Matthew 5:21-26 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not murder; … ' But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, 'You fool!' will be liable to the hell of fire. … First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Come to terms quickly with your accuser while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, … and you be put in prison. Truly, I say to you, you will never get out until you have paid the last penny. |
And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, "Speak to the people of Israel, When a man or woman commits any of the sins that people commit by breaking faith with the LORD, and that person realizes his guilt, he shall confess his sin that he has committed. And he shall make full restitution for his wrong, adding a fifth to it and giving it to him to whom he did the wrong. (Numbers 5:6-7 ESV).
This is a very interesting verse. Sin here is viewed as 'breaking faith with the LORD', like breaking the terms of a contract. John actually teaches us that we 'trespass against the LORD', by breaking Torah commands (1 John 3:4 CJB). The CJB reads our verse in Numbers in this way, Adonai said to Moshe, "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'When a man or woman commits any kind of sin against another person and thus breaks faith with Adonai, he incurs guilt (Numbers 5:6). Sin here is viewed not only as the breaking of Torah command, but in the mishandling of people, or of people's property. Sin then becomes the trespasses against another human being made in the image of God. Along the same lines, Judaism teaches that because man is made in the image of God, in murder we actually attempt to commit deicide.
In translating the verse this way, the CJB follows the translation given in Jewish texts. This translation may not seem literal, but it accurately follows the context. Notice here that the next verse speaks of 'restitution' because of sin. "Restitution' implies that a trespass against another was committed. The chapter even follows that context in telling us about the mishandling of someone's wife.
This teaches us that when we mishandle he for whom Abba cares we mishandle Abba, and Abba is the faithful Avenger of His children. This section also teaches us about repentance according to the Father. In true repentance, we first admit guilt privately to God, but audibly (Psalms 32:5). But when we sin against others causing them some loss, it is not adequate to merely confess the sin the God and that's it. We confess sin, and then we repent by making restitution, even restitution above and beyond the cost of the trespass (Numbers 5:7).
In this matter, Yeshua even gave us warnings about verbal offenses. How many times do we verbally trespass against God through uncontrolled and unjustifiable anger, sarcasm, mocking, condescending remarks towards loved ones, other drivers, store cashiers, restaurant waiters, even towards our children or our parents? The Master warned about that. He said, "by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned" (Matthew 12:37). How it must pain the Father of all compassions to see how we treat each other so proudly and arrogantly! By Torah's restitution standards, we should all be totally broke and spend a life of servitude to each other in restitution. Maybe that's what the World to Come is all about!
May it come soon, Abba, even in our day
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