A collection of excerpts from Torah Club on the weekly Torah Portions, from Genesis to Deuteronomy.
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Messiah has not yet come; neither has all Israel yet returned. Despite that, the Jewish people are taking hold of the redemption as much as possible in this current era. The return of the Jewish people to the land and the modern State of Israel represents the first fruits of the final ingathering, the first glimmering of the dawn of redemption.
The “Anointed for War” alludes to King Messiah who will take the battlefield like David His father and fight the wars of the LORD. He fights with supernatural weapons: “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit” (Zechariah 4:6). The Almighty anoints Him with the Spirit of power to overcome the enemies of Israel.
Moses issued a chilling order: to kill all the women, sparing only the virgin girls. The ancient Near East was a barbaric and ruthless place, and a story like this reminds us of that context. But how do we understand and reconcile these events within an ethical worldview and the spirit of Torah?
In an effort to ensnare the Israelites, the Midianites and Moabites had sent their daughters to use sexual seduction to entice the men of Israel into worshipping Baal of Peor. The plan worked. Many Israelite men were led away by the seductive allure of the Moabite and Midianite women. They committed fornication with them and worshipped idols. Their wickedness incited the wrath of the LORD, who struck Israel with a devastating plague. Pinchas (Phinehas), the son of Eleazar the priest, put a stop to the plague when he killed the degenerate Israelite Zimri and the Midianitess Cozbi with a single spear thrust.
However, taking an oath or a vow in the name of God is a risky enterprise. The LORD warns us not to "swear falsely by My name, so as to profane the name of your God" (Leviticus 19:12). This is the meaning of the commandment "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain" (Exodus 20:7). God says if a person takes His name in vain, He will not leave that person unpunished. That is why Yeshua warned His disciples against needlessly taking oaths (Matthew 5:33-7; 23:16—22).
Paul tells the Ephesian women “to be subject to your own husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Messiah also is the head of the Assembly” (Ephesians 5:22–23). In his epistle to Titus, he encourages the young married women to “to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored” (Titus 2:4–5). Simon Peter had strong feelings about gender roles in the marriage too. He instructs married women to “be submissive to your own husbands” (1 Peter 3:1), even if they are unbelievers. The biblical position on family hierarchy is unanimous.