Testing the 613, Part 12

Updated: Nov 13


The journey continues with part 12!


210. Rambam has, “Do not take G-d's Name in vain.”

“You do not bring the Name of יהוה your Elohim to naught, for יהוה does not leave the one unpunished who brings His Name to naught.” (Exodus 20:7)

Conventional thinking may cause one to conclude that saying GD is what this verse is talking about. While I agree we shouldn’t use such language, I do not believe that’s what this command is talking about. For starters, His name is Yah not God. God is a noun, a description of what something is, just how I am a human. What this command is referring to, is literally bringing His name to naught or nothing. To treat His name as something common. We must have reverence for His name, He is set-apart, and we have to be careful with how we use His name. Another way of looking at it is by replacing His name with God or Lord. In this manner, His name never gets spoken, essentially it gets scrub from the lips of those who proclaim to worship Him. Thus, His name is brought to nothing, as no one says His name. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put “I do not bring Elohim’s name to naught.”


211. Rambam has, “Do not deny possession of something entrusted to you.”

Do not steal, do not lie, do not deceive one another.” (Leviticus 19:11)

The commandment that Rambam is referencing here, is not to steal. Simple enough to understand, do not take what is not yours. This falls under love others, can be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put “Do not Steal.”


212. Rambam has, “Do not swear in denial of a monetary claim.”

“Do not steal, do not lie, do not deceive one another.” (Leviticus 19:11)

I’ve heard a Rabbi say that when it comes to lying, it must not be done with evil intent. The example he gave was this, say you were hiding Jews in your home in Nazi occupied Germany, and the SS comes knocking at your door asking if you are harboring Jews. Would you tell them the truth? We also have a Biblical example of this as well, Rahab lied about the Israelite spies (Joshua 2: 1-23). You could also check out my post “Understanding Romans 13”, for more examples. With this in mind, I have to agree. When it comes to lying, it is a sin when done for the sake of sinning. That is to say, it breaks the Torah, only when done for the sole reason to break the Torah. This falls under love others, can be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put “Do not lie.”


213. Rambam has, “Swear in G-d's Name to confirm the truth when deemed necessary by court.”

“Fear יהוה your Elohim. Serve Him, and cling to Him, and swear by His Name.” (Deuteronomy 10:20)

The command here is that we are to swear by His name, not just when in court. You can really see how commandment 210 and 213 work together. If you swear by Elohim’s name, make sure it is truthful or that you will carry out what you swore to do, least you bring His name to mean nothing. You can also take this to mean, that if with have to swear by something, then let it be by Elohim’s name. As I meditated on this verse I thought about a peculiar passage in James (Jacob).

“But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by the heaven or by the earth or with any other oath. But let your Yes be Yes, and your No, No, lest you fall into judgment.” (James 5:12)

This sentiment is also shared by our Messiah.

“Again, you heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to יהוה.’ But I say to you, do not swear [vainly] (The Hebrew version of Matthew has vainly in this sentence) at all, neither by the heaven, because it is Elohim’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool nor by Yerushalayim(Jerusalem), for it is the city of the great Sovereign; nor swear by your head, because you are not able to make one hair white or black. “But let your word ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ be ‘No.’ And what goes beyond these is from the wicked one.” (Matthew 5:33-37)

On the surface it may appear that James and Yeshua are going against the command to swear by Elohim’s name. However, they are giving us a warning, a warning that is also mentioned in the Torah.

“When you make a vow to יהוה your Elohim, do not delay to pay it, for יהוה your Elohim is certainly requiring it of you, and it shall be sin in you. “But when you abstain from vowing, it is not sin in you. “That which has gone from your lips you shall guard and do, for you voluntarily vowed to יהוה your Elohim what you have promised with your mouth.” (Deuteronomy 23: 21-23)

It is not something to be taken lightly, and we must be diligent if we do make an oath. That is why Yeshua and James recommend not swearing in the first place, just mean what you say and say what you mean. That way you do not put yourself in danger of judgment should you fail to do what you swore. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put “Swear by Elohim’s name.”


214. Rambam has, “Fulfill what you uttered and do what you vowed.”

“That which has gone from your lips you shall guard and do, for you voluntarily vowed to יהוה your Elohim what you have promised with your mouth.” (Deuteronomy 23:23)

Pretty much a continuation from the last commandment we went over, and something we covered just moments ago. This falls under love Elohim, can be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put “Fulfill what you vowed to Yah.”


215. Rambam has, “Do not break oaths or vows.”

“When a man vows a vow to יהוה, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he does not break his word, he does according to all that comes out of his mouth.” (Numbers 30:2)

The flip side of the 214 commandments, where 214 is in the positive light and 215 is in the negative. ‘Fulfill (do) what you vowed to Yah’ and ‘Do not break the vow you made to Yah’. I can see how some could consider this to be another mirrored commandment, and not actually its own. For if you do what you vowed to do, then you wouldn’t break that which you vowed to do. I’ll let you decide for yourself. However, another aspect of this command pertains to human agreements as well. This dynamic was not mentioned in 214. It’s not only the vows we make to Elohim we should keep, but also those among other humans. Harkening back to Yeshua and James (Jacob), let your yes be a yes and your no be a no. Mean what you say, and say what you mean. Given this, I can see how this command could actually fit in both sections, love Elohim and love others. I’m going to place this one in the love Elohim category, can be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put “Do not break a vow.”


216. Rambam has, “For oaths and vows annulled, there are the laws of annulling vows explicit in the Law.”

“Or if a woman vows a vow to יהוה, and binds herself by some agreement while in her father’s house in her youth,” and her father hears her vow and the agreement by which she has bound herself, and her father has kept silent towards her, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement with which she has bound herself stands. “But if her father forbids her on the day that he hears, then none of her vows nor her agreements by which she has bound herself stand. And יהוה pardons her, because her father has forbidden her.” (Numbers 30:3-5)

There is more to this commandment then what Rambam listed, but we will cover them in segments as they detail different circumstances. This commandment is specific to a woman that is living in her father’s home. While the woman is under her dad’s covering, he has the finally say in matters of vows.

“But if she at all belongs to a husband, while bound by her vows or by a rash utterance from her lips by which she bound herself,” and her husband hears it, and he has kept silent towards her on the day that he hears, then her vows shall stand, and her agreements by which she bound herself do stand. “But if her husband forbids her on the day that he hears it, then he has nullified her vow which she vowed, and the rash utterance of her lips by which she bound herself, and יהוה pardons her.” (Numbers 30:6-8)
“And if she vowed in her husband’s house, or bound herself by an agreement with an oath, and her husband heard it, and has kept silent towards her and did not forbid her, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement by which she bound herself stands. “But if her husband clearly nullified them on the day he heard them, then whatever came from her lips concerning her vows or concerning the agreement binding her, it does not stand – her husband has nullified them, and יהוה pardons her. “Every vow and every binding oath to afflict her being, let her husband confirm it, or let her husband nullify it. “But if her husband is altogether silent at her from day to day, then he confirms all her vows or all the agreements that bind her – he confirms them, because he kept silent towards her on the day that he heard. But if he nullifies them after he has heard, then he shall bear her crookedness.” (Numbers 30:10-15)

Same idea, except now that the woman is married and under the covering of her husband, he gets the final say in matters of vows involving his wife. To some this may seem oppressive for the husband to have such influence over the wife’s oaths, however, it demonstrates the need for the husband to be a righteous leader. The wife edifies us in what it means to be under someone’s covering, and everyone is under someone, she teaches us how to be respectful to Torah observant leadership. For more on this please see my articles, “Marriage According to the Bible”, and “Understanding Romans 13”.

“But any vow of a widow or a divorced woman, by which she has bound herself, stands against her.” (Numbers 30:9)

In matters such as these, the woman maintains full autonomy when making oaths. For she is not under the covering of her father nor former husband anymore. What she swore to do, she must do, there is no ruling authority, if you will, to negate the oath. I have heard of widows placing themselves under the covering of a service leader. That does not mean she went and lived in his house but that the Rabbi would be present when the woman was needing to make an oath. Very similar to how mentors are for adults that need counseling in decision making. This falls under love others, can be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put “In the matters of women and oaths, if in the father’s house he will have the final say, if in the husbands house he will have the final say, if widowed or divorced she will have the final say.”


217. Rambam has, “The Nazirite must let his hair grow.”

“All the days of the vow of his separation a razor does not come upon his head. Until the days are completed for which he does separate himself to יהוה, he is set-apart. He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long.” (Numbers 6:5)

There are a few commandments regarding the Nazirite vow, as we will see here shortly. There are two people from the Bible that I know of, that partook in the Nazirite vow, Samson a Nazirite since birth and Paul when he did so to demonstrate his obedience to Torah. This falls under love Elohim, cannot be fulfilled today as there is no priesthood nor Tent of Appointment (but you could do a rehearsal, I’ve known some to do the steps that they could), and in my notes I put the same thing as Rambam.


218. Rambam has, “The Nazirite must not cut his hair.”

All the days of the vow of his separation a razor does not come upon his head. Until the days are completed for which he does separate himself to יהוה, he is set-apart. He shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow long.” (Numbers 6:5)

The other side of commandment 217, and I see why some would just count it as one. This falls under love Elohim, cannot be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put the same as Rambam.


219. Rambam has, “The Nazirite must not drink wine, wine mixtures, or wine vinegar.”

He separates himself from wine and strong drink – he drinks neither vinegar of wine nor vinegar of strong drink, neither does he drink any grape juice, nor eat grapes or raisins.” (Numbers 6:3)

Easy to understand. This falls under love Elohim, cannot be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put, “The Nazirite does not drink wine, strong drink, vinegar, or grape juice.”


220. Rambam has, “The Nazirite must not eat fresh grapes.”

“He separates himself from wine and strong drink – he drinks neither vinegar of wine nor vinegar of strong drink, neither does he drink any grape juice, nor eat grapes or raisins.” (Numbers 6:3)

This falls under love Elohim, cannot be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put “The Nazirite must not eat grapes.”


221. Rambam has, “The Nazirite must not eat raisins.”

“He separates himself from wine and strong drink – he drinks neither vinegar of wine nor vinegar of strong drink, neither does he drink any grape juice, nor eat grapes or raisins.” (Numbers 6:3)

This falls under love Elohim, cannot be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put the same as Rambam.


222. Rambam has, “The Nazirite must not eat grape seeds”

“All the days of his separation he does not eat whatever is made of the grapevine, from seed to skin.” (Numbers 6:4)

This falls under love Elohim, cannot be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put the same thing.


223. Rambam has, “The Nazirite must not eat grape skins.”

“All the days of his separation he does not eat whatever is made of the grapevine, from seed to skin.” (Numbers 6:4)

This falls under love Elohim, cannot be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put the same thing.

224. Rambam has, “The Nazirite must not be under the same roof as a corpse.”

“All the days of his separation to יהוה he does not go near a dead body.” (Numbers 6:6)

The actual commandment here, is that the Nazirite does not go near a dead body, regardless where it is. Immediately you may think, “Well, what about Samson he touched the dead and was around them?” That is true, however, I think Samson was a special type of Nazirite as he himself did not make the vow but it was placed on him. When the angel spoke to his parents, he listed off the requirements for maintaining the vow, and interestingly enough he excludes this one.

“For look, you are conceiving and bearing a son. And let no razor come upon his head, for the youth is a Nazirite to Elohim from the womb on. And he shall begin to save Yisra’ĕl (Israel) out of the hand of the Philistines.” And the woman came and spoke to her husband, saying, “A Man of Elohim came to me, and His appearance was like the appearance of a Messenger of Elohim, very awesome. But I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not declare to me His name. “And He said to me, ‘See, you are conceiving and bearing a son. And now, drink no wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean food, for the youth is a Nazirite to Elohim from the womb to the day of his death.’” (Judges 13:5-7)

This falls under love Elohim, cannot be fulfilled today, and in my notes, I put “the Nazirite does not go near a dead body.”


That will be all for Part 12, thank you for stopping by and giving it a read, I hope it was edifying for you. Continue to test all things and may the Ruach Hakodesh lead you into all Truth.


P.S.

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