Monthly Archives: September 2013

The Flow of Love

The following model is a decidedly Greek one. Nevertheless, I have chosen this format because those of us raised and educated in Greek thought often have a hard time transitioning to a Hebraic mindset when studying the Scriptures. This is especially true when westerner’s think of God’s love, grace, and Spirit as being opposed to His commandments and Law. My hope is to show you that God’s Holy Law is in no way contrary to His love, mercy, or Spirit. In fact, the Law (Torah) properly applied is the epitome of His grace!

So then, the Law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. (Rom. 7:12)

The flow chart in the figure below begins with LOVE.[1] It is love that is the greatest of all commandments and we know that God is love.[2]

And this is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. (2Jn. 1:6)

There are two branches that break off of the main heading of love. These two branches are what Yeshua called the greatest commandments.


On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Mat. 22:40)

If we look closely at the Ten Commandments,[3] we see that the two tablets express the two greatest commandments in more detail. The first five teach us how to love Adonai[4] and the second five teach us how to love our neighbor. Do we need to be taught how to love God and our neighbor? Apparently, God thinks that we do.

Sometimes we assume that “love” is fully understood by all people. But, love is not always a universal concept. For example, a degraded or unregenerate mind can easily misconstrue love with lust and commit heinous acts of rape, incest, or pedophilia. This type of twisting can even happen on less disastrous levels when we simply “assume” that someone will like something merely by the fact that we ourselves do. In other words, do unto others as you would have them do unto you —- unless you are a pervert or degenerate! All kidding aside, it is reasonable to ask: “How do we love?”

How do we love YHWH (the LORD) and how do we love our neighbor? The Ten Commandments answer these questions. But even these ten can leave some ambiguity when we try to obey them. This is what the remaining 603 commandments in the Torah (Law) explain for us. The Rabbis have long counted out 613 distinct commandments within the Torah. There are 365 positive (do’s) and 248 negative (do not’s) commandments.

What?! There are 613 laws? Who could possibly keep that many statutes?[5] The English idea of “Law” is often thought of as harsh and rigid. So much so that grace is usually contrasted with Law. But perhaps we should allow the Bible to define our perception of God’s Law. The Hebrew word Torah,[6] translated as Law, actually means “instructions.” These are the instructions that Adonai sovereignly and lovingly gave His people. The Torah was never meant to burden God’s people; it was meant to bless and prosper them (and us).[7]

Confusion abounds when we misunderstand the function of the Law/Torah. Adonai never intended for His instructions or law to be the means by which He saved the children of Israel or us. There is a great analogy used by James[8] that we can use to express this. When you look into the mirror (the Law), it shows you your blemishes. You wouldn’t take the mirror off the wall and try to wash your face with it, would you?[9] The function of the mirror is to simply show you where the dirt is; it can never clean you. But, you have a choice of whether to wash your face or not. James compares those that are hearers and not doers of the word to someone who looks into the mirror (the Torah) and then does nothing about the dirt on his face.

In other words, salvation was NEVER the function of God’s Torah. It simply explains to you what sin is and is not. You choose to walk in holiness by being obedient, or you choose to walk contrary. God’s desire is for us to “see” where we have missed the mark and then adjust our walk accordingly. Repentance is not just saying, “I’m sorry.” It also requires one to align their life with Adonai’s standards. Nevertheless, there have always been some that try to use the mirror to wash their face. Adonai provided the soap (the Lamb) that cleanses us at the very beginning.

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev. 13:8 KJV)

We should be rejoicing that our loving Heavenly Father cares enough about us that He gave us all the instructions we need to lead a blessed and holy life. But this gift can never save or wash us clean. So, if we find that we have animosity toward God’s instructions, perhaps we need to search our hearts for the root of this contempt; for it does not originate from the Holy Spirit. We should be able to agree with Paul and David:

Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. (Rom. 3:31)

Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law (Torah) is truth. (Ps. 119:142)

 I long for Your salvation (Yeshua), O LORD, And Your law (Torah) is my delight. (Ps. 119:174)

Before we get to the flow chart, let’s establish a few more facts. Due to the nature of the commandments, no one person can keep every law. This is because some commandments deal particularly with men. If you are a woman, it is impossible to keep regulations that speak of night seminal emissions. Likewise, a man can never keep the commands relating to a woman’s menstrual flow. There are also many statutes that are directed to the Levitical priesthood. If you are not a Levite from the line of Aaron, many commandments simply aren’t applicable to you. Moreover, there are commandments that require a person to be living in the land of Israel with a functioning Temple in place for fulfillment. Believe it or not, these restrictions knock out a ton of the 613 mitzvot. Is the “yoke” feeling lighter?

Speaking of yokes, it is a very sad thing that we consider God’s Law to be an unbearable yoke. This must grieve our Father. I know it would grieve me if my son considered the rules of my house to be an “unbearable” yoke that only brought misery to his life. My house rules are outlined to protect my son because I love him. If only we could come to our Father as a little child and trust that He really does know what is best for us. And, that His desire is not to take all the fun out life, but to prosper and prolong our days.

For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mat. 11:30)

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome. (1Jn. 5:3)

So what is our real burden? What is a yoke that is “unbearable”? SIN! When we break or transgress God’s law, it brings terrible consequences into our lives. Moreover, any time we allow manmade laws and traditions to supersede the simplicity of the Word, we become yoked with other type of bondage. We see both of these “enemies” exposed and dealt with in the Brit Chadashah (N.T.). But, even God’s holy law can be used as weapon instead of a blessing if it is not applied properly. LOVE must be the motivation and the desire behind our obedience. Any time our motive is self-righteousness we have moved into the realm of sin.

This is also true when we are leading or teaching others about Adonai and His commandments. We can never demand obedience, for then the student’s motivation would be either to please us or their own fears. Yes, love is the greatest commandment of all.  Our flow chart begins like this:

Commandment chart

Now, let’s break our first branch (Love YHWH) down into the first five of the Ten Commandments.

1st Tablet (Love the LORD) Ex. 20:1-12

  1. Then God spoke all these words, saying, “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. (vs. 1-2)
  2. “You shall have no other gods before Me.”You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments. (vs. 3-6)
  3. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. (vs. 7)
  4. “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. “Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter, your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you. “For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy. (vs. 8-11)
  5. “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you. (vs. 12) [Please refer to footnote number 4 for why this applies to loving God])

2nd Tablet (Love your Neighbor) Ex. 20:13-17  

  1. “You shall not murder. (vs. 13)
  2. “You shall not commit adultery. (vs. 14)
  3. “You shall not steal. (vs. 15)
  4. “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (vs. 16)
  5. “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (vs. 17)

Each of these commandments instructs in one way or another about HOW one is to “love” the LORD or our their neighbor. If we continued our flow chart, the remaining 603 commandments would fall under one of these two primary categories or headlines. For the sake of time, I haven’t categorized these commandments. (Perhaps, another day!) But, I have copied and pasted the full list of the 613 commandments. They are divided between the positive (do’s) and negative (do not’s) mitzvot. As you read through them, answer for yourself whether the commandment has to do with loving Adonai or loving your neighbor. Also, consider whether or not the commandment can be kept today or whether it is applicable to you. Rebuke any spirit that provokes you to try to justify NOT being obedient. Prayerfully ask the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit) to convict you of sin committed in ignorance and ask for His guidance in becoming more obedient for the sake of love.

The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. (Ecc. 12:13)

The Complete List of the 613 Mitzvot (Commandments)

The 248 Positive Mitzvot: “The Do’s”

Relationship to God

  • 1          To believe in God. Shemot (Exodus) 20:2
  • 2          To acknowledge the Unity of God. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:4
  • 3          To love God. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:5
  • 4          To fear God. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:13
  • 5          To serve God. Shemot (Exodus) 23:25; Devarim (Deuteronomy) 11:13; 13:4
  • 6          To cleave to God. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10:20
  • 7          On taking an oath by God’s Name. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10:20
  • 8          On walking in God’s ways. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 28:9
  • 9          On Sanctifying God’s Name. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:32


  • 10        Recite the Sh’ma each morning and evening. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:7
  • 11        Study and Teaching Torah. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:7
  • 12        Bind Tefillin on the head. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:8
  • 13        Bind Tefillin on the hand. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:8
  • 14        Make Tzitzit with thread of blue, garments corners. Bamidbar (Numbers) 15:38
  • 15        Affix a Mezuzah to doorposts and gates. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:9
  • 16        Assemble each 7th year to hear the Torah read. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:12
  • 17        A king must write a copy of Torah for himself. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:18
  • 18        Everyone should have a Torah scroll. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 31:19
  • 19        Praise God after eating, Grace after meals. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 8:10

Temple and the Priests

  • 20        On building a Sanctuary / (Tabernacle / Temple) for God. Shemot (Exodus) 25:8
  • 21        Respect the Sanctuary. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:30
  • 22        On guarding the Sanctuary. Bamidbar (Numbers) 18:4
  • 23        On Levitical services in the Tabernacle. Bamidbar (Numbers) 18:23
  • 24        On Cohanim (Priests) washing hands and feet before entering Temple. Shemot (Exodus) 30:19
  • 25        On kindling the Menorah by the Cohanim (Priests). Shemot (Exodus) 27:21
  • 26        On the Cohanim (Priests) blessing Israel. Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:23
  • 27        On the Showbread before the Ark. Shemot (Exodus) 25:30
  • 28        On Burning the Incense on the Golden Altar twice daily. Shemot (Exodus) 30:7
  • 29        On the perpetual fire on the Altar. Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:13
  • 30        On removing the ashes from the Altar. Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:10
  • 31        On removing unclean persons from the camp. Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:2
  • 32        On honoring the Cohanim (Priests). Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:8
  • 33        On the garments of the Cohanim (Priests). Shemot (Exodus) 28:2
  • 34        On Cohanim (Priests) bearing the Ark on their shoulders. Bamidbar (Numbers) 7:9
  • 35        On the holy anointing oil. Shemot (Exodus) 30:31
  • 36        On the Cohanim (Priests) ministering in rotation / watches. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:6-8
  • 37        On the Cohanim (Priests) being defiled for dead relatives. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:2-3
  • 38        On that Cohen haGadol (High Priest) may only marry a virgin. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:13


  • 39        On the twice Daily Burnt, tamid, offerings. Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:3
  • 40        On Cohen haGadol’s (High Priest) twice daily meal offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:20
  • 41        On the Shabbat additional, musaf, offering. Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:9
  • 42        On the New Moon, Rosh Chodesh, additional offering. Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:11
  • 43        On Pesach (Passover) additional offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:36
  • 44        On the second day of Pesach (Passover) meal offering of the Omer (Counting). Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:15
  • 45        On Shavuot (Pentecost) additional, musaf, offering. Bamidbar (Numbers) 28:26
  • 46        On the Two Loaves of bread Wave offering on Shavuot (Pentecost). Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:17
  • 47        On Rosh HaShannah (Head of Year) additional offering. Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:1-2
  • 48        On Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) additional offering. Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:7-8
  • 49        On the service of Yom Kippur, Avodah. Vayikra (Leviticus) 16
  • 50        On Sukkot, musaf, offerings. Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:13
  • 51        On the Shemini Atzeret additional offering. Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:36
  • 52        On the three annual Festival pilgrimages to the Temple. Shemot (Exodus) 23:14
  • 53        On appearing before YHVH during the Festivals. Shemot (Exodus) 34:23
  • 54        On rejoicing on the Festivals. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:14
  • 55        On the 14th of Nisan slaughtering the Pesach (Passover) lamb. Shemot (Exodus) 12:6
  • 56        On eating the roasted Pesach (Passover) lamb night of Nisan 15th. Shemot (Exodus) 12:8
  • 57        On slaughtering the Pesach (Passover) Sheini, Iyyar 14th, offering. Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:11
  • 58        On eating the Pesach (Passover) Sheini lamb with Matzah and Maror. Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:11
  • 59        Trumpets for Feast sacrifices brought and for tribulation. Bamidbar (Numbers) 10:9-10
  • 60        On minimum age of cattle to be offered. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:27
  • 61        On offering only unblemished sacrifices. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:21
  • 62        On bringing salt with every offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 2:13
  • 63        On the Burnt-Offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 1:2
  • 64        On the Sin-Offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:25
  • 65        On the Guilt-Offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 7:1
  • 66        On the Peace-Offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 3:1
  • 67        On the Meal-Offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 2:1
  • 68        On offerings for a Court (Sanhedrin) that has erred. Vayikra (Leviticus) 4:13
  • 69        Fixed Sin-Offering, by one unknowingly breaking a commandment. Vayikra (Leviticus) 4:27
  • 70        Suspensive Guilt-Offering if doubt of breaking a commandment. Vayikra (Leviticus) 5:17
  • 71        Unconditional Guilt-Offering, for stealing, etc. Vayikra (Leviticus) 5:15
  • 72        Offering higher or lower value, according to ones means. Vayikra (Leviticus) 5:11
  • 73        To confess one’s sins before God and repent from them. Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:6-7
  • 74        On offering brought by a zav (man with a discharge). Vayikra (Leviticus) 15:13
  • 75        Offering brought by a zavah (woman with a discharge). Vayikra (Leviticus) 15:28
  • 76        On offering brought by a woman after childbirth. Vayikra (Leviticus) 12:6
  • 77        On offering brought by a leper after being cleansed. Vayikra (Leviticus) 14:10
  • 78        On the Tithe of one’s cattle. Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:32
  • 79        Sacrificing the First-born of clean (permitted) cattle. Shemot (Exodus) 13:2
  • 80        On Redeeming the First-born of man, Pidyon ha-ben. Shemot (Exodus) 22:29
  • 81        On Redeeming the firstling of an ass, if not… Shemot (Exodus) 34:20
  • 82        …breaking the neck of the firstling of an ass. Shemot (Exodus) 13:13
  • 83        On bringing due offerings to Jerusalem without delay. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:5
  • 84        All offerings must be brought only to the Sanctuary. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:14
  • 85        On offerings due from outside Israel to the Sanctuary. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:26
  • 86        On Redeeming blemished sanctified animal offerings. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:15
  • 87        On the holiness of substituted animal offerings. Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:33
  • 88        On Cohanim (Priests) eating the remainder of the Meal Offerings. Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:9
  • 89        On Cohanim (Priests) eating the meat of Sin and Guilt Offerings. Shemot (Exodus) 29:33
  • 90        Burn Consecrated Offerings that’ve become tameh/unclean. Vayikra (Leviticus) 7:19
  • 91        Burn remnant of Consecrated Offerings not eaten in time. Vayikra (Leviticus) 7:17


  • 92        The Nazirite letting his hair grow during his separation. Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:5
  • 93        Nazirite completing vow shaves his head and brings sacrifice. Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:18
  • 94        On that a man must honor his oral vows and oaths. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:21
  • 95        On that a judge can annul vows, only according to Torah. Bamidbar (Numbers) 30:8

Ritual Purity

  • 96        Defilement by touching certain animal carcasses, and… Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:8
  • 97        …by touching carcasses of eight creeping creatures. Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:29
  • 98        Defilement of food and drink, if contacting unclean thing. Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:34
  • 99        On Tumah (unclean) of a menstruant woman. Vayikra (Leviticus) 15:19
  • 100      On Tumah (unclean) of a woman after childbirth. Vayikra (Leviticus) 12:2
  • 101      On Tumah (unclean) of a leper. Vayikra (Leviticus) 13:3
  • 102      On garments contaminated by leprosy. Vayikra (Leviticus) 13:51
  • 103      On a leprous house. Vayikra (Leviticus) 14:44
  • 104      On Tumah (unclean) of a zav (man with a running issue). Vayikra (Leviticus) 15:2
  • 105      On Tumah (unclean) of semen. Vayikra (Leviticus) 15:6
  • 106      Tumah (unclean) of a zavah (woman suffering from a running issue). Vayikra (Leviticus) 15:19
  • 107      On Tumah (unclean) of a human corpse. Bamidbar (Numbers) 19:14
  • 108      Law of the purification water of sprinkling, mei niddah. Bamidbar (Numbers) 19:13
  • 109      On immersing in a mikveh to become ritually clean. Vayikra (Leviticus) 15:16
  • 110      On the specified procedure of cleansing from leprosy. Vayikra (Leviticus) 14:2
  • 111      On that a leper must shave his head. Vayikra (Leviticus) 14:9
  • 112      On that the leper must be made easily distinguishable. Vayikra (Leviticus) 13:45
  • 113      On Ashes of the Red Heifer, used in ritual purification. Bamidbar (Numbers) 19:2

Donations to the Temple

  • 114      On the valuation for a person himself to the Temple. Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:2
  • 115      On the valuation for an unclean beast to the Temple. Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:11
  • 116      On the valuation of a house as a donation to the Temple. Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:14
  • 117      On the valuation of a field as a donation to the Temple. Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:16
  • 118      If benefit from Temple property, restitution plus 1/5th. Vayikra (Leviticus) 5:16
  • 119      On the fruits of the trees fourth year’s growth. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:24
  • 120      On leaving the corners (Peah) of fields for the poor. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:9
  • 121      On leaving gleanings of the field for the poor. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:9
  • 122      On leaving the forgotten sheaf for the poor. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:19
  • 123      On leaving the misformed grape clusters for the poor. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:10
  • 124      On leaving grape gleanings for the poor. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:10
  • 125      On separating and bringing First-fruits to the Sanctuary. Shemot (Exodus) 23:19
  • 126      To separate the great Heave-offering (terumah). Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:4
  • 127      To set aside the first tithe to the Levites. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:29
  • 128      To set aside the second tithe, eaten only in Jerusalem. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:22
  • 129      On Levites’ giving tenth of their tithe to the Cohanim (High Priests). Bamidbar (Numbers) 18:26
  • 130      To set aside the poor-man’s tithe in 3rd and 6th year. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:28
  • 131      A declaration made when separating the various tithes. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:13
  • 132      A declaration made bringing First-fruits to the Temple. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:2
  • 133      On the first portion of the Challah given to the Cohen (Priest). Bamidbar (Numbers) 15:20

The Sabbatical Year

  • 134      On ownerless produce of the Sabbatical year (shemittah). Shemot (Exodus) 23:11
  • 135      On resting the land on the Sabbatical year. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:4
  • 136      On sanctifying the Jubilee (50th) year. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:10
  • 137      Blow Shofar on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) in the Jubilee and slaves freed. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:9
  • 138      Reversion of the land to ancestral owners in Jubilee year. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:25
  • 139      On the redemption of a house within a year of the sale. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:24
  • 140      Counting and announcing the years till the Jubilee year. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:8
  • 141      All debts are annulled in the Sabbatical year, but… Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:3
  • 142      …one may exact a debt owed by a foreigner. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:3

Concerning Animals for Consumption

  • 143      The Cohen’s (Priest’s) due in the slaughter of every clean animal. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:3
  • 144      On the first of the fleece to be given to the Cohen (Priest). Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:4
  • 145      (Cherem vow) one devoted thing to God, other to Cohanim (Priest). Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:21
  • 146      Slaughtering animals, according to Torah, before eating. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:21
  • 147      Covering with earth the blood of slain fowl and beast. Vayikra (Leviticus) 17:13
  • 148      On setting free the parent bird when taking the nest. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:7
  • 149      Searching for prescribed signs in beasts, for eating. Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:2
  • 150      Searching for the prescribed signs in birds, for eating. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:11
  • 151      Searching for prescribed signs in locusts, for eating. Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:21
  • 152      Searching for the prescribed signs in fish, for eating. Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:9


  • 153      Sanhedrin to sanctify New Moon, and reckon years and seasons. Shemot (Exodus) 12:2
  • 154      On resting on Shabbat. Shemot (Exodus) 23:12 –
  • 155      On declaring Shabbat holy at its onset and termination. Shemot (Exodus) 20:8
  • 156      On removal of chametz (leaven), on (Nisan 14th) Pesach (Passover). Shemot (Exodus) 12:15
  • 157      Tell of Shemot (Exodus) from Egypt 1st night Pesach (Passover), (Nisan 15th). Shemot (Exodus) 13:8
  • 158      On eating Matzah the first night of Pesach (Passover), (Nisan 15th). Shemot (Exodus)12:18
  • 159      On resting on the first day of Pesach (Passover). Shemot (Exodus) 12:16
  • 160      On resting on the seventh day of Pesach (Passover). Shemot (Exodus) 12:16
  • 161      Count the Omer (Counting) 49 days from day of first sheaf, Nisan 16. Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:15
  • 162      On resting on Shavuot (Pentecost). Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:21
  • 163      On resting on Rosh HaShannah (Head of Year). Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:24
  • 164      On fasting on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:29
  • 165      On resting on Yom Kippur. Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:29
  • 166      On resting on the first day of Sukkot. Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:35
  • 167      On resting on (the 8th day) Shemini Atzeret. Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:36
  • 168      On dwelling in a Sukkah (Booths) for seven days. Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:42
  • 169      On taking a Lulav (the four species) on Sukkot. Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:40
  • 170      On hearing the sound of the Shofar on Rosh HaShannah (Head of Year). Bamidbar (Numbers) 29:1


  • 171      On every male giving half a shekel annually to Temple. Shemot (Exodus) 30:12
  • 172      On heeding the Prophets. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:15
  • 173      On appointing a king. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:15
  • 174      On obeying the Great Court (Sanhedrin). Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:11
  • 175      On in case of division, abiding by a majority decision. Shemot (Exodus) 23:2
  • 176      Appointing Judges and Officers of the Court in every town. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:18
  • 177      Treating litigants equally / impartially before the law. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:15
  • 178      Anyone aware of evidence must come to court to testify. Vayikra (Leviticus) 5:1
  • 179      The testimony of witnesses shall be examined thoroughly. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:14
  • 180      False witnesses punished, as they intended upon accused. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 19:19
  • 181      On Eglah Arufah, on the heifer when murderer unknown. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:4
  • 182      On establishing Six Cities of Refuge. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 19:3
  • 183      Give cities to Levites – who’ve no ancestral land share. Bamidbar (Numbers) 35:2
  • 184      Build fence on roof, remove potential hazards from home. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:8


  • 185      On destroying all idolatry and its appurtenances. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:2
  • 186      The law about a city that has become apostate / perverted. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:16
  • 187      On the law about destroying the seven Canaanite nations. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 20:17
  • 188      On the extinction of the seed of Amalek. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:19
  • 189      On remembering the evil deeds of Amalek to Israel. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:17


  • 190      Regulations for wars other than ones commanded in Torah. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 20:11
  • 191      Cohen for special duties in war. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 20:2
  • 192      Prepare place beyond the camp, so to keep sanitary and… Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:14
  • 193      …so include a digging tool among war implements. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:13


  • 194      On a robber to restore the stolen article to its owner. Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:4
  • 195      On to give charity to the poor. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:8
  • 196      On giving gifts to a Hebrew bondman upon his freedom. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:14
  • 197      On lending money to the poor without interest. Shemot (Exodus) 22:25
  • 198      On lending money to the foreigner with interest. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:20
  • 199      On restoring a pledge to its owner if he needs it. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:13
  • 200      On paying the worker his wages on time. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:15
  • 201      Employee is allowed to eat the produce he’s working in. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:24
  • 202      On helping unload when necessary a tired animal. Shemot (Exodus) 23:5
  • 203      On assisting a man loading his beast with its burden. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:4
  • 204      On that lost property must be returned to its owner. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:1
  • 205      On being required to reprove the sinner. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:17
  • 206      On love your neighbor as yourself. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:18
  • 207      On being commanded to love the convert / proselyte. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 10:19
  • 208      On the law of accurate weights and measures. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:36


  • 209      On honoring the old (and wise). Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:32
  • 210      On honoring parents. Shemot (Exodus) 20:12
  • 211      On fearing parents. Vayikra (Leviticus)19:3
  • 212      On to be fruitful and multiply. Bereshit (Genesis)1:28
  • 213      On the law of marriage. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:1
  • 214      On bridegroom devotes himself to his wife for one year. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:5
  • 215      On circumcising one’s son. Bereshit (Genesis)17:10
  • 216      If a man dies childless his brother marry widow, or… Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:5
  • 217      …release her / the-widow Chalitzah. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:9
  • 218      A violator must marry the virgin / maiden he has violated. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:29
  • 219      The defamer of his bride is flogged and may never divorce. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:18
  • 220      On the seducer must be punished according to the law. Shemot (Exodus) 22:16
  • 221      Captive women treated according to special regulations. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:11
  • 222      The law of divorce, only be means of written document. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:1
  • 223      Suspected adulteress has to submit to the required test. Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:15


  • 224      On whipping transgressors of certain commandments. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:2
  • 225      On exile to city of refuge for unintentional homicide. Bamidbar (Numbers) 35:25
  • 226      On punishment of transgressors of certain commandments. Shemot (Exodus) 21:20
  • 227      On strangling transgressors of certain commandments. Shemot (Exodus) 21:16
  • 228      On burning transgressors of certain commandments. Vayikra (Leviticus) 20:14
  • 229      On stoning transgressors of certain commandments. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:24
  • 230      Hang after execution, violators of certain commandments. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:22
  • 231      On burial on the same day of execution. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:23


  • 232      On the special laws for treating the Hebrew bondman. Shemot (Exodus) 21:2
  • 233      Hebrew bondmaid married to her master or his son, or… Shemot (Exodus) 21:8, 9
  • 234      …allow the redemption to the Hebrew bondmaid. Shemot (Exodus) 21:9
  • 235      On the laws for treating an alien bondman. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:46


  • 236      On the penalty for a person inflicting injury. Shemot (Exodus) 21:19
  • 237      On the law of injuries caused by an animal. Shemot (Exodus) 21:28
  • 238      On the law of injuries caused by an pit. Shemot (Exodus) 21:33
  • 239      On the law of punishment of thieves. Shemot (Exodus) 22:1
  • 240      On the law of a judgement for damage caused by a beast. Shemot (Exodus) 22:5
  • 241      On the law of a judgement for damage caused by a fire. Shemot (Exodus) 22:6
  • 242      On the law of an unpaid guardian. Shemot (Exodus) 22:7
  • 243      On the law of a paid guardian. Shemot (Exodus) 22:11
  • 244      On the law of a borrower. Shemot (Exodus) 22:14
  • 245      On the law of buying and selling. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:14
  • 246      On the law of litigants. Shemot (Exodus) 22:9
  • 247      Save life of one pursued. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:1
  • 248      On the law of inheritance. Bamidbar (Numbers) 27:8

The 365 Negative Mitzvot: “The Don’ts”

Idolatry and Related Practices

  • 1          No other gods before me. Shemot (Exodus) 20:3
  • 2          Not to make graven images. Shemot (Exodus) 20:4
  • 3          Not to make an idol (even for others) to worship. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:4
  • 4          Not to make figures of human beings. Shemot (Exodus) 20:4
  • 5          Not to bow down to an idol. Shemot (Exodus) 20:5
  • 6          Not to serve idols. Shemot (Exodus) 20:5
  • 7          Not to hand over any children to Molech. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:21
  • 8          Not to seek after wizards. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:31
  • 9          Not to regard them that have familiar spirits. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:31
  • 10        Not to study idolatrous practices. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:4
  • 11        Not to erect an image which people assemble to honor. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:22
  • 12        No figured stones to bow down to. Vayikra (Leviticus) 26:1
  • 13        Not to plant trees near the altar. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:21
  • 14        Make no mention of other gods. Shemot (Exodus) 23:13
  • 15        Not to divert anyone to idolatry. Shemot (Exodus) 23:13
  • 16        Not to try to persuade a Jew to worship idols. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:12, 13
  • 17        Not to love someone who seeks to mislead you to idols. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:8
  • 18        Not to relax one’s aversion to the misleader to idols. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:9
  • 19        Not to save the life of a misleader to idols. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:9
  • 20        Not to plead for (defend) the misleader to idols. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:9
  • 21        Not to oppress evidence unfavorable to the misleader. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:9
  • 22        No benefit from ornaments which have adorned an idol. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 7:25
  • 23        Rebuild not a city destroyed as punishment for idolatry. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:16
  • 24        Not deriving benefit from property of an apostate city. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:17
  • 25        Do not use anything connected with idols or idolatry. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 7:26
  • 26        Not prophesying in the name of idols. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:20
  • 27        Not prophesying falsely in the Name of God. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:20
  • 28        Listen not to one who prophesies in the name of idols. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 13:3
  • 29        Not fearing or refraining from killing a false prophet. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:20
  • 30        Imitate not the ways nor practice customs of idolaters. Vayikra (Leviticus) 20:23
  • 31        Not practicing divination (Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:10). Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:26
  • 32        Not practicing soothsaying. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:10
  • 33        Not practicing enchanting. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:10
  • 34        Not practicing sorcery. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:10
  • 35        Not practicing the art of the charmer. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:11
  • 36        Not consulting a necromancer. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:10
  • 37        Not consulting a sorcerer. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:11
  • 38        Not to seek information from the dead, necromancy. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:11
  • 39        Women not to wear men’s clothes or adornments. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:5
  • 40        Men not wearing women’s clothes or adornments. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:5
  • 41        Not tattoo yourself, as is the manner of the idolaters. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:28
  • 42        Not wearing a mixture of wool and linen. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:11
  • 43        Not shaving the temples or sides of your head. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:27
  • 44        Not shaving the corners of your beard. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:27
  • 45        Not making cuttings in your flesh over your dead. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:28

Prohibitions Resulting from Historical Events

  • 46        Not returning to Egypt to dwell there permanently. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:16
  • 47        Not to follow one’s heart or eyes, straying to impurity. Bamidbar (Numbers) 15:39
  • 48        Not to make a pact with the Seven Canaanite Nations. Shemot (Exodus) 23:32
  • 49        Not to spare the life of the Seven Canaanite Nations. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 20:16
  • 50        Not to show mercy to idolaters. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 7:2
  • 51        No one serving false gods to settle in the Land of Israel. Shemot (Exodus) 23:33
  • 52        Not to intermarry with one serving false gods. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 7:3
  • 53        Not to enter the congregation, an Ammonite or Moabite. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:3
  • 54        Exclude not marrying a descendant of Esau if a proselyte. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:8
  • 55        Not to exclude marrying an Egyptian who is a proselyte. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:8
  • 56        Not permitted to make peace with Ammon and Moab nations. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:6
  • 57        Not destroying fruit trees, even in time of war. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 20:19
  • 58        Not fearing the enemy in time of war. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 7:21
  • 59        Blot out the remembrance of Amalek. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:19


  • 60        Not blaspheming the Holy Name of God. Vayikra (Leviticus) 24:16
  • 61        Not violating an oath by the Holy Name. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:12
  • 62        Not taking the Holy Name in vain. Shemot (Exodus) 20:7
  • 63        Not profaning the Holy Name of God. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:32
  • 64        Not tempting God’s promises and warnings. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 6:16
  • 65        Do not destroy houses of worship or holy books of HaShem. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:3,4
  • 66        Leave not body of executed criminal hanging overnight. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:23


  • 67        Be not lax in guarding the Sanctuary. Bamidbar (Numbers) 18:5
  • 68        High Priest enter Sanctuary only at prescribed times. Vayikra (Leviticus) 16:2
  • 69        Cohen (priest) with blemish come near to Altar. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:23
  • 70        Cohen (priest) with a blemish not to minister in the Sanctuary. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:17
  • 71        Cohen (priest) with temporary blemish minister not in Sanctuary. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:18
  • 72        Levites and Cohanim not to interchange in their functions. Bamidbar (Numbers) 18:3
  • 73        Drunk persons may not enter Sanctuary or teach Torah. Vayikra (Leviticus) 10:9
  • 74        A non-Cohen (priest) not to minister in Sanctuary. Bamidbar (Numbers) 18:4
  • 75        A unclean Cohen (priest) not to minister in Sanctuary. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:2
  • 76        A defiled Cohen (priest), not to minister in Sanctuary. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:6
  • 77        A leper not to enter any part of Temple. Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:2
  • 78        No unclean person may enter camp of Levites. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:11
  • 79        Build not an Altar of stones which were touched by iron. Shemot (Exodus) 20:25
  • 80        Not to have an ascent to the Altar by steps. Shemot (Exodus) 20:26
  • 81        Not to extinguish the Altar fire. Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:13
  • 82        Offer nothing, but specified incense, on Golden Altar. Shemot (Exodus) 30:9
  • 83        Not to make any oil the same as the Oil of Anointment. Shemot (Exodus) 30:32
  • 84        Anoint none with special oil except Cohen Gadol (High Priest) and King. Shemot (Exodus) 30:32
  • 85        Not to make incense same as burnt on Altar in Sanctuary. Shemot (Exodus) 30:37
  • 86        Not to remove the staves from their rings in the Ark. Shemot (Exodus) 25:15
  • 87        Not to remove the Breastplate from the Ephod. Shemot (Exodus) 28:28
  • 88        Make not any incision in Cohen haGadol’s (High Priest’s) upper garment. Shemot (Exodus) 28:32


  • 89        Offer not sacrifices outside Sanctuary (Temple) Court. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:13
  • 90        Slaughter not consecrated animals outside Temple Court. Vayikra (Leviticus) 17:3-4
  • 91        Dedicate not a blemished animal to be offered on Altar. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:20
  • 92        Not to slaughter a blemished animal as a korban (sacrifice). Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:22
  • 93        Not to dash the blood of a blemished beast on the Altar. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:24
  • 94        Not to burn the inner parts of blemished beast on Altar. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:22
  • 95        Not to sacrifice a beast with a temporary blemish. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:1
  • 96        Not to offer a blemished sacrifice of a gentile. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:25
  • 97        Not to cause a consecrated offering to become blemished. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:21
  • 98        Not to offer leaven or honey upon the Altar. Vayikra (Leviticus) 2:11
  • 99        Not to offer a sacrifice without salt. Vayikra (Leviticus) 2:13
  • 100      Offer not on Altar: “hire of harlot” or “price of dog”. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:18
  • 101      Not to slaughter an animal and its young on the same day. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:28
  • 102      Not to put olive oil on the sin meal-offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 5:11
  • 103      Not to put frankincense on the sin meal-offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 5:11
  • 104      Not to put olive oil on the jealousy offering. Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:15
  • 105      Not to put frankincense on the jealousy offering. Bamidbar (Numbers) 5:15
  • 106      Not to substitute sacrifices. Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:10
  • 107      Redeem not the firstborn of permitted (clean) animals. Bamidbar (Numbers) 18:17
  • 108      Not to change sacrifices from one category to the other. Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:33
  • 109      Not to sell the tithe of the herd of cattle. Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:33
  • 110      Not to sell a devoted field. Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:28
  • 111      Not to redeem a devoted (by the Cherem vow) field. Vayikra (Leviticus) 27:28
  • 112      Not to split head of bird slaughtered for Sin-offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 5:8
  • 113      Not to do any work with a dedicated beast. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:19
  • 114      Not to shear a dedicated beast. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:19
  • 115      Slaughter not Pesach (Passover) lamb with chametz (leaven). Shemot (Exodus) 34:25
  • 116      Leave not sacrificial portions of Pesach (Passover) lamb overnight. Shemot (Exodus) 12:10
  • 117      Allow not meat of Pesach (Passover) lamb to remain till morning. Shemot (Exodus) 12:10
  • 118      No meat of Nisan 14th Festive Offering remain till day 3. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:4
  • 119      No meat of 2nd Pesach (Passover) lamb Offering remain till morning. Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:12
  • 120      No meat of Thanksgiving Offering to remain till morning. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:30
  • 121      Not to break any bones of Pesach (Passover) lamb offering. Shemot (Exodus) 12:46
  • 122      Not to break any bones of 2nd Pesach (Passover) lamb offering. Bamidbar (Numbers) 9:12
  • 123      Not to remove Pesach (Passover) offering from where it is eaten. Shemot (Exodus) 12:46
  • 124      Not to bake the residue of a meal offering with leaven Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:17
  • 125      Not to eat the Pesach (Passover) offering boiled or raw. Shemot (Exodus) 12:9
  • 126      Not to allow an alien resident to eat Pesach (Passover) offering. Shemot (Exodus) 12:45
  • 127      An uncircumcised person may not eat the Pesach (Passover) offering. Shemot (Exodus) 12:48
  • 128      Not to allow an stranger to eat the Pesach (Passover) offering. Shemot (Exodus) 12:43
  • 129      Tameh (ritually unclean) person may not eat holy things. Vayikra (Leviticus) 12:4
  • 130      Eat not meat of consecrated things that have become unclean. Vayikra (Leviticus) 7:19
  • 131      Not to eat sacrificial meat beyond the second day. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:6,7
  • 132      Eat not sacrificial meat on third day. Vayikra (Leviticus) 7:18
  • 133      A stranger or non-Cohen may not eat of holy thing. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:10
  • 134      A Cohen ‘s (Priest’s) sojourner or hired worker may not eat holy thing. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:10
  • 135      An uncircumcised person may not eat holy thing. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:10
  • 136      A Tameh (ritually unclean) Cohen may not eat terumah (holy things). Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:4
  • 137      A Bat-Cohen (priest’s daughter) if married to non-Cohen not to eat holy food. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:12
  • 138      Not to eat the Meal-offering of a Cohen (Priest). Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:16
  • 139      Eat not Sin-offering meat sacrificed within Sanctuary. Vayikra (Leviticus) 6:23
  • 140      Not to eat consecrated animals that have become blemished. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:3
  • 141      Eat not unredeemed 2nd corn tithe outside Jerusalem. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:17
  • 142      Consume not unredeemed 2nd wine tithe outside Jerusalem. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:17
  • 143      Consume not unredeemed 2nd oil tithe outside Jerusalem. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:17
  • 144      Eat not an unblemished firstling outside Jerusalem. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:17
  • 145      Eat not sin or guilt offerings outside Sanctuary court. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:17
  • 146      Not to eat the meat of the burnt offering at all. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:17
  • 147      Eat not lesser sacrifices before blood dashed on Altar. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:17
  • 148      Azar / non- Cohen is not to eat the most holy offerings. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:17
  • 149      A Cohen (Priest) not to eat First Fruits outside Temple courts. Shemot (Exodus) 29:33
  • 150      Not giving 2nd tithe while in state of impurity. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:14
  • 151      Not eating the 2nd tithe while in mourning. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:14
  • 152      Not giving the 2nd tithe for the dead. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 26:14
  • 153      Not eating untithed produce. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:15
  • 154      Not changing the order of separating the various tithes. Shemot (Exodus) 22:29
  • 155      Delay not payment of offerings, freewill or obligatory. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:21
  • 156      Go not to Temple on Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles without offering. Shemot (Exodus) 23:15
  • 157      Not to break your word, even if without an oath. Bamidbar (Numbers) 30:2


  • 158      A Cohen (Priest) may not marry a harlot. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:7
  • 159      A Cohen (Priest) marry not a woman profaned from the Priesthood. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:7
  • 160      A Cohen (Priest) may not marry a divorcee. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:7
  • 161      Cohen haGadol (high priest) may not marry a widow. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:14
  • 162      Cohen haGadol (high priest) may not take a widow as a concubine. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:15
  • 163      Cohen (Priest) may not enter the Sanctuary with uncovered head. Vayikra (Leviticus) 10:6
  • 164      Cohen (Priest) wearing rent garments may not enter Sanctuary. Vayikra (Leviticus) 10:6
  • 165      Cohanim (Priests) leave not Temple courtyard during the service. Vayikra (Leviticus) 10:7
  • 166      No Cohanim (Priests) must not be defiled for dead, except for his next of kin. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:1
  • 167      Cohen haGadol (High Priest) may not be under one roof with dead body. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:11
  • 168      Cohen haGadol (High Priest) must not be defiled for any dead person. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:11
  • 169      Levites have not part in the division of Israel’s land. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:1
  • 170      Levites share not in the spoils of war. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 18:1
  • 171      Not to tear out hair for the dead. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:1

Dietary Laws

  • 172      Not to eat any unclean animal. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:7
  • 173      Not to eat any unclean fish. Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:11
  • 174      Not to eat any unclean fowl. Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:13
  • 175      Not to eat any creeping winged insect. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:19
  • 176      Not to eat anything which creeps on the earth. Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:41
  • 177      Not to eat creeping thing that is undefiled. Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:44
  • 178      Not to eat living creatures that goeth on belly. Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:42
  • 179      Not to eat any abominable creature. Vayikra (Leviticus) 11:43
  • 180      Not to eat any animal which died naturally, a nevelah. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 14:21
  • 181      Not to eat an animal which is torn or mauled, a treifah. Shemot (Exodus) 22:31
  • 182      Not to eat any limb taken from a living animal. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:23
  • 183      Not to eat the sinew of the thigh-vein, (gid ha-nasheh). Bereshit (Genesis) 32:32
  • 184      Not to eat blood. Vayikra (Leviticus) 7:26
  • 185      Not to eat certain types of fat of clean animal, chelev. Vayikra (Leviticus) 7:23
  • 186      Not to boil young male goat (meat) in its mother’s milk. Shemot (Exodus) 23:19
  • 187      Not to eat young male goat cooked in its mother’s milk. Shemot (Exodus) 34:26
  • 188      Not to eat the flesh of a condemned and to be stoned ox. Shemot (Exodus) 21:28
  • 189      Eat not bread made from grain of new crop, before bringing an offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:14
  • 190      Eat not roasted grain of new crop, before bringing an offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:14
  • 191      Eat not green ears of new crop, before bringing an offering. Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:14
  • 192      Not to eat of the fruit of trees till the forth year, orlah. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:23
  • 193      Eat not growth of mixed vineyard planting, kilai hakerem. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:9
  • 194      Not to use wine libations for idols, yayin nesach. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 32:38
  • 195      No eating or drinking to excess, gluttony and drunkenness. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:20
  • 196      Not to eat anything on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:29
  • 197      Not to eat chametz, leaven, on Pesach (Passover). Shemot (Exodus) 13:3
  • 198      Not to eat an admixture of chametz / leaven on Pesach (Passover). Shemot (Exodus) 13:7
  • 199      Not to eat chametz / leaven, after noon of 14th Nisan. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 16:3
  • 200      No chametz / leaven may be seen in our homes during Pesach (Passover). Shemot (Exodus) 13:7
  • 201      Not to possess chametz / leaven, during Pesach (Passover). Shemot (Exodus) 12:19


  • 202      A Nazirite may not drink wine or any beverage from grapes. Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:3
  • 203      A Nazirite may not eat fresh grapes. Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:3
  • 204      A Nazirite may not eat dried grapes. Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:3
  • 205      A Nazirite may not eat grape seeds / kernels. Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:4
  • 206      A Nazirite may not eat grape peels / husks. Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:4
  • 207      Nazirite may not rend himself tameh (unclean) for the dead. Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:7
  • 208      Nazirite must not become tameh entering house with corpse. Vayikra (Leviticus) 21:11
  • 209      A Nazirite must not shave his hair. Bamidbar (Numbers) 6:5


  • 210      Reap not a whole field without leaving corners for poor. Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:22
  • 211      Not to gather ears of grain that fell during harvesting. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:9
  • 212      Not to gather the misformed clusters of grapes. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:10
  • 213      Not to gather single fallen grapes during the vintage. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:10
  • 214      Not to return for a forgotten sheaf. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:19
  • 215      Not to sow diverse kinds of seed in one field, kalayim. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:19
  • 216      Not to sow grain or vegetables in a vineyard. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:9
  • 217      Not to crossbreed animals of different species. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:19
  • 218      Work not with two different kinds of animals together. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:10
  • 219      Muzzle not animal working field to prevent from eating. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:4
  • 220      Not to cultivate the soil in the 7th year, shemittah. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:4
  • 221      Not to prune the trees in the 7th year. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:4
  • 222      Reap not self-grown plant in 7th year as ordinary year. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:5
  • 223      Gather not self-grown fruit in 7th year as ordinary year. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:5
  • 224      Not to till the earth or prune trees in Jubilee year. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:11
  • 225      Reap not after-growths of Jubilee year as ordinary year. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:11
  • 226      Not to gather fruit in Jubilee year as in ordinary year. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:11
  • 227      Sell not one’s Eretz Yisrael land holdings permanently. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:23
  • 228      Not to sell / change the open lands of the Levites. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:33
  • 229      Not to leave the Levites without support. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:19

Loans, Business, and the Treatment of Slaves

  • 230      Not to demand payment of debts after 7th year Shmitah. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:2
  • 231      Not to refuse loan to poor because 7th year Shmitah is near. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:9
  • 232      Not to deny charity to the poor. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:7
  • 233      Not sending a Hebrew bondman away empty-handed. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 15:13
  • 234      Not demanding payment from a debtor known unable to pay. Shemot (Exodus) 22:25
  • 235      Not lending to another person at interest. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:37
  • 236      Not borrowing from another person at interest. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:20
  • 237      Not participating in an agreement involving interest. Shemot (Exodus) 22:25
  • 238      Oppress not an employee by delaying paying his wages. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:13
  • 239      Not taking a pledge from a debtor by force. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:10
  • 240      Not keeping a poor man’s pledge when he needs it. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:12
  • 241      Not taking any pledge from a widow. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:17
  • 242      Not taking one’s business utensils in pledge. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:6
  • 243      Not abducting a person. Shemot (Exodus) 20:13
  • 244      Not stealing. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:11
  • 245      Not robbing. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:13
  • 246      Not fraudulently altering land boundaries / landmarker. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 19:14
  • 247      Not usurping our debts and do not defraud. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:13
  • 248      Not repudiating debts, denying receipt of loan / deposit. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:11
  • 249      Not to swear falsely regarding another man’s property. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:11
  • 250      Not wronging / deceiving one another in business. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:14
  • 251      Not wronging / misleading one another even verbally. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:17
  • 252      Not harming the stranger among you verbally. Shemot (Exodus) 22:21
  • 253      Not injuring the stranger among you in business / trade. Shemot (Exodus) 22:21
  • 254      Not handing over a slave who’s fled to Israel. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:15
  • 255      Take no advantage of a slave who’s fled to Israel. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:16
  • 256      Not afflicting the orphans and widows. Shemot (Exodus) 22:22
  • 257      Not employing a Hebrew bondman in degrading tasks. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:39
  • 258      Not selling a Hebrew bondman. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:42
  • 259      Not treating a Hebrew bondman cruelly. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:43
  • 260      Not allowing a heathen to mistreat a Hebrew bondman. Vayikra (Leviticus) 25:53
  • 261      Not selling a Hebrew maidservant. and if you marry her… Shemot (Exodus) 21:8
  • …withhold not: food, raiment, or conjugal rights. Shemot (Exodus) 21:10
  • 263      Not selling a captive woman. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:14
  • 264      Not treating a captive woman as a slave. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:14
  • 265      Not coveting another man’s possessions or property, etc. Shemot (Exodus) 20:17
  • 266      Covet not another’s possessions, even the desire forbidden. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 5:21
  • 267      A worker is not to cut down standing grain during work. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:25
  • 268      A hired laborer not to take more fruit than he can eat. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:24
  • 269      Not ignoring lost property to be returned to its owner. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:3
  • 270      Refuse not to help man or animal collapsing with burden. Shemot (Exodus) 23:5
  • 271      Not cheating or defrauding with measurements and weights. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:35
  • 272      Not to possess false or inaccurate weights and measures. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:13


  • 273      A Judge is not to commit unrighteousness. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:15
  • 274      A Judge is not to accept bribes / gifts from litigants. Shemot (Exodus) 23:8
  • 275      A Judge is not to favor (be partial to) a litigant. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:15
  • 276      Judge not avoid justice being in fear of wicked person. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 1:17
  • 277      A Judge not to decide in favor of poor man, out of pity. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:15
  • 278      A Judge is not to discriminate against the poor. Shemot (Exodus) 23:6
  • 279      Judge not to pity one who killed or caused loss of limb. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 19:13
  • 280      A Judge not perverting justice due strangers or orphans. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:17
  • 281      Judge not to hear one litigant in absence of the other. Shemot (Exodus) 23:1
  • 282      Court may not convict by majority of one in capital case. Shemot (Exodus) 23:2
  • 283      Judge accept not colleague’s opinion, unless sure right. Shemot (Exodus) 23:2
  • 284      Not appointing an unlearned judge ignorant of the Torah. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 1:17
  • 285      Not bearing false witness. Shemot (Exodus) 20:16
  • 286      A Judge is not to receive a wicked man’s testimony. Shemot (Exodus) 23:1
  • 287      A Judge receive not testimony from litigant’s relatives. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:16
  • 288      Not convicting on the testimony of a single witness. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 19:15
  • 289      Not murdering a human being. Shemot (Exodus) 20:13
  • 290      No conviction based on circumstantial evidence alone. Shemot (Exodus) 23:7
  • 291      A witness must not sit as a Judge in capital cases. Bamidbar (Numbers) 35:30
  • 292      Not killing a murderer without trial and conviction. Bamidbar (Numbers) 35:12
  • 293      Not to pity or spare the life of a pursuer. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:12
  • 294      Not punishing a person for a sin committed under duress. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:26
  • 295      Not accepting ransom from an unwitting murderer. Bamidbar (Numbers) 35:31
  • 296      Not accepting a ransom from a wilful murderer. Bamidbar (Numbers) 35:32
  • 297      Hesitate not to save life of another person in danger. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:16
  • 298      Not leaving obstacles on public or private domain. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:8
  • 299      Not misleading another by giving wrong advice. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:14
  • 300      Inflict not more than assigned number lashes to guilty. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:2, 3
  • 301      Not to tell tales. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:16
  • 302      Not to bear hatred in your heart toward your brethren. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:17
  • 303      Not to put one another to shame. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:17
  • 304      Not to take vengeance on another. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:18
  • 305      Not to bear a grudge. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:18
  • 306      Not to take entire bird’s nest, mother and her young. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:6
  • 307      Not to shave a leprous scall. Vayikra (Leviticus) 13:33
  • 308      Not to cut or cauterize (remove) other signs of leprosy. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:8
  • 309      Plow not a valley where slain body found, eglah arufah. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 21:
  • 310      Not permitting a witch / sorcerer to live. Shemot (Exodus) 22:18
  • 311      Take not bridegroom from home in first year of marriage. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:5
  • 312      Not to differ from or disobey the Cohanim and the Judge. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:11
  • 313      Not to add to the Mitzvot / commandments of Torah. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:32
  • 314      Not to detract from the Mitzvot / commandments of Torah. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 12:32
  • 315      Not to curse a judge. Shemot (Exodus) 22:28
  • 316      Not to curse a ruler. Shemot (Exodus) 22:28
  • 317      Not to curse any person. Vayikra (Leviticus) 19:14
  • 318      Not cursing parents. Shemot (Exodus) 21:17
  • 319      Not to strike parents. Shemot (Exodus) 21:15
  • 320      Not to work on Shabbat. Shemot (Exodus) 20:10
  • 321      Not to walk beyond permitted limits, eruv, on Shabbat. Shemot (Exodus) 16:29
  • 322      Not to inflict punishment on the Shabbat. Shemot (Exodus) 35:3
  • 323      Not to work on the first day of Pesach (Passover). Shemot (Exodus) 12:16
  • 324      Not to work on the seventh day of Pesach (Passover). Shemot (Exodus) 12:16
  • 325      Not to work on Shavuot (Pentecost). Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:21
  • 326      Not to work on Rosh HaShannah (Head of Year). Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:25
  • 327      Not to work on the first day of Sukkot (Booths). Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:35
  • 328      Work not 8th-day / Shemini-Atzeret, (after Hoshana Rabba). Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:36
  • 329      Not to work on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:28

Incest and Other Forbidden Relationships

  • 330      No relations with one’s mother. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:7
  • 331      No relations with one’s father’s wife. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:8
  • 332      No relations with one’s sister. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:9
  • 333      No relations with step-sister. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:11
  • 334      No relations with one’s son’s daughter. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:10
  • 335      No relations with one’s daughter’s daughter. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:10
  • 336      No relations with one’s daughter. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:10
  • 337      No relations with a woman and her daughter. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:17
  • 338      No relations with a woman and her son’s daughter. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:17
  • 339      No relations with a woman and her daughter’s daughter. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:17
  • 340      No relations with one’s father’s sister. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:12
  • 341      No relations with one’s mother’s sister. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:13
  • 342      No relations with wife of father’s brother. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:14
  • 343      No relations with one’s son’s wife. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:15
  • 344      No relations with brother’s wife. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:16
  • 345      No relations with sister of wife, during wife’s life. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:18
  • 346      No relations with a menstruant. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:19
  • 347      No relations with another man’s wife. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:20
  • 348      Men may not lie with beasts. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:23
  • 349      Women may not lie with beasts. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:23
  • 350      A man may not lie carnally with another man. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:22
  • 351      A man may not lie carnally with his father. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:7
  • 352      A man may not lie carnally with his father’s brother. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:14
  • 353      Not to be intimate with a kinswoman. Vayikra (Leviticus) 18:6
  • 354      A mamzer may not have relations with a Jewess. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:2
  • 355      No relations (harlotry) with a woman outside marriage. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:17
  • 356      Remarry not your divorced wife after she has remarried. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24:4
  • 357      Childless widow marry none except late husbands brother. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 25:5
  • 358      Divorce not wife, that he has to marry after raping her. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:29
  • 359      Divorce not wife, after falsely slandering her. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 22:19
  • 360      Man unable of procreation (eunuch) not to marry Jewess. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 23:1
  • 361      Not to castrate a man or beast. Vayikra (Leviticus) 22:24

The Monarchy

  • 362      Not appointing a king who is not of the seed of Israel. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:15
  • 363      A king not to accumulate an excess number of horses. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:16
  • 364      A king not taking many wives. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:17
  • 365      A king may not amass great personal wealth. Devarim (Deuteronomy) 17:17


Click here for another list of the 613 commandments.

[1] 1 Cor. 13:13

[2] 1 Jn. 4:16

[3] Literally in Hebrew: the Ten Words (Utterances or Sayings)

[4] Don’t let the 5th commandment (to honor your father and mother) throw you off. The Sages teach that this commandment is indeed teaching one how to love Adonai as one’s parents are “co-creators” with HaShem to produce you. Moreover, their authority in your life is a picture of the relationship you should have with Adonai. So, after considering the role that parents play in the life of a child, it becomes clear that the 5th commandment does in fact deal with loving the LORD. “Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. ‘Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father, and you shall keep My sabbaths; I am the LORD your God. (Lev. 19:2-3, see also Mark 7:9-13)

[5] There are those that count over a thousand “commandments” in the Brit Chadashah (New Testament)!

[6] Strong’s H8451; also be sure to look up the Hebrew root: H3384.

[7] “So keep and do them, for that is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call on Him? “Or what great nation is there that has statutes and judgments as righteous as this whole law (Torah) which I am setting before you today?

(Dt. 4:6-8)

[8] For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does. (James 1:23-25ff)

[9] I first heard this great analogy from one of the many gifted teachers at Lamb Fellowship. Sadly, I cannot remember which one, though I believe it was Travis Berry. Whoever it was, I thank you for presenting this in such a simple yet profound manner. It certainly has stuck with me. (:

Categories: Study Helps | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Under the Covers

Taking Refuge in the Fall Feast Days


The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold”. Psalm 18:2

All quotes taken from the NASB unless otherwise noted.

One thing that all people have in common is the desire to feel safe, secure, protected, and sheltered. As a matter of fact, one of our strongest survival instincts is to find or build a shelter. We desire a covering to protect us from the wind, rain, cold, wild beasts, and other elements of nature. Our Creator placed these instincts within each one of us. These desires prolong our lives and ensure the survival of mankind. If the natural world, including our innate instincts, is to teach us spiritual truths[1], then what do these most basic drives teach us about our relationship to God?

When do we desire to be “covered”? Is it not when we are cold, sick, tired, frightened, distressed, or even depressed? Conversely, we may desire to be “covered” when we are praying and worshipping, and when we are nursing a child or being intimate with our spouse. Ironically, all of these instances are related when we look into the Word of God. Certain aspects of our emotional, spiritual, and physical lives require a shield of protection. Whether the “covering” protects us from danger, comforts our ailments, or covers our nakedness, it is a type of shield, hedge, and defense. In other words, it is the protection that we all need and desire. Abraham, our father in faith, was assured that this “shield” he desired would be provided.

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you; Your reward shall be very great. (Gen. 15:1)

The Hebrew word for shield in this verse is magen (mem, gimel, nun) and it does indeed mean a shield of protection. What is fascinating is that it comes from the same root as garden or gan (gimel, nun). The Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible describes this word pictographically as “a gathering of seeds”. This is easy to relate to a garden, but how does it relate to a shield and other cognates like protection and a basin? A garden, such as the Garden of Eden, is a protected place; it is surrounded on all sides. Likewise, a basin has a ledge or hedge about it. These concrete images give us a vivid picture of what it means for YHWH to “shield” or protect us.

You see, it is not that there is no danger, predators, or enemies; rather, it is that there is a covering of protection that surrounds us. This shield is clearly depicted when HaSatan observes the life of Job.

Then Satan answered the LORD, “Does Job fear God for nothing? “Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. (Job 1:9-10)

The Hebrew word for hedge in this verse is suk, the root for sukkah (booth, shelter, covering). Our gracious Father had placed a “spiritual” sukkah around Job and all that was his. Since we are in the Season of our Joy, the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, I find that it is most appropriate that we understand how the moedim (particularly the fall feasts) portray this heavenly covering that YHWH provides for us.

Tight Places

Before we explore the heavenly hedge of YHWH, it is imperative that we understand what is outside the protected place. Nowhere in the Bible are we promised a life without trials, tribulations, and hardships. While some naïvely teach the contrary, the truth is that without the proverbial “thorn in our side” we would never learn to rely on God’s grace and mercy. Sadly, our trust would be nothing more than self-reliance which would result in an empty, anxious, and lifeless walk.

The Hebrew word tsar is usually translated as enemy(-ies), adversaries, trouble, distress, affliction, and tribulation. But what it really implies is a “tight place”. It is literally something that presses or weighs upon you. In fact, it is the root word for Mitzrayim (Egypt). Egypt was certainly a place where the Israelites had heavy burdens laid upon them. YHWH redeemed them from this bondage with a mighty hand and brought them into the wilderness with a promise: a land flowing with milk and honey.

This is what happens to us when YHWH redeems us from the bondage of sin and death. We, like our ancient Israelite counterparts, have the promise of the “Land” that flows with milk and honey. What we tend to skip over in our theology and in our thinking is the wilderness. Once we are “saved”, we assume all is well — heaven awaits our arrival. But this isn’t the end of the story; it is the beginning! We must first endure the wild and dangerous wilderness. It is harsh, hot, and dry. It is treacherous. It is uncultivated and infertile. It will require us to relinquish everything over to a holy God just to survive. And the testimony of our ancient brethren proves that not everyone endures the trials of the desert.

The seemingly broadness of the wilderness becomes a tight place of pressing. But this “pressing” isn’t like the bondage of Egypt, sin, or death (though sometimes it may feel that way). Instead, we find ourselves being squeezed and molded by the Potter’s Hands into the image of the Son. While we may have left Egypt, we discover that Egypt is still in us. And so we have similar adages even in English to express this all too painful truth: “You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl”. But our Great Elohim sets out to do what we consider impossible. He not only removes us physically from the bondage of Egypt, He also removes Egypt from within us.

If we pay close attention, it becomes evident that while it is amazingly miraculous how He redeems a whole nation from the bondage of slavery, it is even more amazing how He removes Egypt from us! This is the lesson of the wilderness. And this is the reason we celebrate Sukkot, the last pilgrimage festival on YHWH’s holy calendar.

‘You shall thus celebrate it as a feast to the LORD for seven days in the year. It shall be a perpetual statute throughout your generations; you shall celebrate it in the seventh month. ‘You shall live in booths for seven days; all the native-born in Israel shall live in booths, so that your generations may know that I had the sons of Israel live in booths when I brought them out from the land of Egypt. I am the LORD your God.'” (Lev. 23:41-43)

By yearly walking out YHWH’s cycle of divine appointment times (feast days), we are reminded not only of our past and present, but of our future hope. These guideposts encourage and strengthen us; thus, providing the coverings and shelters that protect us from the scorching heat of the desert. They press us to be sure, but they also shield us as we are molded into the image of Yeshua.

Those of you that have committed to follow our Holy Elohim and walk in His “ancient paths” have most likely discovered that while there is great joy and fulfillment in meeting the Creator at His appointed times, there is also great testing, pressing, and often distress. It is hard! Our immaturity may cause us to assume that perhaps the difficulty is a sign that we are on the “wrong” path. But Yeshua reminds us that the true path is “narrow”; it is a tight place! We must expect to be pressed. We learn that the easy way is in reality the “broad” path.

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Mat. 7:13-14)

I am always baffled by the multitudes that teach the opposite of what Yeshua and Scripture clearly reveals. Therefore, if you find yourself being pressed in on all sides when YHWH’s appointments come around, rejoice! You are indeed on the narrow and tight path! Consider that the Father is pruning and shaping you into the image of Yeshua and at the same time He is expelling the Egypt that remains in your members. This brings new meaning to the phrase, “It hurts so good!”

The Hedge

Our tight places cause us to cry out to the Most High and He becomes the Strong Tower of Refuge that satisfies our distressed souls.

To the chief Musician on Neginoth, A Psalm of David. Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress (tzar); have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. (Ps. 4:1 KJV)

The above verse depicts David crying out to God when he finds himself in a tzar (a tight place of pressing). Many translations simply say God brings “relief” to his distress, but the King James Version actually captures the Hebrew much better. Notice it says that God enlarges or broadens David. This is exactly what YHWH does for you and me. Just when we think we can take no more, He broadens us just enough that we sigh with relief. The Refiner’s Fire is hot, but it is fueled by the cool spiritual heat of heaven. Unlike the pressing of sin and death, the hot coals of heaven’s altar only burns our impurities. There is a promise of Life, not death.

The hedges found in the fall moedim (feast days) teach us all about the cool heat of the shamayim (heavens in Hebrew, but literally “fire-waters”). These fires burn wickedness and flesh in righteous judgment. When we are covered by the blood of the Lamb, we can withstand these fiery trials.

Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire. Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1Cor. 3:12-16)

Thus, we must learn to rejoice when we find ourselves in the heavenly fire. If you have heard the great blast from the heavenly shofar and eternity burns in your heart, you are already aware that the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) has awakened you to the approaching bridegroom. But, in order to have enough oil, you will be pressed and crushed like the olives that fuel our lamps. Therefore, rejoice Bat Tzion (Daughter of Zion)!

Though it may seem odd that part of our covering is in fact heavenly fire, and that it sometimes hurts, we know that it cleanses us so we may eventually enter the bridal chamber. This brings us to the most solemn and holy day on YHWH’s calendar, the Day of Atonements. This is judgment day. If you are burning in a holy fire right now, rejoice, for your judgment day will also be your wedding day. Like the High Priest, you are covered and clothed in the red blood of the slain Lamb that appears as pure white light. Anointed with precious oil, enveloped with rich, sweet clouds of incense, eyes illuminated with only the holy seven tongues of fire of the golden menorah of YHWH’s Spirit, the bride is brought under the heavenly chuppah[2] and is forever bound in matrimony to her King. This hope is why we endure. And there is more to this promise; Sukkot awaits us.

The Sukkah

The fragile and flimsy appearance of the sukkah is the epitome of weakness to the natural man. See through walls and a leaky roof do not scream comfort or security — the thing we most long for. But, this is the structure that God beckons us to enter. Outside there are real threats, real enemies, and real elements. When we look at the sukkah, we cannot possibly see how this rickety thing is going to protect us from so many dangers. Surely the more permanent house we’ve built with our own hands offers more protection.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’ “Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. “And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. “Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. “The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell–and great was its fall.” (Mat. 7:21-27)

Only the House that YHWH builds is founded upon the Rock. All other structures are built on sand. When testing, trials, and storms arise (and they always do), only YHWH’s sukkah will remain standing. Thus, we are faced with a seeming paradox. What appears strong to us is in fact weak, and what appears weak is strong!

We must be willing to leave the “appearance” of security and embark on a treacherous journey through the wild with our bridegroom. He is mysterious and magnificent. He isn’t safe or tame. The real question is, “Do you trust Him anyway?” His promise isn’t a life sheltered from life itself. No, the promise is abundant life. An abundant life is abundantly full. But full of what?

It’s not full of worldly riches and things that will pass away. It’s full of experiences, challenges, and well… life. The Hebrew letter nun means life and its pictograph is a fish in movement. The journey is wild and rushing like a river. It tosses you here and there. Up and down. Side to side. Are you afraid? Don’t be. YHWH’s love is relentless and constantly moving. It is exciting, but it is not comfortable. Comfort is complacent and lifeless.

Our natural man and instincts hates this “uncontrolled” God that we serve. It is foolishness to them. Yet, this reckless abandon is exactly what YHWH desires from us. He calls us into the wilderness, the great unknown wild. It is there He speaks tenderly to us — in the midst of our vulnerability.

“Go and proclaim in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD, “I remember concerning you the devotion of your youth, The love of your betrothals, Your following after Me in the wilderness, Through a land not sown. (Jer. 2:2)

This is our covering at Sukkot. Following YHWH in the wilderness, through a land not sown. If we love Him, we will follow. Though we are vulnerable to the wildness, our little movable shelter sustains us with the promise that One day, we will have a permanent home with our Beloved.

Is this not what real faith (trust) is all about? Are we not called to be strong and courageous in the face of life’s many uncertainties? Do you trust Him…anyway? In light of all this, the sukkah becomes a beacon, a landmark for what faith actually is! When you sit in your sukkah this year, look at its flimsy walls, partially thatched roof, and open door. It may look like it offers little protection and is anything but secure, yet we know YHWH’s sukkah is the perfect shelter for the wild world He created. Experience it with Him. The promise isn’t a life without danger; the promise is that He will walk through it with you. Follow wherever He goes, for there is a special prize for those that serve and follow Him with reckless abandonment.

And I heard a voice from heaven, like the sound of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder, and the voice which I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps. And they *sang a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and the elders; and no one could learn the song except the one hundred and forty-four thousand who had been purchased from the earth. These are the ones who have not been defiled with women, for they have kept themselves chaste. These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes. These have been purchased from among men as first fruits to God and to the Lamb. (Rev. 14:2-4)

Oh dear one, don’t you want to learn this song and serenade the King of Kings? It will cost you everything, but you will be given all. The sukkah will be replaced with the New Jerusalem. Enjoy it while you can. Experience the wild and untamed King that we serve. Do hard things. Be stubborn in only one thing: in your reckless abandon to the Most High. Run into the flapping tents walls and snuggle up under the canopy of the stars and palm branches. Smell the sweet incense and look for the golden glow of the menorah. It’s all here—right now. Just open your eyes and ears. When the bottom drops out from under you, know that you are simply moving onto a new and exciting adventure with YHWH. Our duty is to remain steadfast, period. We don’t have to understand all the “whys” of life; we must simply trust Him like a child.

There is good news. Jerusalem of Gold awaits the pitter-pat of your precious little feet! Every tear will be wiped away! Then those things that are hidden will be revealed; we will realize that YHWH had every second, every circumstance, and every nuance under His direction and control. And we will know that all along we were indeed covered in perfect security with His heavenly pinions.

Fear not son or daughter of Abraham, for I, YHWH, am a shield and a covering sukkah to you. Your reward for walking through the tight places and trusting me even when your circumstances appeared bleak will be great. For you will see my sukkah with new spiritual eyes and know that no other earthly structure could have ever sustained you. my paraphrase of Gen. 15:1

[1] 1 Cor. 15:46

[2] The wedding canopy or covering. The chuppah is meant to symbolize the sukkah:

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