"O L-RD, Who are my power and my strength and my refuge in the day of trouble, to You nations will come from the ends of the earth and say, 'Only lies have our fathers handed down to us, emptiness in which there is nothing of any avail! Can a man make gods for himself, and they are no gods? 'Therefore, behold I let them know; at this time I will let them know My power and My might, and they shall know that My Name is the L-RD".
Jeremiah 16:19-21

From the beginning your Word is true, and all of your judgments are righteous forever.” Psalm 119:160

by Path of Abraham

Salvation in the Torah – No blood required …

TORAH, in the broadest sense, refers to the whole of valid Jewish teaching.  In the strictest sense Torah refers to the 5 books of Moses which are the first 5 books of the Bible. 

Genesis 15:6 From the Beginning we see that Abraham trusted in the L-RD, and the L-RD considered it for him as righteousness.

Genesis 26:5 Abraham’s trust in the L-RD was an active trust that was submissive to the L-RD’s Will.

Proverbs 12:22 Active trust, trust that is together with action, is the kind of trust that the L-RD desires.

Exodus 20:2 The first statement of the 10 Statements is that Israel shall have no ‘gods’ other than the L-RD G-d.  This means that Israel is to entrust itself to the L-RD alone, Who brought them out ofEgypt.  They are not to do so with any other being.  This first statement is the basis of the rest of the 10 Statements, which are themselves the basis for the whole Torah, as expressed in Exodus 34:27-28.

Leviticus 26:41 If the people of Israel repent of their sins and rebelliousness while having already been dispersed out of the Holy Land, by confessing their sin with a humble heart, the Torah says they will be forgiven.  They receive forgiveness of sins while living outside the Holy Land.  This means that they receive forgiveness even without animal sacrifices or any of the rituals of the Temple.  How do we know this?  Deuteronomy 12:13-14  Israel is only allowed to make sacrifices in the chosen place [theTemple] in the chosen land [the Land of Israel].  Leviticus 26:41 speaks of Israel repenting while living outside of the Land of Israel.  It is impossible for Israel to repent of their sin and at the same time commit a sin by sacrificing animals in a place the L-RD forbids.  Therefore, the people of Israel can be forgiven of their sins without sacrifice, according to the Torah.

Deuteronomy 6:24-25 To fulfill the commandments of G-d to fear the L-RD certainly depends on the basis of the whole Torah: The first statement of the 10 Statements as already discussed above, and as expressed again in the words of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, is the foundational basis of the whole Torah.

It is impossible to keep Torah without entrusting your life and your will to G-d. Therefore, the keeping of commands assumes one already trusts and surrenders to G-d.  In addition, the more we increase in the doing of His commands, the more we are entrusting our life to Him, thereby causing our love and trust in Him to increase.  With this in mind, understand the passage “and it shall be counted as our righteousness.”  Keeping His commands “shall be counted as our righteousness” because the keeping of His commands is the entrusting our lives over to the L-RD, the Giver of the commands.  The more we surrender ourselves to His command, which is His Word and Will, the more we perceive the truth of His Reality in our lives.  The more our perception of G-d’s reality increases in our lives, the more we “cleave” to the L-RD in our knowledge of Him – in our “relationship” to Him, as Deuteronomy 10:20; 11:22; 13:5 all state:  fear Him, serve Him, and cleave to Him.

According to the Torah, G-d’s Word, trust in the L-RD and loving Him is naturally connected to action.  If the trust or love is not active, according to the ability of the individual, then neither the trust nor the love really exists.  Deuteronomy 10:12-13  Revere Him, follow Him, love Him, serve Him, to the keeping of the commandments of the L-RD.  See further: Proverbs 12:22

2nd Chronicles 6-7

In King Solomon’s prayer concerning the dedication of the Temple he states in verses 29-30 that any person of the people of Israel, each one knowing his own personal pains and afflictions, when he faces towards the Temple and cries out to the L-RD, that the L-RD will answer him and forgive, and reward him according to his ways and intentions.

In verses 32-33 King Solomon states in his prayer concerning a person who is not a part of the people of Israel – someone who is not a Jew, that when this non-Israelite prays facing in the direction of the Temple, that the L-RD should hear the prayer of the non-Jew and act in accordance to his prayer, that all the peoples of the world will revere the L-RD as His people Israel fears Him.  Indeed, Isaiah 56 verse 3 – 6 also warns righteous non-Israelites that they should not think that they are utterly separated from His people Israel. Verse 3 “Let not the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to the L-RD speak, saying, ‘The L-RD has completely separated me from His people;”  Verse 5-6 “will give them an eternal name that shall not be cut off, AND the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the L-RD, to serve Him, even to love the name of the L-RD, to be His servants–”

After it is stated that they will be given an eternal name, THEN it says in verse 7 that the L-RD will bring them to the Temple, where their sacrifices and burnt offerings will be favorable.

In verses 34-39 King Solomon states in his prayer that in whatever place the people of Israel should be sent, in whatever country the people of Israel would be taken captive and dispersed, whether near to the Holy Land or far from it (verse 36), that when they turn toward the L-RD and cry out to Him, having confessed and repented with all their heart and soul  — while still dispersed outside of the Land of Israel and therefore without sacrifices, that the L-RD shall hear their cries and answer them and FORGIVE them. (verse 39).

In the following chapter, chapter 7, the L-RD says that He heard King Solomon’s prayer.  In the Bible when G-d “hears” a prayer it means that the prayer was accepted.  Otherwise the phrase is needless, for clearly the All-knowing knows all; Certainly the Creator of ears hears, even without need of an ear. In verse 14 the L-RD says:  “..If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and repent of their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

These passages show, just as Leviticus 26:41 reveals, that blood sacrifices are not required for forgiveness of sins.  HOWEVER, if one is obligated according to Torah to make a sacrifice in theTemple, and he is able to do so, but refuses to, this testifies to the fact that he has not in fact repented.  On the other hand, one who is obligated to make a sacrifice in the Temple and carries out that obligation expresses his repentance publicly – testifying to everyone that he has turned back to the Almighty and is correcting his ways.  In this way the individual’s repentance becomes real to the public, and grants him atonement in the eyes of the public. There is more to be written concerning this.  [See Proverbs 11:8, 21:18; Isaiah 43:3 – the wicked and the unfaithful also make atonement for the righteous.

Psalm 51 In most of this chapter of Psalms King David is repenting and asking for forgiveness – before – making a blood sacrifice.  In verse 18 King David writes that it is not a sacrifice that the L-RD desires, nor a burnt offering that He wants.  Verse 19, Rather than a burnt offering, it is a broken spirit, a heart broken and humbled that are the sacrifices of G-d.  According to verse 19, one who has a humbled heart such as this is not scorned by the L-RD.  Verse 21: AFTER having already offered up the sacrifice of G-d, a humbled heart, and therefore no longer despised by G-d, only THEN does King David write that the L-RD desires that we bring sacrifices and offerings upon the physical altar.  Clearly it is possible to be forgiven of sins without physical blood sacrifices.  Otherwise it makes no sense that King David would ask for forgiveness before sacrificing on the altar, if it were impossible to be forgiven before bringing such a sacrifice.  Instead, one can be forgiven before making a blood sacrifice.  Indeed, according to Psalm 51:18-21, the L-RD does not want blood sacrifices unless G-d’s scorn against him has already been removed.  How is this divine scorn removed?  Verse 19 states that it is by the invisible sacrifice of one’s spirit and heart.  Only after having been made right with the L-RD through the humbling of one’s own heart, is the individual to express this inner sacrifice outwardly by sacrificing in the Temple, if/when he is able to do so.  Otherwise, if one makes a sacrifice in theTemple without having returned to G-d before hand, the blood sacrifice he makes in the Temple will actually be detestable to the L-RD.  This is accounted in a number of places in the Bible (Jeremiah 7).  In fact, this is one of the reasons for the destruction of the Temple.  In the meantime, the way of being made right with G-d and being forgiven of sins has not changed.  As Hosea 14:(2)3 states  “Take words with you, and return to the L-RD. Say to Him, ‘Take away all iniquity; Receive us with goodness, for with our lips we shall sacrifice young bulls.”

When the Temple is restored we will again carry out the physical expression of the inner sacrifice of our hearts to G-d.  Then the repentance of Israel will be seen actualized visibly in the eyes of all.

Michah 6:6-8 How are we to approach the L-RD in submission?  Are tons ofsacrificesoil, or even a firstborn’s death what the L-RD desires?  Of course not.  The Hebrew letter HEH attached to the beginning of the last three questions in this passage makes them rhetorical questions.  The L-RD desires none of these.  What then does He seek from us?  That we will do justice, loving acts of charitable devotion, and that we walk modestly before Him.

Habakkuk 2:4 The righteous, by his trust he shall live.

Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise your hearts – remove it’s barriers.

Amos 5:4 Seek the L-RD and live.  (14) seek good and the L-RD will be with you.

Isaiah 55:6-9 Seek the L-RD, even call upon Him:  Forsake the way of the wicked and rebellious thoughts; Turn back to the L-RD and the L-RD will have mercy on you; For His ways and thoughts are not like ours.  Truly, His ways and thoughts are incomprehensibly higher than ours.

IN SHORT, the idea that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness”- (Hebrews 9:22) can be found nowhere in the Law of Moses nor anywhere in the Tanakh.  Not only is this idea not found in the Tanakh, but as seen from the passages listed here, such an idea is contrary to the Torah and Tanakh.

First of all, one receives forgiveness by humbling himself before G-d, forsaking sinfulness, and returning submissively to the L-RD.  All these things assume that one has placed his trust in the L-RD, for otherwise the individual would not have done them.  In other words, if I trust His commandments (Psalm 119:86) to the point of keeping them, then it goes without saying that I trust the Commander of the commandments – the L-RD.

Second of all, once the individual is able to go to the Temple for his atonement to be officially revealed before the people of Israel, if he can not afford an animal to sacrifice, he has other options.  This atonement is available even without blood.  He can bring an offering of flour.  So, in answer to the song “What can wash away my sins?  Nothing but the blood of [the ‘Lamb’],” the Tanakh disagrees.  In theTemple one can offer pigeons or even flour (Leviticus 5:10-12).  Now remember, “To the Torah!  Even to the Testimony!  For if they do not speak in accordance with this Word, there is no light of dawn in it (Isaiah 8:20).  The L-RD Almighty warns in the Torah, “Neither add to nor take away from..”  In light of this we must ask with humility, is the New Test. not guilty of this?

Deuteronomy 33:29 “Joyous are you O’ Israel!  Who is like you, O’ People saved by the L-RD..”

Micah 7:7 “And I?  In the L-RD I shall hope.  I shall await the G-d of my salvation, for my G-d shall hear my voice.”

Psalm 125:1Those who trust in the L-RD are like Mount Zion – won’t be moved, abide forever.” 

Psalm 103:11 “For as the height of the heaven over the earth, so His mercy overwhelms those who fear Him;”

“The L-RD redeems the soul of His servants, and not one of those who take refuge in Him will be condemned.” – Psalm 34:22

 

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