is translated “to dwell,” as in Exodus 25:8, And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell [shakan] among them, and so forth. Cherubim are always associated with the presence of G-d. The Cherubim guarded “the way to the Tree of Life” not the way into the Garden.

Sacrifice for sin was established with Adam. The death of an innocent victim for the sin of Adam and Eve was prophetically given to them by the slaying of some animal and the shedding of its blood. The example was given to him by G-d.

Gen 3:21  Unto Adam also and to his wife did YHVH Elohym, make coats of skins, and clothed them.

The word “skins” is [‘owr], which is translated “hides”. It is possible that it could have been the hides of a lamb, being prophetic of  The Lamb of G-d”. But, then again it could have been the skin of a goat……

Lev 4:23-26 Or if his sin, wherein he hath sinned, come to his knowledge; he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a male without blemish: And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the goat, and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD: it [is] a sin offering. And the priest shall take of the blood of the sin offering with his finger, and put [it] upon the horns of the altar of burnt offering, and shall pour out his blood at the bottom of the altar of burnt offering. And he shall burn all his fat upon the altar, as the fat of the sacrifice of peace offerings: and the priest shall make an atonement for him as concerning his sin, and it shall be forgiven him.

Abel brought “the firstling of his flock and the fat thereof”. The similarities between Abel’s offering and those instituted during the Exodus are too striking not to be connected. Abel’s sacrifice has a connotation as to being an offering for sin, Cain’s does not. What all of this alludes to is that there was a place to worship G-d even before the Tabernacle in the Wilderness and before the Temple in Jerusalem. And that place was “the Garden in Eden”.

[When G-d had removed His presence from off of the earth, we cannot be sure. I believe it was after the first “murder”, or rather manslaughter, I do not believe Cain intended to KILL Abel]. G-d cannot dwell in the presence of Evil.

Noah’s very first act on taking possession of the new earth was to engage in a service of solemn worship: “And Noah built an altar unto the Lord: and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offering on the altar” (Gen. 8:20).

My question is how did he, [Noah], know how to make the offering in the first place? This was an altar of burnt sacrifice that, supposedly, Moses introduced in Exodus 20:24, 38:1 etc. Noah, even before he built the ark had knowledge of what animals were clean and unclean, { kosher} .

Gen 7:2 Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female: and of beasts that [are] not clean by two, the male and his female.

Yet, this seems to be introduced again, by Moshe [Moses] Lev 11:46-47 This [is] the law of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of every living creature that moveth in the waters, and of every creature that creepeth upon the earth: To make a difference between the unclean and the clean, and between the beast that may be eaten and the beast that may not be eaten.

Let us remember also Abraham, long before Moshe had the Torah…. Gen 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

The people that were destroyed by the flood, could have shouted…. ‘what have we done wrong, there was no LAW for us to break, we are not guilty of anything”. Rom 4:15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, [ there is ] no transgression. If there is no law against murder, then there is no punishment. If there is no law against speeding, then you can speed. Sin is the breaking of the law. Sin in Hebrew is “Khatta’ah” and means “an offense”! An offense against what? An offense against the Torah!

SIN ….{ Khatta’ah}  miss, miss the way, go wrong, incur guilt…..

TORAH….. direction, instruction, (human or divine) …root word, Yarah….  to lay or throw [spec. an arrow], i.e.: to shoot; to point out [as if pointing the finger].

The TORAH is the GOAL, and to sin is to “miss the mark”. The word for LAW is …. (Heb. = Khok) ...  { the Torah, [first five books of the Bible], is not “the law”, it is instruction, it is the way, the target!]

So when G-d said to Cain, “sin lieth at the door” [Gen 4:6,7 above] He is stating that Cain was about to miss the mark of “THE TORAH”. It existed in the Garden. It exists NOW, and will eternally exist. Jer 31:33 But this [shall be] the [new] covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days saith the LORD, I will put my TORAH [#8451] in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

ONLY those with the TORAH in their hearts will be HIS people! Selah.

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the Assemblies; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Torah and the Torah [Devarim] was with G-d and G-d was the Torah [Devarim]”.

In the beginning, in the Garden, and forever.

Adam, Noah, and Abraham, had the Torah, [the Words of G-d, Devarim].

Jer 31:33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law [Torah] in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Isa 2:3 And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the Torah, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. Micah 4:2

For out of Zion shall go forth the Torah! [Not my words BUT G-d’s].

The Torah was in the Garden, and the Garden of G-d will be back upon the Earth, just as Ezekiel said. Prepare to KEEP the Torah! &

 

 

 


Our Father Works in Diverse Ways

by Norman Edwards

 

There is a certain comfort in believing that our Father in heaven has always had one set of expectations for His people, and that we, through study, now have a very good understanding of His expectations. How can He deny us salvation if we are sincerely living by them?

We should live by our understanding of what the Eternal expects of us. But we also must realize that the Eternal does not judge us only by what we do, but by what we do compared to what we know:

"And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more” (Luke 12:47-48)

Those who understand the scriptures better cannot expect that they will somehow be judged far more favorably than those who understand little, but do what they know. The parable of the Talents show us that our Messiah judges an unfaithful steward not by the whole Torah, but by his own words:

"And he said to him, 'Out of your own mouth I will judge you, you wicked servant. You knew that I was an austere man, collecting what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow. 'Why then did you not put my money in the bank, that at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’” (Luke 19:22-23).

The Scripture clearly shows us that our Father can conflict an individual of sin even if he does not understand the law:

For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) (Rom 2:12-15).

Whole Torah not in Garden

Adam and Eve did not need the Torah to know that they disobeyed the Eternal. They hid from Him like a guilty child (Gen 3:8). He told them what to do and they sinned. As stated above, “sin” is “missing the mark”—in this case, not doing what the Eternal verbally told them to do.

Cain knew that he sinned, too. The Scripture mentions no laws broken by the pre-flood people, only that they were “evil continually” (Gen 6:5). Yet the Eternal convicted them of sin because Noah preached righteousness to them (2Pet 2:5).

The verses used in the above article to “prove” that the Torah was in the Garden are either misinterpreted or mistranslated. Certainly, there were many similarities in the Eternal’s teaching to Adam and Eve, including sin offerings, the priesthood, etc. But the only verse cited that seems to say that the Torah was in the garden was a mistranslation of John 1:1:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (John 1:1)

The Greek word here translated “word” is logos which means the spoken word. The Greek word for law, synonymous with Torah is nomos. Later on in the same chapter, John use nomos to describe what Moses wrote (John 1:45), but he does not say that nomos or Torah existed from the beginning.

The Torah is not just law, it is also history. Almost none of the history of the Torah existed in the Garden. The Eternal said, “For now I know that you [Abraham] fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me" (Gen 22:12). Before Abraham was tested, the Eternal did not yet know. Just as He did not previously foresee some of the depraved evil recorded in the Torah:

“And they built the high places of Baal which are in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin” (Jer 32:35, see also Jer 7:31; 19:5; Lev 18:21; 20:1-5).

There are many other obvious areas where teachings of the Torah could not have been in the Garden of Eden. There were no Levites or Aaronic priesthood, so the dozens of commands that apply to them were not in the Garden. There was no death penalty for Murder carried out against Cain or Lamech, as it is not given until after the flood:

“Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man” (Gen 9:6).

While there may have been a place of worship in the Garden, and a temple in Jerusalem for worship, our Messiah showed a time when a specific place would no longer be necessary:

“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. 22You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him” (John 4:20-23).

Does the Eternal actually change the way he deals with mankind at times? Undoubtedly!

God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds (Heb 1:1-2).

Writing Torah on our Hearts

The new covenant is the writing of the Torah (the law) on our hearts (Jer 31:33). The Messiah was to magnify the Torah and make it honorable (Isa 42:21). That magnification occurred in his teaching on the mountain (Matt 5-7). That magnified Torah is to be written on our hearts.

Having the whole Torah in one’s mind does not necessarily help in writing it on one’s heart. Most of the Scribes and Pharisees knew the Torah very well, but it was far away from their hearts (Matt 23). Yet there was one exceptional scribe who said little, but had much of that law on his heart because he was close to being ready for the Kingdom:

"And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God...." (Mark 12:33-34).

Even though the sacrifices and other rituals were complex commands, performing them perfectly did not write the Torah on one’s heart. Loving one’s neighbor as oneself—always—is much more difficult. May the Eternal give us hearts to do that!     &

 

Download Full Issue in PDF:

September-October 2009 Quick PDF (2.1 MB)

September-October 2009 High-Quality PDF to Print (5.1 MB)


Back to front page
Latest Issue   Previous Issues    Literature List   About Servants' News
Directly Helping    Contact    Help   Search this site    Receive SN for free
Permission is granted to reproduce any article in its entirety

http://www.servantsnews.com